N°12 The Castles circuit
At the beginning and at the end of the circuit, you cycle across devèzes (meadows left uncut) which are enclosed by noteworthy dry stone walls, some of them including hidden cazelles (dry-stone hut used as a shelter by shepherds when it rains). You ride from soft and playful terrains to stony and technical ones and enjoy fine views over the Millau Viaduct and the Rocher du Combalou which conceals the famous Roquefort maturing caves.
Village of Saint-Rome de Cernon
The municipality of Saint-Rome de Cernon originates from the amalgamation of the former municipality of Montclarat with that of Saint-Rome de Cernon, a process which was carried out in 1840. Ever since prehistoric times, humans have inhabited the Saints-Rome area as evidenced by the Sargels caves and the dolmens situated in the bois de Laumière. Human settlement continued during the Roman and Medieval periods as evidenced by the many remains: the Saint-Rome, Mélac, Montclarat and Laumière castles. Today's village expanded in the late 18th century, during the construction of the road from Albi to the Cévennes, and during the construction of the railway in the 19th century. As a result, the village became a place where important fairs and markets were held and has hosted many prospering trading activities.
You start from the Fontaine square
- And then follow the D999 towards Saint-Affrique for 300 m. Now take the second road to your right (D3) and after 600m turn left onto a small road, then cycle along a trail which runs uphill, firstly among plots of land enclosed with low walls, then through woodland. At the bottom of the hill, you can enjoy the view of Laumière castle
- And then ride to your right uphill for 1 km and pass close to a well and a cross.
- Take the D3 to your right for 50 m, then get on to the trail which slopes up to the left. A beautiful view opens up and on the horizon is the Bouloc relay mast the top of which is over 1000 m above sea level. Bellow, you can see, the castle of the Mas Rougier hidden among oak trees
- The route leads to the hamlet of Tiergues
- Where you can end your tour by taking one of the mountain biking circuits n° 1-2-3 or 4. Circuit n° 12 heads due north and runs under the road via the oviduct (tunnel that allows ewe flocks to cross a road safely), thus reaches the farm of the Caussanel
- By a pleasant and shady track. Cycle up the road for approximately 500 m, and then take the trail to your right that follows the crest line up to the D31
- Cycle across the road cautiously and head towards the farm of des Axous. 1 km further on, take the turning to the right along a trail lined with high oaks and which turns into in a stony path. Cycle downhill along this tricky path which will lead you right below the castle of Saint-Rome de Cernon, and then to the village centre.
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.
Access and parking
Situated 15 km from Saint-Affrique and 18 km from Millau via the D992 and the D 999 roads.
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« Trekking experience »
Experience a 6 day family adventure in total freedom!
Day 1: First steps on the Larzac, are you ready to step into the adventure?
Day 2: The Roquefort cheese ripening caves
Day 3: Discover Sainte Eulalie de Cernon in the heart of Larzac
Day 4: Enjoy an evening meal at a peasant market
Day 5: Build your own hut, make a wood fire and set up the night camp!
Day 6: Explore the Tournemire Amphitheatre.
« Trekking experience »
River hiking is a softer variation of canyoning where obstacles are not mandatory and any difficult area can be bypassed if necessary. This activity is suitable for all ages from 8 years old.
All participants must be able to swim.
All the necessary technical equipment is supplied (neoprene wetsuit, harness, helmet).
Make sure you have closed sports shoes so that your feet are well maintained.
Several sites adapted to river hiking are available in the Aveyron department.
Where to sleep ?
Upstairs, two welcoming stylish simply decorated rooms: the blue room "rising sun" offers you a magnificent view over the Larzac and the Monts du Lévézou and the pink room which provides an amazing view of Le Combalou.
Beyond the visit of the cellars of Roquefort, the amateurs of hike can appreciate landscapes which confide throughout paths surrounding the village. Without forgetting the long walking on quite close Larzac and meeting not to be missed with the famous Viaduct of Millau. Bye for now !
What to see
During the summer season, enjoy Les Musicales de Mélac festival which is held in the castle inner courtyard. Meet you at Mélac July 21th, 28th and August 4th, 11th at 6 pm.