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Top hikes in the Gorges du Tarn

A selection of hiking and walking musts, the essentials of the Causse landscapes and the hidden treasures of the Gorges du Tarn.

Great routes

They all rival each other in variety and splendor. What a surprise, in such an environment, to come across such astonishing places of spirituality as the Ermitage St Michel or St Pons. The beauty of the sites contributes to the elevation of souls.

Les Corniches du Méjean

Challenge the cliffs above the Tarn and Jonte for 10.5 km. Guess which rock is the Sèvres vase and which is the Chinese vase? Observe the vultures’ nests, and look up: griffon and turkey vultures are your guides. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the latest reintroduced species: the bearded vulture, or the very rare Egyptian vulture.

Flight up to the Vertige balcony and overlook the void above the Jonte gorges: a feeling of freedom and grandiose overwhelms you: wow how beautiful!

Plan for a good 4 hours’ walk with a positive vertical drop of almost 1000m: so take your picnic and plenty of water.

Good to know: in summer, take a refreshing detour to the Teil fountain on the Tarn side.

Troglodytic Villages

Go to the perched village of Liaucous for the region’s favorite hike.

The trail winds easily along the ledges of the Gorges du Tarn. Go from surprise to surprise: ancient terraces of vines and almond trees and 2 amazing troglodytic hamlets accessible only on foot, Eglazines and St Marcellin. Imagine the isolated life of the inhabitants. What a thrill it is to walk under the Sauveterre cliffs!

14 km and 5 hours of actual walking for this hike. Plan to spend the whole day with breaks and a picnic. The announced 800-metre ascent is manageable, as the climb is gradual: it gets a little steeper after St Marcellin, but the site of the Paillasse fountain is there to refresh you!

At the hamlet of Vors, the view is panoramic, 360° over the Grands Causses with the Millau Viaduct in the distance.


Good to know: there are several ways of doing this itinerary: a round trip from Liaucous to Eglazines (family hike), or a loop from the parking lot below St-Marcellin, using the variants. One of the variants takes you to the Roc des Agudes, as far as the “Bout du Monde”!

Le Roc des Hourtous

Your circuit (9 km) starts at the La Malène bridge, on the banks of the Tarn, and leads up to the ledges of the Causse Méjean. The climb up through the old cultivated terraces is physical (about 1h30), but offers many views of the deep Détroits and the unspoilt hamlet of Hauterives.

Arrived at the Caussenarde farm of Rieisse, that’s it, you’re on the Méjean plateau, oufff…! Join Roc de Serre to admire the wild panorama over the gorges with this 600 m round-trip variant. Across pastures and forests, the Roc des Hourtous lookout offers itself to you: the hamlet of La Croze seems tiny. Opposite you, the cirque des Baumes reigns supreme.

According to the adage: Everything that goes up, comes down…

The path through the forest is steep, and the descent is technical.

The 3 hamlets of Méjean

The cliffs make your head spin … ? ? Explore the limestone desert Causse Méjean on an easy 8.5 km trail. Wind your way between the Causse Méjean hamlets, Drigas, Le Buffre and Hures. Let yourself be overcome by a feeling of freedom and tranquillity in the midst of a desert landscape that shelters sinkholes and avens beneath your feet. Take a selfy on these immense steppes of dry grass: your friends will think you’re in Mongolia…Sitting on a low wall or draille, enjoy the purity of the blue sky or the starry skies of warm summer evenings.

This hike is to be avoided on hot afternoons.

Good to know: At Le Villaret, Przewalski’s horses, the last wild horses in the world, graze freely on the vast expanses of the Causse Méjean. Try to catch a glimpse of them!

La Baousse del Biel

Starting from the hamlet of la Bourgarie, on the Causse Méjean, the 1st part of the circuit (8 km) skirts the cornices of the Tarn (those prone to vertigo should refrain). Follow the yellow-marked upper path, otherwise take the lower path and the Pas de l’Arc to cross the impressive Cinglegros ladders. Along the way, on the cliffside overlooking the Tarn, a spectacular Arc de Triomphe rises up in front of you: the Baousse del Biel or bosse du vieux in Occitan. Easy return via the plateau and the ruined hamlet of Volcégur.

Ermitage St Michel

This is THE hike for hot summer days! 9km – elevation gain 600m.

Start from the village of Peyreleau, climb to the top of the Causse Noir to reach the antennae and the famous prehistoric Mushroom rock. Then follow the impressive cornices to the Ermitage St Michel.

Plan B for those afraid of heights: access via the Causse Noir, to the priory of Saint-Jean-des-Balmes.

The ermitage Saint-Michel and its old sections of wall suspended from huge tabular rocks: iron ladders allow you to access the ruins with care, and reach the top of the rocks. Overlook the Jonte gorges, an invitation to contemplation!

Refreshing return along the Jonte river.

Le Sentier linéaire des Gorges du Tarn, de Florac au Rozier

Follow the meandering river Tarn as a 2 or 3-day itinerary or on a family outing in short sections, between 5 and 12 km from the villages. It’s easy, peaceful and refreshing going upstream, between La Malène and Hauterives or between Le Rozier and La Sablière. Laughter from the canoes is the rhythm of the ride. Cirques and rocky chaos compete for ranking with typical villages and hamlets. Vultures watch over your wellbeing.


Good to know: in summer, the tourist shuttle is a great way to get back to your starting point.

Les Arcs Saint Pierre

Play hide-and-seek behind ruiniform rocks and 3 large stone arches. 1h30 hike between rocks and fir trees from La Viale (commune of St Pierre des Tripiers) on the Causse Méjean, Jonte side. Imagine the ocean arriving here, covering the causses and digging the arcs ….millions of years ago…it leaves you dreaming…

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