Sauveterre
Gorges du Tarn Causses

Sauveterre

Agriculture and livestock farming
Architecture and village
Fauna and flora
History and culture
Water and geology
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Here, humans have made tracks for millennia. Enjoy the tranquillity of the Causse de Sauveterre on this short walk between the low walls bordering the paths and the treeless expanses. 

3 points of interest

  • Geology

    A hamlet on a former volcano

    The hamlet was built on the remains of a former volcano, which has been worn down by erosion. Sauveterre lies on part of the large volcanic chain of the Languedoc. The depression under the hamlet has particularly fertile soil. It has been put to good agricultural use for a long time. Today, 3 GAEC (jointly run farms) share the land around the village. Sheep breeding (for milk or meat) dominates. Flocks are 500 to 700 heads in size.
  • History

    Sauveterre

    Built on a volcanic hillock, Sauveterre hamlet sits at the crossroads of several historic routes. Here, the grande draille (main drovers’ road), a transhumance route linking the garrigues or arid shrubland of Languedoc with the summer pastures of the Aubrac plateau, crosses an ancient track linking the Vivarais with Lower Gévaudan and the Rouergue (today’s GR44 hiking path). In the 12th century, the Prior of Sainte Enimie, the local lord, declared the hamlet a salvetat. A salvetat was an area protected by God’s Peace, meaning that all violence was forbidden within its perimeter, delineated by markers. It was a place of refuge for fugitive serfs, peasants with debts, offenders or petty criminals, under the protection of the Church. After one year, they were absolved on condition of settling here, and were give some land to cultivate. This policy rehabilitated uncultivated or abandoned parcels of land. Some dwellings were built near a source of water, then a little fort to protect the travellers and a chapel dedicated to St Ferréol (Ferreolus): from 1250 onwards, Sauveterre slowly came into being. 
  • Flora

    Vast open spaces

    Generally speaking, Causse soils do not retain water (except in the rare clay areas), which favours a spontaneously xerophile flora, meaning that it is resistant to drought. The Causse economy is essentially pastoral and has created a whole range of open spaces – from crops to pastureland to sheep enclosures – as well as wooded zones, which encourages wild flora. The vast grasslands around you show their colours in the summer months with a wealth of flowers. For those interested in botany, every step is a marvel in spring!

Description

Starting on the village’s main square (bread oven), pass to the left of the bread oven and take the road that runs in front of the cross and below the farm buildings.
  1. Leave the road and take the path on your left for 1.2 km.
  2.  Turn left onto the path that goes downhill and around the depression (sinkhole).
  3. As you arrive at the tarred surface, take the road on your left that goes up into the village and back to your starting-point. 
  • Departure : Sauveterre village
  • Arrival : Sauveterre village
  • Towns crossed : Gorges du Tarn Causses

Forecast


Altimetric profile


Recommandations

There is no shade on this walk. 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.

Information desks

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

Tourism office Cévennes Gorges du Tarn, Sainte-Enimie

village, 48210 Sainte-Enimie

https://www.cevennes-gorges-du-tarn.com/info@attractivite-tourisme-gcc.com04 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.

Find out more

Access and parking

From Ste-Énimie on the D 986 towards Mende.

Parking :

Large car park on the village square.

Source

CC Gorges Causses Cévenneshttps://www.gorgescaussescevennes.fr/
Parc national des Cévenneshttp://www.cevennes-parcnational.fr/

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