It was a beautiful day yesterday. 21 degrees and a bright blue sky in February! It was too good to miss the opportunity to spend the day outside exploring a new part of our wonderful region. We opted for the Cirque de Mourèze which is about half an hours drive from Nizas up into the mountains.
Mourèze itself it a lovely village with (so we have been told) a very nice restaurant but the reason that it gets thousands of visitors each year is for its impressive natural amphitheatre of dolomites! These tall rocks are like fingers pointing into the sky and the fact that they cover almost 1000 acres make them a sight worth seeing.
There are two walks around the Cirque de Mourèze; a short one of around an hour and a half which is quite easy going, and another one with is about three and a half hours and takes you right up to the top of the mountain and along the ridge. As we are not hardened walkers and had the two dogs and Rosie the almost four month old puppy with us we decided the short walk was right for us. As such we only brought one small bottle of water with us.
So, about an hour and a half later when we found ourselves on an extremely steep incline and were thoroughly confused but how this short walk could be taking so long and be taking us even further away from the village! We eventually past a french couple and tried to ask them how far the village was. They shrugged (which is quite a normal response to any question) and said that as far as they knew the village was back the way we had come.
We decided to ask a different couple who had a map and they showed everyone that, in fact, we had taken the wrong turning and were on the long route which was taking us up the mountain. When we began to take about turning back we were assured that although the route ahead was a little longer the way down was a lot less dangerous and there was a fabulous view from the top.
We decided to go for it, despite the heat and lack of water. It seemed wrong to turn around and the walk is not easy going so I didn’t like the idea of my poor mum having to climb back down all those rocks! So, we plodded on. Stopping regularly to catch up breath we ended up on top of the world!
The view of Lake Salagou was truly breathtaking and such an amazing surprise! We blown away not only by the beauty of it but by how high up we were and how far we’d climbed! Another bonus was knowing it was going to be downhill all the way back! Not an easy walk but down hill none the less! We met some lovely people that day and they were very friendly and helpful. Always a pleasure.
I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Cirque de Mourèze if you come to visit us in Nizas, but it is definitely a Springtime or Autumn walk as the summer heat would take most of the enjoyment out of it! Also, remember to bring a backpack with water and snacks! We were very thirsty by the time we got back as we gave most of the water to the dogs! 🙂