Tsingy A La Cite De Pierres 001alaetitia Raisin RobertTsingy A La Cite De Pierres 001alaetitia Raisin Robert
©Tsingy A La Cite De Pierres 001alaetitia Raisin Robert|Laetitia Raisin Robert


An absolute must on the Grands Causses!

Walking through a forest of phantasmagorically shaped rocks is an incredible adventure for both me, a quadruped, and my masters. The Cité de Pierres in Montpellier-le-Vieux is a unique outdoor playground to share with the whole family.


This morning, we set off early from Millau, heading for the Causse Noir and the Cité de Pierres. Walking shoes, water bottles and my lunch box are in the trunk. Wow, it smells like a walk! Barely arrived at Montpellier-le-Vieux, I’m treated to a little pat from Serge.

The map given at the entrance is quite comprehensive: the different routes, signposting, level of difficulty, shady corners, points of interest… Waouf, off we go for a cani-rando. At 860m altitude, it’s a cool day, perfect for hiking.


The trails are well marked and maintained. Beacons are within truffle range, respecting nature and the beauty of the site. Half shade, half sun; half vegetation, half rock. The main tree species of the Grands Causses are represented. Ffffff, it smells of thyme and juniper.

It’s easy to see why you have to pay for the site: for the preservation and upkeep of this magnificent “jungle”


Expert advice – Choose from 6 walks of varying lengths, from 30 minutes to 4 hours, all with signposts and interpretation panels. You can put together your own tour by combining the different loops.


I soon began to discover rocks sculpted by nature into extravagant shapes. These mineral curiosities all have extravagant names: the Harlequin Head, the Sphinx, the Elephant, the Bear Head, the Snail. It doesn’t take long to get into the game. My masters have fun looking for animal shapes, faces… and work on their imagination. Grrr, no dog carved in these fantastic rocks, too bad!

Did you know? During his first exploration of the area in 1884, Edouard-Alfred Martel, the father of modern speleology, mapped and named all the boulders in the rocky chaos of Montpellier-le-Vieux, as well as many other remarkable sites in the Gorges and Grands Causses. https://www.lacitedepierres.com/fr-fr/decouvrir/laventure-martelhttps://www.lacitedepierres.com/fr-fr/decouvrir/laventure-martel


After the first part of the hike in the undergrowth, climb the rocks to reach the Belvedere, one of the many viewpoints set up along the way. Nose to the wind, breathtaking views of the Gorges de la Dourbie and the Plateau du Larzac.

Here’s a griffon vulture crossing the sky at snout height. I didn’t see a single wingbeat, it’s just hovering.

Information for bipeds – You can discover the Cité de Pierres from above and feel the rocks on a via-ferrata, then breathe in the fresh air of the Grands Causses on zip lines, including 1 200-meter-long one!



The Cité de Pierres is a magnificent playground for the whole family, biped or quadruped.

For me, it’s a 100% natural canine agility course. A rock shelter to run in, a balsam built by shepherds to play hide-and-seek with my masters, a natural tunnel dug into the rock to do over and over again without moderation, a cave-like cistern to explore, skittles to perch on “Wouaf-Lanta” style!

A magical place to play with your masters and share with them a moment of total disorientation and (re)connection with nature.

Coup de coeur – La Cité de Pierres is a partner of the Emmène-ton-chien initiative in Millau, Aveyron.



The Cité de Pierres, in Montpellier-le-Vieux, is Europe’s largest rock labyrinth. Stroll through a maze of paths that resemble streets and boulevards hundreds of millions of years old, like an imaginary city designed by nature. An immersion in an extraordinary mineral world!

Now, in this “city”, there’s even a Little Train. For those who want to discover the site effortlessly, a storytelling journey along part of the route is possible with this little train. The carriages are dog-friendly (great for resting paws!).


We feel so good that we continue, and after the green trail, we move on to the red trail. Away from the trail, a Zen Space invites you to relax and enjoy the calm of nature. Drawing board, deckchair at the gates of the Bergerie. My masters enjoy it, but I’m not tired, I want to play, there are sticks everywhere!

After this break, we arrive at the must-see of the City of Stones: the Gate of Mycenae. Remember: the last scenes of the film “La Grande Vadrouille” with Louis de Funès and Bourvil… it was there! I feel very small under this great arch. Enough to revisit the “Where’s Charlie?” series with a special special edition: “Where’s Tsingy?” Your turn to play!

Did you know? Your dog’s paw pads can rest in the many areas of grésou or sabel, sandy deposits produced by karstic soil corrosion. Under the rocks, the beach! A little stick, some sand: enough to jump ever higher!


Kaï kaï, now that’s climbing, but wow! After crossing the Remparts for a commanding view of the rocky chaos, then the Poterne, secret passage to reach the Douminal, the highest point of the Cité de Pierres. 360° wouf panorama! I’m too short to see the orientation table, but tall enough to rest on the bench. It’s time to take a contemplative break from the breathtaking scenery… before heading back to the car. My truffle is working like a charm!


Croquette sur le jambon (translation: icing on the cake): we stop off at the Salle des Fêtes… which is actually a picnic area set up under a pine forest, sheltered by large rocks. There’s plenty of room to run around, slalom between the trees and even quench my thirst, as there’s a water point for visitors to use. Quick, my bowl! Great, there are other friends to play with… and even a mini-me. Wow!

Practicalities – La Cité de Pierres is open spring – summer – autumn. Dogs are welcome, on a leash.
Don’t forget your little bags to leave nature as clean and beautiful as you found it.
Duration: ½ day to full day
Budget: from €8.40 per adult + choice of activities (little train, explorgame, via ferrata, storytelling tours…)
Best season: spring

Continue the adventure