N°7 The relays
N°7 The relays

N°7 The relays

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This biking tour leads you from the Sorgues and Dourdou valleys to the avant-causses landscapes situated west of Saint-Affrique and enables you to discover the agricultural wealth of this region.

A long and challenging circuit with steep slopes to cycle up and down and some more technical parts providing a great variety of terrains: paths through the undergrowth, on the red soils or along the former railway line     


4 points of interest
History and heritage

Village of Vabres l’Abbaye

Vabres has kept many testimonies of its eventful history: in 863, a Benedictine monastery was founded in Vabres by the Count of Toulouse. Vabres abbey soon became the great abbey of the southern Rouergue amassing a wealth of lands and churches. In 1317 Pope John XXII, second French Pope in Avignon selected Vabres abbey as the seat of a new diocese comprising all the parishes situated south of the Tarn river. Vabres was thus under the Bishop’s and the Count’s authorities for almost five centuries up to 1790. Throughout its history, Vabres has undergone some tumultuous periods: the One Hundred Years War and the violent religious wars, yet the Gothic cathedral with its exceptional organ, the Episcopalian palace and some old aristocratic mansions have been preserved.

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Pont Vieux in Vabres l’Abbaye

This bridge is also called the Bethléem Pont Vieux, the chapel that carries the same name is located on the right bank of the Dourdou river downstream from the bridge and is listed as a historic monument.

The bridge was buit in 1278 and was probably the place where the turnpike called Peyralbe collected tolls. This arched bridge is composed of 4 semi-circular arches with triangular front and rear beaks.

Cars still drive over the bridge.
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Peyralbe interpretative board

Here you will enjoy an outstanding all-round 360º view with two fully documented viewpoint indicators. These boards provide information about the local geology, the various types of rocks to be found, the reason why this area is called the Rougier de Camarès, as well as how a meander is formed, a phenomenon which can be observed further down with "le fer à cheval" (the horseshoe) a meander created by the Dourdou river. The second board provides information about the village of Vabres l'Abbaye and on the creation of the bishopric in 1135.
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Carved standing stones

Bournac carved standing stone

This engraved statue is made of Permian sandstone and was discovered in 1980. A chevron decorated belt and the round shape of the knees are visible.

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As you cycle along the boulevard A. Briand, go past the EDF building, then turn to your right and follow the road towards Vabres l’Abbaye. This road is a former railway line and leads you to a tunnel. After you have passed through the tunnel, take a left turn on to the D999 and follow it for 200 m.

  1. Then turn right towards the shopping area and cycle through the hamlet of le Bourguet.
  2. Cycle under the bridge and join Vabres l’Abbaye. Head towards the Pont Vieux and cross the river.
  3. Immediately after the bridge, take a path to your left situated between the river and the greenhouses. Pass under the D999, and eventually you will reach the Miral farm. Cycle up the slope for 4 km until you reach Canteloup. Here you can enjoy the beautiful view over the Rougiers de Camarès and the Monts de Lacaune.
  4. At the intersection, carry straight on along a red soil path running north.
  5. When you reach the next intersection, take a right, then the first left on to the D117 up to the Mas de Nicouleau. A path takes you above the building to join the crest line up to Peyralbe. You will see the relay and a natural heritage indicator board located at the 524 m vertical benchmark. Retrace your way back down the way you came and then cycle towards Boussy, le Poujol and then follow the former railway line up to the village of le Cambon. Cycle through le Cambon towards Bournac. This village is built out of red stone and clings to the steep hill side.
  6. Cross the Dourdou river and take the road to the right that leads to Solages.
  7. (7)Follow the D54 to the left, cycling down the slope and then take the path to your right through an oak wood up the la Pale pass (608 m).
  8. (8)Retrace your way back by taking the road to your right that leads to Touloupi. 1.5 km further on you will see a path which will bring you back to Saint-Affrique.
  9. Panoramic view from the TV relay (4km cycling there and back)
Departure : Saint -Affrique
Arrival : Saint -Affrique
Towns crossed : Saint-Affrique, Vabres-l'Abbaye, Calmels-et-le-Viala

Altimetric profile


A few road crossings require you to be careful because of the heavy traffic such as the one situated right at the start of the circuit across the D999.
Box tree moths 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

Saint-Affrique Tourist Office

Boulevard Aristide Briand, 12400 Saint-Affrique





The Tourism Office is open all year round, the opening hours are:

·July and august:

From Monday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 15h – 19h

Sunday: 9h – 13h

·From September to June:

From Tuesday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 14h – 17h

Closed: Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays

From November to April, the office is also closed on Saturday afternoon.

