The Cirque du Bout du Monde

A Saint-Étienne-de-Gourgas walk posted on 24/03/15 by pepe3460. Update : 17/11/16

A hike in the foothills of the Larzac plateau overlooking Cirque du Bout du Monde and the village of Gourgas with a return journey via a beautiful forest path.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h50[?]
Distance Distance : 8.11mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 2890ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 2884ft
Highest point Highest point : 2274ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 925ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Massif central, Causse du Larzac
Location Location : Saint-Étienne-de-Gourgas (34700)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.777782° / E 3.376926°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 2642OT

Description

In the village of Gourgas, park in the hikers’ car park as indicated.

(S) From the car park, go down and go past the castle. Just after, take the path up to the right (yellow markings), and after the second house take the left path along a fence. Continue to climb up a path on the right for a few metres, then turn onto the path on the left (yellow markings). Follow this path up (remember to close enclosure gates) to arrive at the intersection with the GR 653 variant.

(1) Turn right and attack the climb; you will reach a fork on two occasions at which you should go left and climb to reach a cistern and a forest track.

(2) Take it right uphill for about 150 m and turn onto a path on the right (cairn).

(3) You are now at the start of the Larzac plateau with a beautiful view of Gourgas and Lodévois. Keep following the path that is sometimes near the cliffs (be careful). You arrive on a stretch of closed routes where you may come across herds of animals (cows or goats depending on the season). The owner has made paths especially for hikers. After passing by a large building on your right, you will arrive at the hamlet of Roque and a cross.

(4) Take a wide road to the right into a pine forest. At the next junction, continue to the right (5), then immediately left (6) on a path that goes down in zigzags along the usually dry Fanaudrac stream (markings). At the end of the trail you will come across a road that heads around Pioch Blanc by the right to come to a fork.

(7) Pass by the PR route on the left, which also leads to the village of Gourgas and follow the right track (it is signposted all the way) to reach the beautiful forest trail that passes beneath the cliffs you have previously followed on the plateau. This spot is beautiful. At the end you return to the GR653 few metres before point (1). Turn left and descend along the outbound path that will take you to the Gourgas car park and the start point.

A lovely walk in this beautiful place

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0
1 : mi 0.67 - alt. mi 0.67 - Junction with the GR653
2 : mi 1.4 - alt. mi 1.4 - Tank, junction with the track
3 : mi 1.58 - alt. mi 1.58 - Fork to the right
4 : mi 2.87 - alt. mi 2.87 - La Roque, cross
5 : mi 3.34 - alt. mi 3.34 - Intersection
6 : mi 3.38 - alt. mi 3.38 - Leave the marked path and turn left
7 : mi 4.45 - alt. mi 4.45 - Fork
D/A : mi 8.11 - alt. mi 8.11

Useful Information

Bring good hiking boots.
No drinking water refill point (remember to bring flasks).
Yellow and sometimes yellow and blue markings.
This route is largely sheltered from the wind.
The best season for this walk are spring and autumn, but is also pleasant in winter.
Avoid periods of hot weather.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2642OT.

Click here to see how to reach the starting point.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Download sheet and map

During the walk or to do/see around

The first foothills of Larzac, overlooking the plain of Lodévois, a beautiful pine forest.

Opinions and comments

Average

Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 4.00/4
Routemap quality : 2.00/4
Walk interest : 3.00/4
Global average : 3.00/4

ianc
Walker
on Wed 11 Jul 2018 08:05:37 CEST : Re: The Cirque du Bout du Monde

Date of walk : 10/07/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good

This was a good walk that can easily be split into 2 shorter hikes. The trail on the plateau was difficult to find and we had to double back on several occassions. The forest trail is our preferred hike.
Start early as there is no shade on the plateau

See the full discussion on this walk to find out more.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.