Florac is the second most important town of the Lozere department. Situated in the very heart of the Cevennes mountain range (Barre des Cévennes in French), this charming little town is home to the nearby national park’s headquarters. Sitting 545-metre high, Florac is highly regarded for the stunning views and pleasant hiking paths it provides.
Florac is the sub-prefecture of Lozere department. Hosting barely 2,000 inhabitants, this peaceful, charming town provides a great way of life in harmony with the surrounding nature. Crossed by two rivers, the Tarnon and the Mimente, it is a real haven for horse-riding enthusiasts, but Florac’s main asset is to be the main centre of the Cevennes national park.
Staying in Florac would allow you to readily tour the southern Lozere, with its typical moors and heath lands, colourful hillsides and impressive gorges (cliffs along the river Tarn). The “Gorges du Tarn” indeed lure canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts, when limestone plateaus are perfect for cycling and camping holidays.
Florac’s town council has been improving tourist facilities over the last few years – especially with the national park’s growing popularity – but the priority remains the preservation of the natural landscape. This policy indeed ensures both locals and property buyers to keep their great quality of life.
Florac has become a renowned destination, comprising now 4 camping sites, about 30 holiday rentals and more than 300 second houses. This discreet town of southern Lozere, hidden in the Tarn valley, at the foot of the Causse Méjean, indeed benefits from exceptional settings.
Other assets of the town are its authentic – typically French – lifestyle and friendly atmosphere, which particularly seduce foreign holidaymakers. If Florac is indeed not overcrowded by tourists, the population trebles during summer.
Letting business and rentals are good investments. Second homes are also quite popular now, accounting for about 1/3 of the accommodation available in Florac. Nevertheless, due to such a quality of life there, property prices are soaring. In 2009, the average price for a house to buy is about €1,400/ sq m.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Lozère departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Due to its central situation in the south of Lozere, Florac is a lively and dynamic centre. All tourism – or more precisely eco-tourism – projects are thus organised in connection with the town of Ispagnac (9.5km northwards) in order to boost the whole area.
Outdoor activities: many sport events and convivial holiday deals are organised in Florac, allowing both locals and visitors to make the most of the area. Horse-riding (and even donkey-riding!), paragliding, climbing, canoeing, and potholing are just examples of what you can do there. The annual 160km-long horse-riding race (called “160km de Florac”) appeals hundreds of people every year.
Perfect location: situated along the RN 106 national road, 45km away from Mende and 130km from Montpellier, Florac is easily accessible by car and train. It also represents the crossroads between the Causses, the Mont Lozere and the Gorges du Tarn – a real goldmine for nature lovers!
Cevennes national park: marked by the last 1,000 years of cultural and geological history, Florac is the administrative centre of the national park of the Cevennes. This huge natural reserve is home to stunning fauna and flora, including wild boar, fawns, vultures, berry trees, chestnut trees and green oak trees. Chestnuts are actually the emblem of the region and, as a result, an essential element of the cévenol food.
As Florac is sitting on the hillside, at the foot of Causse Méjean, the local architecture had to adapt to (and respect) the natural relief. Apart from the remaining caves (that you can still explore in Aven Armand or Dargilan for instance), you will notice ancient farmhouses surrounded by acres of meadows.
”Caussenarde” farmhouses: similar to the French Mas typical from southern Languedoc, these massive rural houses feature stone walls, heavy lauze roofs, vaulted doorways and several storeys. They used to belong to cheese producers and breeders as they provide several functional cattle sheds.
Limestone houses: local limestone was easily extracted and used for buildings (for masonry as well as roof and floor-slating). The main characteristic is the vaults – the supporting vault between the ground level and the first floor and the arched roofing (roofs being usually steeply pitched in order to collect rain water). Gables often include small windows and openings (on the main front, facing the sun) to allow the sun to enter into the house (and especially into the first storey). These limestone homes were used by farmers as well so their layout is really convenient.
Click here for more info about Languedoc Architecture.
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