A WELL-PRESERVED GRANITE ROCK MASSIF OFFERING A MULTITUDE OF LANDSCAPES TO DISCOVER AT YOUR LEISURE
With the Gorges of the River Allier to the east and the Aubrac plateau to the west, the Massif de la Margueride is still quite secret, hidden almost under vast forests full of fir trees. The mountain here has gentle slopes that culminate at the Signal de Randon at an altitude of 1,551 metres and that is actually in the département of Lozère.
It’s an area that is mainly covered in broom, blueberry bushes, and forests of beech trees in the south. In the north on the other hand, there are vast forests of mighty Silver firs and Norway spruces.
There is also a superb ridge offering visitors a breath-taking panorama over the Monts du Cantal mountain range, the Aubrac plateau, the Monts du Velay mountain range and the Massif du Sancy. Here, the Massif Central spreads out before you.
A land where the Gévaudan beast once spread fear across the whole region!
During the Second World War, members of a resistance movement known as the Maquis de Mont-Mouchet hid in the Massif de la Margueride. The area is also well known for its legendary beast, the Bête du Gévaudan, a fierce animal that roamed the massif at the end of the 18th century and terrified the inhabitants.
With its granite stone, the Massif de la Margueride is a special place where the landscapes are still wild and unspoilt. The granite stone has been used to build the traditional houses and farm buildings in the area. This natural material that also given rise to some spectacular natural curiosities. An example is the Roche Branlante, a huge granite boulder that seems to move when you touch it. Many pale grey granite rocks and boulders scatter the prairies all around.
While visiting the Massif de la Margueride, don’t miss a trip out to the Ecomusée de Margueride, an ecomuseum offering visitors three different sites: a garden, a farm and a school. The ecomuseum opens a door into both the region’s past and present and offers a fascinating insight into the identity of the area, its traditions, inhabitants and heritage.
Farming and animal breeding are of key importance to the Massif de la Margueride. Sustainable agriculture practices are widespread, a value upheld by farmers who share a common love and respect for this land. At the Ferme aux Fromages visitors are welcomed by the Amarger family who share their passion for their work. A visit offers a fascinating glimpse into life on a working farm, cow milking and cheese production.
The Massif de la Margueride is also of course a wonderful place to come and enjoy walking and hiking. This is particularly beautiful along the ridge trail that is part of the Grande Traversée du Massif Central hiking trail or the GRP Boucle des Monts de la Margeride marked-out trail.
If you are in the area in autumn, you will also be able to enjoy picking mushrooms!
Of course, this land is made for walking and to practice hiking too. So, Why not taking the ridge way trail on your Massif Central’s Great Odissey And when the autumn comes, be sure that you’ll find on your way plenty of mushrooms and of course…blueberries !
Not to be missed while visiting the Massif de la Margueride
- The three unique sites that make up the Ecomusee de Margueride : Pierre Allègre’s farm, Saint-Martin’s garden and Clémence Fontille’s school.
- The Musée de la Résistance de Mont-Mouchet, a museum to commemorate the events that took place here during the Second World War and the Mont-Mouchet resistance movement. Visitors can also go to the Mont-Mouchet memorial site.
- The breath-taking view at an altitude of 1,500 metres from the Mont-Mouchet view indicator.
- A visit around the village of Saint-Just with its beautiful houses in pale grey granite stone.
- The Calvaire de Recoux, three magnificent crosses with a superb view over an impressive mass of granite boulders and the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Festivities and events
- The exhibition about the Gévaudon beast, “En quête de la Bête” at the Haute Auvergne Museum in Saint-Flour. The exhibition opened in 2018 and continues this year.
- The “Foire aux Livres” in Ruynes-en-Margeride, a huge open-air book fair throughout the village held on 14th
- The “Fête de la Myrtille” in Ruynes-en-Margeride on the Sunday that follows 15th August, celebrating blueberries and local produce.
- The “Tour du Nipalou” trail running and hiking event held in Lorcières on the last Sunday of October.
Other things to enjoy
- Discover the Lozère side of the Massif de la Margueride by paying a visit to the European Buffalo Reserve, the Gevaudan Wolf Park or the Scenovision site in Saint-Alban.
- Join the “Sunrise in Margueride” guided walk – a lovely walk if you don’t mind getting up early or if you are a keen photographer. For further information, please call 04 71 23 43 32 or check our summer events’ guide on our website.
- Explore some of the many footpaths that cross the Massif de la Margueride.
- Stop for a picnic in Ruynes-en-Margeride or have fun with your kids at Margeride Aventure, an adventure park offering horse riding, pony riding, a children’s adventure playground with inflatables, treetop adventure courses and much more.
- The thrill and beauty of a performance by the Diego N’Co team and their incredible horse show.
- Explore the GR 65 walking trail leading pilgrims and walkers on the St Jacques de Compostelle way from the town of Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques.
Information – Office de tourisme des pays de Saint-Flour
Bureau de Tourisme de Ruynes-en-Margeride – Le Bourg – 15320 RUYNES-EN-MARGERIDE – Tél. 04 71 23 43 32 – firstname.lastname@example.org