Viaduc De Millau Haut En Basalexandre Humbert 3Viaduc De Millau Haut En Basalexandre Humbert 3
©Viaduc De Millau Haut En Basalexandre Humbert 3|@AlexEvil12

The Millau Viaduct from top to bottom

A gentle hiking - canoeing adventure...

An encounter with a passionate team. An unusual discovery of the Viaduct, on foot BETWEEN and THROUGH its piers. A guided canoe trip down the Tarn, so you don’t have to paddle like an idiot. Explore Aveyron’s rich, unspoilt nature.

A real coup de coeur for this botanical discovery ^^

The famous Millau Viaduct from all angles but not only… one of the most beautiful villages in France too !!!

A day between hiking and canoeing or paddling!
Simply incredible ^_-

Passion nature

The meeting place is Comprégnac, a few kilometers from Millau, at the Canoë Escapade base. 2 things become clear very quickly: the nature here is sublime, wild, between cliffs, river and vegetation, and Pierre, our guide, is a “jovial enthusiast”!

The team of friends is fun, friendly, professional, educational, and in love with the nature they preserve. A great day ahead!

A short briefing on the day and departure by shuttle for the first part: a hike around the Millau Viaduct and the Tarn Valley. We quickly gain altitude to find ourselves on the Causse Rouge, above Millau and the Viaduct.


Hike to the Millau Viaduct

Rando to the Millau Viaduct
As soon as we stepped off the shuttle, there it was, right in front of us! The Millau Viaduct is grandiose and seen from here, in a country version!

7km of hiking, or rather strolling, as the route is easy and rather downhill.

I feel like I’m walking on clouds towards the Viaduct.

Let’s set off on a botanical and faunal journey through time, a stroll that’s both fun and instructive. Pierre is an expert in his field, and transmits his passion and values with enthusiasm and pride.

Make a note of the date in your diaries: Sunday, May 31, 2021! The “Course Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau” is back. Would you like to tread the tarmac of the famous Millau Viaduct, or take to the old construction site tracks to tackle the structure? Do you run a little, a lot, passionately…?
23.7 km of pure bliss on a unique, unusual and spectacular route is not to be missed. Sign up now!

Pierre and the story of the Grands Causses

A short break on the edge of a large boulder with a majestic view of the Millau Viaduct.

Did you know that you could read the age of the planet in the rock? Well, you can! And Pierre retraces the history of the Grands Causses based on the “age layers” of this rock.

Pierre has more than one trick up his sleeve! Fossils including bird prints. It’s really something to hold in your hands animal “relics” millions of years old. What must life have been like back then?

We drink in his words and slowly approach the Millau Viaduct.

Mark the date in your diaries: Sunday May 31, 2021! The “Course Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau” is back. Would you like to tread the tarmac of the famous Millau Viaduct, or take to the old construction site tracks to tackle the structure? Do you run a little, a lot, passionately…?
23.7 km of pure bliss on a unique, unusual and spectacular route is not to be missed. Sign up now!

Touching the Millau Viaduct

After a short climb, the path takes us directly to the foot of pier P1 of the Millau Viaduct. In front of us, 94m of concrete (not counting the steel pylon above). It’s one of the smallest piers, so we can walk between its 2 branches. Silence in the group.

First contact with this behemoth. A moment charged with emotion: touching the Viaduct, losing your bearings as you lift your head, height? width?…

The hike continues along the old construction site tracks where the Viaduct was built. Speaking of technology and mechanics, Pierre takes the opportunity to introduce us to… plants, also ingenious with their natural defense mechanisms! The descent to pile P2 turns into a botanical treasure hunt in the footsteps of the Giant!

Entering the Millau Viaduct

Aaah! I can’t wait! Entering the Giant’s lair… getting inside the Millau Viaduct, in pier P2, the world record for height! Cocorico!

1st surprise: the acoustics. The echo is powerful and endless! It takes a little getting used to before you can hear the comments of Camille, a guide from CEVM (Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau). Construction secrets, records, innovations… it’s all fascinating.

