INFORMATION / TIPPS
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Like any other region, Lozere has some specialities to offer. One of them is: Aligot (mashed potatoes with "tome" soft Cantal cheese and garlic) with sausages, Foie Gras (goose or duck liver), Confit de canard, Roquefort cheese, beefsteaks, chestnut soup, salads with garlic dressing, goat's cheese, jams made out of wild fruit, pork dishes... Find out more about Lozere specialities
You can also try the local wines and liqueurs (with moderation), and the local fruit sirups and juices.
If you want a cheap, tasty and quick meal, the best way to get it is to go to restaurants and order plat du jour (dish of the day) which costs between 11-17 €uros per person, and consists of a starter, a main dish, cheese or dessert and in some cases a glass of wine. During the day, usually between 2pm and 7pm when the restaurants are closed, you can get some snacks in kebabs shops or creperie (pancake shops) which are always just around the corner. Find out more about restaurants
Gorges du Tarn: One of the most breathtaking sights in Lozere is definitely the valley of river Tarn, which is very popular among all the French people as well as among other tourists from abroad.
If you are young or you feel young at heart, you should try hiking through all the magnificent valleys that are situated by the river. Some of those are:
* Sainte-Enimie (there are some ancient historical buildings to admire and it is one of the most beautiful villages in France).
* Saint-Chély-du-Tarn (very famous for its houses, which are built in the cliffs),
* Le Château de la Caze and many more.
But before you decide to explore this beautiful scenery, you should check the weather forecast for a couple of days ahead; getting caught in the rain is not a good idea, and the river looks more magnificent in the sunshine. You can do lots of sports on it when the weather is good and don't worry about sleeping over, there are plenty of hotels and camping places where you can rest, swim or just enjoy yourself.
Marvejols: a medieval town with rich history, the ancient gates into the town are still preserved, there are nice walks through the old town, which offers small souvenir shops as well as restaurants.
Stop by the wolf statue (the beast of Gevaudan - ask at the tourist office for the information about it!) and don't forget to visit the wolf park, which should round off any visit to Marvejols.
Region Aubrac: It's a huge mountain valley, great for hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, fishing. It is full of lakes, trails, magnificent nature. If you need to relax and unwind, and enjoy yourself in unspoiled nature this is really the place for you.
Cévennes National Park: Here you can observe rich flora (around 11,000 plant species) and fauna (2,410 animal species). You can admire this beautiful and preserved nature freely, without being concerned about fences and no tress-passing signs. There's nothing there but nature, a beautiful sky and some cottages now and then!
But there are still certain rules that you have to respect. Some of those are: your dogs must be on a leash, you cannot remove plants, animals and minerals, you mustn't dump litter anywhere or make any fires, you cannot camp and it is not allowed to go off roads with a bicycle, motorbike or car.
La Margeride: This is a land of granite plateaux. You can admire all the hills, forests, fields full of blossoming flowers. You have some excellent view points over the whole of Margeride.
Sightseeing: Gorges du Tarn, Marvejols (wolf park), city of Mende,
Things to do: hiking, kayaking, fishing, market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in front of the Cathedral in Mende
Eating and drinking: Aligot, Roquefort cheese, Chestnut dishes, Ricard, local wines;
Nightlife in Mende: Cafes: Cafe de Paris, Cafe du Commerce, Drakkar pub, Irish pub, Time's Cafe, Latina cafe, ...
Discothèques : Fiesta,...
Communication: It is advisable to learn some basic French expressions, because people tend to speak only French (or have a good dictionary with you).
Exploring: It is a perfect place to hike, but still we advise you to rent a car, bike, motorbike; something that will help you to get around.
If you would like to experience even more, we suggest you to travel around the whole area of Langedoc Roussillon, every region has something that you can enjoy.
From breathtaking scenery in Lozere, to beautiful beaches along the coastline.
To discover the whole region of Languedoc Roussillon we suggest you to take the train, because the rail network reaches almost every part of the country.
