Unworldly beauty at Les Concluses de Lussan

By July 13, 2018NATURE, TO DO
TO DO | NATURE

Languedoc has some beautiful natural wonders, most of which are still little known. One of them is “Les Concluses de Lussan” in the Gard region. This wild gorge of the Aiguillon River can be reached by a moderate to easy walk. The gate to the Concluses is breathtaking, and we could even have a dip at this magical place!

Picture perfect view

I’ve first found out about Les Concluses de Lussan when visiting Lussan itself, one of the most beautiful villages of France. Outside a medieval house, I noticed an old and faded brochure showing a fascinating natural site. Last Spring, when Chéri, the kids and I spent another holiday in the Gard region, I definitely wanted to visit Les Concluses. Heading for Lussan, we followed the signs to Les Concluses, some 5 kilometres from Lussan. After parking the car, we started our little hike with a picture perfect view over the Aiguillon River. A very promising start!

The Last Shelter

Although the hike to the gate of Les Concluses is short, only one and something kilometres one way, it is well worth the walk. On our way, we saw some points of interest- like “Le Dernier Refuge”, or “The Last Shelter”- well explained both in French and English! While looking at the cliffs on the other side of the river, the kids discovered some caves. They vividly imagined this must have been a perfect hiding place for cave dwellers, hermits, villains and resistance fighters since the very beginnings of humanity.

Eagle Rock

Only a few steps further along, we saw another interesting cliff. From far away it looked like a skull, it really made our offspring’s imagination go wild! According to them, we had entered a former pirate hideout. The name of this cliff is “Rocher des Aigles” or “Eagle Rock”. Because it is so isolated and far from human interference, it has formed a unique ecosystem. The perfect spot for rare flora and fauna like the Bonelli’s Eagle and Egyptian Vulture.

Gate

We continued on our way after a perfect picnic on the banks of the Aiguillon River. Due to the flowing water, we couldn’t walk along the river bed. Apparently, you can during Summer when the river is dry. Arriving at “le portail”, or “the gate” of Les Concluses is truly amazing. We walked through a canyon, carved out millions of years ago by the river, which eroded the two sides of the cliffs so that they bend over you like two giant waves. The children had a great time swimming and sliding in the gorge.

Menhir

As I thought a 2-kilometre hike wasn’t really much of a challenge, I persuaded Chéri and the kids to walk a bit further. I tempted them with a search for a tall menhir called “La Pierre Plantée”. However, walking over quite a challenging path without any fences to protect us, we couldn’t find the menhir. We did get another amazing view over the canyon though, this time from the other side of the river. After a few more kilometres (and candy to keep our kids going), we headed back to the parking lot. Perfect reason to come back… we’ll save the menhir and walking the full loop for next time!

Info

Even though the hike to the gate of Les Concluses de Lussan is short, you should wear suitable footwear. It can be very slippery, even when walking through the dry river bed in the Summer. Keep in mind that the river can become quite wild and it is recommended that you don’t walk this hike after heavy rainfall. You will find Les Concluses about 5 kilometres from Lussan. You can also do the full walk- a 9-kilometre loop- as well.

Parking

When arriving at Lussan, turn right at the D143 (so don’t go up to Lussan itself), and then left on the D643 by following the signs to Les Concluses. This will bring you to the parking lot. It’s best not to leave anything valuable in your car; better safe than sorry.

Office de Tourisme de Barjac
Place Charles Guynet
30430 Barjac
+33 (0)4 66 24 53

website

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