Architecture and village
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On the slope opposite Vialas (the avès), discover hamlets that existed before the village.
A treasure trove of heritage is waiting to be discovered on this hike: hamlets with typical architecture, land art in dry-stone walls and the Bonijol mill, restored by stone enthusiasts!

3 points of interest

  • History


    (origin of the name: chestnut orchard).
    An important village long before Vialas, located close to a traffic artery on the ridge, Castagnols was the parish seat until 1684. The canons of the collegiate chapter at Bédouès benefited from the substantial revenues of its priory, founded by Guillaume de Grimoard, the future Pope Urban V. The inhabitants of Castagnols later strongly supported the Reformation. The Catholic church was burned down during the Camisard era. After 1970, Cévennes enthusiasts rebuilt it from the ruins.
  • Architecture

    Bonijol mill

    This mill is located on a plot of the Bonijol property and is part of the hamlet of Figeirolles. An association created in 2000 has restored and is managing the site. The fact that it is a mountain mill makes it all the more remarkable. The mill operates using an ingenious system for collecting and storing water. It has two sets of grinding stones, one for chestnut flour and another for rye flour. (www.moulinbonijol.fr)
  • Architecture


    The temple (Protestant church): in 1612, the Protestant community had this church built at its own expense, several kilometres from Castagnols. Donated to the Catholic community before the Edict of Nantes was revoked, it thus escaped the destruction meted out to Cevenol temples. The Protestants got their church back in 1804.
    The secondary school: in 1889, after the so-called Jules Ferry Laws were passed, the primary school with its two classes was completed by a secondary school. This was the first ever in Lozère. In 2005, the establishment, now a boarding school, welcomed 60 pupils from all over the region.


Signposts will guide you all along this route, as well as yellow painted waymarks. In the description below, the signposted place names and/or directions are given in bold italics between quotation marks:

Climb to “Castagnols” via “Gendarmerie”, “La Vigne”, “Plagette”, “Lou Devez”, “La Tranchée”. At “Castagnols”, return to “Vialas” via “Le Pradet”, “Le Luech”, “Le Crépon”, “La Fontaine du Foirail”.

This hike is taken from the guidebook Mont Lozère - Pays des sources, published by the Pôle de pleine nature du Mont Lozère.
  • Departure : Vialas
  • Arrival : Vialas
  • Towns crossed : Vialas


Altimetric profile


No particular difficulty. Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains. Take enough water, wear sturdy shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers behind you. Shortcut possible via the Valat du Colombert.
Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

Office de tourisme Des Cévennes au mont Lozère

le Quai, 48220 Le Pont de Montvert sud mont-Lozère

https://www.cevennes-montlozere.com/info@cevennes-montlozere.com04 66 45 81 94

Tourism'house and national Parc at Florac

Place de l'ancienne gare, N106, 48400 Florac-trois-rivières

https://www.cevennes-gorges-du-tarn.cominfo@cevennes-parcnational.fr04 66 45 01 14

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

On site:  exhibitions, video projections, events and shop Open year-round

Find out more

Access and parking

From Génolhac or Le Pont-de-Montvert, take the D998 to Vialas

Parking :

Vialas car park


CC des Cévennes au Mont Lozèrehttp://www.cevennes-mont-lozere.fr/
Parc national des Cévenneshttp://www.cevennes-parcnational.fr/
Pôle pleine nature Mont Lozère

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