8 Day Tarn Tour
This is an 7 Night, 8 Day tour in which we canoe on the Tarn in the Tarn region of south-east France.
We explore the Gorges of the Tarn and its tributaries and visit some beautiful villages and swimming holes.
If you are a group of between 4 and 14 persons then choose your own dates and we will arrange it.
Our usual Tour size is between 4 and 7 guests with 2 guides.
If you are not a group of 4 then tell us your preferred dates and we will reserve that for you and try to rustle up others to make the tour viable.
4 people are required to run a tour. A tour of less than 4 can be run with a surcharge.
Fully Guided whilst on the river & trail
Full minibus support throughout
Transfer to & from Arrival/Departure point
All accommodation in B&Bs & small Hotels
All breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
Canoe the stunning Tarn Gorge and its tributary the Dourbies
All canoes, paddles & life-vests
The price is €2295 per person.
Groups of more than 14 can be accommodated on special request. A private tour for 1 or 2 persons can be arranged with a surchage.
The tour meets & departs from Montpelier TGV Railway station at about midday or at close regional airports by arrangement. A local airport is at Nimes.
The 2 hiking days can be omitted on this tour to make a 6 Day version at €1865 per person
2 Days can be added to include paddling the Herault and Orb rivers in the Languedoc region, making a 9 or 10 day tour. If we make an early start on the first morning we can paddle the Herault on our way to St. Chely. By adding 2 nights in the village of Roquebrun on the Orb river we can paddle this beautiful river on our way back to Montpellier.
The Tarn is a river which flows westwards towards the Atlantic through a dramatic limestone gorge and is famously known for its beautifully clear and green waters. The first two days on this river provide easy paddling whilst the third day provides more excitement with some rapids to contend with as does the 4th day when we paddle the Dourbies river from La Monna to its confluence with the Tarn and then continue downstream under the famous Millau Viaduct.
Of course throughout we shall stay at remote and beautiful places and enjoy the regional cuisine and the local wines.
Day 1. Arrival and Greetings
You will be met at the TGV station at Montpelier sometime around midday.
Alternative arrangements can be made for arrivals, such as at regional airports, by prior arrangement.
The drive to St. Chely takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. We will stop on the way for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together.
We will stay in the Auberge de la Cascade in this beautiful village of St. Chel-du-Tarn.
Day 2. The First day in the Tarn Gorge
After a short drive to Montbrun we will begin our first day on the beautiful Tarn river.
We will paddle all the way back to St. Chely-du-Tarn, making sure that we stop for a look around the lovely village of St. Enimie. This is an absolutely stunning river to paddle. The river is crystal clear and runs in a fabulously deep gorge in remote country-side.
Tonight we will stay again in the Auberge de la Cascade. We will be able to walk up from the river beach to our hotel.
Day 3. The Second Day on the Tarn
After a leisurely breakfast we stroll down to the beach underneath the bridge in the village and prepare for another beautiful days canoeing on the Tarn.
This section is just as beautiful as yesterday and we will pass some lovely spots including the village of Hauterives, an isolated village only reachable by river and the delightful village of La Malene. The river squeezes through the famous Detroits (narrows) on our way to Les Baumes Basse where we finish for the day.
Day 4. The Third Day on the Tarn
A short drive will take us down-river to where we will begin our third day on the Tarn. We will canoe from Les Vignes to Le Riviere along a section of river which is just as dramatic visually as the first two days but a little more bumpy. We will have to concentrate as we ride the Class 2 and 3 rapids as we admire the gorge scenery around us.
We change accommodation today as we move to the Domaine de la Cardabelle in the village of Riviere-sur-Tarn. We can walk here from the river bank.
Day 5. A Hike from the Gorge to the Causse
Today is a hiking day as we explore the Gorge from a different angle, by actually hiking inside the Gorge, or along its rim or indeed on the plateau (Causse) above. We'll sit down with the maps and figure out what kind of hike we would like and perhaps try and fit in a wild swim as well.
Day 6. A Hike on the Chaos de Montpelier
A 35 minute drive we see us arrive at the small village of La Roque St. Marguerite where we will begin our hike up to the Chaos de Montpelier a truly strange outcrop of rocks which have been eroded into exotic shapes. In the USA these shapes are known as Hoodoos. We will spend several hours wandering numerous trails around this area and experience the fabulous views over the plateau and the gorge.
Day 7. Last paddling day
Today we will drive up the Tarn tributary called the Dourbies and paddle downstream to the confluence of the Tarn at Millau. We will then continue downstream on the Tarn itself, perhaps going through the artificial rapids on the left of an island, before passing underneath the famous Millau Viaduct which soars 200m above us, before we finish at the village of Peyres
Day 8. Departure and Farewells
When we have breakfasted and have packed and ready we will drive to the TGV station at Montpelier for our return to Paris and beyond. The drive is about 1 hour and 40 minutes
Auberge de la Cascade
For the first three nights we are at the Auberge de la Cascade in St. Chely-du-Tarn. The hotel comprises almost the whole of this tiny village which sits besides the Tarn over a narrow bridge barred to most traffic.
The early morning walk around the village will reveal a tiny chapel underneath the cliffs as well as a small church.
The hotel has a small pool for our use and we shall dine in its lovely restaurant overlooking the square.
Domaine de la Cardabelle
At the entrance of the Gorges du Tarn, inside the Parc Naturel Régional des Grands Causses, is the Chambres d'Hotes au Domaine de la Cardabelle. We shall stay here for the next four nights.
Jean, Jeanine and Delphine welcome you warmly in a stone house by the foot of the cliffs, with a vineyard, orchards and a swimming-pool.
On one of the nights, we will take the drive into the city of Millau for a visit and dinner, and on another night will will drive to La Rozier (10 mins) for dinner.