In the arid Causses of Larzac in the north, Blandas and Campestre in the south, the Vis has carved out an impressive furrow of greenery, dominated in its heart by a hill that is easily recognizable. Some have given it the name "Rocher de la Vierge", the locals prefer the nickname "Oyster", in reference to its oblong shape. So is the Cirque de Navacelles, a geological curiosity shaped by 600,000 years of patient labor.
From the top of the three Belvederes of Blandas, the panorama offered over one of the largest canyon in Europe, 300 meters deep, is as striking as the contrast offered by the surrounding landscape. The climb to the plateau is in itself unique. Between dolomite chaos and desert expanses, the Caussenard steppes offer the amazed visitor an unsuspected change of scenery. Breathtaking !
DOWNLOAD : Cirque de Navacelles hike
Located just 3 minutes from the village of Blandas, the belvederes offer three breathtaking views of the Cirque de Navacelles and the alignment of the Gorges de la Vis. The Maison du Grand Site de France, built in local stone, houses our Tourist Information Office, a museographic space, films presenting the archaeological discoveries made on the Causse and in the Cirque de Navacelles, on agro-pastoralism and on the label Grands Sites de France, a souvenir shop as well as a restaurant.
These facilities are accessible to people with reduced mobility.
The belvederes at Les Chênes, La Doline and La Cascade offer visitors an overview of the grandiose geomorphology of the Cirque de Navacelles and establish a respectful dialogue between Man and Earth. They allow you to enjoy different and truly impressive views.
A free car park allows the parking of vehicles, including coaches and camper vans. It is also possible to recharge electric cars.
Guided tours are offered by the Tourist Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in August. Guided tours for groups are available all year round by reservation. These tours are only available in french at the moment.
DOWNLOAD : La balade des Belvédères de Blandas
From mid-July to the end of August, free shuttles are offered to visitors who do not wish to take their cars to go down to the hamlet of Navacelles
The Vis, a river labeled "River in good condition" by the Rhône Méditerranée Corse water agency, has its source a little below the Col des Tempêtes (971m) in the Lingas massif. The river heads for the limestone plateau of the Causse where it has dug a canyon nearly 27 km long and 800 m wide from one edge of the plateau to the other.
The river abandons its aerial course after the village of Alzon, to reappear in a spectacular waterfall upstream from the Cirque de Navacelles: it is the resurgence of the Vis, the Foux. Its flow rate of 3m3 / second was used very early by man since a manuscript from the year 1097 mentions the presence of a water mill on this site.
The current mills, renovated, were built in the 17th century; they ceased to function after the damage suffered during the terrible floods of 1907. They house a permanent exhibition with free access.
The resurgence of La Foux is a very pleasant place to visit in summer for its freshness, in spring and autumn for its abundance of water, and in winter for its magical setting of frost.
The hamlet of Navacelles lies at the heart of the Cirque de Navacelles. While you visit, take this opportunity to cool off by the waterfall. The hamlet has restaurants, accommodations and a souvenir shop and is also the starting point for many hikes. It is possible to reach the watermills of "la Foux" in 1 hour by the riverside. This walk is very pleasant in summer. One can also discover in Navacelles the ruins of the "Chapelle Notre Dame" built in 1286 and the "rock of the Virgin".
In the center of the village, the magnificent 8m high waterfall, fed by the Vis river with its very clear water, calls for swimming. Be careful though, it is cold! (about 11 ° C): the resurgence is near and the river has an underground course of 13 km. However, it is a popular swimming spot when it is very hot in summer. A little upstream, a pretty mule bridge with an arch built in 1595 gracefully spans the river.
On the evening of July 13, the town of Alzon invites you to the traditional festivities of July 14 with a dinner from 6 p.m., closed by fireworks.