The Roadtrippers I A riverside getaway in Tarn
“There’s something really impressive about the Gorges du Tarn canyon, harsh and gentle at the same time. You’ve got the harshness of the colossal limestone cliffs almost threatening to crumble and the gentleness of the riverbanks, where the translucent waters tempt you to take a dip.”
“When we found out that we were going to be visiting the Huttopia site in the Gorges du Tarn, we were thrilled. Lozère is an area that we particularly love and it wouldn’t be our first time staying at the foot of the limestone plateaus known as the Causses.”
Wild walks and charming villages
“The campsite is located between the villages of Les Vignes and La Malène, in an area that has plenty to offer. There’s the Point Sublime viewpoint over the canyon, the Causse Méjean, the Causse de Sauveterre and the many pretty villages along the Tarn and Jonte rivers (Les Vignes, Sainte-Énimie, Le Rozier and Peyreleau, Meyrueis, etc.). Places I have been visiting since I was a child, when I used to come and spend a few weeks here on holiday with my family.
For this trip, we decide to focus on the Causse Méjean. This high plateau, like an island surrounded by gorges, has its own distinctive character that speaks to those who are wild at heart. We start with a walk at the Arcs de Saint-Pierre, where arches sculpted in the rock by erosion and a fairy chimney amidst the Scots pines give the place a unique atmosphere. Then, we head for the village of Hyelzas to visit Le Fédou dairy, the Ferme Caussenarde d’Autrefois museum of rural life, and the sheep’s milk ice cream shop. A quick, condensed tour to give us an understanding of life on the plateau, past and present.”
Our base camp by the river
“The campsite, right next to the village of Les Vignes, is the ideal base from which to venture both along the canyon and up onto the plateaus. This time, we’re staying in our van, on a pitch by the Tarn. We’re overlooked by cliffs on both sides, giving us magnificent vistas of light and shade morning and evening. The vultures are also watching us. They circle slowly and majestically in the sky above before pausing to perch on rocky spurs. We also have front-row seats to see the crystal-clear water flowing over the pebbles on the riverbed. We don’t see any kayakers pass by however, as this area is not part of any canoeing or kayaking routes. This means we can swim freely and enjoy a bit more peace and quiet than on other parts of the Tarn.
Canoeing is still one of the top activities in the canyon though. In Les Vignes, the Aqua Loisirs centre offers a number of different sessions. You can drift along with the current to see the villages and take in different views of the canyon. Or simply enjoy the sunshine, letting your hand dangle in the water to cool down. The trip can be as challenging or as relaxing as you want it to be.”
Recharging our batteries for even more adventures
“We could stay for weeks on end at this campsite, spending our days wandering from one activity to the next. There’s no chance of getting bored! And at the same time, this Huttopia site is a great place to reset after the adventures of the day. We recharge our batteries, laze by the pool for a few hours and treat ourselves at the food truck, staying there until nightfall and then getting up in the morning for more adventures! And if we run out of inspiration, Camille, the Camp Manager, is there to give us some recommendations or info.
We’ll be back again, Lozère!”
By The Roadtrippers