Slashed by the Vis over milennia, the setting is dramatic to say the least and the Vis continues its inexorable grinding and wearing even today. In fact, it was almost flooding the day I was there due to recent unseasonal rains.
The roads, by some European standards, aren't as well maintained as some and, if you're a bit tentative, you may not want to venture down. It's not a drive for the faint of heart.
There's switchbacks on either side so you can't avoid them but, if you drive slowly and carefully, there's no reason you won't be safe.
The village itself, though small, is worth a wander around to soak up some of its charm though it's only a small add-on to the stunning scenery.
At the bottom of the canyon, 300 meters lower than the Causse (plateau), the village nestles on rocks surrounded by a loop of cultivated fields encircled by steep limestone slopes, forming a huge natural amphitheatre. The village is actually called simply Navacelles but you won't find it on your satnav so aim for the Cirque de Navacelles
The area is an example of a dissected plateau in which the Vis River has eroded a deep channel through the base of the valley, creating a meander which eventually eroded a long way below the plateau creating a cut-off at the neck of the loop. This left an oxbow lake which later dried up, leaving deposits of silt and peat. This created what is the only patch of arable land for many miles around.
Fondest memory: The Cirque de Navacelles is large erosional landform called an incised meander, located towards the southern edge of the Massif Central mountain range in France. It is located near Saint-Maurice-Navacelles and Blandas between the Hérault département and the Gard département.
The cirque is in a somewhat isolated location, with only a few small villages in the surrounding area. With the 2004 completion of the Millau Viaduct and the A75 motorway linking Clermont-Ferrand and Pézenas, tourism of the region, including Cirque de Navacelles, has increased.