France’s hidden quarter of chestnut forest & river gorges.
Hidden pools. Abundant markets.
Traditional culture and some of the darkest skies in Europe.
An Eco-gîte with a view. Seasonal, local food.
Space to refresh, restore & find inspiration.
This is the UNESCO world heritage site and National Park of the Cevennes.
From our beautifully restored farmhouse base at 1000m on the high limestone plateau of the Causse Méjean, we’ll head out each day to explore the best nearby places to swim. From wide, slow-flowing rivers, to bracing waterfalls and deep turquoise plunge pools; the Cevennes offers an invigorating and diverse array of options for a dip. We’ll visit the local markets to pick up fresh, local, picnic supplies from some of the best producers in France and spend at least one night sleeping out under the Milky Way.
A comfortable, carefully renovated Eco-Gîte, perched high on the edge of the plateau with wide skies and exceptional south-facing views, will be our base for the week. It provides the perfect location from which to explore the area in every direction. Incredible food and wine producers are nearby, and the local dairy, making some of the best organic sheep cheese of the region, is in the next village, just 5 minutes away.
- All food and accommodation (based on twin occupancy)
- Transport during the week
- Guiding & facilitation
- ‘Bivvy’ equipment for the night out
- Your personal flights/travel to the rendezvous points
- Trekking and outdoor specific travel insurance
- Personal outdoor equipment
What People Say…
“Thank you for an amazing trip! Thanks for your patience, your humour, your positive energy, endless enthusiasm and willingness to teach, to talk, to share and to listen. It’s been wonderful.”
“This entire trip has reminded me of what is important, and I have not felt so much like myself for a while. I’m looking forward to going home mentally refreshed, and ready to jump back into my life. It has been a great honour and privilege to have you as a guide.”
“Thank you very much for leading us on such a wonderful adventure. Your professionalism was outstanding and I just loved your stories & sense of humour! I will treasure memories from this trip for the rest of my life.”
– Julia H
Meeting Point + Practicalities
Where to meet + How to get there
We will be providing a return transfer from Montpellier airport and train station to our gîte base and back.
Montpellier can be reached by from the UK by air from London Luton, Gatwick and Leeds. Other nearby airports are Beziers, a short 45-minute train ride away along the Mediterranean coastline, and the Roman city of Nimes, even closer at just 30-minutes by train.
At Living Alive we offer at 10% off eco-travel incentive when you choose to replace a flight with a train journey. Montpellier can be reached by sleeper train from Paris, via Marseille. You could take an afternoon Eurostar from London to Paris, enjoy dinner out in the city, then jump aboard the overnight train and wake up in Montpellier.
If you wish to make your own way to the accommodation, please make it clear in the booking form and we will provide you with the information you need to find us.
What to Expect
The rivers and gorges of the Cevennes vary in size and offer a wide range of swimming opportunities. Together we will explore secluded mountain plunge pools for invigorating dips, as well as wider meandering stretches for more of a swim. Water temperatures of these wild rivers can vary depending on the weather; for the more refreshing dips, we’ll make sure that you can warm up quickly afterwards.
There are no long hikes on this adventure but some of the paths leading to the swim spots are rough and loose in places and may involve the use of your hands to scramble down small sections of trail.
You will need to be comfortable carrying a small daypack of 4-6kg for up to 1hr at a time. For the night under the stars we will be no further than 1hr away from the accommodation and need to carry some extra weight (sleeping bag, mat, warm clothing etc) in our backpacks.