A long time ago, in the tenth century, Benedictine monks arrived in this corner of southern France. They built an abbey in a clearing in the forest beside the Célé River and lived here in peace for four hundred years.
In 1368, during the Hundred Years War, the abbey was destroyed by the English invaders. It was rebuilt, only to be attacked again in the sixteenth century during the Wars of Religion.
All that remains intact is the Chapter House where the monks met each day.
(First published August 2013, updated May 2020)
During the summer, guided tours of the ruins (en français) are available from the Tourist Office next door but visitors are free to wander through the remains of the abbey at any time.
Ask at the Tourist Office for a map of the village Les clefs de…Marcilhac-sur-Célé which will take you on a guided walk past fifteen historical sites and buildings, including the mill built by the monks in the Middle Ages, several grand nineteenth-century homes and the Tourist Office itself which is housed in a fifteenth-century half-timbered home.
Let’s take a walk around…
Which long-distance walk in France visits Marcilhac-sur-Célé?
Where is Marcilhac-sur-Célé, France? Find it on Google maps
Marcilhac-sur-Célé is located 292 kilometres (183 miles) along the Célé variante of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques – a sixteen day walk from the starting point of Le-Puy-en-Velay.
Click through to find my suggested itinerary for all five stages of the walk
If you prefer to set your own agenda, I share the steps I take to calculate distances on any long-distance walk (using the Chemin de Stevenson as a case study)
Tourist Office in Marcilhac-sur-Célé
The Tourist Office is located next to the abbey but is open only during the summer months of July and August. Call in to collect a copy of the map Les clefs de Marcilhac-sur-Célé or download one here.
Accommodation in Marcilhac-sur-Célé
You’ll find a range of options for lodging in Marcilhac-sur-Célé, including –
Le Pré de Monsieur
Where to eat in Marcilhac-sur-Célé
There are a handful of cafés in Marcilhac-sur-Célé, some are open only during the summer months of July and August. Take your chances as you wander around the village or call into the Tourist Office and ask for recommendations.
If you need snacks for tomorrow’s walk, you’ll find a bakery and groceries down towards the river. And if your visit falls on a Tuesday during July or August, make the most of the evening market to stock up on fresh produce.