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cycling in the Cévennes

The story of an experience on winding roads through verdant valleys. Climb to panoramic peaks and discover authentic villages on a cycling adventure. A perfect blend of effort, discovery and wonder awaits us in the Cévennes.

From Alès to Saint-Paul-la-Coste

Let’s discover the Col d’Uglas tourist loop, a mythical pass for Alesian cyclotourists.

The adventure begins at the parking du Gardon in downtown Alès. From the very first pedal stroke, we join the voie verte, which takes us safely away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our itinerary follows the signs for the cyclo-découverte loop, marked with markers. Under the gentle shade of acacias, we let ourselves be guided alongthe Galeizon valley.This is how we reach the Pont des Camisards, one of those evocatively-named bridges that majestically cross le Gardon.

Once we’ve crossed the bridge, our trajectory turns towards Saint-Jean-du-Gard. Two kilometers of low-traffic road, in the company of the melodious river, connect us with the charming village that is Saint-Paul-la-Coste.

From Saint-Paul-la-Coste to Col d'Uglas

At the intersection we turn left, beginning our first five-kilometer climb. Along the way, we allow ourselves a well-deserved break at the hamlet of l’Église, where a church steeped in history has been opening its doors to us since 1156.

Continuing our journey, we reach Saint-Paul-Lacoste, a small typically Cevennes village. The watering hole offers us an opportunity to cool off, and we take a moment to recharge our batteries. Another kilometer and the landscape changes before our eyes. The road adopts a gentler incline, allowing us to fully appreciate this transformation. Our gaze dominates a mosaic of hamlets that reinforces the widespread idea that “the Cévennes are so beautiful when seen from the sky”

Then, around a bend, reveals the Source des Dragons.

Did you know:

This place once served as a supply point for the King’s dragoon regiments during the Camisard war. The history that inhabits this land is inscribed in every stone, every curve of the road.

The Col d’Uglas reveals itself majestically at 539 meters altitude, between the Galeizon and Mialet valleys. A place steeped in history, crossed by the Tour de France in 1960 during the Millau / Avignon stage.

Memories jostle for those who recall that day when French rider Roger Rivière, destined to shine in this Tour de France, suffered a serious crash on the Col du Perjutet, bringing his career to an abrupt end.

From Col d'Uglas to Saint-Jean-du-Gard

Then follows a captivating descent, an opportunity to admire the landscape as it flashes by like images from a film, guiding us right intothe Vallée des Camisards. At the crossroads, an option is offered to us, a 5 km return loop to reach Saint-Jean-du-Gard,an invitation to extend the adventure.

The Vallée des Camisards, or Vallée de Mialet, accompanies the course of the Gardon de Mialet to the côte des Trois Barbus, where it merges with the Gardon de Saint-Jean-du-Gard. This valley reveals several treasures to explore: the Désert museum, the Trabuc cave, and the Moulin de la Bonté, this old watermill bearing witness to an eventful history. While its millstones no longer turn, its mechanism remains present, a vestige of the time when it processed: olives, chestnuts and grains. The existence of this mill dates back to the XVIIth century.

From Saint-Jean-du-Gard to Anduze

At the exit of the bend, at the top of the côte des Trois Barbus, emerges a simulacrum of concrete parapet along the road, which is in reality a bench donated decades ago by the Touring Club de France. From here, the view extends to the Cévennes gateway to Anduze, framed by the Bamboo Grove.

Générargues offers another option, a 5 km round-trip loop leading to Anduze through the Bamboo Grove in the Cévennes.

From Anduze to Alès

The return to Alès takes usalong a busier road.

For those who have it under their feet, an alternative can be found at the hamlet of Le Ranc: take the direction of Carnoules to avoid the traffic.

Sinon, the road guides us to the Plos plateau, where the lookout of l’Ermitage stands, recognizable from afar thanks to itsshrine, an indication that return is near. The descent between Saint-Jean-du-Pin and Alès brings us to the crossroads of l’Ermitage, where “La maison Pasteur” is revealed on the right, the effigy of the celebrated scientist concealed in a window.

Good to know

This loop reveals the history and geology of the Cévennes foothills in just a few kilometers.

Accessible with an Electric-Assist Bike of any type, or with a little training, it offers an enriching experience for all the senses, while inviting you to explore the monuments that inhabit these exceptional landscapes.

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