Find out more

Access and parking

Saint-Affrique is situated 31 km South West from Millau via the D992 and D999 roads.

When driving from Clermont-Ferrand or Montpellier via the A75, take exit n°46, then follow the road D999 up to Saint-Affrique.

From Toulouse/Albi follow the road D999 up to Saint-Affrique.

Parking :

Recommended carparks: on Maréchal Foch square or on Général de Gaulle square

More information

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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Traditional catering or cafeteria-style for groups. Bar with terrace. Outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre. 3 meeting rooms with accommodating 15 to 150 people.


The safety of our clients and our staff is priority number one. In response to the coronavirus disease, we have taken additional health and safety measures to ensure our guests security.

We have strengthened our cleaning team and increased the frequency of disinfection of bedrooms, common areas, hotel private areas and especially areas and facilities used by everyone (entrance hall, lifts (by now unauthorised use), door handles, toilets, Reception Hall, room access cards and others).

•    The staff is currently trained to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by means of new cleaning and disinfection techniques appropriate for today's conditions.

•    We have provided our employees with personal protective equipment.

•    We use specifically recommended cleaning products for the disinfection against COVID 19.

•    The storey's staff will not carry out the daily cleaning in occupied rooms to prevent anyone to entering your room.  

•    Change of bathroom linen will be available at the Reception if needed.

•    Alcohol-based disinfectant hand gel is available to our clients in the Reception Hall and in each floor.

•    Your access badge will be disinfected and placed in an envelope. Upon your leaving, please put it in the box provided for this purpose, in the Reception Hall.

•    A reminder of the appropriate physical distancing measures is displayed in the Reception Hall and on each floor.

•    We have implemented directional floor marking in the Reception Hall and a one-way system has been put in place on each floor.

•    We ensure that clients maintain a safe distance from each other.

We will continue to make sure that cleanliness and hygiene are our top priorities throughout all procedures and thank you for respecting the physical distancing measures (1.5 m).

We thank you, for the trust you put in us and wish you a pleasant stay with us!

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The 1837” has reopened its doors from May 15th 2020…with new sanitary practises to ensure your safety, as well as that of our employees !

The success of our unique hotel is the result of an Aveyronnaise family in love with their region, and a beautiful building that is nearly two hundred years old. Come and spend green holidays and enjoy overnight, or week-long stays in spacious and comfortable suites (fully equipped apartments with, among other features “fitted kitchen, dining area, living room with an office space, free wifi internet access” which can accommodate from 1 to 6 persons), private terraces opening onto a large green terrain, with free and private access to all of the 1837 facilities (with time slot-booking) and providing a unique atmosphere. Situated a few steps away from the small town centre of Saint-Affrique and close to numerous hiking and cycling circuits, the 1837 combines wonderful open spaces, refinement and services in the heart of southern Aveyron.

On the subject of services, please note that from now on, the 1837 offers you packed breakfasts using only local produce, which we leave for you outside the door of your apartment. And if you do not feel like preparing a meal, going to the drive-through or shopping at the local grocery store, we can also deliver midday and evening meal trays to you!

Revitalise yourself and enjoy the simple things in life: spend the siesta hours in the shade of the park, picnic with your family on the river's edge, take a walk and live simply, while enjoying the 1837 facilities (heated indoor overflow swimming pool, SPA facility with sauna, hammam and 2 jacuzzis, cardio training room and a billiards room.

Book now with complete peace of mind and pay later by calling us at 05 65 97 63 30 or sending us an e-mail to contact@le1837.fr

We invite you to share all our wonderful facilities so that you have a relaxing and enjoyable stay !

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