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.
1 point of interest
- History and heritage
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.
- Departure : St-Izaire's center
- Arrival : St-Izaire's center
- Towns crossed : Saint-Izaire
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.
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