Embark with us on a roadtrip to discover the natural wonders of Aveyron.
Your holidays are approaching and you are looking for a natural destination to escape to the great outdoors? What if you set off to discover Aveyron by van ?
The department of my childhood located in the Occitanie region , Aveyron has all the assets for perfect nomadic trips : grandiose landscapes , a multitude of outdoor activities and local cuisine to die for!
Here is the story of a 10 day adventure for two people on the roads of Aveyron. Let yourself embark on our sporty and gourmet roadtrip!
Explore the Causse du Larzac
Day 1 : Take the Gorges de la Dourbie
The starting point of our roadtrip is the town of Millau , famous for its leather work, but above all for its viaduct : an architectural masterpiece overlooking the Tarn valley .
We stop at the market which takes place every Wednesday and Friday morning on Place Foch and in the halls (market place) , near the Belfry . This is an opportunity to taste the richness of local gastronomy: farçous , aligot , sausage , cheeses of all kinds , fouace ...
Then, head towards the Causse du Larzac via the Gorges de la Dourbie . The road is sometimes dizzying. With a narrow road and thrills guaranteed at each crossing of vehicles! The views are splendid!
Our end of the day is dedicated to relaxation at the Vialaret campsite (near the village of Nant ). It has direct access to the Dourbie river and shaded pitches.
🚐 To discover : take the time to make a detour to Montpellier-le-Vieux . There is a charge to enter this stone city , but it's worth a look. You can visit the site by little train , play an “ Explor Game” or climb rocks via the via ferrata .
Day 2 : Criss-cross the rocky landscapes by railbike
Departure at dawn the next day towards one of the most beautiful villages in France : La Couvertoirade and its medieval fortified town . The morning is followed by a picnic in the middle of the causse, a territory listed as a UNESCO heritage site since 2011.
❓ Did you know : you can find the famous Cardabelle , a protected plant that indicates the arrival of bad weather by closing in on itself.
The discovery of the Larzac continues by railbike in Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon . This activity, unusual and fun , consists of pedaling on an old railway line. It can be practiced with family or friends. We opted for the “Grand Voyage” route, part by rail bike and another by “Larzac Express”, a small tourist train . Pleasant and sporty experience for 25 euros per person.
A few kilometers below the Cirque de Tournemire, we find a spot, referenced on Park4night, and spend the night there. Advantages ? Water point available, flat land and absolute calm! Take advantage of its proximity to the Roquefort cellars to schedule a visit. We promise, you will unlock the secrets of this world famous cheese!
I advise you to plan your visit between the months of January and July to attend the ripening period.
💡 Good to know : a free motorhome area, with emptying and water filling service, is located in the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
Ride from lake to lake on the Lévézou
Day 3 : Watch a sumptuous sunset over Lake Pareloup
Going up to the plateau via the Montjaux road is an opportunity to pass through beautiful viewpoints over the Aveyron countryside.
Our first stop is Lake Pareloup , the largest of the 5 lakes in Levézou . There are many coves where it is good to wonder for a whole afternoon! If you want to swim in complete safety, some beaches are supervised in summer, however dogs are not accepted.
For a romantic end to the day, we climb to Mont Seigne, the second highest point in southern Aveyron. Up there, the panorama is superb and the warm colors of the sunset make this moment magical.
3 km from Salles-Curan , the farm "Mas d'Hérens" is ideal for spending the night. Micheline and Serge are very welcoming hosts.
🚐 To discover : an experience for the whole family in Micropolis ! You will enter the amazing and fascinating world of insects.
Day 4 : Learn to paddle on the lake of Pont-de-Salars
The next day, departure for Lac de la Gourde . Less known and smaller than the five others, it is a sensitive natural space. Swimming is prohibited, but you can watch birds from a hut built on stilts. To practice a nautical activity, go to the lake of Pont-de-Salars. If you don't have our foldable kayak yet , you can rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and stand up paddles there. Enough activies to discover the smallest corners of the lake while having fun! Many campsites and restaurants will allow you to extend your stay here. For a peaceful night surrounded by nature, we prefer to turn back to Lake Bage .
The descent of the Lévézou in the direction of Rodez is an opportunity to stop in Agen d'Aveyron, at the Rocher des Palanges . You can taste the spit cake , a local culinary specialty.
❓ Did you know : The spit cake is a cone-shaped pastry usually served during events (wedding, baptism...). It is cooked slowly over a wood fire around a mold onto which the liquid paste is poured, ladle by ladle.
Travel the roads of the Aubrac plateau
Day 5 : Discover the secrets of Laguiole and its knives
Our escapade in Aubrac begins with the village of Laguiole . The majestic bronze bull sits enthroned in the central square.
❓ Did you know : the legend says that touching him would bring happiness and prosperity!
