Mount Aigoual is one of the most beautiful sites in France’s Cévennes National Park. It offers remarkable views of the surrounding area and is a great challenge for hikers. What better way to discover all the facets of this mountain than to walk around it, along the GR 66 route?
In the centre of the Lozère department, Mount Aigoual is a preserved territory and it’s not surprising that this trail attracts plenty of hikers every year. This long-distance trail is rather charming, taking you through the Cévennes and the Causses, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It’s a fairly short hike – 89 kilometres (55 mi) long – which you can divide into as many stages as you wish. I suggest you do it in three days which is ambitious but achievable. The route is quite easygoing and if you’re in good shape, you’ll have a great time. If you want to enjoy the valleys, forests, plateaus and peaks for longer, you could take an extra day or two.
Officially, the loop starts at l'Espérou but I advise you to use Meyrueis as a starting point. This commune is better served by transport and you can find more amenities, such as accommodation and shops.
In three days, you can see everything: mountain massifs, beech forests, chestnut trees, a high altitude lake and, of course, Mount Aigoual, the protagonist of the GR 66. You can enjoy this hike all year round, although I don't recommend it in winter (you'll be wild camping!). Beware of the hot summer months when it’s better to walk in the morning.
To get to Meyrueis, take the train to Millau and from there, the 215 bus line will take you to Meyrueis. In summer, there’s also another shuttle bus, line 257.
As far as equipment is concerned, comfortable hiking boots are sufficient. Personally, I’d take a high or medium-topped boot and hiking sandals in the summer. Even in the warmer months, remember to take warm clothes for the evening, as the temperature can drop quite sharply.
Wild camping is allowed close to the houses or 50 metres (165 ft) from the marked trail. If you want to know more about the regulations in the Cévennes, visit the official website: cevennes-parcnational.fr/fr/le-parc-national-des-cevennes/la-reglementation-du-coeur/les-regles-pour-tous.
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Last updated: February 6, 2023
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