The view that you will see as you approach Aubrac along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques is the same one that has greeted pilgrims for the last 700 years.
And if, like those pilgrims, you stayed last night in Montgros or Nasbinals, chances are you’ve arrived in Aubrac at lunchtime—and you’re ready to take a break!
After you’ve eaten (I recommend Chez Germaine for a delicious, hearty lunch), take a look around—the tiny village is steeped in history and easily explored in an hour.
The 12th century church Notre Dame des Pauvres features contemporary murals by local artist Hervé Vernhes. The paintings depict the life of the pilgrim Adalard who was attacked here in 1120 while on his way from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Santiago. He survived unharmed and vowed to build a monastery – La Dômerie – where future pilgrims could find shelter. The monastery was destroyed during the French Revolution but the church has survived.
Next to the church is La Tour des Anglais, now a gîte and named, not after the English, but after the vagabonds who roamed the country after the Hundred Years War and were referred to derogatorily as les anglais.
Aubrac is thought to be the birthplace of aligot, a traditional dish made of potatoes and cheese—the ultimate comfort food. It features in restaurants all through this region so be sure to try it while you are here.
Transhumance—the annual migration of cattle to summer pastures—begins here on the Sunday closest to 25 May. The cattle are decorated with flowers and flags and the village erupts in folk music and dancing in traditional costumes. The procession takes a few days to travel from Aubrac to Saint-Côme-d’Olt, following the road and not the GR path. Whether you wish to see it or avoid it, visit Transhumance Aubrac to check the dates.
Which long-distance walk visits Aubrac?
Where is it? Link here to the Google map
Distance from the previous village of Nasbinals: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles)
Accommodation is available at:
La Tour des Anglais