Roc des Hourtous
Hiking on foot
Roc des Hourtous
La Malène

Roc des Hourtous

Agriculture and livestock farming
Architecture and village
History and culture
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This physically challenging loop leads from the banks of the river Tarn to the Causse Méjean plateau, and offers  gorgeous panoramic views onto the Tarn Gorges and the Causse de Sauveterre.

5 points of interest

  • History

    The boatmen of La Malène

    “La Malène” means “bad hole”... But for several decades now, it has been more accurate to call it a little jewel that delights tourists. What is its secret? Using the boats which were once strictly utilitarian, back in the days when the Tarn was a transport and trade route! On 29 December 1952, the Cooperative Society of Boatmen of the Gorges du Tarn was officially created. In 1985, the Cooperative became a Worker Cooperative. Once on the water, the boatmen will help you discover sites that can only be seen and approached by boat, such as La Momie Cave, or the Woman with a Parasolrock formation above La Croze. That's at least two good reasons to treat yourself to this journey by water accompanied by the boatmen of La Malène.

  • Architecture


    "On the square in the hamlet of Rieisse, you'll be able to admire a communal oven. The gable of the house right next to it has gutters which lead into a former cistern inside. All the rainwater from the roof converged on this tank, inside the kitchen, via gutters that were made first of wood and later of zinc. The cistern has a depth of 2 to 5 m and a capacity of 10,000 to 30,000 litres. When the foundations of the sheepfold were dug, Roman pottery for keeping resin was found. Indeed, whenever pine trees were felled, the resin was extracted and sent to the coast, where it was used to caulk boats. (M.P Leroy-Delmer)

  • History


    "Hourtous means 'small gardens' In Occitan. This cliff promontory is a private and designed space, and displays the Occitan cross. Let your eyes be drawn down the 400 m plunge to the narrows and then westwards to the Cirque des Baumes topped by the Sublime Point. At mid-slope you can make out the profile of the Woman with a Parasol and her Court, famous dolomite rock formations.” (M.P Leroy-Delmer)

  • History


    "300 m  from the  hamlet, the ruins of the Château de Planiol dominate a flat area (planiol) of the river, which is 8 m deep here. Then the Romanesque 12th century chapel appears, probably built on the site of a Carolingian oratory. An 'expiatory chapel' has been added, which contains the remains of the martyrs of La Malène. Another chapel is occupied by the Virgin Mary standing in a boat. It is brought out every May for the boatmen's pilgrimage. As for the bridge, it was built in 1856 in the place of a former ford crossed by the Esperelle draille (path for seasonal livestock migration). Because of its scant height, it did not survive the devastating floods of 1875 and 1900.” (M.P Leroy-Delmer)

  • History

    Little anecdote

    "Traditionally, a hillclimbing race is held in this small town on the first Sunday in July. The first races were goat races. Marthe marshalled her goats at the bridge, climbed the slope of La Canourgue by herself and then called to them from up there. The goats ran to her. The winner was rewarded with a fragrant bouquet of bartas (box)." (M.P Leroy-Delmer)


From the carpark in La Malène, cross the river Tarn and take the path on the right after the bridge. Take the first footpath on the left (after 300 m) and climb onto the Causse Méjean plateau. Go through Rieisse and, on leaving the hamlet, continue straight ahead towards the Roc des Hourtous. At the panoramic viewpoint of Les Hourtous, walk past the snack bar on its right to take a path that runs parallel to the ridge for 800 m. Then take the path downhill on the left to join up with the path overlooking the Tarn. Turn right onto it to return to the starting-point.

  • Departure : La Malène
  • Arrival : La Malène
  • Towns crossed : La Malène


Altimetric profile


Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day's weather conditions. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains. Take enough water, wear good shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers after yourself.

Information desks

Tourism office Cévennes Gorges du Tarn, Ispagnac

Place de l'Église, 48320 Ispagnac 66 45 01 14

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.
Open year-round

Find out more

Tourism office Cévennes Gorges du Tarn, La Malène

Village, 48210 La Malène 66 45 01 14

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

Find out more


Bus stop: Devant les bateliers
  • Bus line 258 “Florac – Sainte-Enimie – Le Rozier”. Every day in July and August

Access and parking

From Florac towards Ispagnac / Sainte-Enimie on the D 907 bis

Parking :

La Malène


CC Gorges Causses Cévennes
Parc national des Cévennes

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