Trains are usually on time, the prices are acceptable and trains are comfortable. There are a lot of reduced prices and discount tickets that you can ask for.
You can get a discount for the whole region which is valid for the whole year. One thing you must always remember is to validate your ticket by stamping it in a "composteur" machine (look for orange boxes). Find out more about travelling by train
Mende is not a big city, but it has everything you could wish for, from cheese shops, to bakeries and supermarkets. In supermarkets you can find everything you need, but if you are looking for something special we suggest you visit some small stores that are more specialised.
You can find here everything from bookshops, bag shops, shops that sells souvenirs, shops that sell local products and many more. But you have to bear in mind that shops are usually closed between 12 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon, so at that time it would be best for you to make a short trip through the city or go for a cup of coffee or tea in the nearest bar or tea shop. Find out more about shopping
They have really nice cinema in Mende which sometimes plays films in their original language, so if you see v.o. written beside the name of the actors, that means that movie will be in original language, with French subtitles.
Besides that they also play artistic movies, at least once a month and if you go to the cinema during the week it is cheaper. (especially on Wednesdays). You can get all the information's at the cinema, but you can see which movies are going to play for next two weeks everywhere in town. Regular price is 7.60 €uro, reduction price for students, children under 10 years and unemployed . Find out more about cinema (prices and programs)
If you need to wash your clothes, the best way is to take them to laundries (laveries) that you can find in the town, or you can wash it yourself.
Mende has two self service laundry which is open every day from 9am to 8 pm with no exception of holidays.
You have washing machines for 5kg or 7kg. And you have two dryers to dry your clothes. And remember to bring coins with you, to put it in machine.
- Laverie des Carces
- Laverie du Mazel
|Fishing||This is a really popular sport here in Mende. You can get quite a lot of brochures and books about it. You can even come here and learn how to fish. For more information try at the tourist office or Federation de la Peche. There phone number is: ++33 (0)466653611.|
You get some more information and addresses on this site.
|Mountain biking||Because of the unspoiled nature and wonderful scenery Mende and the area around is a perfect place for hiking and mountain biking. You have some nice routes around Mende, 8 Mountain biking routes between 10 and 58 km were created and they just add two more recently. The routes are open the whole year round and for insure your safety they are regularly checked. The exact map for every route is available in tourist office. There are four companies which rent mountain bikes. The routes are adjusted for beginners or family trips too, it is important to look at the level of each excursion well.|
|Climbing||You have two options. Indoor and outdoor climbing. For all the information about climbing and potholing|
|Water sports||The Canoe and Kayak club of Mende offers you an introduction, further training or a practical sports knowledge of these water sports. Their doors are opened to you every day of the year but mostly in the summer and spring time. Do not hesitate to contact them on this internet web site: www.chez.com/ckcmende to experience something new and enjoyable.|
|Swimming||You can enjoy here all year round, because they provide indoor and outdoor swimming. It is excellent for children who can enjoy sliding outside in summer time and it is well thought for them too in the inside.|
|Other sports||Paragliding ; There are two places where you can paraglide in Mende (East and South). Get the information from Comité Départemental de vol libre on M. Alcouffe street. (phone number : 06 82 93 11 92)|
Tennis, Tennis Club Mendois (phone number: 0466491500)
Fitness, Club Halterophilie - Musculation Mendoise (phone number: 0466490094)
Special for children:
There is something that every child and every person that is young at heart, must explore. An unbelievable experience only 20 minutes from Mende.
Exciting park le Vallon du Villaret which offers everything a child could desire. He can play in open nature with the water, light, wood, sound, gravity. All playgrounds are made from natural materials and everything is really safe. You can create your own natural songs, climb ropes, jump across the river, walk on nets...
The park is set in a forest and it was designed by artists who thought of making a park for all senses. The park is a whole afternoon adventure and you can have picnic's there. Everywhere you go, you have signs which provide you with basic information and they are given also in English. Visit their web site: www.levillaret.fr and see for yourself that it is really an unforgettable experience.
See the special page "family".