The upper Dourbie river

Hiking distance : 16.5 km ; Hiking time : 05:00

The Dourbie river starts on the Lingas, a mountain region just south of Mount Aigoual and flows generally east to join the Tarn in the town of Millau. Along the varied river course, the Dourbie flows through green mountain valleys and deep limestone canyons. This hike sticks to the mountain valley and starts in St-Jean-du-Bruel, runs up the right bank of the Dourbie, crossing near Tayrac and returning to St-Jean on the left bank. In the springtime, this is a very picturesque circuit in an even more picturesque region. This time we don’t visit the canyons which are further downstream.

What to see

  • views over the valley, the Dourbie river and the town of St-Jean on starting the hike
  • an old lime kiln on the way to the first hamlet – la Brunelerie.
  • la Brunelerie – a picturesque and inhabited hamlet strung up on the mountain side
  • strange markings in lime over a door in the village
  • le Coulet
  • the rocky outcrop above the hamlet of Tayrac, offering a plunging view on the valley and the village
  • several interesting flowers and flowery meadows (in springtime eg. cerastium tomentosa, campanulas, a tiny polygala and lichens
  • footbridge over the Dourbie near Tayrac
  • abandonned houses and old fashioned shop signs in Tayrac
  • market square in Saint-Jean

On this particular day, we also came across a shedded snake skin pictured below.

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