The river and gorges of the Tarn are well known and undoubtedly it’s worth losing yourself for a while here in what is the deepest canyon in France. But this really is a place where the vastness of nature meets the enormity of human creation. And, if the Pont du Gard transports you back to the time of the Romans, where will Norman Foster’s Millau Viaduct will take you…
Higher than the Eiffel Tower, 270 metres above the ground, it is the highest road bridge deck in the world. It’s also the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Millau Viaduct, straddling the Tarn valley, has been described as one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time.
When you visit or cross it, don’t rush the experience. It’s one of those places that you just have to reflect on for a while. North of the bridge is a service station area. It’s been created out of old farm buildings and has a great viewing platform. The best time to enjoy the view is at dawn or dusk.
The service station is also dedicated to local produce and includes an eatery run by Michelin starred super chef Michel Bras’ brother. Here you can sample his unique “capuchins”, a pancake style cone filled a choice of gastronomic delights.
Where to get the best view of the Millau Viaduct
For one of the best viewing points for the Millau Viaduct is to head to nearby Creissels. Go between April and October, and just slow things down for a while with a boat trip. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the Tarn. There is wonderful wild life and pretty river bank villages like the well-known Peyre (one of the “most beautiful villages of France”). But, the real pleasure is that you also slip quietly under the huge, shimmering viaduct.
You can’t rush the Aveyron. You must stop and try its earthy cheeses and local dishes; its Aligot and Flaune, its Roquefort and its Pérail. You must listen to its memories and think about all who’ve gone before you. And you must explore and soak up its earthy, wholesome soul.
More on Aveyron
Estaing – one of the most beautiful villages of Aveyron
Why Conques, Aveyron should be on your bucket list
Villefranche-de-Rouergue, on the French Pilgrimage Trail in Aveyron