the best period
Spring and Summer
A good helping of sport and exercise, food & drink galore, time to chill out... there's your action plan for a gourmet getaway exploring the untamed and unspoilt nature of the lofty Lozère plateaus. If you love the great outdoors and endless horizons, this Fabulous Voyage to Margeride, Aubrac and Gévaudan may well be your heaven on earth.
Start your tour in Aumont-Aubrac for a 9.15am departure with La Malle Postale. The 45 minute journey will take you to Nasbinals, a classic Aubrac village with slate-roofed granite houses. This is your start point for a hike on one of the best sections of the Via Podiensis or Chemin du Puy to Santiago de Compostela which, just this once, we recommend you travel the wrong way! It will take you back to Aumont-Aubrac. It's a great opportunity to meet pilgrims, find out about their journey and get their top tips. Shop for your picnic lunch in Nasbinals at Maison Souchon (cured meat), the cheesemonger (Tome d’Aubrac) and La Grange au Thé (sweet treats) before you set off on your hike.
If you're a purist and want to travel the path like the pilgrims then you'll have to leave Aumont-Aubrac very early so you don't miss the 3pm shuttle bus back from Nasbinals.
Back in Aumont-Aubrac, settle into Chez Camillou, a family institution in the village that's been around since 1928. This is your home from home. Soak up its spa area (spa, hammam, pool) before you tuck into dinner made by chef Cyril Attrazic whose passion, expertise, creativity and unique flair have seen him put his stamp on the Aubrac food scene.
This morning you're visiting Les Bouviers nature resort for a day in the great outdoors. Hire an e-mountain bike on-site to hit the many signposted trails starting from the resort. You could tackle one of the stages of the Grande Traversée du Massif Central by mountain bike (GTMC to its friends): the "Les Bouviers/Saint-Chély-d’Apcher" section.
Here's a tasty little morsel for you: this GTMC section has been awarded the Vélo & fromages ("bike & cheese" award). You can be sure of an incredible outing and foodie experiences with cheesemongers, farm tours and cheese cellar visits along the way so you can soak up the passionate artisans' expertise and local cheese legacy.
End your sporty day out with a spot of pampering at Mon Cocoon Spa, a wellness haven in Margeride where you'll enjoy an organic herbal tea in the tearoom between steam baths.
As for dinner and accommodation, I recommend renting a chalet in Les Bouviers (with wood-burning stove and sauna): a great excuse to try a mouth-watering raclette lozérienne (using Pépites de l’Aubrac potatoes and Saveur Lozère cheese) or aligot! Our mouths are already watering!
The early bird catches the worm so don't miss the sunrise at Le Truc de Fortunio, an incredible belvedere drinking in Lozère's plateaus and peaks.
Next, head to Lake Charpal, an outstanding Natura 2000 site which whisks you away to the sprawling Canadian forests. Walk around it or get an introduction to "no kill" fishing with Jérôme Bouard, a passionate fishing guide who will give you a taste for catch and release on France's biggest "no kill" fishing lake.
Have lunch at Hôtel de la Poste restaurant in Châteauneuf-de-Randon. The dining room in a former barn is stunning and the restaurant's signature dishes are delicious. It's a feast for all the senses. Go on! Here's a taster of what to expect: piglet cheeks braised in black pudding jus, snail and cep stew, crispy pig's trotters... Are you feeling peckish?
This time you're in for a truly relaxing afternoon! Settle into one of the cottages* at Domaine de Barres (all with panoramic views) peppering 27ha of leafy grounds near Langogne's buzzing town centre to soak up the peace and quiet, golf course, spa and Ô Domaine restaurant.
· Local tradesmen used regional materials to build the eco-friendly cottages.
You're a stone's throw from Lake Naussac, the biggest in Lozère. It's all about water sports on this inland sea! So how about trying out a few and having a go at paddle boarding? Not really a water baby? No problem! Go on a horse ride on the lake shores. Whatever you do, you'll love the site's peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty. Have lunch at La Table du Lac (a great spot famous for both its good food and magical lake views) followed by a leisurely afternoon doing a local cookery class, yoga session or meditation class with massages at Hôtel Les Terrasses, next to the restaurant. Wonder meets wellness!
No Fabulous Voyage here would be complete without a trip to the Secret de Cacao master chocolatiers in Langogne
Top tip: the Langogne farmer's market (Saturday morning) is one of the liveliest and most traditional in Lozère... not to be missed!
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