From the valley of Verzolet to the plateau of Hermelix
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From the valley of Verzolet to the plateau of Hermelix
Versols-et-Lapeyre

From the valley of Verzolet to the plateau of Hermelix

Agropastoralism
History and heritage
Medium
3h30
10,9km
+387m
-386m
Loop
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The Verzolet valley is a haven of freshness during the summer season. Fields and pasture lands on the causse: this walking route unobtrusively nestled between the Sorgues valley and the frontal causses provides striking contrasts

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.


2 points of interest
Architecture

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.
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Agropastoralism

Hermilix lavogne

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!

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Description

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 150 m before the buildings around the farm by the right.
  6. 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.
Departure : Versols in front of the church
Arrival : Versols
Towns crossed : Versols-et-Lapeyre, Saint-Affrique

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

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

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

contact@roquefort-tourisme.fr

0565585600

OPENING TIMES:


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.

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Access and parking

Versols, 10 km south of Saint-Affrique by D 7

Parking :

Cross the bridge and turn left on the bank opposite the village

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