The grandeur, or rather the immensity, of this structure is breathtaking. The pier and the pylon above it are hollow. No elevator, just a metal ladder. Of course, we’re not allowed to go up, but the mere sight of the ladder’s crinoline makes you dizzy.

It’s incredible to hear the sound of heavy goods vehicles passing over the Viaduct from here. It makes you feel so small!

A lovely privilege to be here…

Bathing in emerald waters

With emotions running high, a final short walk heralds the picnic, on the banks of the Tarn, just below the Millau Viaduct.

The water is crystal-clear, emerald and the Viaduct is reflected in it… making it even taller and more slender! Impressive and photogenic as can be. You feel smaller and smaller!!!

In the middle of this impressive and photogenic setting, large boulders allow you to make crazy jumps into the river. Catch the clouds! Catch the Viaduct! An invitation to take a dip that’s not to be refused!

In any case, it whets the appetite. A welcome picnic. An opportunity to chat and get to know Pierre and the rest of the group a little better.

Around Millau, the river Tarn has many faces:
the Gorges du Tarn, upstream, with its high limestone cliffs
the Vallée du Tarn, more open, a paradise of cherry trees, vines, plum trees and other fruit trees
the Raspes du Tarn, downstream, wild gorges of schist and granite…

Canoeing down the Tarn in the footsteps of Père Castor

In the afternoon, it’s canoeing down the Tarn. 10km down the Tarn, with the start line marked by the reflection of the Millau Viaduct deck in the water. Classy, isn’t it!

You can also do the descent by kayak or paddle. The current isn’t very strong and carries us gently downstream. If the latest floods have left their mark, it’s surprising to see how quickly nature is reclaiming its rights. Wild, beautiful, soothing…

Stop at a small beach only accessible by the river to discover… the beaver! They’re not only found in Canada, but also in the Gorges du Tarn and the Vallée du Tarn! Pierre explains to us with passion the life of this endearing animal: the tracks on the trees, bark as food, nocturnal life as a family, the angle at which branches and trunks are cut (si si!)… and an unusual surprise out of his bag, but shhhhhh!”

When Pierre shows us Peyre... in a canoe

At the bend of a curve in the Tarn, a village clinging to a cliff gently takes shape: it’s Peyre, one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”.

I know this village, but the view you get from the canoe and the river is totally different. A real postcard. Small troglodytic houses, a pastel tufa cliff, a host of birds circling above and a gentleness that emanates from the place.

It’s time to take the canoe for a spin. On one side, the Millau Viaduct, the first engineering structure of the 21st century, and on the other Peyre, a thousand-year-old architectural feat. Man’s genius throughout history, and in the middle, a river: the Tarn.


Canoeing under the eye of the heron

Another discovery: the heron. While it’s quite common to see these great wading birds, we don’t really know them. The heron is an outstanding fisherman… and a champion of patience. Some measure 1 meter with a wingspan of almost 2 meters and weigh 2 kg.

The advantage of canoeing is that you can get a little closer to them.

Solitary during the day, they nest in colonies or heronries. Many nests can be seen high up in the trees: large platforms of twigs, branches… Panoramic view from the roof-top for the babies!

The last part of the route, with even wilder nature leaves us in a state of contemplation.

The arrival at Comprégnac is a gentle one. We haul our gear and paddles back to base

“There’s not a moment when you’d want to be anywhere else when you find yourself navigating this valley.”

Are you interested?

1 day of pure pleasure... and a change of scenery.

Away from the beaten track, on the paths or along the water, discover the Millau Viaduct in its preserved environment, so rich in heritage, fauna, flora, History…

Much more than an excursion, it’s a real gentle adventure to experience and share with family or friends, full of beautiful discoveries.
We’ll almost think we’re explorers
, hiking then canoeing!”

Practical info

An activity to be enjoyed solo, as a duo, with friends or with your dog…. Allow 2h30 walk (on average) to reach Les Vignes. Canoeing is possible from the age of 5, but you must be able to swim and have no fear of water. That’s the rule! Even the most beautiful “unicorn” armbands worn by your little ones won’t change a thing!

Continue the adventure