At the source of the Aveyron, you can relax by the water, have a picnic, and let your children will make fascinating discoveries. And along the river, you will discover marvellous châteaux and heritage.
THE BIRTH OF A RIVER AND A DEPARTMENT
The source of the Aveyron
The Aveyron’s source is a few kilometres from Sévérac-le-Château. The river, which is 250 km long, gave its name to our beautiful department. Aveyron comes from the word ‘aquarius’ which means ‘water opening’. This is an appropriate name as, after a few kilometres under the Causse de Sauveterre, the Aveyron gushes out in several places near Sévérac. One of these springs is located at the foot of the Sermeillets plateau, not far from the A75 motorway.
A PERFECT PLACE FOR RELAXATION
This is an idyllic place for a picnic
Leaving the medieval city and the château de Sévérac, head in the direction of the Sources de l’Aveyron.
At the edge of the small road, climb the steps near the car park: you will come to a small grassy area with picnic tables. In front of you, a small bridge leads you to the springs, where you can see the cool, clear water rising from the ground. The song of flowing water creates the perfectly soft and relaxing atmosphere of the place. A path takes you to Sévérac, on a pleasant walk away from the road.
CHATEAUX BY THE WATER
Travelling through the Causses à l’Aubrac region, there are many remarkable châteaux from the Sources de l'Aveyron to Bertholène.
Sedentary communities have always settled in favourable areas. The first decisive criterion was the presence of water nearby and the second, the presence of communication routes. The Causses à l’Aubrac region met these conditions perfectly. The fortified castles of the Rouergue are characteristic elements of the 11th century feudal society. This is why, along the Aveyron, you can see (or contemplate and sometimes visit) the Sévérac, Loupiac, Bessodes, Buzareingues, Varès, Lugans, Les Bourines and Bertholène castles.
Today, most of them are private homes (except for Sévérac and Bertholène), and are not open to visitors. They still give us clues about local history and the importance of water at the time of their construction.
AN UNUSUAL WALK FOR CHILDREN
One way to discover the sources as a family is to get the Randoland Sévérac-le-Château at the Sources de Aveyron booklet.
This discovery guide offers you a 5 km walk (allow 3 hours) from the village Sources de l’Aveyron, with puzzles to solve in the form of games to amuse the whole family! From the youngest (4-6 years old) to the oldest (over 10 years old) including 7-9 year olds, children will enjoy the walk as much as the adults as the discover the history of the Notre Dame de Lorette chapel and the Sources de l’Aveyron in a fun way!
Other Randoland circuits are available at the Sévérac d'Aveyron tourist office!
DID YOU KNOW?
Local produce (wool, copper, oils, wheat, etc.) were once refined by around 80 mills along the river, including 15 in the town of Sévérac d´Aveyron. Mills and hydraulic plants have been an integral feature by the rivers and streams in our regions for over a thousand years. In eastern Aveyron, these mills were predominantly grain-based and fitted with horizontal hydraulic wheels.