Holidays in Larzac: Discover the Couvertoirade

La Couvertoirade
Holidays in Larzac: D ...

Larzac is before a geological formation which shelters exceptional and exotic natural sites. On this limestone plateau, you will cross the impressive Gorges du Tarn by canoe, you will be ecstatic in front of the fascinating colors of the Rougiers de Camarès, or you will walk the green hills, lands of sheep pasture, which have become famous for their Roquefort cheese.

This unusual landscape is also steeped in history. The Templars and the Hospitallers set up their commanderies there. La Couvertoirade is one of these emblematic Templar towns. Lovers of old stones and legends will be charmed by this place, which bears witness to this tumultuous past, against the backdrop of a religious crusade.


Photos of the article ©   Guide Tarn Aveyron


The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade

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La Couvertoirade, a Templar city in the heart of the Causses du Larzac

Located on the Causse du Larzac, the Couvertoirade was built in the twelfth century, by "monks soldiers of the Order of the Temple", the "Knights Templar." The village extends around a castle. The surrounding land forms a large agricultural and livestock operation.  

A century later, the Templars are in disgrace and some of them will be executed during a disastrous Friday October 13, 1307. It is the curse of the Templars that has fueled the legend and the superstitions that result from it. The Order of the Temple was officially dissolved a few years later and the Hospitallers took their place.

This fertile and rich plateau ends up arousing envy and the Couvertoirade undergoes regular attacks by brigands, in the midst of the Hundred Years War. To protect people and farm produce, the walls are clapped in the fifteenth century by the Hospitallers. Finally protected, people return to the site and the town was rebuilt again during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Peace settled for almost two centuries. Beautiful residences line the stone walls. During the Revolution, with the departure of the Hospitallers, the peasants were finally free and reclaimed the land they exploited.


The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade  The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade

Guided tour of the Templar and Hospitaller Commandery

La Couvertoirade is part of the Association des “ Plus Beaux Villages de France ”. And for good reason, it has an exceptional heritage and takes you through history. Here are the must-see monuments to see during your visit to this Templar and Hospitaller Commandery:

  • La Scipione houses a viewing room and an exhibition room, to understand the history of the Templars and the Hospitallers. Then you access the ramparts to walk around the fortified village.
  • The Remparts des Hospitallers and their imposing entrance gates.
  • The Castle of the Knights Templar of the twelfth century.
  • The mansions, mansions and old shops of artisans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • The Church Hospital St. Christopher, dated XIV century.
  • As you stroll through the medieval streets, you will be able to contemplate a small heritage typical of the commanderies: the lavognes, water troughs for animals, a mill, an ordinary oven ...

the good idea The tourist office organizes tours of the Couvertoirade (fr). Several formulas allow you to discover the places according to your availability and your desires.


The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade

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Activities around La Couvertoirade

Discover the Larzac

To appreciate the magnitude of the Gorges du Tarn , we recommend entering the interior of these steep cliffs and descending the white waters of the Tarn. The setting is beautiful, the spectacle of nature is permanent and thrills are waiting for you.

the good idea How about testing canyoning or via ferrata in Aveyron? Read our article!



La Couvertoirade is an ideal starting point for hiking. The GR71, called the “ Templar and Hospital Trail ”, winds through the Grands Causses Regional Natural Park. He guides you on the Causse, in the heart of the natural landscapes of the Plateau de Guilhaumard, stopping off in typical villages, such as Hospitalet-du-Larzac, or the templar commandery of Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon.

The Rougiers de Camarès Nature Reserve is a sandstone canyon. Several hiking loops allow you to explore this extraordinary landscape. Departing from Gissac or Camarès, these are easy, family walks.


The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade  The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade

Visit the surrounding villages

The Cavalry is another very important Templar city in Larzac. Founded in the twelfth century, this commander has preserved its medieval heritage, especially its towers and ramparts. It will also show you typical Templar buildings: the church and its cemetery, sheepfolds, washhouses, a home and many traditional houses...

Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon is a Templar and hospitable commandery. It has the particularity of having a pretty fountain and the visit of the city is embellished with many islands of freshness, in the shade of the trees. It is a rarity in the middle of Larzac and we compare it to an oasis. You will see a very well preserved Templar heritage there.

The Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux has a splendid hospital tower 30 meters high. A unique observation point on the Larzac!

Saint-Jean-d'Alcas is a medieval Cistercian fort, built around an abbey. You can climb to the top of the tower to admire the view of the foothills of Larzac.


The Couvertoirade  The Couvertoirade
The Couvertoirade

Nearby tourist sites

The good plan: If you want to stay in the region, extend the adventure in the campsites of Aveyron.


We hope that these few ideas made you want to visit the Couvertoirade and explore the Plateau du Larzac, places full of Templar stories and legends.


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