A stroll around Saint-Izaire
This charming stroll takes place on the hillsides of Saint-Izaire. Although oak trees and shrubs have taken the place of vineyards, the site still offers reminders of the wine-growing tradition and how it was related to the village. A magnificent scenic view provides the highlight of this stroll which is the perfect complement to the visit to the village with its calades and its Episcopalian castle.
Village of Saint-Izaire
The history of this village is intertwined with that of the old Episcopalian castle, which was formerly the Bishop of Vabres summer palace. The name of the village was first made mention of in an official document dating back to 862 AD.
During the 12th century, continual invasions, acts of banditry and battles between feudal lords created a tremendous insecurity. This led to the building of battlements to improve the defensive system and providea safe haven to the neighbouring people during periods of turmoil. The castle and the fortified village date back to the time of the Vabres bishops who made the village their summer residence and a safe refuge.
When the religious wars were over and peace restored, the protective wall lost its primary function and so today the façade of the castle has windows inserted along its length. The fortified gates were also demolished to allow the passage of carts or to expand the neighbouring houses. The villagestreet, footpath and house pattern has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages, and the beautiful 15th century facades and windowscan still be seen in some streets today. The old church part of the battlements had its vault lowered in 1635 to provide housing to the schoolmaster and guards. In 1650 repair works were started by the Consuls.
- Starting point is from the Place de la Bascule (carpark under the bridge) towards Faveyrolles via the D60. Follow that road which slopes gently down for approximately 1 km, then take to the right the « chemin des Vignes » that soon brings you back above the village. This path used to run across the vineyard of Saint Izaire that stretched over the whole hillside. Today, oak trees and other shrubs have taken back the site.
- After approximately 1 km, leave that track and turn right into a steep sided path that slopes down and is lined up with a double hedge (before doing so, we recommend you to keep walking on the « chemin des Vignes » for a hundred metres and enjoy the panoramic view over the castle and the village).
- The descending trail leads you back to the village nearby the castle which is worth visiting (this path is rather steep and requires caution).
- Get back to the starting point by calades and narrow streets.
Avenue de Lauras, 12250 Roquefort/Soulzon
Situated in the Grands Causses Regional Natural Park, the cheese village of Roquefort stretches on the hillside over the famous scree of the Combalou Rock, in southern Larzac. The village is at an elevation of 630 m and has 700 inhabitants.
The Tourist Office is open all year round:
- In July and August, Monday to Saturday: 9.30 to 18.30, Sunday: 10.00 to 17.00.
- April, May, June, September, October; Monday to Saturday: 9.30 to 12.15 & 13.00 to 17.30, closed on Sunday.
- January, February, November, December; Monday to Friday: 9.30 to 12.15 & 13.00 to 17.00, closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Getting around by bus or by train: https://lio.laregion.fr/
Car sharing: BlaBlaCar, Rézo Pouce, Mobicoop, Idvroom, LaRoueVerte, Roulez malin
Access and parking
From Millau, take the D992, then the D999 up to Vabres l'Abbaye, from Albi via the D999, in Vabres l’Abbaye take to the West the D25. Saint-Izaire is a 16 km drive from Vabres l’Abbaye.
Report a problem or an error
If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here:
Where to sleep ?
HEALTH INSTRUCTIONS (dated June 06 2020)
The Saint Izaire municipality is pleased to welcome you to this natural campsite. All measures have been taken to guarantee that you have a safe and enjoyable stay. We simply require that everyone conforms to the following health and safety instructions.
• You are free to choose the location of your pitch, provided that you respect the clearly marked spaces and adequate distancing between the pitches that are already occupied; if any problem arises or in case of overcrowding, the municipality reserves the right to change the pitch location of newcomers to ensure a homogeneous distribution within the campsite.
• As a basic principle, you are required to comply with safety distancing measures within the reception area at all times. Groups of more than ten people or of several campervans or caravans will be split to ensure health and safety conditions.
• If safety distancing cannot be respected (e.g: using the toilets), we highly recommend that you wear a fitted mask (covering your nose and mouth).
• Door handles and sanitary facilities will be cleaned on a regular basis. However, we request that you follow the current precautions by using a hydro alcoholic solution if necessary. Outdoor games areas will also be cleaned regularly; However, in line with the precautionary principle, the set of outdoor games (children's slide - climbing frame) will not be open.
• Upon leaving the campsite, you will be asked to leave your name and telephone number to comply with our adequate health monitoring obligations, in case of any future alert. These contact details will only be kept for two months.
We hope you will enjoy your stay in this natural site that is made available for you while complying with our safety instructions. Shops are at your disposal in the immediate vicinity (service station – inn). In case of any difficulties, please call 06.29.11.62.30
Where to sleep ?
What to see
Saint-Izaire castle and archery museum
Formerly a bishop's summer palace, this building is a listed Historic Monument that has kept some of its original features when the bishops had a way of life similar to the great feudal lords.
20 rooms to discover during the visit: Museum of rural art and traditional archery. Reconstruction of a classroom, an ancient kitchen and the bishop's chamber dating from the 17th century. Free visits with guide book/information sheet. Discovery game for accompanied children from 6 to 12 years old. Duration: 1 hour
• During peak periods, entries to the castle will be regulated to allow a smooth flow of visitors. Groups of more than ten people will be split up to ensure sanitary health conditions within indoor spaces.
• We highly recommend you to wear a fitted mask (covering nose and mouth) throughout the visit to avoid any risk of spreading the virus from one person to another if safe distancing cannot be implemented.
• A one-way system has been specified to guarantee a smooth flow of people, to avoid them from passing each other. It is incumbent upon each person to regulate his or her speed of progression. During the visit, despite the layout of the circuit, three points where people pass each other remain (landing – staircase – corridor) but which are wide enough to ensure physical distancing. In the staircase, priority is given to people going downstairs.
• The handing of collector's items is forbidden! Even though all contact areas (door handles – ropes – guidebooks – handrails and others are disinfected on a regular basis, the collector's items are not. A hydro alcoholic solution set up in several points throughout the visit is at your disposal.
• Upon leaving the castle, you will be asked to leave your name and telephone number to comply with our adequate health monitoring obligations, in case of any future alert. These contact details will only be kept for two months.