The Tarn and Jonte Gorges flow through and split up the Causse Noir, Causse Méjean and Causse de Sauveterre, vast limestone plateaux with an altitude of some 1,000m, stretching as far as the Cévennes mountains.
The Tarn provides us with the heritage of the biggest canyon carved out by nature over the course of millions of years: rising in the Mont Lozère, the Gorges form a series of meanders and cirques over 53kms long.
The river winds its way from village to village, along the high limestone cliffs of the Gorges (reaching 500m at times): Ste Enimie (one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages), St-Chély du Tarn, La Malène, Les Vignes, Le Rozier.
The Jonte rises in Mont Aigoual, forming a canyon with countless mineral curiosities. Have you heard of Vertigo Balcony, St Michael’s Hermitage or The Sèvres and China Vases?
Its one distinctive feature – it is not navigable, but it is a fisherman’s delight.
Mushrooms, towers, cigars, pinnacles, giant arches, the Devil’s Eye… this dolomitic limestone has created some strange shapes at the top of the cliffs of the Tarn and Jonte Gorges. They all have a name or nickname, and are the source for many a legend or fadarelles (fairy-tales).
Many birds have started re-appearing in these wild, preserved gorges, with a little help from man. Griffon vultures, cinereous or black vultures, Egyptian vultures, the bearded vulture, kites and golden eagles all roam the skies above the Tarn and Jonte Gorges and the Grands Causses.
Below, at the bottom of the Gorges, otters and beavers live together and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
How to discover the Tarn and Jonte Gorges?
Here’s a tip: feel free to take to the heights to discover the Tarn and Jonte Gorges.
Up on the ledges of the Causses, the sheer drops and the panoramic viewpoints provide amazing views of both the Gorges and the Grands Causses.
The Tarn and Jonte Gorges are listed as one of France's Great Tourist Sites
Over 1 million visitors a year
3 million years of history…
Just down the road from the Tarn and Jonte Gorges, the Dourbie Gorges complete this « mineral carving collection » with a valley and gorges with sides which aren’t quite so steep, greener with more trees, forming a fisherman’s paradise, attracting fishermen here from all over the world…
And to find out all about the various canoeing and kayaking routes in the Tarn Gorges, click here! (french link)