Grands Causses & Gorges of the Tarn & Jonte - Self Guided
Day 1: Arrival in Millau
Transfer time 0h50
We will organise your transfer from Millau to Meyrueis, which will be your base for the first 3 nights of your holiday. You stay in a comfortable 3* hotel with a renowned restaurant, peaceful gardens and a swimming pool.
Either on this first evening, or the following morning, we will discuss your trip with you and answer any questions that you may have.
Day 2: Cliffs of the Causse Méjean
4h walking, 11.8km / 7.4 miles, ascent/descent 410m
This walk begins by climbing very gently out of Meyrueis, then skirts the lower edge of cool woods running along the valley of the Jonte. Having crossed over the valley, you follow a tiny path as it zig-zags gradually up to the causse. Once you reach the top you are in a different world altogether, with endless views across the rolling limestone plateau to Mont Aiguoal and the Cévennes mountains beyond. As you drop back down to Meyrueis you have some tantalising views back over the Gorge of the Jonte.
Day 3: Nîmes le Vieux
5h walking, 14.6km / 9.1 miles, ascent 267m, descent 578m
You start with a short taxi transfer from Meyrueis, following the valley of the river Jonte towards its source on the slopes of Mont Aiguoal. You begin walking at the Col de Perjuret at 1031m altitude. Few parts of the causse have such variety; small agricultural hamlets, extraordinary 'chaos' rock formations, dramatic cliffs, all the time contrasting with views across to the mountains of the Cévennes.
Paths take you right through the heart of 'Nimes le Vieux' a range of limestone outcrops stretching over several kilometers, like the ruins of an ancient city. From Nimes le Vieux rolling tracks lead you across the plateau until gently descending grassy slopes back towards the valley of the Jonte and Meyrueis.
Day 4: The Causse Méjean
6h walking, 19.1kms/12 miles, ascent 595m, descent 411m
Small paths lead you out of Meyrueis and up onto the Causse Méjean. Once you are up on the rolling causse, the walking is easy with long, open vistas. You pass the famous cave of Aven Armand and a little further on, a thriving cheese producer and a rural museum offering a fascinating insight into life on the causses. You spend the night in a rural gîte in a small farming village.
Day 5: Descent to Le Rozier
5h walking, 11kms/ 7 miles, ascent 214m, descent 703m
This is one of your most varied and spectacular walking days. Tiny paths lead you through a forest of Scots pine, passing the site of a Gallo-Roman settlement as well as a cave where important Neolithic remains were found. Your path then winds through the centre of vast rock arches: examples of the extraordinary forms resulting from the erosion of the limestone. You have a choice of descents to Le Rozier, both offering impressive views of the gorges, often with the added excitement of vultures soaring overhead.
Your last 3 nights are spent in the pretty riverside village of Le Rozier. You stay in a family run hotel (2*), with its own restaurant and spa.
Day 6: Free day in Le Rozier
A choice of walks
Le Rozier lies at the confluence of the Tarn and Jonte rivers and so is ideal for exploring both gorges and the Tarn valley. We therefore give you a choice of walks from which you can choose according to your energy levels. Or you could simply opt for a refreshing day at the river (we give you directions to the best swimming points!).
Day 7: The Tarn Gorge
6h walking , 12.8kms/8 miles, ascent/descent 470m
Small paths lead you up the gorge side and through semi troglodyte village clinging to the cliff face. These villages are only accessible by foot, and their position defies belief. The views back over the gorges are equally impressive. From here, you continue climbing up onto the top of the Causse Sauveterre where the walking becomes easy, with soft forest paths underfoot, largely flat. You then have a dramatic descent with heady views ahead to Le Rozier in the valley below.
Day 8: Departure: transfer to Millau
Transfer time 0h30
We will provide your return transfer to Millau to coincide with your onward travel plans.
The above itinerary may be modified due to weather or terrain conditions, equipment concerns or the physical condition of the participants. The final choice of the walks will be decided by the guide who may adapt the programme for reasons of security.
Dates & prices
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS :
PRICE OF THE HOLIDAY:
OUR PRICE INCLUDES :
- Advice from a local ‘Accompagnateur en Montagne’ (mountain leader) at the start of the holiday
- Telephone back up in English throughout your holiday to ensure all runs smoothly
- 7 nights half board accommodation in a shared double room: 3 nights in a 3* hotel, 3 nights in a 2* hotel and I night in a rural gite
- Transfers between the train/bus station in Millau and your accommodation at the start and end of your holiday
- 1 picnic midweek ( Day 5)
- Bag moves throughout the trip
- Maps and detailed directions that are checked and updated regularly
OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Travel to reach Millau
- Booking fees (15€ per person) – FREE if you pay by French cheque or by bank transfer
- Personal expenses, drinks
- Picnics (except for day 5)*
- Cancellation or repatriation insurance
- In a general sense, everything that is not included in ‘Our price includes’
AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY:
HOW TO GET HERE:
- A wind and waterproof jacket that is breathable (GORETEX or similar). Ponchos are not acceptable.
- A fleece (the mountain weather can be changeable and turn cold)
- A pair of walking trousers, a pair of shorts, t-shirts (choose modern breathable, fast drying materials rather than cotton)
- A change of clothes for the evenings
- A swimming costume and towel
- Water bottle (2 litre minimum per person).
- A pair of telescopic walking poles (highly recommended)
- Sun glasses and sun cream Sun hat Personal tolietries and a towel
- A pair of sandals/comfortable shoes (for the evenings)
- Small first aid kit (plasters, compeed, elastoplast, head ache pills, after bite etc)