In the heart of the Grands Causses Natural Regional Park, the Saint-Affrique FFCT MTB allows you to explore a great variety of landscapes along the causses stony, well maintained, paths and the Rougiers sporting trails, which provide an all year round a perfect setting for family, sporting and challenging practices.
PREPARE YOUR OUTING
THE WEALTH OF LOCAL PATHS
The Saint-Affrique MTB BASE comprises 12 FFCT marked circuits and 237 km of paths completed by a network of hiking trails accessible to experienced and knowledgeable mountain bikers. The “headquarters“ of the MTB base is located at the Hotel Complex Cap Vert in Saint-Affrique where you can find various services:
• Bicycle parking
• Washing and repair station
• Electric MTB rental
WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION ON ALL MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES
You can find and download all relevant information on your GPS, or print all the rides on the Rando Grands Causses website. If you would rather use your smartphone, information is available on the Rando Grands Causses mobile application.
All itineraries are marked with the conventional MTB BASE marking (a triangle with two circles) by voluntary organisations. Furthermore, directional signage is in place and footpaths are maintained on a regular basis. Nevertheless, washouts or fallen trees may occur on the routes, so if you encounter any such problems you can make a report (click on the exclamation mark on the hiking card of the website).
CHOOSE FROM OUR SELECTION
4 circuits have been carefully selected to help you to explore the area
THE CASTLE TRAIL
This loop which is accessible to all goes from the Doudou river banks to the Tarn valley, following meandering rivers and across the undulating landscape of Saint-Izaire, a pearl of red sandstone situated at the foot of the castle of that name. The Dourdou, Tarn and Gos valleys await you along this trail in a wonderful landscape. From farms to hamlets, from undergrowth to river banks, enjoy a refreshing ride in a setting scattered with areas of red soil. Red is the prevailing colour in the village of Saint-Izaire, built in an amphitheatre which surrounds an Episcopalian medieval castle.
• St-Izaire Episcopalian castle and its village (lovely houses and dovecotes)
• Scenic viewpoints over the Dourdou valley
• Tarn river banks
• Janolles (16th century house)
BUISSIERES AND DOLMENS
From ridgelines to box-tree tunnels, enjoy riding across a superb landscape from where the dolmen silhouettes stand out. A circuit that is rather difficult and provides moments of sheer delight. After a quite demanding initial climb on the Saint-Affrique frontal causses, the ride through buissières, along single-tracks through forests, along ridgelines with scenic views over Saint-Affrique, valleys and frontal causses is superb and is a wonderful reward for your effort. Enjoy a close look at megaliths and see Millau Viaduct in the distance, on a circuit of two overlapping eras!
• Puech Ibilié dolmen
• Tiergues dolmen
• Hamlet of Crassous and village of Tiergues with their caussenarde architecture
• Caylus Rock
THE CASTLES CIRCUIT
This circuit makes you ride from gentle and playful terrains to stony and challenging ones. This is what you need to do to experience and really appreciate the castles around Saint-Affrique!
You cycle across devèzes (meadows left uncut) which are enclosed by their famous dry-stone walls, some of them including cazelles (dry-stone hut used as a shelter by shepherds when it rains).
This circuit starts from Saint-Rome-de-Cernon and requires a high level of technical ability which will give you wonderful feelings of endurance and achievement. From the hill climb to single -track, you ride across a landscape with many scenic views (Millau Viaduct, Combalou Rock, and more) and punctuated by views of several castles.
• Views over Laumière and Mas Rougier castles
• Saint-Rome-de-Cernon castle
• Nicolaï Greshny frescos
CAUSSE DE NISSAC
Ride from Jasses to buissières and through hamlets, as you explore with your family the frontal causses whilst enjoying magnificent views over the Sorgues and Verzolet valleys in a landscape which has been shaped by the agropastoral tradition.
Apart from a few stony sections that require your attention, this circuit that runs across the causses is easy and features a small difference in altitude. Seize the opportunity to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy 360° scenic views over the region of Saint-Affrique, the Larzac foothills and the surrounding valleys. Must be seen in Hermilix: dolmen and lavogne (a paved pond to water sheep)
• Camp Biel Jasse
• Lavogne in Hermilix
• Fountain in Hermilix
• Hamlet of Sayssou
• Sayssou spring (on the right side of the path at the edge of the hamlet)
• View over the Verzolet valley