The Gerbier de Jonc and the Loire in the heart of the Ardèche mountains
The Mont Gerbier de Jonc is famous for its special shape but also and particularly because it is the true symbol of the sources of the longest river in France. Out of this phonolytic mass surges as if by magic, the Loire river.
The birth of the Loire takes place on the border of the Haute-Loire and the Ardèche, in the south of the Massif Central. The river is born of a volcano on the slopes of the famous Gerbier de Jonc. The compact form of the hill is due to the nature of the lava and makes the birthplace of the Loire even more remarkable. For the most energetic and most fittest, a path leads you to the top of this special suc in under 30 minutes.
A famous volcano and a mythical river which originates from not one but 3 official springs (and maybe many more). The presence of a water table under the Mont Gerbier de Jonc gives rise to many closely located springs and 3 of these are considered as sources of the Loire.
- The “authentic spring” is the symbol of the sources of the Loire and was indicated by a monument erected in 1938
- The “geographical spring” flows into a drinking trough inside an old very well restored stable covered with a roof of lauzes.
- The “veritable spring” corresponds to the official spring indicated on the land register. It rises out of the earth in a field, under a stone slab which bears the inscription “ici commence ma course vers l’océan” (here begins my race to the ocean).
The river is born of a volcano on the slopes of the famous Gerbier de Jonc,. The compact form of the mount is due to the nature of the lava and makes the birthplace of the Loire even more remarkable.