A walk in the hills of La Montagnette, setting out from Saint Michel de Frigolet abbey.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Set out from Saint Michel de Frigolet abbey from the second car park slightly above the main car park.
(D/A) From the car park, as you are facing the Abbey, go to the right of the house in ruins and take the stony track leading up to the right signposted Tarascon par San Salvador, with yellow waymarks.
Go through the gate, ignore the first path off to the left, and follow the waymarks which take you down the next path to the left a little further on. When the path crosses another footpath, continue straight on. A little further on the path comes out on the track that you left below. Cross the track and carry straight on up the footpath until you reach the track a second time.
Cross it again and then take the path opposite you which carries on up. Before long it will reach the same track once again.
(1) Now turn left and follow signs for Tarascon par San Salvador. Continue on the main waymarked track and ignore all other paths off to the left or right. Eventually, at a crossing, the waymarks take you down the track to the left, and then 200m further you will reach another crossing (signpost MO107).
(2) Turn left and continue along the track and when you reach a cairn, you can climb up the small summit to have 360° views over the Montagnette. Come back to the cairn and take the path to the left for another 100m until you reach a T-junction. Leave the track and take the path to the right, then 200m further you will reach a crossing.
(3) Take the right-hand path, which meanders through the valley of San Salvador. There will be almost no waymarks for a good kilometre, but there are no other paths in this area anyway.
(4) When you reach a crossing, carry straight on along the path opposite you, following the waymarks which now appear again.
After another 200m, at the next crossing, turn right to complete the climb and reach water cistern n°123.
(5) Turn left onto the track that goes down to Tarascon, and once again ignore all the paths off to the left or right, and stay on the main track. The track becomes tarmacked as you approach water cistern N°122
(6) At this point, leave the track and take the footpath to the left down through the Aleppo pines, once again staying on the main path, which is well marked, and ignoring all other paths off to the left or right.
(7) When you reach a large crossing with a track, take the leftmost path downwards, and then after 150m, leave this path, go through a gate, and take the path down to the right.
At the next T-junction, take the right-hand path. After 400m, when you reach the railway track, go through the gate and walk left alongside the railway track.
Follow the railway track for 150m, then go under the bridge, and keep following the path to the left along the canal, which you cross twice before continuing alongside the railway track on the right.
(8) At the fork, leave the path and take the trail on the right. You will then reach another path at the canal, which you take to the left towards the railway track and then under the bridge.
As you come out from under the bridge, the path leads off to the right again. It is not very well marked in this area, but it bears away from the railway track a little and goes over to the fence of a property.
(9) When you reach a bridge and the entrance gate of a house, the waymarks carry straight on opposite you and continue alongside the railway track. Cross the Chemin de la Jacine and continue straight on along the tarmacked track until you reach the DFCI gate.
Pass it on the right and continue along the path beside a row of prickly pears.
(10) Shortly after the end of the prickly pears, the waymarks take you off to the left and reach a new gate.
Go through it, continue straight on, and then further along, leave the track which bears off to the right and go up the path to the left. The path runs alongside some olive trees and then heads towards the Montagnette up a small valley with a dry creek.
(11) When you reach a fork, ignore the path to the left and continue heading upwards. Further on, take the path directly up to the right towards a ridge.
(12) Once on the hilltop, a lot of paths appear once again. Follow the path to the north and then head right to reach the Abbey.
After visiting the Abbey, walk through to the main entrance and then go left to get back to the car park (D/A).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 354ft
1 : mi 0.4 - alt. 482ft - Left towards Tarascon
2 : mi 0.99 - alt. 440ft - Left onto the track
3 : mi 1.49 - alt. 371ft - Take the path to the right
4 : mi 2.22 - alt. 315ft - Straight on at the crossing
5 : mi 2.53 - alt. 436ft - Left onto the track
6 : mi 3.8 - alt. 289ft - Leave the track
7 : mi 4.55 - alt. 125ft - Large crossing
8 : mi 5.44 - alt. 39ft - Right onto the path
9 : mi 5.83 - alt. 39ft - Entrance gate of a house
10 : mi 7.07 - alt. 62ft - Left after the hedge
11 : mi 7.95 - alt. 220ft - Right down the path
12 : mi 8.29 - alt. 390ft - Continue north
D/A : mi 8.82 - alt. 354ft
N.B.: There are lots of different paths on La Montagnette and it is very easy to lose your way, so be careful.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.