the West of Rhone valley,...
... in the Departement Lozere, the mountain range of the Cevennes forms
one of the most scarcely populated areas of France. Car may prove to be the
easiest and most flexible way to get you there. A good alternative are the TGV
trains, of which some departures also allow bicycles.
are criss crossed with roads perfect for bicycling, with very little traffic.
On basis of the 1:100,000 maps minor roads and tracks are adressed. Even a small
area as the Cevennes can give you good cycling for two or three weeks without
having to do the same road twice.
The villages are often dating back to medieval, or even roman times, and there
are plenty of ancient bridges and imposant castles for the intrested. The highest
top is Mount Aigoual, which is 1565m high and hosts a metereological science
a short drive from Millau, formed our base camp. Here we leave our car in the
shadow of a chestnut tree (chataigniers) - typical to the region.
Starting the last week of August, we cycle two weeks into September. Towards
the end of the season, it is less crowded on the campings as well as the road.
Though, at the end of the second week of September a lot of campings are closing
Following the Tarn river,
from Le Rozier we cycle downstream in the general direction of Millau, along
the quiter South side of the gorge. A steady downhill, with magnificent views
of a rolling, rural landscape protected by the steep sides of the gorge. As
we round the Causse Noir, the parapents and vulptures were flying high above
Most of the visitors stay in the river gorge of the Tarn, whereas it is quiter
along the Dourbie, that flows right to the south of Caussse Noir.
we share the camping facilities with an american family that has taken the last
bicycle train for the season down from Paris, in about 4hrs. they are in the
Cevennes 'avec le bicyclete'. Other than a few german and italian visitors closer
to the shoreline, the people we met where very much french speaking.
Via Soubes and Lodeve,
the terrain changes from forest and moors of the rugged mountains, to gentle
hillocks, where winyards and fresh vegetables are abundant. Following the river
Herault, even in beginning of September the temperature hoovers around 30 degrees
Celsius close to the sea.
we cut across to Haute Languedoc, via surrealistic valleys and a dried out landscape
a baking sun accompanies us to the village and monastery of St-Guillaume. St-Guillaume
is a knight, turned monk, turned saint. In the dark ages, he first stopped the
moor with sword in hand, then made redemption and founded a monastery in this
a tiny village located like an eagles nest is a welcoming stop. For the last
decades, the restoration of the local castle has been on-going. From here the
road leads back to Larzac.
The distance Ceilhes to Campestre is covered, and now the Cevennes are entered
from the South side.
Treves - Meyrueis - Florac,
completes the traverse of the mountain range, with scenic by-ways and scattered
villages there are more racing cyclists to meet than motor traffic.
From Florac, the Tarn is followed back to Le Rozier.
Climat: generally cool winters and mild summers
Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west
Mountainous, Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
Languages: French 100%, take a dictionary with you!
France claims antartica, but the claim is not regonized bij the USA
CULT, routes listed by country
France suffered extensive losses in World Wars I and II
Highest mountain, Mont Blanc 4807
m, highest in Europe
Country Population 59,551,000