Not far from here, the Honoré Durand cutlery opens its doors for free guided tours. What to learn more about the famous Laguiole knife and leave with a memory that is 100% Aveyron!
To discover the fauna and flora of the plateaux, the hiking trails around the small ski resort of Le Bouyssou are perfect. In winter, if the snow is there, you can indulge in winter sports . There's something for everyone: tobogganing, cross-country skiing, downhill, snowshoeing and even dog sledding!
The Montagnette area is the ideal place to spend the night in the surroundings. Françoise, Thierry and their daughter Carole open their reception area next to their Aubrac cow breeding farm. They also run a shop of local products, a real Ali Baba's cave for food lovers! The little extras of the place? Free water filling service, emptying for WC and electricity.
Day 6 : Hike to the Déroc waterfall
Our route passes by the Lac des Moines , next to the small village of Aubrac . Pleasant place and ideal for a picnic before an active afternoon at the Déroc waterfall . Known for its 30 meter waterfall, it is located 3 km from Nasbinals on Lozère lands . We choose to get there by an 11 km hiking route. But, it is possible to park directly in the car park and take a short path to observe the waterfall. In the surroundings, there are many places in the middle of nature where you can spend the night in complete peace of mind.
You still have to know how to find a perfect spot. In September/October, if you are lucky, you will be able to hear the impressive bellowing of the deer .
©Buron du Cap Combattut
Day 7 : Taste an aligot in a buron
Goal of the day? Taste the famous aligot , a culinary specialty from Aveyron ! It is made with potatoes, fresh tome cheese and garlic. A comforting delight in summer and winter!
❓ Did you know : Aligot is the emblematic dish of the Transhumance festival .
It takes place in the spring when the cows go up to the Aubrac plateau to spend the summer in the open air. Decorated with wreaths of flowers, bells and ribbons, they parade among the spectators. It's a must if you come to Aubrac at the end of May!
To live the experience as closely as possible to traditions, go to the Buron du Cap Combattut , restaurant symbol of Aubrac. To get there from Nasbinals, the " silver road" will offer you grandiose landscapes during its 17 km!
💡 Good to know : You will find a dump station with free services in the village of Saint-Germain-du-Teil , coming down from the Aubrac plateaus. You can even stay there to sleep.
Explore the Gorges du Tarn
Day 8 : Find your outdoor activity in the Gorges du Tarn
The Gorges du Tarn is an essential place during a road trip by van, campervan or motorhome. They extend over approximately 43 km and two departments: Aveyron and Lozère . We arrive there by the Lozérien side and stop at La Malène . This small city of character is one of the starting points for canoe and kayak routes .
The canyon can be explored in different ways. Embark on a guided tour on the water offered by the boatmen's excursion agency, a pleasant way to unlock the secrets of the gorges without getting tired. But, if you have an adventurous soul, opt for a day or half-day of caving . Sensations and wonder guaranteed! For the more adventurous, go to the impressive bungee jump on 107 meters , next to Soulio . Otherwise, many hikes on the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre will give you access to superb panoramas. Among the best known: the ledge path , the GR44 , the hermitage of Saint-Pons ...
For a restful night by the water, the Huttopia campsite in the village of Les Vignes is the perfect place. Warm and friendly, it offers entertainment for all ages and has an outdoor swimming pool . Something to relax after a good day of activity!
Day 9 : Take to the heights to observe the canyon
The descent of the Tarn brings us to the village of Rozier . It is the point of intersection with the Gorges de la Jonte . Less famous than their neighbours, they nevertheless have their charm. They house the Maison des Vautours , "the place to be" to observe these amazing birds of prey with impressive wingspans.
Not far from there, in the southern part of the Gorges du Tarn, the Liaucous via ferrata is perfect for gaining height and climbing on the rock. The view it offers over the valley is magnificent.
💡 Good to know : there are two courses, easy and difficult. The simplest is suitable for all levels and can be done with the family. Red, on the other hand, is not to be underestimated. Passages with the strength of the arms require a good physical condition. Don't take the risk of getting stuck!
Day 10 : Peyrelade castle.
Located at the entrance to the canyon, the Château de Peyrelade will be the last visit of our trip. Perched on its rock, it was at the time, the control tower of the Vallée-du-Tarn . We then return to our starting point: the town of Millau. The Pouncho d'Agast site, where paragliders take off, is ideal for a last night under the starry skies of Aveyron.
Our 10 days discovering the jewels of Aveyron in a van will have been synonymous with escape , delicacies and sensations . This department with incredible wealth deserves to linger. If you are still hesitating in choosing your roadtrip, the Vanlife in France book should help you decide.
🗯️ Have you ever visited Aveyron in a van, converted van or motorhome? Do not hesitate to share with us in comments your favorites and your good addresses.