Mezens

Lying half an hour by car from Toulouse, Mézens has stayed close to nature and true to its roots. Snuggled up at the foot of its 13th century castle, Mézens is your departure point for plenty of great rambles and adventures.

Mézens, a mountain biker’s paradise

Every mountain biker loves this place! It’s true that the magnificent Forest of Mézens offers any number of superb views and lots of walking pathways. But it really is paradise if you love to get about on two wheels. Here you’ll find all kinds of trails that have been cleverly put together and are perfectly maintained to provide the finest routes for people who can’t get enough of mountain biking.

Enthusiasts come out from Toulouse to enjoy themselves on these amazing trails and the sheer breadth of choice means there’s one for every level. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a complete change of scenery out in the wilds

The village and the surrounding countryside

The hills and forests that surround this village that was founded by Visigoths are just waiting for you to enjoy some fantastic walks.

The little village is full of old stone properties, and wandering about looking for the prettiest houses is an activity in itself. One of these has an interesting inscription outside: “People on foot and on horseback are equally welcome here.” But back in the 19th century this was a place that also welcomed boatmen from the nearby River Tarn.

Mézens is the starting point for a good number of walks and rambles, either on foot or on mountain bike. The countryside forms a blanket of valleys, cultivated fields, and forest land, and the landscape is bound to make you think of Tuscany in Italy. For the more daring among you, there’s a hike up to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. You’ll have to tackle a steep four-kilometre slope, but you’ll surely enjoy the fresh air in the forest of chestnut trees. At the top, which is actually 22 metres up, you’ll nonetheless think you’re in the midst of a mountain range because you can see for miles across a landscape of forests, pastures and crops. The chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was a modest 16th century oratory that fell into decline, but has now been restored thanks to the work of a local association and some generous donations.

If you’re after a truly bucolic experience, why not head to the edge of the village and after crossing the ‘Pont du Passé’, turn left to follow the stream? This is a great adventure walk for kids. After heading past the front of the chateau, the pathway will take you towards the old ruined mill. For generations, the young folk of Mézens have been searching for treasure that was supposedly buried somewhere around here by an old miller.

The château de Mézens

This privately owned chateau was built by the lords of Rabastens in the 11th century. With its Saracen-influenced appearance, it dominates the village of Mézens, which looks for all the world like it’s hugging the bottom of the chateau. It really is a sight to be seen. Burnt down in 1600 during the French Religious Wars, the chateau has been restored on many occasions and is a rare example of this type of building. It even has a 25 metre keep complete with battlements and defences, which will surely bring back memories of all those films about knights and their battles that you saw when you were a kid. 

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE