8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France

8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France. Exploring the beautiful mountains and national parks of the region on ancient shepherds trails.

 
Activities
Walking
Duration
8 days
Price
£2,623 to 2,690
 
 
8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France

The region of the Causses and the Cevennes was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 2011, thanks to the traditions of Mediterranean agro-pastoralism which have shaped the landscape over thousands of years. These traditions are very much alive today and continue to contribute to the extraordinary biodiversity of the area.

Following ancient drovers’ paths, we will discover how closely the traditions of pastoralism are interwoven with the history of the landscape. We will also make the most of the wealth of wild flowers, visiting certain sites known for their endemic or rare species such as Ophrys aymoninii, the Early Fly Orchid, and Cypripedium calceolus, the Lady’s Slipper. Walks will allow plenty of time to learn about the natural and human history of this varied and fascinating region.

During this 8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France we stay for a week in a charming 4 star 12th century Chateau. The accommodation has a pool, extensive grounds and a first class restaurant serving classic French cuisine and wines.

We encounter the striking geology of the area, walking through natural rock formations above the gorges of the rivers Tarn and Jonte, where all four European vulture species occur; descend the Tarn Gorge by boat; explore a stunning cave; visit a medieval priory and discover a surprising variety of sheep’s cheeses during a cheese tasting.

Price Includes

  • accommodation for Days 1 through 8 of Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France, on a twin shared basis
  • meals with wine at dinners and restaurant lunches, as listed in the daily notation
  • land transportation in a private vehicle as described, except during free periods
  • entrance and sightseeing fees, as described in the itinerary
  • gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff

Price Excludes

  1. flights to and from Montpellier airport
  2. trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  3. immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  4. passport, visa and health documentation
  5. personal expenses such as laundry, alcohol besides wine with group meals, free time activities, etc.

What to expect

Itinerary for 8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France

Day 1
L, D included
After meeting at Montpellier airport in the morning, we have a 2.5 hr private transfer by road up into the hills of the Cévennes National Park, pausing for lunch en route. Once settled into the comfortable rooms of our 4 star hotel, a glass of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise precedes a candle-lit dinner in the elegant dining room of this 12th century Chateau.

Day 2
B, L, D included
Easy paths lead us across the Causse Noir to the huge ‘chaos’ rock formations of Les Roquesaltes and the impressive Corniches du Rajol, with fine views over the Gorge of the Dourbie. In the far distance, we can see the world famous bridge at Millau, designed by Norman Foster. After picnicking amongst the rock formations, we visit the nearby 11th century Priory of Saint Jean de Balmes, the village of La Roujarie and a toit citerne, an ingenious construction to collect and stock rainwater in the arid environment of the causses.

Day 3
B, L, D included
We set off for an easy day’s walking exploring the rock formations of Nîmes-le-Vieux, set in a particularly wild corner of the Causse Méjean. Our walk will lead us to the village of Le Veygalier, where we will have lunch in an excellent ferme auberge. The owners of the auberge are also sheep farmers, from whom we learn about the long history of pastoralism on the causses, how this has shaped the landscape that we see today and how important traditional methods of agriculture are for biodiversity.

Day 4 of  guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France
B, L, D included
Today’s walk offers a change of atmosphere. We leave the limestone of the Grands Causses to explore a wild landscape of granite and schist in the Southern Cévennes. We begin at 1200 m, following small paths through stunning beach woods interspersed with numerous mountain streams, waterfalls and breath-taking views. This rugged terrain is home to the mouflon, a primitive breed of wild sheep that thrives here. On the way back to our hotel, we will visit the summit of Mont Aiguoal. At 1567 m, this is the second highest point of the Cévennes, with views that, on a clear day, stretch from the Alps to the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 5
B, L, D included
A day off from walking today in order to experience two other aspects of the landscape. We begin with a visit to the stunning caves of ‘La Grotte Rose’ of Dargilan set on the cliffs of the Causse Noir. In the afternoon, we will gently descend the Tarn Gorge by boat. These two activities will give us a fascinating insight into the diversity of this limestone landscape, seeing the fabulous underground world beneath the plateau and exploring the gorges from the bottom as well as the top: an enchanting day that will allow us to rest our walking legs mid-week. In the evening, we go out for dinner to a renowned local restaurant.

Day 6
B, L, D included
Our principal aim today is to discover an exceptional site for Lady’s Slipper Orchids, high on the cliffs of the Tarn Gorge. An easy walk of approximately 2 km will allow us to reach the site and, on the way, we will deepen our experience of the other flower and orchid species present. After the morning’s walk, we will drive for lunch and a degustation de fromage or cheese-tasting in the caussenard village of Hyelzas. In the afternoon, there is the option to continue exploring the Causse Méjean on foot or to visit the charming rural museum.

Day 7
B, L, D included
In addition to seeing some of the most spectacular rock formations of the region, today’s walk offers excellent viewing opportunities for vultures. The gorges of the Tarn and Jonte are one of the rare sites in France to be inhabited by all four species of European vulture (Griffon, Black, Egyptian and the Bearded, or Lammergeier). Cliffside paths allow us to discover why this habitat is so ideal for these impressive birds. The day also provides an opportunity to learn a little of the geology that lies behind this extraordinary landscape. A memorable farewell dinner is complemented by fine French regional wines.

Day 8
B included
Our 8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France concludes with a private transfer to the airport for late morning flights home.

 

8 day guided Causses and Cévennes walking holiday in France: From £2,623 to £2,690 for 8 days

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£2,623 to 2,690 8 days
 
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