The Gorges du Tarn
The Gorges du Tarn birth dates back from the quaternary era. For thousands of years the Tarn river has dug a deep jag between the Méjean and the Sauveterre plateaus. A magnificent canyon of 53 kms has taken shape since, through the limestone soils of the Grands Causses, from Ispagnac to Le Rozier. This river originates from the Lozère Mount at an altitude of 1600 m (at the feet of the Aubrac and to the north of the Cevennes) and flows into the Garonne, 375 kms further on, passed Moissac.
Through the canyon, the Tarn water is in alternation clear, calm ("planiol") and fast, turbulent ("rajol"). As we go down the river, through this deep corridor made of steep walls that can reach up to 500 m in height, the beauty of a varied scenery is revealed and the cut in the rocks, the sheers, the underground resurgences leave us amazed.
Le Rozier marks the exit of the Gorges which become larger carrying on towards Millau.
This is however the departure place for numerous walks which take the walkers to the highest points of the Causses cliff roads ("Corniches") where the panoramic views give another dimension to the Gorges. Some paths lead to the ruins of cave-dweller villages, such as St Marcellin and Eglazines on the Sauveterre Causse, hung to the cliffs where they used to cultivate in terraces in the old days.
Although you can admire the scenery in a canoe or a boat going down with the flow, it is also possible to follow the river on foot, taking pedestrian paths, or by car, on the right-bank, letting yourself be transported by kilometres of meanders which reveal a succession of rocky cirques and chaos. Swimming, walking, water activities, fishing and many others are among the numerous possibilities provided by the site.
The Gorges du tarn provide an attractive transition between the Lozère county in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and the Aveyron county in Midi-Pyrenees. And if the coolness of the Gorges contrasting with the heat of the Causses is sought after in summer, the cold and dry climate in winter preserve this region from the influx of tourists.
The diversity, the beauty of the scenery and the countless activities are the main attractions
of this region right from the beginning of the season in the spring, to its end in the autumn.