A path that runs throughout the pays du Roquefort
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A path that runs throughout the pays du Roquefort
Saint-Affrique

A path that runs throughout the pays du Roquefort

Agropastoralism
Geology
History and heritage
Medium
5j
84,3km
+2688m
-2688m
Itinerant stay
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Open the doors to the Roquefort country and get your thrills! Over five days spent walking between causse and rougiers, enjoy beautiful green areas, unexpected tracks and a magnificent medieval heritage that open up to you.

Along the Combalou cliffs and the rocky spur of the Montaigut castle, throughout the causse du Larzac and the impregnable Saint-Paul-des-Fonts amphitheatre, by the Viala medieval tower and the Sylvanès abbey, via the Sorgues and the Dourdou valleys, upon trails and into buissières explore a land of character which is the breeding ground for a typical cheese with lots of character to!


16 points of interest
History and heritage

Counts of Caylus’ Castle

This rock was used as the bedrock for the building of the Counts of Caylus’ Castle of which nothing remains today

The castle was destroyed in retaliation of Count of Caylus’ rebellion against his overlord Raymond VII, count of Toulouse, marquis of Provence and of Gothie.

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History and heritage

Laumière castle

The castle is situated 3 km south east of Saint Rome and was rebuilt after the French revolution. Written references to the ancient castle mention the year 1322 when it was occupied by Raymond de Vanco de Banc d'Anglars, and again in the 15th century when it was owned by the Armagnac family. It was then passed on to the Morlhon family, the Vernhet de Grandval family and the Sambucy de Sorgue family. The Laumière seigneury was granted to the Vernhet’s during the 18th century who became Vernhet de Laumière. A general named Vernhet de Laumière distinguished himself on taking command of the Imperial Guard artillery during the Second Empire. He died in Mexico during the 1863 siege of Puebla. During the 19th century, Maria de Sambucy gave the castle as a wedding dowery to the Count of Toulza
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History and heritage

La chapelle Saint-Pierre du XIe siècle coiffe le rocher en éperon du même nom. C'était la chapelle du château qui ne fût jamais

The Saint-Pierre chapel dates back to the 11th century and is located on top of a rocky spur of the same name. It was the chapel of the castle and was never a parish church. The castle, which dates from the same period, was attached to the rocky vertical face (remains of a tower). The structure of the chapel is made with a fine stone-setting and is proof of the quality of the construction of this small religious building. The squat and vaulted semi-dome choir was restricted by a semicircular arch with an enlarged triumphal arch that stood in front of it and led to the short nave.

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Geology

Sotch de Balhol

The cliff towering over our heads is really impressive with its steepness, the smooth appearance of the rock and the feeling of solidity it conveys. Actually, the huge screes we are walking on have been created by a rockslide. The bottom of this valley is called “sotch”, which is the local name for sinkholes 

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Fauna

Birds

The cliffs of the Tournemire amphitheatre are an important playground and nesting area for numerous birds. These cliffs are home to great variety of bird life, from the most expressive to the most secretive such as: the Rock Swallow; the Alpine Swift; the Red-billed Chough; the Wall creeper; Bats (Greater Horseshoe) and birds of prey nesting on cliffs among which is the Eurasian Eagle-Owl.

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Geology

Tournemire amphitheatre

The great Tournemire amphitheatre is one of the most outstanding escarpments of the western edge of the Larzac and as such is classified "Zone Natura 2000". The lower slopes are the only part where Toarcian marls are visible in the SW erosion gullies, everywhere else these marls are hidden under rocky slopes and big rock slides. At the top of the slopes, the dolomitic limestone ruin-shaped cliffs frame the outline of this amphitheatre.
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Agropastoralism

Lavogne

Ever since the Neolithic period, humans have kept on improving the numerous natural ponds that they came across all around the Causse. They took advantage of these small land depressions called sotch or doline that provided essential water supplies to ensure the sheep watering, but were also used as laundry places or fish ponds, although their clayey bottom have always posed problems with leakage.

In the Occitan language, the word lavanha refers to all kinds of ponds whether natural or hand built, whereas at the PNRGC, we have chosen to keep the word lavogne, or lavagne to designate ponds with paved bottoms, for they have witnessed the development of pastoralism over the 19th century. (source PNR Grands Causses).

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Geology

The Tournemire cirque

Situated in the southwest of the Larzac Causse, the Tournemire Cirque is a remarkable geological area marking the bondary beetwen the fore-causses and the great causses. It presents limestone ledges and rocky escarpments with caves and cavities where raptors such as the eagle owl and the golden eagle nest.
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History and heritage

Tower of Viala du Pas de Jaux

The Lord of Tournemire gave to the Templars knights the lands of Viala du Pas de Jaux in 1150. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Viala consisted of a few farms.
After 1312, when the Hospitallers took possession of the Templars’ property, they decided to create in this place a village and for that they built farm buildings, managed by the brothers of the order. They constructed for them a dwelling and a church dedicated to St-Jean-Baptiste, the patron of the Hospitallers.
Until 1430, the inhabitants of Viala du Pas de Jaux and the surroundings took refuge in Ste-Eulalie de Cernon during the periods of insecurity which occurred on the Larzac. Because of the high distance between the two village, the inhabitants asked the authorization to the Grand Prior of Saint Gilles, to build a fortified tower to be able to take refuge inside with their possessions. This is the first fortification built on the plateau.
Today the 30 meters high tower has been restored. The vaulted ground floor, the five floors, its terrace and the dwelling dating from the 14th century are now accessible.

