MILLAU - ROQUEFORT - SYLVANÈS
Why visit Millau - Roquefort - SYLVANÈS?
- The Millau Viaduct praised for its bold conception and design by Sir Norman Foster.
- Millau, Ville d’art et d’histoire, on the edge of the Gorges du Tarn.
- Roquefort cellars and Combalou rock "fleurines" (cracks).
- Sylvanès Abbey.
- Templar and Knights Hospitaller sites in Larzac.
- The sheer size of the Grands Causses Regional Nature Park: Causse du Larzac, Causse Noir, Rougier de Camarès, Lévézou Lakes etc.
FROM THE VIADUCT TO THE TOWN OF MILLAU
Don't miss a thing
The highest and longest cable-stayed bridge in the world is like a yacht in the sky: the Millau Viaduct can be seen from the belvedere at the A75 motorway services.
After taking your time to gaze at this masterpiece head for the treasures to be found in Millau. Medieval buildings, belfry, Ayrolle washhouse, Notre-Dame de l’Espinasse Church and more: take a walk in a town with a Southern French lifestyle and feel. Learn about its long and exciting history at the Millau Museum in the Hôtel de Pégayrolles, and at the Graufesenque ancient site.
Millau is the French capital of hides and gloves. Celebrities and top designers from Nicole Kidman and Dior to Daft Punk are mad about Millau gloves! Find out how they're made in the town's workshops.
Unique and spectacular
The oldest AOC cheesemonger (1925) hides its secrets in centuries-old cellars in the little village of Roquefort. Venture into real underground cathedrals ventilated by "fleurines", cracks caused by crumbling Combalou rock: they house thousands of Roquefort cheeses! You should also visit one of the farms breeding Lacaune sheep whose milk is used to make Roquefort. And stop in Pastoralia (Saint-Affrique) for a fun-filled and foodie adventure in the world of sheep farming!
In the winery-packed village of Compeyre, the Vignerons des Gorges du Tarn have founded the Comptoir Paysan, a showcase for AOC Côtes de Millau wine and Aveyron produce.
TEMPLAR TOWNS IN LARZAC
Legendary history and lovely villages
Walk in the footsteps of the legendary Templars and Hospitallers on the Causse du Larzac. They settled here in the 12th century, sculpted the landscapes and built villages that have barely been touched since the 14th century.
Start with La Couvertoirade, one of the most beautiful villages in France, with its 15th century ramparts and houses, church and Templar château. Le Viala du Pas de Jaux and its medieval tower, Saint-Jean d’Alcas Fort, Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon commandery and La Cavalerie await too.
Get good vibes
Founded in a green haven in 1136, Sylvanès Abbey is a Cistercian gem. It's a hub for spirituality and culture (European "Cultural Encounter Centre") hosting singing workshops and a variety of events.
Serenity exudes from the abbey church illuminated by stained-glass windows by the artist Jean-François Ferraton, the cloister, chapterhouse, scriptorium and vestry. In summer the abbey hosts the famous International Sacred Music-World Music Festival.
Surprise, surprise! A Russian Orthodox wooden church hides in the middle of the forest near Sylvanès. It was transported from Russia then rebuilt here in 1993 in untouched nature.
GRANDS CAUSSES REGIONAL NATURE PARK
Gaze in wonder at its landscapes
Breathtaking is the best word to describe this vast 327,000ha terrain. The Gorges du Tarn with emerald water, the shimmering hills of the rougiers, dolomite chaos and endless horizons etc.: the Grands Causses Regional Nature Park is bursting with scenery! Venture into its heart, the Causse du Larzac, to experience agriculture that's unique in Europe: large flocks of sheep providing milk to make Roquefort and drinking from "lavognes" (round stone-walled troughs), "jasses" (sheep pens), Causse farms with thick flagstone roofs and more.
The Causse du Larzac is part of the Causses and Cévennes group that has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage for its landscapes and unique agricultural practices.
Great holidays… and Natural Games
Visit Millau in late June for the Natural Games. It's the ultimate outdoor event bringing together climbers, slackers, kayakers, paragliders and mountain bikers from all over the world for four days in the XXL setting of the Grands Causses. Video © Riding Zone.
Millau in the Aveyron department is 1 hr from Rodez and 1.5 hrs from Montpellier.
- By car: on the A75 motorway from Paris or Montpellier. Take the A68 from Toulouse until Albi then the D999.
- By plane: from Rodez or Montpellier Méditerranée Airports.
- By train: from Montpellier station (TGV Paris/Montpellier) .