Right in the heart of Causse of Villeneuve, this circuit is ideal to do in in family, well signposted (large blue arrows) and accessible to everyone! Follow the paths between oaks and junipers to discover the Dolmens of Foissac, large stone monoliths built on top of each other and take the opportunity to listen to the nature.
- Duration : 1h30 – 5.5km
- Interior Exterior : outside
- Budget : Free
- Features: loop hike
- Markup: big blue arrows
- Best season : From spring to autumn
- Practical : sneakers type shoes, hat/cap and bottle of water
Let's go for a walk in the woods!
We arrive in the village of Foissac, we park in the small village square, opposite the café… I think we'll be happy to have a drink when we get back! It's gone for a 5,5 km family walk on the paths and through the fields of the Causse.
Sneakers on our feet, we take the road for 1km, then enter a path lined with low walls, to discover, a few meters on our left, a first boxes in the middle of a field. It is an impressive construction work all in dry stone! The farmers of yesteryear had a real know-how and what patience to find the right flat stones to build these huts!
We have fun slaloming between the trees of the causse : the oaks are thin and tall, it looks like they are trying to touch the sky!
Following, we come to 1er dolmen of this walk "Jonade 1", near a sinkhole, a large stone lying in the heart of the woods...
We continue our way, towards "Jonade 2", the autumn leaves cover the ground, the chirping birds fall silent as we pass, Nathan finds 1000 treasures : acorns, leaves, pebbles and branches!
We take a breath of fresh air, what a joy to share this moment together!
In the heart of the causse, we take our time!
After having traveled 400 meters on the road, we engulf ourselves on a new path, no longer a single house within sight, just nature and us… in the juniper field, the few tall grasses that manage to grow on this dry land tickle our legs!
And then, at the bend of a small bend, here a new dolmen “le cloup de Rhines” almost complete!
And off we go for exploration, we turn around, we analyze the position of the stones, they are leaning and form like a tent… how about we take a look below to see what is going on?
Then, we continue thanks to the indications of Nathan, proud to show us the way: “it's on the right! ! Ok, we follow the arrows !!!
What is a dolmen?
To be unbeatable on dolmens, you need a little vocabulary:
- Fullerenes vertical stones or pillars are called "orthostats"
- Fullerenes flat stones placed above the others are called "tables", there can be one or more, it depends on the constructions!
- Fullerenes sinkholes or cloups are "holes" in the ground resulting from a collapse of earth in limestone areas
- Fullerenes caselles or gariottes are small dry stone huts that once served as shelter for shepherds
The discovery of a dolmen in perfect condition
After having passed between the trees, having followed the path in the woods, we arrive near a new dolmen “les Places 3”, the big stone is broken but these pebbles are enormous and a few meters further on, here it is! The most remarkable dolmen of this “Places 2” hike: it stands proudly in front of us! It's time to take a snack break, to take advantage of this surrounding nature, where wild animals such as deer, birds and wild boars have their habits. We stay a while next to this immense thousand-year-old construction to wonder how prehistoric men managed to build such monuments? We answer Nathan's questions about these megaliths: who built them? Why ? How long have they been there? And you, do you have the answers?
Did you know?
Aveyron is the department with the most dolmens (approx. 1000), then comes the Ardèche (approx. 900), and only in 3e, the department of Morbihan (approx. 550 megaliths).
The dolmens, for the most part, date from the neolithic period, that is more between 5800 and 2500 years before our era, at the prehistory !
They were built to form burial chambers, a bit like our current cemeteries!
We continue ?
Along the path, there are once again great discoveries: on the dry meadows, orchids and flowers wild wave in the wind, we observe caselles (3 in total including 2 in perfect condition)! There are even Cairns (or rock balancing), pebble pyramids… is it to show us the way, to invoke certain spirits or did the previous hikers want to put “their stones in the building”?
It's time for us to return to our car quietly, lungs full of fresh air, eyes amazed by these vestiges of the past and the bag full of the "treasures" that Nathan found along the way... After drinking a juice of fruit at the Café Charlet, we head for the Caves of Foissac, where Sébastien awaits us for a most surprising visit!
Next time, we try the trail of Dolmens of Martiel And if you put on your shoes to discover these Aveyron megaliths?
To see beautiful wild orchids, take the route in the spring... be careful to take care of these flowers: do not crush them, do not pick them. Remember to respect nature, keep your papers in the bag, and follow the marked path carefully! Good walk !