•Lozère (48210) • Population: 522 • Altitude: 470 m
Sainte Enimie is a beautiful Medieval village of stone walls and slate roofs tucked into a notch at the top of the gorgeous Tarn Gorges, a base for nature and river sports, and well deserving of its inclusion as a Most Beautiful Village of France label.
Most Beautiful Village
Sainte Enimie village is very compact, with the central part running down the hillside from the old monastery to the curved row of building across the bottom, lined with terrace cafés and restaurants and handy shops. The old village is all cobblestone streets, stone walls, dark gray slate roofs and lovely little squares.
Ste Enimie is listed as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France (Plus Beaux Villages). In our opinion it's a merited label, with the picturesque beauty of the village and the pleasure of visiting here.
The location of Sainte Enimie is great for visiting the Gorges du Tarn. Southwest and south the Tarn runs through the most spectacular parts of the gorges until it joins the Gorges de la Jonte at the town of Le Rozier. To the east the Tarn comes through the Upper Tarn Gorges from Florac and past some very picturesque villages.
Bordered by the circle of the Tarn Gorges, the Causse Méjan is a high plateau with open spaces, hiking and prehistoric menhirs.
Hermitage Sainte Enimie
The hermitage perched high on the cliffs on the west side of the village is the source of the village, along with its history and legends.
Sainte Enimie Legend
According to a 13th-century legend written in the langue d'oc by a Provencal troubadour, Enimie was a Merovingian Princess, daughter of King Clothar II. She had decided that treating lepers would be preferable to marriage and asked God for help. Apparently having a sense of humor, her request resulted in her being infected with leprosy.
Her father the King intervened to cure her of her gift and took her to be bathed in healing waters, first at Gévaudan (an historical site about 40 km north), then at Bagnols-les-Bains (about 45 km northest of Ste Enimie) and finally at Burlats, in a small river near the Tarn. The marriageable girl was cured, but the leprosy returned when she returned home and was confronted with her betrothed. Princess Enimie returned to Burlats for a dunking and was cured a second time, with another relapse back home. After a third bathing in the waters of Burlats and a third relapse home with her betrothed, the message was understood, and she was returned to the magic waters to live.
Discover more in ProvenceBeyond
Sainte Enimie is high on the Tarn Gorges and a center for hiking, canoeing-kayaking and bicycling, as well as motorcycling. Other than being a great place to visit, the village has shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels, making it a good base or stopping point for nature sports.
Stage 14 of the 2015 cycling Tour de France passed through through the village. The route was up the gorge, past Les Vignes and St Chély-du-Tarn
The river-beach is right at the town, with the main parking beside the river. At least two rental places offer canoe-kayak trips down the river, with various times-lengths offered.
As a popular center for river sports, cycling, hiking and touring, Sainte Enimie has plenty of places to eat. There are nine restaurants, creperies and pizzerias in the village, many of them with terraces along the lowest terrace facing the river. The four hotels in Sainte Enimie also have their own restaurants.