With its wide array of summits, waterfalls, unique sites and unspoilt villages, the Carladès area is a gem of a place to visit! So grab your rucksack and your camera … and get ready to explore. Don’t miss visiting the following TOP 10 sites while you’re here!
The Pas de Cère – Thiézac
Whether you’re an experienced walker, just enjoy heading out for a stroll, or have got young children, the Pas de Cère is THE spot not to miss visiting while you’re in the area. The walk to the impressive gorges is along a shady path and then along the banks of the River Cère along a theme trail that everyone will enjoy. The Pas de Cère is a natural glacial rock bar formed 20,000 years ago. Access is along a footpath running along the river and once you’re at the gorges, you can then continue walking along the footpath further into the gorges until you reach the viewpoint platform overlooking the Roucolle waterfall.
Bonus point: Follow the “Mystery at the Grand Hotel” theme trail from the car park at Salvanhac just outside Vic sur Cère. Embark on a mystery trail by hunting for clues under the colourful parasols along the way.
Practical information to visit the Pas de Cère Gorges:
– Access via the RN 122 main road between Vic sur Cère and Thiézac: Access from the car park on foot to the viewpoint platform overlooking the Roucolle waterfall, and then a walk along the path down to the Pas de Cère Gorges (estimated 1 ½ hour walk there and back, with an uphill climb on the way back)
– Access via Salvanhac just outside Vic sur Cère: Easy footpath to the Pas de Cère Gorges (40 minute walk there and back on the flat).
Pesteils castle – Polminhac
As you drive along the River Cère valley, you can’t miss admiring Pesteils Castle. The castle’s distinctive keep is more than 40 metres high and the castle proudly overlooks the village of Polminhac. Inside you’ll learn about the history of this unique castle, thanks to a display of wax statues. The view over the River Cère valley and the Monts du Cantal from the grounds in front of the castle is absolutely beautiful. The big question is, are you brave enough to climb to the top of the keep and walk around the top?
Bonus point: Pesteils Castle holds special events throughout the year. For a visit with a difference, the team organizes guided visits for children with a story teller, ghostly tales at night-time and, if you’re a thrill-seeker, abseiling down the castle keep
Practical information to visit Pesteils Castle:
The castle is open from the Easter school holidays until the Autumn half term break.
Pesteils Castle – +33 4 71 47 44 36 – www.chateau-pesteils-cantal.com
The Puy Griou – Saint Jacques des Blats
This is the iconic summit of Cantal’s great volcano and being distinctively pointed, it’s more than likely that you have seen it on panoramic shots of Cantal! The Puy Griou is, in actual fact, the main chimney or vent of the volcano, a cone of phonolite rock that makes a ringing sound when you hit it. The climb to the summit is tough and exposed, so may not appeal to you. But rest assured… the paths leading to the foot of the Puy Griou are accessible to everyone!
Bonus point: Several walking trails lead to the foot of the Puy Griou, so it’s up to you to opt for anything between a 2 ½ hour and a 6 hour walk.
Practical information to reach the foot of the Puy Griou:
– A walk leaving from the hamlet of Les Chazes (estimated 2 ½ hour round walk)
– A walk leaving from Col de Font de Cère (estimated 4 hour round walk)
– A walk leaving from the village of Saint Jacques des Blats (estimated 6 hour round walk)
The historic centre of Vic sur Cère
Vic sur Cère is a town with a multitude of facets for visitors to discover. It once had a bailiwick, was a spa town and was formerly part of the principality of Monaco. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the fascinating old part of the town or along the paths in the beautiful park and you’ll find out all about the history of this lovely town. Don’t forget to take a cup with you to taste the famous natural mineral water that is rich in iron!
Bonus point: A detailed map of the town is available at the Tourist Information Centre as well as a booklet especially for children for a fun visit of the town.
Practical information to explore Vic sur Cère:
Guided tours of the town are possible throughout the Summer and on request throughout the year for groups.
Carladès Tourist Infromation Office – +33 4 71 47 50 68 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronesque Roc table – Cros de Ronesque
Don’t miss visiting Ronesque rock table, a unique and beautiful natural curiosity. This basalt rock table in the shape of a heart, is the result of a geological phenomenon called inverted relief and bears witness to Cantal’s volcanic activity. The views over the Massif Cantalien and across to the regions of Aubrac and Aveyron are breath-taking!
