Situated on the plateau to the south-east of Massiac, the commune of La Chapelle-Laurent is exposed to the wind. Here, windmills have given way to wind turbines while trains have given way to roads. This plateau dotted with volcanic peaks borders the Margeride and its mysterious forests.
These small volcanic vents form high points from which you can admire the region’s geological treasures. From the village of Loubarcet you can marvel at the landscape from the orientation tables. From the first table in the centre of the village, you can take in the views of the Monts du Cantal. Take the path on the right that passes by a well and go to the end of the path. Near the pine trees, there is another orientation table where you can spot the town of Massiac and Le Cézallier plateau. At Suc de la Pèze, a treasure trove has been unearthed: a vase with a collection of coins probably dating from the time when Romans and Gauls clashed on Arverne territory.
This valley is also known as the birthplace of Robert de Turlande in 1001, founder of the Chaise Dieu abbey in the Haute-Loire. The Pont du Saint (which can be reached via the hiking trail of the same name) is named after the story of Saint Robert de Turlande (source: Historical archives of the diocese of Le Puy). If you go near the sawmill you will notice the old station building and some traces of the railway line that used to run between Brioude and Saint Flour.
La Chapelle Laurent
You can’t leave La Chapelle-Laurent without stopping off at its famous Gardon cheese dairy, which has become famous for a number of years for its delicious cheeses, including Chapelou, a soft cheese. Its little brother, the Chapelou Bleu, has a soft, slightly blue-veined texture. These cheeses are named after the inhabitants of the village of La Chapelle-Laurent: Les Chapelous.
Le Chapelou cheese.
Le Pont du Saint hiking trail