sur The Saint-Guilhem trail
Shuttle : Consult the schedules & prices
Guidebook : Le Chemin de Saint-Guilhem-le-désert (in French)
Official website : http://www.chemin-st-guilhem.fr
Accomodations: the association of the Friends of the Chemin de Saint-Guilhem lists the accommodations available along the path.
Milestone report : Order it here
This is the starting point of an ancient route for summer pasturelands, known as the “great Aubrac trail” linking the hinterland of Montpellier to the Aubrac volcanic plateau.
Since the early Middle Ages, travellers have used it: this is confirmed by the founding in 1002 of the hospice of Notre Dame de Bonahuc (now Notre Dame du Bonheur), near Mont Aigoual, where six Augustinian canons ensure the protection of passers-by.
A commercial route giving access to the fairs of Meyrueis and Le Vigan, attested as far back as 1020, it increased in importance with the development of the cult of Saint Guilhem (Saint Guillaume d'Orange) and especially the relic of the holy cross placed in the Abbey of Gellone.
The uncertainties of the 15th century (epidemics – 100-years war) and the Wars of Religion (16th century) dried up the flow of pilgrims. The Camin Romieu continued to be used by merchants until the end of the 17th century and was then abandoned in favour of the new royal roads – suitable for vehicles - that were during the Camisards' War (1685-1710).
Until the 1960s, herds on the way to summer pasturelands would use it as far as Aubrac. Nowadays, only the southern part (from the garrigues to Aigoual and Meyrueis) is still used by several herds for this purpose.