The GR 78, chemin du Piedmont Pyrénéen, crosses the Hérault then the Aude from east to west before reaching the foothills of the mountains and finally Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port then Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.
The GR78, from Montpellier to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
Reliant Montpellier à Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, GR® 78 “Path of Pyrenean Piedmont” is the extension of the Piedmon Wayt. This is "modeled" on an old pilgrimage route allowing pilgrims to Santiago to discover the Marian city (Lourdes). This route connects also the Mediterranean to Atlantic.
For theFrench Agency of the Ways of Compostela, association in charge of the animation of the cultural property "Roads of Santiago de Compostela in France" inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Piedmont Way is a pilgrimage route, during full Way of Arles (GR 653, passing through St-Guilhem-le-Désert), which stretches at the foot of the last foothills of the Cévennes (the Black Mountain), then, from Carcassonne, plunges towards the Pyrenees in a logic of seeking passes passing.
The GR78 in Hérault
This is at Montpellier that the new GR78 begins but to date the Hérault part is marked out and fitted out only from Capestang, a pretty village on the banks of the Canal du Midi, built around the superb collegiate church of Saint-Etienne. You will then join theAude following the red and white GR markings and the signs indicating “GR78 Chemin du Piedmont Pyrénéen”.
While waiting for the development of the Montpellier-Béziers part, the ideal is to start from the Beziers train station and follow the Canal du Midi to Capestang (Euro Vélo 8 – Canal des 2 mers à Vélo signs). From bus (line 642) also connect Béziers station to Capestang.
Since the Narbonne train station, you have to walk to the Canal de la Robine then follow it to Argeliers via the Canal de Jonction then the Canal du Midi (follow the Euro Vélo 8 signs). To find the GR78 you will have to climb up to Mont Caramel before continuing towards Bize-Minervois. Bize-Minervois is also accessible by bus with the line 21 Citibus from Grand Narbonne from the Narbonne bus station, a stone's throw from the SNCF station.
The GR78 in Aude, from Bize-Minervois to Carcassonne
This is at Bize Minervois that you will enter the Aude. It is also possible to come by bus from Narbonne station. The GR78 continues its way through the Minervois passing Pouzols-Minervois and join the canal du midi à paraza.
The route follows the Canal du Midi and go to RoubiaAnd then Argens-Minervois before arriving at Homps.
In Homps, the Saint Michel church and the former Commandery of the Knights of Malta also worth a detour.
Just after crossing Homps, the GR78 leaves the canal and bypasses the Jouarres lake (round trip on a marked path to reach the beach and swim) before continue on its way to Carcassonne (SNCF train station). The route continues on its way towards Fanjeaux and Pyrenees.