The vast undulating landscapes and woodlands around the lakes provide an ideal setting in which to recharge your batteries.
Mont Seigne is 1128m tall and offers a view over the Lévézou, the Tarn Valley, the limestone plateaus of the Grands Causses, and the volcanic plateau of Aubrac. On the clearest of days, you can even make out the Pyrenees. From the summit, you can also see a circular protohistoric wall, within which archaeologists have found fragments of amphoras dating back to the first or second century BC. It was also used by astronomers as a marker for measuring the meridian.
Mont Seigne is above all a glorious natural space, with peat bogs boasting a wealth of wild orchids and carnivorous plants and a well-preserved ecosystem. It is a haven for ladybirds, which flock there to keep cool in the summer months.
This is why the top of this "puech" (the Occitan word for "mountain") now features a number of "clapas", or man-made shelters for ladybirds. Information boards have been erected in many places to help visitors understand this phenomenon a little better.
Walkers, horseriders or mountain bikers can follow a 9km trail entitled the "Circuit du Monseigne", which starts from the village of Saint Laurent du Lévézou and leads right up to the summit. Information sheets are available for €0.50 from the Pareloup Lévézou Tourist Office and at the Tourist office at Saint Léons.
The Puech del Pal, the highest peak in the Lévézou (1155 m), is located close to the hamlet of La Clau. It is home to the source of the River Viaur, which then descends 145 m on its 130 km path to its mouth in the River Aveyron. A blockfield covered with heather, bracken and broom, it is now also punctuated with conifer plantations. On its ridge lines, traditional shelters for livestock, known as "jasses", have been built, bearing witness to the custom of mountain grazing or "estive", whereby, in the dry season, herds from the farms and estates in the valley would be brought up to the top of the mountain.
There is a hike from Vezins entitled the "Circuit du Pic du Pal" (14.2km, or, using the alternative route, 16.1km). Information sheets can be bought for €0.50 from Pareloup Lévézou Tourist Office and from the Tourist office at Saint Léons.
The Lévézou is a very hilly area and offers breathtaking views from certain vantage points, accessible by car or by footpath. Come and admire our beautiful scenery!
At the summit of the Tour de Peyrebrune: panoramic view over the Forêt du Lagast and the Lévézou lake district.
Saint-Laurent-du-Lévézou, at the summit of Mont Seigne (1128m): 360° view over the whole of the Plateau du Lévézou.
Ladybird shelters with explanatory information boards.
A map and information sheet on the 9km hike entitled "Circuit du Monseigne", starting from the village of Saint-Laurent-du Lévézou, is available at €0.50 from the Pareloup Lévézou Tourist Office and the "SI Rando Monts du Lévézou" walkers' information centre.
"La vierge des lacs", literally "the Virgin of the Lakes", is located on the Puech Montgrand, at an altitude of 850m. It was built in 1956 by Mr JP Duroux, at the end of the construction of the Pareloup dam, to watch over the lakes.
A vantage point with a viewpoint indicator offers an unobstructed view over the Lac de Pareloup. There is a 7 km walking route that passes through this viewpoint.
How to get there: from the village of Salles Curan, take the road for Rodez, then the road for the Plage des Vernhes, on the left 800m after the roundabout.
You will find the signs marked "Vierge des lacs" about 600m further on, on the right.
The largest wooded area is found in Agen d'Aveyron, with the Forêt des Palanges (444 hectares).
Today, the forest has changed significantly. The old oak undergrowth has given way to pines and firs, making for pleasant walks with quirky features, such as the magnificent waterfall on the stream passing through the forest, the Ruisseau des Palanges; a chapel, the Chapelle Saint Lazare; and even, nestled at the heart of the forest, an old hut previously used to make bundles of branches and twigs.
How to get to the waterfall: from Agen d'Aveyron, follow the signs to Millau for 1.5km (D29) and stop when you get to an old quarry. From there, there is a path leading to the waterfall (45-minute round trip).
The woods and forests in Salles-Curran are primarily conifer plantations managed by the French National Forestry Office (the ONF), or beech forests, beech trees being the only trees capable of surviving at this altitude (approximately 800m).
However, it is still possible to find wild cherry trees, holly, hazel and other river shrubs, such as alder. Most of the footpaths pass right through the middle of these woods (Circuit des Canabières, Circuit des Fraux, Circuit de la Baraque du Cantonnier, Circuit des Escarits, etc.)