The three Valleys
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The three Valleys
Saint-Izaire

The three Valleys

Geology
History and heritage
Panorama
Medium
4h30
16,7km
+515m
-515m
Loop
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Starting from the village of Saint-Izaire which holds a medieval red sandstone jewel, explore this route along the Dourdou, Tarn and Gos valleys and enjoy many spectacular views and a tremendous historic heritage.

In the middle of a red soil and wooded glen landscape, a whole architectural and industrial heritage awaits you: the castle of Saint-Izaire, an ancient sand pit, a former railway line and the hamlet of Janolles with its 16th century buildings. A hike located at the confluence of the Dourdou, Gos and Tarn rivers and during which times are intertwined.


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.

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Description

  1. Take the road towards Faveyrolles up to the first intersection, then fork to the right on a dirt road for 800 m (scenic view over the village). Reach the disused "Le Graudenc" farm building, carry on towards the culminating point at the foot of a high-voltage tower, then walk down the Gos creek valley and enjoy an extensive scenic view over the distant horizon.
  2. After a steep slope between two fields, fork to the left at the intersection right by the small stone cross. Walk past dilapidated buildings and follow the track down to the valley. On the valley bottom, right at the intersection, take a hairpin bend to the right above the sandpit which can be seen 50 m further.
  3. Walk along the shady bank of the Tarn river and through the hamlet of Les Alverhnes. After a 300 m section of tarmac road, go down to the left and pass under the stone bridge of the former railway.
  4. Go to the left of the tunnel along the Dourdou river and carry straight on, leaving to the left a nice private bridge over the Dourdou river next to the hamlet of Janolles. Follow the river and pass under another bridge of the former railway, then get back to the tarmac road.
  5. Take to the left towards the Mas de Gascuel. Walk along the farm and take the gently sloping dirt road that leads you back to the village of Saint-Izaire.
Departure : Village square in Saint-Izaire
Arrival : Village square in Saint-Izaire
Towns crossed : Saint-Izaire

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Box tree months are active from May to October. During the caterpillar phase, they feed on the leaves of box trees. They crawl down trees and move on long silken threads, although these threads are annoying when hiking they do not pose any health risk


Information desks

Avenue de Lauras, 12250 Roquefort/Soulzon

http://www.roquefort-tourisme.fr/

0565585600

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.

OPENING PERIODS:

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.
Find out more

Transport


Access and parking

From Vabres-l’Abbaye, follow the D25 up to the village of St-Izaire.

Parking :

At the edge of the river Le Dourdou right after the bridge

More information


Source

Communauté de communes du St-Affricainhttp://www.roquefort-tourisme.fr/

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:


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Where to sleep ?

Where to sleep ?

HEALTH INSTRUCTIONS (dated June 06 2020)


Dear visitors


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


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What to see

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


HEALTH INSTRUCTIONS


•   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.


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Wath to do
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