Southern France has many excellent holiday destinations and gateways to picturesque destinations, the best of which is Millau, an extensive settlement at the meeting point of the River Tarn and the River Dorby. An integral part of the French Occitanie region, this commune is barely 70 km from the Aveyron department in Rodez. It is one of the most prominent places with the presence of the world’s highest bridge measuring 323 meters – the Millau Viaduct Bridge It is also known as Viaduc de Millau.
Surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful views of the Causey du Larzac, the Gorges du Tarn and the Causey Noire, this road bridge crosses over the Tarn valley and forms a spectacular yoke in La Méridien. Forming the main gateway to the enchanting gorges valley, it connects the Causey du Larzac and the Causey Rouge which are two famous limestone plateaus.
History Millau Viaduct Bridge
This colossal masterpiece was a masterpiece, designed by British architect Norman Foster and French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux. The demand for this bridge arose already in the 80s, when during holidays on the way to Spain the entire Millau, Torne Valley and other areas around Paris would get stuck in long traffic jams. However, its construction began in late 2001 and it took 3 years to complete the building. While the construction was completed on 14 December 2004, it received the award for Outstanding Structure in the year 2006.
Facts about Millau Viaduct Bridge
While Millau is the commune where the bridge was built, the word ‘viaduct’ originates from the Latin words ‘via’ meaning road and ducere meaning ‘to lead’, so it is actually a bridge carrying a road or way. Consists of 8 consecutive parts. Over the River Tarn. This bridge is an excellent example of a harp cable-stayed bridge in which the cables holding the deck pass through the pillars at various points. A total of seven pillars were constructed with a record-breaking height that exceeded 50 meters
Height of Millau Viaduct Bridge: Taller than the famous Eiffel Towers, the Millau Viaduct stands 343 meters high and holds its head high even beyond the clouds. It has not only broken many world records but has also been declared one of the most spectacular and beautiful bridges in the entire world.
While structurally it is the tallest, it is the 15th tallest bridge in terms of deck height which was 270 metres. It has proven to be the highest road bridge in Europe passing through the valley of the River Tarn at a height of 886 feet.
Length of Milou Viaduct: This 2460 meter long cable-stayed bridge is considered iconic and attracts crowds of tourists, hence the speed limit here has been reduced to 130 km/hour. Up to 110 km/h to make it safe and allow tourists to naturally reduce their speed to take photographs.
Places to visit in Millau Viaduct
The Millau Viaduct bridge is surrounded by abundant sights that are eye-catching and should not be missed if one is planning to visit the area, the primary ones being the Viaduc de Millau, and Larzac, Cais de Montpellier-le -There are other places like Vieux, La Graçasanc. Micropolis Cite des Insectes, Reptiles Larzac, Castle Perelade, Dourby, Musée de Millau et des Grands Causses, Millau Viaduct Information and Tours and much more.
This architectural masterpiece that has made history is one of the first and most important things to explore. It has the advantage of having many viewpoints such as Cape Coaste Brunas, the Belvedere of Luzonçon, the Village Classified Payre, the Terraces of the Belfry of Millau and others. It is a visual delight for the eyes of artists, photographers, nature lovers and other tourists as it offers wonderful views in every season. Since it is a motorway road bridge, walking across the bridge is strictly prohibited.
toll fees: £5.60
peak season: £7.40
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Located between Millau and Lodève, this limestone karst plateau, known as the Causey du Larzac, is a piece of natural agricultural land that is used for sheep farming and is most famous for producing Roquefort cheese. . If anyone is interested in the beauty of this place then there are many three star hotels available here.
3. The Anarchy of Montpellier-le-Vieux
North-east of Millau, on the southern shore of the Cause Noire, lies a 120-hectare block area consisting of a limestone plateau with an organized and extraordinary rock town composed of dolomite. While the Black Causeway has a great collection of rocks, Montpellier-le-Vieux is the capital. Improving with new features is their specialty, the latest features are
Freedom Walk – Five marked walking tours ranging from one to three hours
small train – It is for the older generation or families who want a smooth journey in a short duration of 50 minutes.
via ferrata –Zip liners are unique because they are designed underground among the rocks
The Hooked ROC – Special workshop for children in the field of acrobatics and rock climbing with safety.
entrance fees: Mentioned on the site
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4. La Gruffyssen
It is a typical tourist destination because it is an archaeological site found at the confluence of the Dourbey and Tarn rivers, barely 2 km from Millau. It is a must visit place for people interested in ceramic pottery as the main attractions of this place are La Ceramiche Sigilie, L’Atelier d’Etelia etc. Partly owned by the government and private shareholders, the site was classified as a monument historique. More than 600 workshops were excavated in 1995, of which only a dozen were considered well-known at the time.
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5. Micropolis City of Insects
Another major tourist attraction is the micropolis Cite des Insectes located close to Millau in the Centricropolis in the Levezou region of France. It displays biodiversity in its scientific centre, although it is basically a museum dedicated to Jean-Henri Fabre, a famous entomologist. It is a complete insect city that can be visited by young and old alike. Here one can easily get lost in the mesmerizing world of these eight-legged creatures and their variations. There are many activities that one can engage in individually or even in groups. The park will open from February 23, 2022
entrance fees: Children Children Adult – £14.90
Time: Open all day
In the months of May and June, tours are preferred on Wednesdays or weekends
Since weekdays are reserved for school trips.
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6. Perled Castle
A visit to the Viaduc de Millau would be incomplete if one does not visit the Perelade castle as it is one of the many ruined castles of the medieval period located in Rivière-sur-Tarn in the department of Avern. Overlooking the valley and the Gorges de Tarn, this magnificent castle consists of a single rock fortress. There are plenty of facilities and activities designed for curious otters too.
entrance fees: For children under 12: £5
For >10 people: £3 each
Time: All day from 14:00 to 18:00
July and August from 10.00 to 18.30
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How to reach Millau Viaduct Bridge
While Rodez is the nearest airport to Millau, Montpellier is another viable option here. It takes approximately 3 hours 56 minutes to reach the bridge by bus, while it takes approximately 4 hours 8 minutes by train; However, the fastest route is available by car, so if you’re planning to get to the bridge in an hour’s time, you should definitely drive down. Millau Viaduct Map is always there to help you
To get the best view of this architectural wonder, it is best to climb to the service area viewing platform on the northern side of the bridge. The weather can be very unpredictable so wearing appropriate clothing is also advised. A camera is essential for capturing picturesque views and if you lack the stability of your hands, a tripod will make it even better.
To appreciate its height and get a completely diverse perspective you should not miss the Millau Viaduct Information and Tour which is located on the D992 road.
For a rustic experience, visit one of France’s top 10 Beaux Villages, located near Pierre and Millau.
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With all the facts and figures mentioned above, visiting this place should definitely be on your bucket list, if not a compulsion. This will be the opportunity of a lifetime to see this £394 million modern mega-construction, and it should not be missed at any cost as its breathtaking design and craftsmanship is unique and has a different story to tell. On your trip to France, you can take an in-depth tour of this engineering marvel.
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