Tarn & Cévennes

Gorgeous gorges and heavenly hills. Oh, and one gigantic bridge…

Want a great view of the Millau Viaduct? Turn off the D992 onto the D41A and ride past the visitor centre

Want a great view of the Millau Viaduct? Turn off the D992 onto the D41A and ride past the visitor centre

I spend my life trying to convince anyone who’ll listen that making these guides is hard work, what with the long days in the saddle, the hours of research and so on. You’d be surprised how many people don’t believe it. Today, even I’m not convinced…

From the mighty Millau Viaduct we set off into the gorges of the Tarn region. The route is twisty, scenic, on good tarmac: it’s basically brilliant. But then we pick up the D986. It’s broad and immaculately surfaced, racing across sun-kissed farmland until it climbs into a forested area and throws out a succession of tighter turns, like the Nürburgring without the traffic or Armco. Then it clambers over Mont Aigoual in a flurry of hairpins, like a great Alpine pass but without any cyclists.

On and on it goes, mile after mile of scenic, sublime riding with barely any traffic. I think it might be the perfect road – it has something for everyone and it’s all great. Yes, we have to stop and take pictures, because we have a job to do. But hard work? Who am I kidding?



PLACES TO STAY

MILLAU
A bustling town famed for its monumental, must-see motorway viaduct, Millau’s a brilliant base for bikers looking to explore the Tarn gorges. Hotel tip: Hotel des Causses, Millau

FLORAC
A sleepy market town with its own impressive château, nestled in a scenic gorge in the Tarn, Florac has all the unspoilt charm of France at its best. Hotel tip: Hotel des Gorges du Tarn

ANDUZE
A quaint town near the small city of Alès, Anduze is perfect for exploring the Cévennes. Hotel tip: Hotel la Porte des Cévennes



OFF THE BIKE

MILLAU VIADUCT
The highest bridge in the world is an epic feat of engineering, but riding across it on the A75 motorway isn’t the best way to appreciate it: the best views are from the valleys. There is a visitors’ centre if you want to learn more about how it was built.

ABIME DE BRAMABIAU
Walk along the Abime de Bramabiau, an underground river that emerges from a giant underground cave as a magical waterfall.

CONQUES
Conques is a fantastically-preserved Medieval village is one of the most beautiful in France, complete with pocket-sized cathedral – a fine destination for a daytrip or short visit.

CHATEAU DE BELCASTEL
Chateau de Belcastel is a magnificently-restored castle, towering protectively over a beautiful historic village. Just be aware that it’s a bit of a walk from the village up to the château.

MONTPELLIER-LE-VIEUX
This is a UNESCO World Heritage site near Millau, famed for its bizarre rock formations. There are walks to follow and if you’re energetic, try climbing the hair-raising via ferrata… or you could just sit on the sight-seeing train.

RODEZ
With a magnificent cathedral, well-preserved centre, three museums, markets and plenty of fine restaurants, Rodez has lots to offer on a day off the bike.

MONT AIGOUAL OBSERVATORY
The observatory and weather station at the top of Mont Aigoual offers spectacular views and a free exhibition.

GROTTE DE TRABUC
Underground attractions offer a cooling break from the midday sun. The caves at Trabuc come with an English audio guide.

TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
The compact city of Albi is a jewel, with its fine cathedral and old-world charm –plus a fantastic museum dedicated to the artist Toulouse-Lautrec.



GETTING THERE

If you’re prepared for an early start and a long day entirely on the motorways, it’s possible to reach Millau or Anduze in one day from Calais – but it’s not much fun. Mix autoroutes and N roads for a nice two-day journey, but three days allows for awesome riding

CALAIS TO MILLAU
Distance: 704 miles. Riding time: Three days. Overnight stops: Moussy and Lapalisse
Day one map   Download the GPX    Day two map   Download the GPX   Day three map  Download the GPX

LE HAVRE TO MILLAU
Distance: 570 miles. Riding time: Two days. Overnight stop: St Etienne-de-Fursac
Day one map   Download the GPX    Day two map   Download the GPX   Day three  Download the GPX

CALAIS TO ANDUZE
Distance: 650 miles. Riding time: Three days. Overnight stops: Soissons and Bourbon-Lancey
Day one map  Download the GPX    Day two map   Download the GPX   Day three map  Download the GPX



OUR MOTORCYCLE TOURING ROUTES

tern-cevennes-map.PNG

MILLAU AND THE TARN GORGES
Start/finish: Millau. Distance: 120 miles. Riding time: 4 hours
Brace yourself for scenery overload on this relaxing ride along the Dourbie, Trèvezel de la Jonte and Tarn gorges.
Route map,   Download the GPX

MILLAU AND RODEZ
Start/finish: Millau. Distance: 210 miles. Riding time: 6.5 hours
A full day’s ride on flowing roads with some of the biggest views in the Tarn and Aveyron areas.
Route map, Download the GPX

SMOOTH CIRCUIT
Start/finish: Florac. Distance: 145 miles. Riding time: 4 hours
A relaxed ride offering mile after mile of immaculate, flowing, rewarding roads. There’s plenty of time to stop and no need to rush: a perfect pillion route.
Route map,    Download the GPX

CORNICHE DE CEVENNES AND MONT AIGOUAL
Start/finish: Anduze. Distance: 140 miles. Riding time: 4.5 hours
It’s a brave boast, but the best roads you’ll ride this year could be in this guide. In fact, they might well be on this route…
Route map,   Download the GPX

CEVENNES ADVENTURE
Start/finish: Anduze. Distance: 140 miles. Riding time: 5.5 hours
This route through the untamed hinterland of the Cévennes uses a mix of broad, flowing roads and narrower, wilder ones. An ideal route for adventure bikes.
Route map,  Download the GPX



 

Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To France which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2017. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.