Get topography guide books and other assistance from the Comité Départemental de Randonnée Pédestre (French language site and books, but the maps are still quite helpful) in Rodez.
France’s various hiking trails are classified by distance. Grande Randonnée, or GR, trails are long-distance, regional major trails are called Grande Randonnée de Pays (GR de Pays), while smaller trails are called Promenades et Randonnées, or PR.
The GR routes in Aveyron include:
- GR 6, running from the Alps to the ocean, passes through the Aubrac.
- GR 65, which follows the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage trail.
- GR 62, which passes the Causse Noir, Montpellier-le-Vieux and Conques.
- GR 36, running from Cherbourg to the Mediterranean, passes the Avéyron gorges.
- GR 71, also known as the circuit of the Templars and Hospitaliers, passes inside the Grand Causses National Park.
- GR 620, follows a loop into the Lot Valley and past Conques before returning to Rodez.
Rodez, a lovely city in the Aveyron, features a self-guided walking tour of its old city center, well marked with signs posted on the sides of buildings. It technically starts at the Chapelle de l’Ancien Collège des Jésuites on rue Louis Blanc. But most people immediately gravitate to the cathedral (stop four), and that makes a fine starting point as well. The tour makes a loop, so you can still catch up with the first three stops. It is a leisurely and easy walk.