Bonus point: A viewpoint table will help you identify the names of the different summits and learn all about Cantal’s great volcano
Practical information to visit Ronesque rock table:
The site can be visited all year round, depending on weather conditions. A short walk from the hamlet of Cros de Ronesque up to the rock.
Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church – Jou sous Monjou
This Romanesque church proudly stands in the middle of the little village of Jou sur Monjou. It is listed as a National Historic Monument and is a popular place to visit to admire the fine example of traditional architecture in Carladès. Watch out though… can you see the stone faces starring at you from around the outside of the church?
Bonus point: When you’ve visited the church, head off on a little walk down to the river for a cool paddle or a picnic.
Practical information to visit the church in Jou sous Monjou:
The church is open from 8 am to 6 pm all year except during wintertime. A leaflet is available for visitors at the entrance.
Faillitoux Waterfall – Thiézac
This is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Cantal! The walk to get there starts out along a grassy path that leads you to a superb volcanic rock cliff face where the waterfall falls from a height of more than 40 metres. The basalt rock columns are the result of the fascinating activity of Cantal’s great volcano. While the children enjoy paddling in the stream, you can get up close to the waterfall and feel the force of the water. A visit to Faillitoux waterfall will be one of the highlights of your holiday!
Bonus point: Access to the waterfall is really easy on foot even for young children!
Practical information to visit Faillitoux waterfall:
The walk leaves from above the hamlet of Lasmolinerie near Thiézac (estimated 40 minute walk there and back).
Raulhac, special village with real character
Situated on the border with Aveyron, Raulhac is a quaint village with beautiful narrow streets to explore and exceptional architecture to admire along the way. Stop for a break on the square in front of Saint Pierre church and the fountain, before setting off to discover the castles that surround Raulhac: Messilhac and Cropières.
Bonus point: Raulhac holds regular events for visitors and locals to enjoy. Come along and join in the fun at the Accordeon Festival, Raulhac Artists’ Workshops Festival and the famous Tarte à la Tome Festival.
Practical information to visit Raulhac:
You can visit the village all year round and guided tours are possible in summertime.
Animation Raulhac: +33 4 71 49 59 36 – www.animationraulhac.com
The Elancèze – Thiézac
You’ll enjoy a magnificent bird’s eye view over the Massif Cantalien from the top of the Elancèze. All the iconic summits lie before you to be admired: the Puy Mary, the Plomb du Cantal, the Puy Griou, the Bec de l’Aigle and the Peyre Arse… a lot to take in but they’re all there!
Bonus point: The walk to the top of the Elancèze from the Col du Pertus is very easy and the summit is a lovely spot for a picnic. A great walk that everyone will enjoy, so there’s no excuse to not get out and enjoy the mountain air!
Practical information to reach the summit of the Elancèze:
– A walk from the Col du Pertus along the GR400 hiking trail (estimated 45 minute to 1 hour walk to the top)
– A walk leaving from Thiézac along the GR400 hiking trail (estimated 3 hour walk to the top)
– A walk leaving from St Julien de Jordanne – green marking (estimated 5 hour round walk)
The hamlet of Niervèze – Thiézac
Niervèze is a beautiful hamlet perched on the mountain side with unique houses with thatched rooves, a watermill and a communal bread oven that has been restored by the village inhabitants. A visit to Niervèze is a real step back in time and with an amazing view over the Puy Griou, it is difficult to resist the charm of this lovely hamlet. Let us know what you like when you go there.
Bonus point: In summertime you can also visit the thatched Granier farm museum, see the watermill working and taste the bread baked in the bread oven during the village fete and organized events. Ask us for full details of events!
Practical information to visit Niervèze:
From the village of Thiézac, drive to the campsite, then take the road signposted to Gîte de Lafon and Chaumière de Granier. The hamlet can be visited all year round.
Explore these TOP 10 places to visit while on holiday here in the Carladès area, and don’t forget to share your photos with us! (#mycarlades)