To discover rural southern France you’ll need to drive about a 7- hours south of Paris. Full of unique adventures and to hidden gems you can discover – listed below!
Water, water everywhere!
- It’s known as the “pays des sources” as 3 major rivers begin in this department, and it is the only area in France where the rivers take their source within that area. Which means gorgeous rivers for kayaking!!
Rural France has another Grand Canyon??
- Technically, no, but the Gorges du Tarn are located in the eastern side of Lozère and is known as the Grand Canyon of France.
Here fishy, fishy!
- A fisherman’s paradise, with all these rivers beginning in Lozère, fishermen from around the world flock to catch Rainbow trout, European Speckled Trout, Brown Trout and even crawfish ( can you believe they are actually Louisiana crawfish) .
Teach a man to fish farm?
- What’s better than catching one fish? Raising a school of them! As there is an abundance of fresh water in France, dozens of fish farming schools have sprouted up over the years, one of which is located here in Lozère, providing learning opportunities for French, as well as, American students to learn about French aquaculture. But if you’re not into fish farming, you know for sure any trout you eat here is going to be Very fresh!
Home to a Sainted Princess and her castle!
- Home to Sainte-Énimie, named one of the most beautiful villages in France. Sainte-Énimie was a princess who sought healing waters for her skin condition and settled in Lozère around 600 AD. She then brought many more to the town to heal them and was given sainthood for helping so many patients. Scientist have tested the waters and determined that contains high levels of copper, which is great for skin conditions, but not for drinking.
Looking to see if anyone else is wearing a mask?
The population density in Lozère is similar to that of Montana with about 15 inhabitants per square kilometer. This low population density contributed to the fact that it was the department with the lowest cases of Covid-19, during the 2020 pandemic.
Massif and Volcanoes?
- Located in the southern portion of the “Massif Central” mountain range, we are surrounded by extinct volcanoes and bountiful green plateaus, perfect for hiking or enjoying a picnic with incredible mountain views. Lozère enjoys more temperate summers due to its high altitude.
Ze French call it, Le Tour!
- With all these gorgeous mountains and winding roads, you can bet the Tour de France makes it way thru here every year. In 2020, stage 6, the tour started in Le Teil and ended in Mont Aigoual, located in Lozère. Stage 7 of the Tour de France, started on the Millau viaduct, located just 30 miles south of our department.
You want me to climb WHAT?
- Rock climbers in La Canourgue, Mende, St. Énimie and all over Lozère practice indoors all winter long to scale the outdoor cliffs when the weather is sunny and warm. A geologist dream.
Est-ce que tu parles français?
- Linguists will delight in not only the French spoken here, but also a ancient dialect called Gévaudanais, derived from Occitan language, spoken by some but understood by many locals in Southern France.
Celts in France?
- The Cevennes region is also located here, it is a UNESCO world heritage site. Named for its human history of the Celtic settlers that moved to the region in the 800-400 B.C. It is also a theologian field site for research of Protestantism.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
- Archaeologists and history professors delight in all the Roman artifacts found in this region. From Julius Caesar elephant coins to prehistoric pottery, there is much to be discovered.
- Did someone say cheese? FROMAGE!! With all these bountiful pasture lands and mountains, farmers raise sheep, cows and goats, which produce the famous Tomme de Vache (unpasteurized cow’s milk farm cheese) used to make Aligot, a typical dish found only here.