How to imagine that a stream of water born in the Monts de la Margeride in Lozère, can offer us such grandiose Gorges? Winding between Aubrac and the Monts du Cantal, the Truyère has dug narrow, deep and wooded gorges in the granite plateaus. The gorges of the Truyère are multiple. steep, they offer all the sensations of verticality. open, they offer you sumptuous panoramas, to become lacs, suitable for swimming, fishing or navigation. Sauvages, they are a paradise for birds of prey. La Truyère is also domesticated by concrete giants: the dams, whose industrial and human epic of their construction fascinates.
Gorges or open valley: admire the tranquility of the Truyère
La Truyère winds its way between theAubrac, Cantal and Carladez to finish its course 170 kilometers after its birth, in Entraygues, and unite with the Lot, of which it is the main tributary. Observing the landscape from the plateaus of Aubrac, carladez or Viadene, we cannot guess this incision in the relief. The Truyère gorges offer generous curves and grandiose viewpoints whose colors change with the seasons.
Did you know?
Since the geological upheavals of the Tertiary era, the Truyère forms a separation between two ancient volcanic regions: the Monts du Cantal to the north and the Monts de l'Aubrac to the south. To bring these two massifs together, men have used their technical skills and built veritable works of art. Do not hesitate to go up the Truyère towards the North and discover the Viaduct of Garabit, built by Gustave Eiffel.
the most beautiful viewpoints accessible by car
Due to its relief, there are no roads along the gorges, but only portions that approach them. To descend on the banks of the Truyère, see diving there, you can go to the Sarrans lake and the Laussac peninsula. Despite this, the territory offers very beautiful views of the gorges, easily accessible. What to make beautiful photos. From North to south :
- Laussac peninsula (Commune of Thérondels)
- Rozières viewpoint (D98 towards Cantoin)
- Belvedere of the Sarrans dam (D98 pass the dam in the direction of Sainte-Geneviève-sur-Argence)
- The end of the world (D900 towards Mels)
- Light (D97)
- Belvedere of Rouens
The village of Valon
Perched on its rocky peak, it overlooks the Truyère gorges.
A selection of hikes along the Truyère
Reputed to be winding and indomitable, the Gorges de la Truyère deserve it. There hike is the best way to immerse yourself in the scenery.
For a 3-day roaming dive along the Truyère: walk along the GR de pays “Lo Camin d'Olt”. A loop that will take you from one bank to the other, starting from Entraygues-sur-Truyère, with the Château de Valon as the highlight.
The difference in height of the Gorges: wilderness spot
playground for mountain bikers
Two beautiful loops of 14,6 kilometers and 20,3 kilometers will delight you with sensations and landscapes:
- The peaks of the Château de Valon
- The peninsula of Laussac
Braving gravity in the Gorges de la Truyère: climbing and via ferrata
The secret and wild character of the gorges attracts climbers. For this, they have the exclusive encounter with this very special pebble: the granite of the gorges, in smooth slabs or in “horse tooth”, which offers good grips. Three climbing sites on the territory will offer you a 100% wilderness immersion.
Where the Truyère becomes a lake
In Sarrans, the Truyère, contained by the dam of the same name, flooded an entire valley in the 30s and created a 1 hectare lake that looked like a fjord. An ideal area for swimming, lazing around and practicing nautical and aquatic activities.
A river of energy
The apparent calm of the Truyère is artificial. Its ardor of yesteryear has been tamed by the hand of man. Six dams follow one another along the Gorges: Grandval, Lanau, Sarrans, Labarthe, Couesque and Cambeyrac. The dams, as well as the hydroelectric power stations linked to the Truyère and Lot valleys, represent 10% of the power of the French hydroelectric fleet. This source of potential energy has, since the 1900s, excited the minds of visionaries and represented an unimaginable source of development for this corner of Aveyron which is still very isolated and on the margins of technical and social progress.
Why did the Truyère gorges catch the eye of engineers?
The steep-sided nature of the gorges and above all the steep drop in this river interested engineers from the year 1907, when a first request for the construction of a dam was filed, for a project in the Commune of Brommat. In 1910 the Ministry of Public Works issued the long-awaited permit. This work was supposed to meet the electricity needs of industrialists in a vast region going as far as the mines of Decazeville or the spinning mills of Rodez, much further south in Aveyron. The General Council saw in this new energy resource the possibility of electrifying the Aveyron railway network. At the time, a railway line was to serve Mur-de-Barrez, Sainte-Geneviève and Laguiole.
Today, more than an economic activity, dams and their exploitation has become an identity and a link between the territories. Do not hesitate to visit outdoor spaces or hydroelectric sites, to realize the importance of these works on the territory and their operation.
Throughout the year, the Brommat open-air exhibition allows you to discover this industrial and human epic.
Preserved Gorges: refuge of biodiversity
The Truyère river is classified as a Natura 2000 area and is home to many protected species:
- In water : the otter or the sculpin fish are markers of a healthy aquatic ecosystem and, through their presence, allow the life of many other species.
- In the air: the birds have unquestionably become the masters of the air for incredible aerial ballets during the day. Open your eyes, you will observe in the sky emblematic birds of prey of the Gorges de la Truyère : Royal Kite, Peregrine Falcon or even Aigle Botté! The night also becomes the discreet kingdom of Chiroptera, more commonly called Bats, you may come across Greater Horseshoe Bats or Geoffroy's Bats and many other creatures with such special names….
- On land: with a bit of luck and patience you can observe the very discreet ermine whose coat changes during the year or even reptiles worthy of a fantastic tale: the Aesculapian snake or the ocellated lizard.
To know everything about the biodiversity of the Gorges de la Truyère, the little guide “ As the crow flies - Natura 2000 – Truyère Gorges » of the Aubrac Regional Natural Park will become the essential tool for your outings and walks! Ask for it at our Tourist Information Offices.
We answer your questions :
Where to swim in the Truyère gorges?
The dam lakes built in the gorges are the best places to enjoy swimming in the Truyère. Find all the bathing possibilities on our page: swimming and nautical activities.
How to visit the Truyère gorges?
One of the best ways to visit the gorges is to drive through them. We have concocted a one day tour to make the most of the panoramas and the unique heritage of La Truyère.
What activities to do in the Truyère gorges?
The Truyère gorges are ideal for practicing outdoor activities like hiking to discover secret corners. For the more athletic, take some height on the climbing routes or the via ferrata, the ideal way to better understand the unique landscapes of the gorges.
When is the best time to come to the Gorges de la Tuyère?
The Truyère gorges are magnificent in all seasons, but in spring and autumn they are even more majestic. They oscillate between bright green with multitudes of colorful flowers and orange brown.