Rochebaron Castle

A Bas-en-Basset walk posted on 24/01/16 by odile N.. Update : 14/09/18

Rochebaron Castle is the emblematic site in the Bas-en-Basset and Monistrol-sur-Loire area.
Beautiful views, first over the Loire and, on the return journey, over the Meygal massif.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h40[?]
Distance Distance : 9.18km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 443m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 447m
Highest point Highest point : 817m
Lowest point Lowest point : 477m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Massif central, Monts du Forez
Location Location : Bas-en-Basset (43210)
Starting point Starting point : N 45.306764° / E 4.104968°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 2834O
Download : -
Rochebaron castle

Description

(on the left) and the road leading directly to the Rochebaron Castle (on the right). Here you will find a cross.

(S/F) From the car park, head 50 m down and out of the village by taking Route de Valprivas (D12) to the right in a westerly direction. After 400 m, leave the road that veers to the left and take the right track. We immediately follow alongside Bas-en-Basset Castle and its park (not interesting).

(1) 400 m further on, leave this Yellow-marked trail to take the track to the right.

(2) After about 600 m, the path forks anew: turn right onto the grassy track that winds along the same level curve.

(3) Find the route that, from Bas-en-Basset, leads directly to the Rochebaron Castle and take it heading left. Soon, the altitude lowers and the road is no longer paved. Keep to this track to get to the castle.

(4) Arrival at Rochebaron Castle (opening hours below under “During the walk...").
In front of the castle facing the gate, take the small path on the left marked in yellow that climbs the hill. We will follow these markings to the hamlet of Thézenac on the plateau. 100 m further on, at the small fork, continue to follow the narrow right path.

(5) Around 300 m after the castle, at another fork, continue on the right path still marked in yellow. 600 m further up the hill, take the track that heads left.

At the entrance of the hamlet of Thézenac take the street to the left and cross the village. Reach the road down towards Valprivas Bas-en-Basset near the communal oven located on the right.
Take this road to the left for about 50 m (Yellow markings).

(6) Leave the road to follow the trail that goes left towards the south-east, marked in yellow. This track goes to Suc Péchaud, pass this by to the left, along the plateau with beautiful views on the Meygal and its run-offs (cones or domes of volcanic origin).

Around 1 km from the village of Thézenac, reach a crossroads of tracks and continue straight down to the 2nd hamlet of the hike, Montméat. In Montméat, continue straight towards the south-east.

(7) At the fork located on the edge of the hamlet, continue on the left no markings passing by a pylon on the right. At the last house on the left (mobile home), take the small path to the right of the gate, which becomes increasingly steep and narrow, but well-marked by visible ruts caused by motorcycles.

(8) At the edge of the forest, the trail leads to a larger trail to be taken to the left.
200 m further on, the track makes a hairpin right turn. It is possible to take a short detour by taking a path to the left in the middle of the hairpin bend to take a look at the Devil's Bridge (9) located 150 m upstream (see "During the walk..." below).

Retrace your steps back to the path and go past the crossroads taken on the way out (1) and then continue along the same path to quickly reach the entrance of Bas-en-Basset. Reach the car park (S/F).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.88 - alt. km 0.88 - Turn right on the unmarked path
2 : km 1.5 - alt. km 1.5 - Right fork on the grassy track
3 : km 1.72 - alt. km 1.72 - Take the road to the left at the crossroads
4 : km 2.49 - alt. km 2.49 - At the castle take the left path with Yellow marki
5 : km 2.88 - alt. km 2.88 - Keep to the Yellow-marked path on the right
6 : km 5.02 - alt. km 5.02 - Follow track to the left
7 : km 6.69 - alt. km 6.69 - Leave Montméat, left along an unmarked track
8 : km 7.53 - alt. km 7.53 - Follow track to the left
9 : km 7.99 - alt. km 7.99 - The Devil's Bridge
D/A : km 9.18 - alt. km 9.18

Useful Information

The climb up to the plateau is steady, but the descent is steep, hence the need to have good shoes and value of walking poles.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2834O.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • On a rocky outcrop, the Rochebaron Castle (12-17th century), owned in turn by the Rochebaron, Chalencon, Isserpent, La Rochefoucauld, Giry and Fisicat families, and now owned by the municipality of Bas-en-Basset and managed by the Friends of Rochebaron.

Visit the castle and the museum:
- School holidays from 11:00 to 19:00.
- Excluding holidays: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 to 17:00

  • The Devil's Bridge: an ancient aqueduct, completely abandoned, buried under magnificent wild vegetation.
  • See the ponds of Bas-en-Basset: 160 hectares of which 27 hectares are protected for their ecological and ornithological wealth.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.