Millau, Aveyron: tourism & sightseeing
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Millau has always been on the tourist map, but with the construction and opening of the Millau Viaduct it has become a much more popular place to visit.
It is a pretty little town nestled down in a valley with steep cliffs and impressive rock outcrops surrounding it on all sides. Now, of course, the spectacular bridge dominates many of the city views, imposing a somewhat surreal backdrop to Millau.
It is impossible to visit Millau without including the Millau bridge in your itinerary, but having tackled the bridge it is well worth dropping into the town to have a look around: although it is more of a traditional French town than a tourist town it is still worth a stroll.
The oldest part of Millau is in and around the Place du Maréchal-Foch, which still retains some arcades from the medieval period.
There are various monuments of interest in the town, including the Belfry of Millau, which in part dates from the 12th century; the Church of Notre-Dame de l’Espinasse; and the Church of the Sacred Heart, an impressive neo-Byzantine church that was built in the 19th century.
There are also some impressive townhouses from the 17th and 18th centuries such as the Château de Sambucy, the Hôtel de Sambucy de Miers, and the Hôtel de Pégayrolles which now houses the Museum of Millau.
There are many good restaurants to choose from and plenty of cafes and bars if you just want light refreshment. If you want a substantial meal I would strongly advise that you walk away from the central fountain and head for the backstreets where there are numerous little bistros tucked away. After lunch there are some good boutiques and specialist shops to visit.
If you are not so keen on shopping, or the children put up a fight, there are several good options to complete your day in the area around Millau:
Montpellier-le-Vieux is an amazing place to visit. You take a narrow road up out of the town and crawl your way up through a series of hair bends. For the non-driver, if you can take your eyes away from the precipitous drops, you get some superb views of the Viaduct crossing the other side of the valley. Right at the top you are directed into the park. The park consists of a large section of Causse which has been eroded over the centuries to leave the most spectacular series of limestone outcrops.
There are 5 trails available for you to explore this fascinating place and they lead you between intricately carved, natural sculptures. The trails are quite demanding and not suitable for people who have walking difficulties, or buggies, but if you can’t manage the walking bits there is a separate tourist train which will take you to the key outcrops and viewing points as well as giving you a little history on the park.
The Roquefort Caves. Roquefort is very close to Millau and there are a number of caves to choose from, with attached factories where you can find out the history of this famous cheese and get your chance to taste and buy.
Micropolis. This is a super place for children who love creepy crawlies! There are lots of exhibits, some preserved, some live and various ‘hands-on’ activities for children of all ages. It also has a good restaurant attached, but you must pre-book a table as soon as you arrive to guarantee a table.
Map of Millau and places nearby
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Address: Millau, Midi-Pyrenees, 12100, France || GPS: latitude 44.0986, longitude 3.07833
Plan your visit to Millau, Aveyron
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Peyre: most beautiful village (6 km)
- Grands Causses: regional natural parc (11 km)
- Chaos de Montpellier-le-Vieux: site of natural beauty (12 km)
- Maison des vautours (vultures): zoo or wildlife park (17 km)
- Aven Armand (grotte): site of natural beauty (26 km)
- La Couvertoirade: most beautiful village (28 km)
- Parc à loups du Gévaudan (wolves): zoo or wildlife park (30 km)
- Abbaye de Sylvanès (Sylvanes): religious monument (31 km)
- Abîme de Bramabiau: site of natural beauty (32 km)
- Le Caylar: village d'etape (32 km)
- Chaos de Nimes-le-Vieux: site of natural beauty (37 km)
- Cirque de Vissec: site of natural beauty (38 km)
Market days in Millau, France
Regular market(s) are held in Millau each Wednesday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Millau (Francais)