Nestled at the heart of Aveyron, between Rodez and Millau, the Lévézou is an ideal holiday destination for anyone. Whether you are holidaying as a family, on your own, with your partner or with friends, and whether you love hiking, watersports, swimming or history, the Lévézou, Aveyron's very own land of lakes, is a great choice for a country break.
Five lakes, including the Lac de Pareloup (the fifth-biggest man-made lake in France), the Lac de Villefranche de Panat and the Lac de Pont de Salars, each of which has two lakeside beaches. The Lacs de Bages and the Lac de la Gourde are reserved for fishing.
The area offers more than 600 km of signposted footpaths suitable for all, as well as a 214 km "GR® de Pays" footpath offering a "Grand Tour" of the mountains and lakes of the Lévézou.
You can discover visitor attractions such as Micropolis, la Cité des Insectes in Saint Léons, castles and manor houses, museums about rural life, and villages that are full of charm and steeped in history. You can also sample our local specialities at our restaurants and traditional markets. Where we come from, it is still possible to enjoy a hearty meal without breaking the bank!
There is plenty of choice when it comes to places to stay, with campsites, hotels, guest houses, furnished rentals, holiday villages and even yurts!
According to legend, and some historians, the Lévézou owes its name to the chiefs of a camp called "Levezonium levencisca" in what is now the department of Lot-et-Garonne. Driven out of their camp by the Saracens, the exiled chiefs are said to have named our region when they settled there in around the 7th century. By the 10th century, references can be found to the "Lords of the Lévézou" in Castelmus and Castelnau. By the 12th century, the Lords had moved to the Château de Vezins, where their descendants still live to this day.
The name "Pareloup" comes from the Occitan "Paro lo Loup", which means "protect yourself from the wolf". It evokes a time when wolves lived in the woods and on the moors of the Lévézou... Don't worry, they are now long gone!
The Lévézou plateau, which lies at an average altitude of 900 metres above sea level, is a former Hercynian mountain range, made up of crystalline rocks such as gneiss, shale and granite.
Separated from the Aveyron Valley by a geological fault, the plateau forms a climatic, geological and sociological barrier between Millau and Rodez. It is bordered by forest - on one side by the Forêt des Palanges and on the other by the Forêt du Lagast - and to the south it overlooks the Tarn.