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Agropastoralism

The lavogne (cobbled watering place)of Font Rome

This lavogne (cobbled watering place) of Font Rome, built in 1910 near tank wells is was first situated on a waterproof clay background. Then, it was built of stones all around and cemented. So this type offers the advantage of forming a passage that resists the trampling of sheep, and the gentle slope of the surrounding area limits the risk of slipping and falling of the animals. It is supplied by rainwater.

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Panorama

Cirque of St-Paul-des-Fonts

The cirque of St-Paul-des-Fonts is a semi-circular natural cirque formed by karst erosion.

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Flora

Botanical Museum Hippolyte Coste

Established on the ground floor of the presbytery adjoining the church of Saint-Paul-des-Fonts, the botanical space is dedicated to the life and work of the canon Hippolyte Coste who shared his life between the duties of his ministry and his passion for botany.
This rouergate of modest peasant origins, which has been nicknamed "le curé des fleurs" (the priest of the flowers), knew how to rise in the yard of the greatest botanists by realizing in particular the remarkable and masterful «Flore descriptive et illustrée de la France, de la Corse et des contrées limitrophes» (1901 – 1906) which constitutes its masterpiece, known and still recognized today at the European scale.
With this museum Saint-Paul-des-Fonts becomes an unmissable destination for all those who wish to learn by discovering the botanical wealth of the Larzac and Aveyron.
Open from april to septembre. Free entrance.

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Dolmen

Mascourbe 1 dolmen

The Mascourbe dolmens are parts of the ”Treilles” group. This name comes from the cave located next to the Treilles farm in Saint-Paul des Fonts where these Grands Causses “builders” hail from. They were also famous for working with copper and for their astonishing trepanations (making small openings into the skull). There are at least three dolmens located in Mascourbe.

The covering stone is broken into two pieces and the headstone has a trapezoidal shape.

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Dolmen

Mascourbe 2 dolmen

The Mascourbe dolmens are parts of the ”Treilles” group. This name comes from the cave located next to the Treilles farm in Saint-Paul des Fonts where these Grands Causses “builders” hail from. They were also famous for working with copper and for their astonishing trepanations (making small openings into the skull). There are at least three dolmens located in Mascourbe.

This megalith is a simple dolmen with a covering stone, sidestones, but without a headstone.

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Architecture

Saint-Caprasy Estate

Saint-Caprazy is mentioned as a parish and community in a document dating back to 1026 AD and is an important historic landmark in Saint-Félix. Around 1150, Gaubert de Saint-Caprazy became the first commander of Saint-Félix of the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Saint-Félix, who retained ownership of the property and suzerainty for over 6 centuries.

The domain includes 7 buildings: dwelling house, barn, sheepfold, chapel, and so on…

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Small heritage

The del Pas cross

This large metal cross is situated at the junction of paths, which allows a beautiful view over the two sides of the Loubière plateau, the Sorgues side and the Rougiers side.
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Description

This hike which is full of character starts from St Affrique and offers a discovery tour from the sometime harsh landscape of the Causse, up to the lands of the Rougier bursting with colours and promises.

Time and people have left their marks along the route: rocky paths, long buissières (narrow passages between two rows of box trees), and sunken paths lined with dry stone walls.

You’ll walk along the great geological fracture and the cliffs of the Combalou mount which gave Roquefort its reputation. You will explore the Tournemire and St Paul des Fonts amphitheatres, the Viala du Pas de Jaux Tower, the Cistercian fort of Saint-Jean d'Alcas, the pleasant village of St Félix overlooking the Sorgues valley, the Sylvanès Abbey which is one of the jewels of Cistercian art and the Montaigut castle standing proudly on a rocky spur and towering over the Rougier de Camarès.

Departure : Place Leclerc, Saint-Affrique
Arrival : Place Leclerc, Saint-Affrique
Towns crossed : Saint-Affrique, Saint-Rome-de-Cernon, Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, Tournemire, Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux, Saint-Jean-et-Saint-Paul, Saint-Félix-de-Sorgues, Sylvanès, Gissac, Versols-et-Lapeyre

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Is in the midst of the park
This itinerary is located in the World Heritage zone Causses and Cévennes, mediterranean agropastoral cultural landscape.

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.
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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:


Close by
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Where to sleep ?

Where to sleep ?

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


COVID 19 MEASURES

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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Where to eat ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?

Where to sleep ?

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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Where to sleep ?
What to see

What to see

At its entrance, is a 180 million-year-old complete skeleton of an extinct marine dinosaur, the Occitanosaurus tournemirensis which was discovered fossilized in the “grey clay soils.”

The ecologically Sensitive Natural Space (SNS) of the Tournemire amphitheatre which is situated in the village of the same name, stretches over an area of approximately 130 ha and marks the boundary between the frontal causses and the causse du Larzac. This area has a remarkable environmental importance due to the geomorphology of the site and also owing to several natural habitats of European interest that it provides. This natural space shelters numerous noteworthy bird species: the Eagle Owl, the Golden Eagle, the Common Whitethroat, the Wallcreeper, the Red-billed Chough and some inconspicuous bats. A few plant species well-adapted to the topography, the rock and even sometimes to the Mediterranean climate can be observed: Hoppe's Figwort, Hormathophylla macrocarpa...

The House of Plesiosaur displays the skeleton of the marine reptile (it's a copy, the original is at Millau's museum) along with interpretative panels about the geology, Plesiosaur, flora, birds and bats. It is also the starting point of the Tournemire amphitheatre hiking circuit that enables you to immerse yourself in a unique environment and of the point of departure for the amphitheatre interpretive trail.

"Espace Nature Aveyron" is a mobile application which allows to discover the whole range of animal and plant species living in this ecosystem and to enjoy the SNS stroll.


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Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to eat ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?
Where to sleep ?