Cevennes National Park, Gard: visitors guide
Visit Cevennes National Park, France
The Cévennes National Park (French: Parc National des Cévennes) is a French national park in southern France and in the mountainous area of the Cévennes.
The Park falls within three different regions of France: the Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhone-Alpes regions, with the largest part in the departments of Lozere and Gard (both within Languedoc-Roussillon). The park includes several mountains and high plateau including Mont Lozère, Mont Aigoual and the Causse Méjean.
Exploring the Cevennes National Park
The Cevennes includes areas of great natural beauty, from harsh exposed plateau to steep sided river gorges, and several unspoiled traditional villages so it is interesting to visit if you want to see unspoiled rural France at its best.
The main centre for information if you are visiting the parc is at Florac and this should be your first destination if you are passing a few days in the Cevennes.
The parc has different characteristics in the north-west and the south-east (either side of the mountains) with the countryside more rugged in the northern, Massif Central, part and more Mediterranean in nature towards the south-east.
Although there is a great deal of enjoyment in visiting even if you stay in your car it is above all a region to visit to explore the wilderness, the rugged terrain, and to hike or cycle through the countryside, or pursue other outdoor activities.
Towns, villages and mountains in Cevennes National Park
The Gorges du Tarn are to the north-west of the Cevennes National Park and one of our favourite places in France. Another particular scenic highlight is the rock formations at the Chaos de Nimes-le-Vieux (follow the road south of Florac towards Meyrueis via the Col du Perjuret).
There are several small villages to discover as you explore the Cevennes, including La-Garde-Guerin, a fortified village and Le Pont-de-Montvert also a very attractive small village. Towards the north of the Parc you can visit Mende, an attractive town in the Lot Valley, before setting south to explore the interior wilderness around Mont Lozere. From here you can follow the road south to Florac and Mont Aigoual.
The attractive towns of Vigan and Anduze are also at the southern end of the region. To the far south-west of the Cevennes, which is rather less visited, you can see the Monts de Lacaune and the Gorges du Rance near the medieval village of Belmont-sur-Rance.
The highest point in the region is Mont Lozère at 1699 metres altitude and another notable peak is Mont Aigoual at 1567 metres. These are found to the north-east and south-west of the parc respectively, and together with the ridge between them they represent the mountainous heart of the Cevennes.
You can get within a couple of kilometres of the summit of Mont Lozère by car via Le Bleymard and the summit of Mont Aigoual can also be reached by car and has views that extend for further than you can imagine on a clear day.
Exploring on foot
The best way to explore the Cevennes is on foot. If you are an experienced hiker there are several major walking routes - including the GR67 130 kilometre "Tour of the Cevennes". If you are less experienced there are lots of shorter walks that are less demanding - ask in the visitor centre at Florac for details of the most popular routes.
The best known route in the Cevennes National Park is the one that was followed by Robert Louis Stevenson in his 'Travels with a Donkey', a marked trail that forms part of the GR70. If you are following this trail you can even hire a donkey to take along with you!
Although the terrain here is less mountainous than the Alps or Pyrenees, as with all hiking in remote areas and mountainous terrain adequate provisions and preparations are required and you should always tell someone else where you are going before setting off.
Map of Cevennes National Park and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Sainte-Enimie: most beautiful village (10 km)
- Gorges du Tarn: grand site of france (10 km)
- Mont Lozère: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Chaos de Nimes-le-Vieux: site of natural beauty (19 km)
- Aven Armand (grotte): site of natural beauty (22 km)
- La Canourgue: village d'etape (27 km)
- Mont Aigoual: site of natural beauty (28 km)
- Marvejols: recommended detour (28 km)
- Abîme de Bramabiau: site of natural beauty (28 km)
- Parc à loups du Gévaudan (wolves): zoo or wildlife park (29 km)
- Maison des vautours (vultures): zoo or wildlife park (30 km)
- Jardin du Tomple: remarkable garden (32 km)
The French version of this page is at Cevennes National Park (Francais)