Tarn Gorges walking – Enlightened Traveller®

Concise details on the Tarn Gorges walking tour can be obtained by downloading the tour pdf [right]. Alternatively, read the Tarn Gorges walking tour description below and click through the sub-headings in the right-hand column for information on access, accommodation, availability, content and prices.

New – please check out the independent customer reviews for the tour at the foot of the page!

The little extra effort required to get to France’s remote interior is richly rewarded, and our express transfers are designed to facilitate your access and departure. Exploring both canyon and the upland at a leisurely pace makes for an extremely well-balanced and varied walking holiday.”

T arn Gorges Walking is a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive and holistic appreciation of Les Gorges du Tarn in their wider geological context, incorporating the equally-impressive Jonte Gorges and the contiguous limestone plateaus of Causses Méjean and Sauveterre. Moreover, it’s arguably the most varied walking you’ll get anywhere in France: arid and undulating limestone roof-top, fascinating narrow gorge ledges and meandering valley-bottom trails. In other words, you get the whole cake and not just the icing.

Tarn Gorges walking wider location mapThe Tarn Gorge has a legendary status among French hikers; so much so that you are likely to meet ‘randonneurs’ here from the six corners of The Hexagon. Most make the journey to escape the crowds that saturate Alpine and Pyrenean trails and to feast their eyes on some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery and raptors.

Tarn Gorges walking gives you time to look around and appreciate the extraordinary ambiance. It is a six-day hiking extravaganza that takes you anti-clockwise from majestic Meyrueis to sumptuous St Enimie via Le Rozier, Les Vignes, La Malene and St Chely. These carefully-selected overnight stops are laced together by some of France’s finest trails and arguably the most remarkable rock formations to be seen anywhere in France. The accommodation is very much complementary and great care has been taken in finding the most comfortable around.You can also upgrade according to taste and budget.

Tarn Gorges walking tour map

Tarn Gorges Walking affords you the ultimate insight into the region that has become known as ‘Les Gorges du Tarn.’ You walk paths that are as spectacular as the ‘Balcon du Sud’ in The Alps; visit deserted troglodyte ruins built into the rock-face that will stretch your imagination exponentially; and whilst the flora is rich and varied, befitting of the Parc National des Cévennes, the avifauna, principally raptors, is second to none.

Tarn Gorges Walking’s first three days follow a common trail, whilst the second half of the trip allows for options according to your personal preferences, physical condition and time available. If you are looking for some extremely flexible and varied walking in France’s most remote region, then the Gorges du Tarn is a must.

Note: you can combine Days Five and Six for those with limited time. However, this is not recommended: St-Chely is a fine place to spend the night and the hotel has a heated swimming pool. Moreover, those considering doing the High Route on Day 5, which we strongly recommend, would find they have very little time left to have a good look around the bijou village of Ste-Enimie. However, the choice is yours!

7-night tour

• Standard Accommodation:

  • £820.00 Pounds Sterling or €930.00 Euros
    [per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
  • Single person rate – please enquire

• Superior Accommodation:

  • £875.00 Pounds Sterling or €995.00 Euros
    [per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
  • Single person rate – please enquire


  • 6-night tour

    • Standard Accommodation:

    • £745.00 Pounds Sterling or €845.00 Euros
      [per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
    • Single person rate – please enquire



    • Superior Accommodation:

    • £785.00 Pounds Sterling or €885.00 Euros
      [per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
    • Single person rate – please enquire
    Note: Please contact us to check for the latest Sterling prices. Sterling prices are confirmed at the time of booking.
  • Balcon de Vertige & its spectacular rock formations
  • Tarn & Jonte Gorges
  • Causses Méjean and Sauveterre limestone plateau
  • Troglodyte & Proto-historic villages
  • Raptors, including Griffin vultures
  • Fast-track access & deparfture transfers.
  • 7-night, self-guided moderate tour, with light options on the last two/three days if preferred
  • 6-night version available
  • Start any day, early April to late October
  • Start in Meyrueis, finish in Ste-Enimie
  • Includes Express Access and Departure transfers* via Alès near Nimes; with Millau the alternative option
  • Good standard accommodation, with Extra comfort upgrade
  • We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
* Transfers on a Sunday, National Holiday or outside normal working hours are subject to an 85 euro supplement each way.
  • 7-nights B&B:
  • 2 picnic lunches and 6 evening meals – leaving you free to choose where to eat dinner in La Malene/or Ste-Enimie, where options exist.
  • Express Access and Departure transfers* via Alès, near Nimes; with Millau the alternative option
  • Luggage transfers throughout
  • 1:25,000 scale map, excellent walking notes & comprehensive tour dossier
  • 7/7 Telephone back-up & support
  • 6-night version includes 6 nights B&B and 5 evening meals.
* Transfers on a Sunday, National Holiday or outside normal working hours are subject to an 85 euro supplement each way.

Standard or Superior accommodation options.

