A superb valley inhabited by a giant of iron
More than 130 years after its construction, viaduct of Garabit has won universal admiration. At its feet, the Truyère river has dug its bed in a luxurious multifaceted valley.
Viaduct of Garabit and the Truyère Gorges are inextricably linked: the Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece would not have existed if the river had not dug deep and insurmountable gorges. In the 1870s, in order to connect Paris to southerner city of Béziers, an extension of the railway track is being envisaged. Léon Boyer and Gustave Eiffel’s great resourcefulness has been necessary to imagine and to realize the viaduct of Garabit: the construction of this giant of iron will finally permit the connection of the two banks of the river. Four years of hard work were required to reveal a great iron masterpiece of 564 meters of length and 122 meters of height. Classified as an Historical Monument since October 2017, the viaduct is now facing a new challenge: associated to four others viaducts of big scale in Germany, Portugal and Italy, a UNSECO candidacy’s project had recently been submitted to authorities at the end of 2017.
- From 15th of March to 31st of May: every night light show from sunset to 10 pm
- From 1st of June to 31st of August: every night light show from sunset to 1 am
- From 14th of July to 15th of August: every night light show from sunset to dawn
- From 1st of September to 11th of November: every night light show from sunset to 10 pm
- From 12th of November to 14th of March: light show from 6.30 pm to 9 pm only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (every night for Christmas holidays). Light show all night long for Christmas and New year’s day nights
Facilities of the Truyère Gorges
The construction of the dams (blockades) of Sarrans, Lanau and Grandval gave birth to several lakes and leisure centers that are very well enjoyed by nautical activities amateurs. It is indeed very pleasant to practice water sports in a well-protected and exceptional environment.
- A wide variety of nautical activities can be found at the Garabit-Grandval’s and Lanau’s lakes: canoeing, pedal and paddle boating, wind surfing, sail boating, boats and pontoons renting, jet and water skiing…
- Guarded bathing place at the Mallet’s beach
- First and second category fishing and particularly the catching of carnivorous fishes
- Restaurant Boat excursions in Garabit
Most appreciated panoramic view
- In Garabit, in the Truyère’s brige (D 909). To get closer to the structure, take the D13 road from the Garabit’s bridge in the direction of Ruynes-en-Margeride.
- The highway rest area (A75 – “Aire de Garabit”), a few kilometers away from Saint-Flour (direction south: to Montpellier).
Visits and exhibitions
- The exhibition “the Giant of the Truyère” (open from June to September) at the Pierre Allègre’s farm located in Loubaresse, on the Margeride’s Eco museum site.
- A permanent exhibition at “The House of Cantal” (open every day and all year) on the Garabit’s Highway Rest Area between Saint-Flour and Ruynes-en-Margeride.
- During summer, guided tours of the Margeride’s Eco museum.
- Special visits and discovery days for parties can be organized on demand. Please contact our Tourist Office for further informations.
You may like
- To let you guide on the Gorges of the Truyère’s tourist circuit and make a stop at the Castle of Chassan, at the site and Castle of Alleuze or at the circus and belvedere of Mallet.
- To feel some thrills while passing by train on the viaduct. Departure from Saint-Chély d’Apcher (Lozère) and arrival in Saint-Flour: one hour stroll in lower town and then back to Saint-Chely.
- To have dinner at the top of the Hotel-Restaurant “Le Beau Site” with a breathtaking view over the viaduct.
- The atmosphere of an open-air café during summer along the banks of the river at” l’Escale” restaurant in Garabit.
- To have a hike on the” circuit of Chaliers”: a full day tour with visits of the Margeride’s Ecomuseum and of the picturesque village of Chaliers.