From the valley of Verzolet to the plateau of Hermelix
Explore the Verzolet valley and its stream which is a tributary to the Sorgues river, then walk uphill towards the Hermilix causse. There, as far as the eye can see, enjoy a landscape shaped by the agro-pastoral activity unfolding before you. The beautiful lavogne in Hermilix is worth seeing: a large pond with paved bottom and edge to water the sheep.
Castle and remains of fortification walls
The Roquefeuil family lived here over a period of eight centuries, from 1250 to 1810, the date on which the owning family had to sell the castle. The building was then sold to different owners and part of it was converted into a farmhouse. Then in 1962, a couple from the Roquefeuil family bought back the stronghold.The castle and the whole of the old village were included in a walled area called a castrum which spread out between the Sorgues and the Verzolet rivers. The castrum was originally composed (11th century) of only a small castle that was later extended during the 13th or 14th century to protect people from the clashes during the One Hundred Years War.
How a lavogne works is very easy to understand, just imagine a gigantic upturned umbrella that collects rainwater!
At the beginning there was a natural pond with an impervious clay soil. This small pond was a real boon for people who quickly set these watering sources up as they were so critical on the causses where water seeps into the cracked limestone. To start with, they tiled the inside of the pond and finished off the work by laying paving stones around the edge of the pond to preserve the water quality and prevent gullying due to the large flocks trampling the soil when the sheep come to drink.
The pond tiling was made either with lauzes, flat stones or with paving stones laid one after the other.
Once completed, this gigantic upturned umbrella would provide a great variety of animals with a welcoming habitat, just look down over a lavogne and see how it swarms and buzzes with life, what a frenzy of activity!
- From the church, follow the D7 towards Saint-Félix-de -Sorgues 50 m,take the first left and go past the bakery. After the porch, head to the right and then climb,let the fork to right and continue to climb over 250 m after the water resevoir.
- Take the left path towards Hermelix. Run along the fields on 800 m,down up to the Verzolet by the operating path,on a path that sinks the woods. After 1 km, cross a ravine and continue until a gateway.
- Shortly after the gateway, at the fork, follow the left path that climb to Hermelix.Bypass the village on the left and take still left,explotation path about 200 m.Getting to a branch indicating towards Versols, right. Access to the fountain: to head left (southwest) and return the farm road to the intersection indicating Versols.
- Take the path that runs between two rows of boxwood, pass before the lavogne and continue for 1 km. Take route du Causse Hermelix 50 m left, then go to the left to arrive to the farm Sayssou.
- 150 m before the buildings around the farm by the right.
- After 100 meters slightly uphill, around the bend,turn left into the path down to the ravine Sayssou.Pass before the cross Sayssou,continue the descent and lead on the explotation road.Continue, almost opposite, the path down the slope and joins Versols.
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
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.
Travel by bus or train: http://www.mobimipy.fr/
Carpooling : BlaBlaCar, Rézo Pouce, Covoiturage-libre, Idvroom, LaRoueVerte, Roulez malin
Access and parking
Versols, 10 km south of Saint-Affrique by D 7
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Where to sleep ?
This accommodation which nestles in the Sorgues valley opposite the village of Versols is only a 10 minute drive from St-Affrique, a 15 minute drive from Roquefort and a 45 minute drive from Millau or La Cavalerie. Our two bedrooms are perfect places to relax before you explore the countryside with many stimulating and interesting options.
The Bambou bedroom provides a cool and natural well-being atmosphere aimed at restoring the balance between body and mind. The Coquelicot bedroom generates an atmosphere of charm and authenticity reflecting the surrounding nature. Each bedroom is equipped with its own shower room and private toilet.
You may also like to make use of a very large living area with a kitchen, two spacious terraces and an extensive wooded garden comprising a children's area.
What to see