    Standard:

  • A mix of welcoming 2-star standard hotels, guest houses and auberges
  • Five 2-star hotels [Four on six-night tour], one country auberge and one guest house
  • En-suite facilities throughout.
    Superior:

  • Two 3-star hotels, three 2-star hotels [offering superior-comfort – two on six-night tour], one fine country auberge and an exclusive chateau
  • En-suite facilities throughout.
    Express access via Nimes SNCF:

  • Train to Alès [40 minutes & not part of our package] followed by an inclusive transfer, 62-mile/100-km transfer to Meyrueis [90 minutes]. All group members must travel together and a supplement of 85.00 euros applies for after 18.00 hrs and Sunday/National Holiday transfers.
    Express access via Millau SNCF:

  • Inclusive transfer to Meyrueis from Millau [60 minutes]. All group members must travel together and a supplement of 60 euros applies for after 18.00 hrs and Sunday/National Holiday transfers.

The nearest airports are i) Montpellier, ii) Rodez or iii) Beziers.

Your departure transfer is included from Ste-Enimie to either Millau [60 mins] or Alès [90 minutes]. Millau is best for onward travel to Montpellier by bus [90 minutes] or train to Beziers, whereas Alès is best for those wishing to travel to Lyon or Paris.

  • Warm, dry summers; mild spring and autumn
  • Undulating limestone plateau, deeply incised canyons

 

Tarn Gorges walking – Tour Itinerary

[Times, elevations and distances are approximate]

Day 1: Arrive in Meyrueis via either Ales or Millau, from where you are collected. Transfer to your three-star hotel with outdoor pool and indoor spa. Night in Meyrueis.

Day 2

Meyrueis to St Pierre

[12 miles-19 kms, 6½ hrs, +595ms/-400ms]

Causse Celebre

The opening day sees you climb out of Meyrueis with fine views over the gorges de la Jonte. You get your first experience of walking the splendours of the expansive trails of Causse Mejean and visit some fine Caussenarde villages en route. A quick look at the Ecomuseum is de rigeur before striding out towards St Pierre.

Night in St Pierre-des-Tripiers.

Day 3

St Pierre to Le Rozier

[7½-12½ kms, 5hrs, +145ms/-620ms]

Balcon de Vertige

A real contrast today as you explore grottos and the remains of a pre-historic village before walking the fabulous ‘balcon de vertige’ and its colossal vase-shaped rock forms. There are no metal ladders or chains to negotiate, so just take your time and enjoy the splendid vistas. And it will take longer than the distance would lad you to believe!

Night in Le Rozier-Peyreleau.

Day 4

Le Rozier to Les Vignes

[9 miles-14½ kms, 5½hrs, +580ms/-205ms]

Causse Majeur

A day to remember. You cross the Tarn and climb through the woods to another fine ridge that leads to the day’s first fascinating troglodyte ruins. No time to snooze lest the vultures mistake you for lunch! Further along you round the Cirque de St Marcellin before discovering its eponymous troglodyte chapel. Sacre Balade!

Night in Les Vignes.

Day 5

Les Vignes to La Malène

a) Light Route: 7½ miles-12 kms, 4½ hrs, +135ms/-100ms, or
b) Moderate Route: 8 miles/13½ kms, 6 hrs, +500ms/-475ms.]

Les Bateliers

The two options today have equal length but pose different levels of challenge. The light option takes you riverside past Cirque de Baumes and the fascinating lost hamlet of La Croze, whilst the moderate alternative two takes you back up to Causse Mejean. Then why not enjoy a one-hour boat trip down the river in the company of ‘the boatmen of La Malène’ or defer the delights until the next morning? A must!

Night in La Malène.

Day 6

La Malène to St-Chely du Tarn

a) Light Route: 5½ miles-9 kms, 3 hrs, +60ms/-30ms, or
b) Moderate Route: 11½ miles / 18½ kms, 6 hrs, +690ms/-560 ms

High road to Hauterives?

Two options again, with the same diverse challenge: the gentle and bucolic valley trail versus the Causse and more some superb views from up high. All roads lead to an overnight stay to savour in St Chely, where a heated pool awaits you.

Night in St Chely du Tarn.

Day 7

St-Chely to Ste-Enimie

[3½ miles 6 kms – 2 hrs, +120ms/-90ms, plus town ramble]

En route and inside St Enimie

A gentle and scenic stroll above the Tarn awaits you on this final day, en route to the picturesque village of St Enimie. We then recommend an afternoon walk to the cliff-side chapel and a ramble round the historic centre.

Night in St Enimie or transfer to Meyrueis

Day 8: Departure day – end of your Tarn Gorges walking tour – Breakfast, bon retour et à bientôt! Onward journey by transfer to either Millau or Ales is included in your tour fees.

Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:

Tarn Gorges walking – Enlightened Traveller®
4.1 Our Rating
Customer Score 4.5 (11 votes)
Pros
  • Spectacular scenery - arguably the best of our moderate-challenge tours
  • Choice of two levels of accommodation to suit your budget
  • Options on two days according to your preferences: so much more than just walking along a river bank!
Cons
  • The 'Balcon de Vertige' is not for vertigo sufferers, but an alternative variant exists
  • No departure by public transport from Ste-Enimie, but several transfer options exist - ask for details
  • The best days involve morning ascents and afternoon descents - well worth the extra effort!
  • This is vulture country - watch out for your sandwiches!
Theme
Enjoy discovering part of the Cevennes National Park and the opportunity to walk both limestone table-top and the deeply-incised canyons of both the Tarn and the Jonte."
Comfort & Cuisine
Scenery & Trails
Overall rating
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