Castres / Mazamet La Véloccitanie
Nature & small heritage
1 h 22 min
I cycle often
With the Montagne Noire as backdrop, ride from Castres to Mazamet alongside rivers and crossing a typical, rocky weathered limestone plain, or causse, spotting through the foliage along the way some sumptuous typical regional buildings. These read like so many pages in the area’s book of history. The towns around here made the most of natural features to develop, exploiting water for wool, leather, textiles and dyeing, the wide-open fields for agriculture, the forests for raw materials and the steep mountain sides for refuge. Leaving Castres, a first surprising site awaits you, in the form of the Causse de Caucalières et Labruguière, a semi-deserted limestone plateau. With its unusual geology and striking natural environment, this area is home to certain rare bat and insect species in desperate need of preservation. Looking up to the skies, you may spot a short-toed eagle looking for lunch… in the form of a snake, its favourite food!
Elevation of the stage
158 m 226 m
Waytypes of the stage
Cycle path: 3,93 km By road: 18,11 km
Surface of the stage
Lisse: 16,31 km Inconnu: 5,73 km
La Véloccitanie from Castres to Mazamet
The route: a mix of cycle paths, little country roads shared with motorized traffic and greenways
Potential difficulties and places to take care: between Castres and Mazamet you ride along roads shared with motorized vehicles. Also take care on the stretches from Caucalières to Payrin-Augmontel and from Payrin-Augmontel to Aussillon.
Link: from Castres, you can ride on to the city of Albi by following the Droits de l'Homme Greenway. Also, along the way, do make a little detour to the village of Lautrec (4km there and back), capital of pink garlic!
- Office de tourisme de Castres-Mazamet: Bureau de Castres: open year-round - 05 63 62 63 62 | Bureau de Mazamet: 7 Place Georges Tournier – 81200 MAZAMET - 05 63 61 27 07 – Open year-round
SNCF train services
- Gare de Castres
- Halte ferroviaire de Labruguière
- Gare de Mazamet
- Castres: board Le Miredames, a covered wooden boat for transporting passengers, inspired by traditional 17th-century models, for a bucolic trip along the Agout River, leaving from the Parc de Gourjade, a public garden in the town centre, the journey taking you past Castres’s iconic, colourful houses built for weavers, dyers and tanners; the Musée Goya, considered France’s leading museum on the Hispanic arts after the Louvre, entirely renovated, and displaying a range of canvases by the greatest Spanish masters, including Goya, Velázquez, Pacheco and Picasso.
- Mazamet: the Maison des Mémoires, in the town centre, includes, among several points of interest, the Musée du Catharisme, a unique centre in France for learning much about the history of the persecuted medieval Cathar sect; from Mazamet, cross a 140m-long Himalayan footbridge suspended 70m above the Arnette Gorges, linking the town to the perched medieval village of Hautpoul, the way offering exceptional views and a bit of a thrill!