“CAMI de la RODELLA” to MONTBOLO
Vallespir offers a wide choice of historical trails. This one, according to legend, is related to the Saints Abdon & Sennen whose relics were brought from Rome on donkey back. The final part of this legendary trip is your itinerary for today. To celebrate the two Patron Saints of Arles sur Tech, every 30th of July, a procession carries a rounded shaped candle, “la Rodella”, between Montbolo and Arles. In addition to its mystic atmosphere, this trail also provides a combination of refreshing exercise and great sightseeing.
Drive to Amélie les Bains and cross the residential area “la Petite Provence” on the left bank of the river Tech. Park near the gymnasium and the tennis courts.
Take direction “Ribamala”.
After the hotel “Castel Emeraude”, the track turns into a path close to the river.
An oratory dedicated to the Saints Abdon & Sennen is on your way. After 15 mn, when reaching the first houses of a “lotissement”, walk up the concrete steps on your right.
Notice the yellow signpost “Montbolo”, starting point for a steep footpath. Take a deep breath and go up! You will follow painted yellow signs all the way. Your effort is rewarded by extensive views over Vallespir, from west to east: Pic de Tres Vents and the village of Corsavy, Arles sur Tech at your feet, towers of Cabrens in the far distance, the massive silhouette of Pilo de Belmatx in front, Roussillon and the coastline on the left.
After more or less 1 hour, you reach a crossroads. Don’t take the one on the right (except if you suddenly remember an important meeting!!), it goes down to Amélie. A wooden signpost invites you to continue along a gentle shady path to Montbolo (1h.45).
The village offers a place for picnic close to the church, curiously flanked with two towers (la Rodella is kept inside). An alternative choice is the terrace of the bar-restaurant “Point d’Art”
Return to Amélie: Go down the path starting at the back of the restaurant. It crosses the tarred road several times. Ten minutes later, a short detour to the big Holy Cross offers breathtaking views over the town. Back to the road, follow it for a few minutes and turn down to the path (formerly used as “Chemin de Croix” by penitents). The signposts lead you back to “la Petite Provence”, close to the parking place
(total time: 2h.45).