The Colombières Gorges

An exceptional circular walk above the torrent of Arles where you can discover a cave dwelling and a superb Cervennes collection in the hamlet of Fage.

Technical sheet
A Colombières-sur-Orb walk posted on 24/06/13 by bernardino. Update : 30/08/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h35[?]
Distance Distance : 6.42mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 2287ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 2303ft
Highest point Highest point : 2785ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 686ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Massif central
Location Location : Colombières-sur-Orb (34390)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.582007° / E 3.011425°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 2543OT
Download : -

Description

From the car park at Colombières school (D), go down the road and take the gorge trail on the right (sign and waymarking PR Yellow).

Climb rapidly up the thirty steps or so which lead to a rather steep stony path. This particularly well-maintained path winds through the woods (chestnuts, boxwoods and Holm oaks).
About an hour after leaving, you will reach the Arles Fountain which is just a little bit before the cave dwellings (1).
After visiting the dwellings, continue along the side before discovering the large bassins of the Arles stream and, specifically, all of Fage (2).

Go past these houses until you reach the completely restored windmill just before a bridge with 2 arches.
Go over the bridge. You will reach the place called the 'Croix de Douch'. Take the second track on the right (GR7 and PR) for about 300 m. Leave the GR7 on the left and stay on the PR (3).
Ignore the signs for the climbing spots in order to reach the high point on the edge of the Brétouyre (4) and Tabarié climbing spots.

Then start to descend down the large zigzags. This is an old Roman way which joins up with the chemin des Fleisses (5).
Once down the zigzags, there is a big crossing which leads you to the hamlet of Seilhols (6).

Next, take the steps, then a steep descent back down into the village of Colombières.
Cross the bridge over the stream and you are back at the car park.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0
1 : mi 1.4 - alt. mi 1.4 - Cave dwellings
2 : mi 2.24 - alt. mi 2.24 - La Fage
3 : mi 2.75 - alt. mi 2.75 - Crossroads GR7 - PR
4 : mi 4.07 - alt. mi 4.07 - Brétouyre climbing spot
5 : mi 5.32 - alt. mi 5.32 - Chemin des Fleisses
6 : mi 6.2 - alt. mi 6.2 - Les Seilhols
D/A : mi 6.42 - alt. mi 6.42

Useful Information

Two water points on this circular walk: the Arles Fountain and also the spring along the edge of the path before the Brétouyre climbing spot.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2543OT.

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

During the walk or to do/see around

Colombières-sur-Orb and the nearby villages.
On the plateau Douch and Rosis, the hilltop villages of the Caroux.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.78/5
Number of opinions : 91
Description quality : 4.7/5
Routemap quality : 4.76/5
Walk interest : 4.88/5


Walker
on Mon 08 Jul 2019 10:42:01 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 08/07/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Excellent but strenuous walk. Start early


Walker
on Mon 24 Sep 2018 19:13:50 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 09/09/18
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

This is an interesting walk. Roughly split into three parts. First part is fairly steep uphill mostly in forest ( rather lacking in views of either mountains or the gorge itself). Second part is where you suddenly see the impressive river in its gorge with opportunity to picnic and paddle and also pass by some idyllic holiday cottages and a flatter easier section of path. The final section is fairly long, beginning only slightly downhill with amazing views of rock scenery and hills. The downhill becomes steeper but still with great views until eventually you return back into the forest and thus back to your start point.
Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable walk which I would highly recommend. Also not too busy such that even on a Sunday we had peace and tranquility for most of the time.

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