The following tips concern
- the stretch from Vendargues to the centre of Montpellier (Place de la Comédie),
- and the stretch from the centre of Montpellier (Place de la Comédie) to the western edge of the town by the Mosson, a small river (alternative: to Grabels), where one again finds the waymarkings.
Vendargues – Montpellier (Place de la Comédie)
Variant 1 : on foot, by following the waymarkings. The route is marked throughout. Also, when following this route, you are never far from a bus- or tram-stop.
Variant 2: by bus and tram. If you approach Vendargues from the east you come to a wide road D65. Cross it cautiously and on the other side enter the village on a local road (rue de la Cadoule). On this road you very soon come to two bus-stops (bus no. 21), one on either side of the road. Go to the bus-stop which indicates the terminus Castelnau-le-Lez. From Monday to Saturday there is a bus every hour. On Sunday there are only four buses with long time-intervals between them. You buy the ticket from the bus-driver (it is valid for one hour which allows plenty of time to reach the centre of Montpellier) and travel to the terminus. From there take the tram no. 2 (“la ligne fleurie”) in the direction of Saint-Jean-de-Vedas. Get out of the tram at the stop Corum, climb the wide steps leading up to the Esplanade and go along this as far as the Place de la Comédie. On the left is the tourist office.
Montpellier (Place de la Comédie) – western edge of the town
Variant 1: on foot, by following the waymarkings. The route is marked throughout. There is no possibility of taking the tram, as this makes a wide detour to the north.
Variant 2: by tram. At the Place de la Comédie you take the tram no.1 (“la ligne bleue”) in the direction of Mosson. You buy the ticket from the automatic machine at the tram-stop. Get out of the tram at the stop Saint-Paul and walk further in the direction of Mosson keeping on the right hand side of the tram lines and walking parallel to them. You pass through a small park, and continue as far as the rue de Tipasa. On this road you go down to the right as far as the Mosson, a small river. Already before reaching it you will see on a wall to your right the first waymarking. This is the point where one arrives after crossing the town on foot. Do not cross the Mosson but follow it upstream.
Alternative: take the tram as described above and get out at the stop Euromédecine, where you then take the bus no. 24 in the direction of Le Pradas and travel on it as far as Grabels. In Grabels you must look for the beginning of the marked route. The advantage of this alternative is that the route is shorter by about one hour’s march. The disadvantage is that one misses seeing the beautiful valley of the Mosson. From Monday to Saturday there is a bus roughly every hour but on Sunday there are only four buses, with long time-intervals between them. Coordination between tram and bus in order to avoid long waiting-times can be difficult.
This information is valid as at May 2007
Thanks for the tip for crossing Montpellier.
I'm planning to start there this September.
We're experienced pilgrims and have walked the Camino Frances several times.
The route from Grabels to St Guileme seems to be about 28 km. How difficult is this stretch as a "first day" walk? Is it more feasible to stop in Aniane.