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Description – L’Aubrac – Standard range

C059-STANDARD  L’Aubrac    The Aubrac : a mixture of pastures and summer grazing lands, an undulating, seemingly endless land, never monotonous, wearing proudly the scares of intense geological activity; a vast, basaltic plateau of semi-arid, medium-sized mountains, with unique and bewitching landscapes, where water lies stagnate in small lakes and peat-bogs, and where streams meander […]

C059-STANDARD  L’Aubrac

 

 The Aubrac : a mixture of pastures and summer grazing lands, an undulating, seemingly endless land, never monotonous, wearing proudly the scares of intense geological activity; a vast, basaltic plateau of semi-arid, medium-sized mountains, with unique and bewitching landscapes, where water lies stagnate in small lakes and peat-bogs, and where streams meander without destination. The prairies of this sharply varied landscape, delimited by low stone walls, welcome every year from May to October, tens of thousands of cows with a light brown coat and coal-black eyes. Here and there, standing against a hillock, the burons (the cow keepers’ stone shelters) stand as proof that the dairy and cheese-making industries are still thriving. The Roman churches standing tall in the villages remind us of the richness of the region’s history. On its borders, the Aubrac becomes a pleasant countryside with forests, farming, and small villages. Land of traditions, the Aubrac will charm you, give a welcome change of surroundings, peace, and a clean breath of fresh air.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival at AUMONT-AUBRAC. The ancient fortified city located at the junction of the Via Agrippa (roman route linking Lyon to Toulouse) and the Via Podiensis (which leads to Santiago de Compostela) is home to a lovely church and the remains of an ancient Benedictine Priory. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a three-star hotel.

Day 2 – AUMONT – TERMES (20 km).This first stage passes through the foothills of the plateaus of Aubrac. You will leave Aumont, crossing through prairies and forests, to arrive in the village of Nozières, and then the Moulin de Jeannou (mill) on the banks of the Rimeize River. You will follow the river to Vareilles, then turn towards Fau de Peyre and Saléles. You will cross through a large wooded area, at times marshy, to arrive in the peaceful, and characteristic village of Termes – Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a two-star hotel.

Day 3 – TERMES – NASBINALS (Pont de Gournier) (25 km). Crossing through the sylvan pine forest, you will slowly make your way to the high plateaus by way of Becus, the Moulin de la Bedaule, and the hamlets of Saint Laurent and La Védrinel. Above 1200 meters, the forest diminishes and you find yourself on the high plateaus : vast, isolated, and grassy. The path runs across the prairie towards the hamlets of Les Allatieux, Rieutort and Escudierettes, crosses over a few streams, and then follows the Bès to Le Pont de Gournier – Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a two-star hotel.

Day 4 – PONT DE GOURNIER – LAGUIOLE (22 km). You will continue your hike along the heights of the plateaus, passing by the villages of Recoules d’Aubrac and Saint Urcize. The second is a tiny village built at the foot of a boulder, on which are situated the ruins of an ancient château which holds a church dating to the 13th and 14th centuries. You will then follow the path towards the Bois de Laguiole and the village of Laguiole, built on a basaltic piton around the Eglise du Fort (church). Laguiole is famous for its animal markets, its knives – the industry of which has taken on new life in the last few decades – and for its 3-star Michelin restaurant (under 30 in France) managed by Michel Bras, a native to the region. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a three-star hotel.

Day 5 – LAGUIOLE – AUBRAC (23 km). You will leave Laguiole to sink into the forest and discover the ski resort of Laguiole, Le Bouyssou, built at the foot of the Puech du Roussillon and specialized in ski touring. You will continue this wooded stage along the route to Santiago de Compostela. There, the Hospitallers (knight-monks) once built a large abbey-hospital which used to receive pilgrims. This structure, which could receive more than a thousand people a day, was destroyed during the French Revolution. All that remains are the Tour des Anglais, a large, 15th century square tower, a very sober Romanesque church and the hospital, rebuilt during the 16th century (now a private residence) – Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a two-star hotel.

Day 6 – AUBRAC – NASBINALS (25 km). Escort by taxi from Aubrac to the Montorzier peat-bog. You will make your way across the high plateaus of Aubrac, following the drailles and a few small paths. From the Croix de Rode (Rode Cross), you will turn towards the Refuge de Rajas at the foot of the Signal de Mailhebiau, which dominates these vast areas of solitude at 1 469 meters. You will then begin your trek towards Nasbinals, which rises up from the Born and Saint Andéol lakes. You will admire the Deroc Waterfall, rising up 30 meters above the little glacial valley of the Gambaise Stream (lovely view of the region) – Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a two-star hotel.

Day 7 – RIEUTORT – AUMONT AUBRAC (22 km). Escort by taxi from Nasbinals to the bridge on the Bès River. From this bridge, you will reach Rieutort, a small village characteristic of the Aubrac region, and continue your journey on the high plateaus, covered by grazing pastures and short stone walls. Once beyond the Moulin de la Folle (the Folle mill), the landscape changes and the forest returns to view. You are now in the Pays de Peyre (Peyre country), where you will pass in and out of shady and sunny stretches. You will cross Lasbros, pass in front of the Chapelle de Bastide (Bastide chapel), and cross through la Chaze-sur-Peyre to arrive in Aumont-Aubrac – Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a three-star hotel.

Day 8 – AUMONT AUBRAC. Tour ends after breakfast.

 

Season

From beginning of of May to mid-october

What’s included?
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in selected 2 and 3-star hotels
  • 7 breakfasts – 7 dinners
  • Hotel to hotel luggage transfer along the trail.
  • Taxi transfers : Aubrac–Montorzier, Nasbinals-Rieutort
  • A set of maps (1/25 000 scale) with the route marked on and detailed route notes describing the trail.
  • A daily itinerary together with information about facilities and places of interest along the trail.
  • Emergency assistance.

Visa fees – transportation fees to and from the walk area – Insurance (strongly recommended on all trips) – Transfers except those mentioned above – Drinks – Entrance fees -Additional meals – Spending of personal nature e.g. laundry, souvenirs, phone calls,…are not included

Getting there and away

By train : Aumont-Aubrac  is on the Paris-Clermont Ferrand-Beziers line. Connections each day by train to Aumont-Aubrac or by bus from Clermont.

By car : Aumont-Aubrac is accessible by the A75 motorway “La Meridienne” and by route RN9.

Where to park : Parking in an unsupervised car park near the railway station in Aumont-Aubrac.

Walk difficulty

Grade 3 – the stages require 6 to 8 hours of walk per day. Some of them can cover 25 -30 kilometres . We are on very undulating, broken or mountainous ground. The total ascent is about 500 to 700 meters per day. You need to be in a good shape and well-prepared before.