Cycling Tour of 5 Gateway Towns to Causses and Cévennes

396 km - 6072 meters of elevation

National Label N°312

2 villages classified most beautiful of France

Villages of character

The Cévennes National Park 

The Grand Causses Regional Park





The committee of World Heritage approved the registration of the Causses and Cévennes territory to their world heritage list on 28th June 2011 because it is a living, progressive cultural landscape of Mediterranean agropastoralism. This area of 3023 km² is located in the French departments of Aveyron, Gard, Hérault and Lozère. This exceptional universal value is based on interactions for millinary of combined forces of nature and agropastoralism*.

The preservation of herds of one certain density in the agricultural or forest landscape sometimes presents a big ecolandscaped interest, for the ecological interview(maintenance) of clearings, corridors, open circles or for the fight(wrestling) against the fires in dry period. Tan that they do not over-exploit natural resources (vegetables, grounds, water), animals kept(guarded) by the shepherds (often helped by their dogs) play a role in the interview(maintenance) of open circles. As any shape of exploitation(operation) of the circles, the agropastoralisme can model and transform the landscapes and their biodiversity, since the prehistory.







 Landscapes of the Causses highlands have been shaped by agropastoralism for

 three thousand years. In the middle ages, the development of towns around the

Mediterranean prairies and particularly the growth of religious institutions have

 generated the evolution of an agricultural structure based on agropastoralism

whose founding principles are still in place today. Too poor to welcome towns, too

rich to be deserted, the landscape of Causses and Cévennes is the resultat of the

modification of natural environment by the agropastoral system used for one

millennium. Causses and Cévennes both represent the different types of pastoral

organisation found around the Mediterranean Sea.




Causses and Cévennes, in their wonderful natural surroundings, show a variety of landscapes, shaped by Man. The limestone plateau of Causses cut out by gorges and valleys, sharp ridges and deep valleys of schist in Cévennes up to the granite summit of Mount Lozère and Aigoual, are all varieties of landscapes which belong to a same package??? area ???. They owe their unity to a type of farming which has slowly developed over several milleniums of history : The Mediteranean Agropastoral Farming. This farming, which is a testimony of unseen  unknown  agricultural history, has been personified today in this landscape, on the one hand through a material and spiritual patrimony which keeps the memory of creation’s big steps, and on the other hand the model of development acquired to assure the modernization and durable development with the Cévennes National Park and the Grands Causses Regional Natural Park.



The perimeter zone retained for this registration of world heritage

does not cover all the Causses and Cévennes territory but spreads

over 3,000 km² inland from the Mediterranean including two regions,

Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées, four departments

Aveyron, Gard, Hérault and Lozère, 134 federations of municipalites

in « the heart » zone ( perimeter of proposed property for the

classification) and 97 federations of municipalites in « the buffer »

zone ( perimeter of protection around the proposed property). This

landscape which was built over several milleniums has made Causses

and Cévennes a living protected example of European agropastoral

patrimony which was indicated by their application on the official

website of  UNESCO’S World Heritage.


In the periphery of the registered property, many towns had, or still have cultural, economic or social relations with the cultural landscape of agropastoralism. It was suggested that 5 towns be considered as « Gateway Towns » of the Causses and Cévennes area. A route linking the five towns, Alès, Mende, Millau, Lodève and Ganges, will allow you to discover a part of this classified territory

Leaflet of information.pdf
Cycling Tour of 5 Gateway Towns to Causses and Cévennes