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Located in the Tarn in Southern France, the 828-acre Lake of Laouzas is surrounded by forests, mountains, and rivers in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Haut Lanquedoc. The dam of the Lake of Laouzas was built on the river Vebre in 1965 to supply water to the underground hydroelectric power plant in Montahut near Olargues and the valley of the Orb. The water is supplied via an underground tunnel with a difference in height of more than 1,640 feet.
Activities on Lac du Laouzas include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, and paddle boating. Expect to catch pole, gardon, carp, trout, bleak, tench, pike perch, and chevesne when fishing. Besides the usual lake entertainment, you will enjoy serene meadows, clear-flowing brooks, lush forests, and deep blues skies.
Head south to find Villelongue, a beautiful French hamlet with a Gothic church of the 18th century that overlooks the lake. This small town has only 15 inhabitants in the winter, but swells to nearly 100 during the summer months. Other sites to visit close to Lake of Laouzas are the caves of Roquefort that are well-known for their cheese and the viaduct of Millau. The town of Lacaune offers scenic natural surroundings with fields full of ewes, which are milked to make the famous Roquefort cheese. And, don't miss the sculpted rock at Sidobre where there is a square rock that looks like ET from the popular 1970's movie. The local stone, which is quarried for building in the area, is used as pavers on the Camps-Elysees in Paris.
The Regional Natural Park of Haut Lanquedoc, which surrounds much of Lac du Laouzas, offers a combination of Atlantic and Mediterranean climate and terrain that allows for the preservation of rare fauna and flora. Many species are protected in the park including the Bonelli's eagle, the mouflon, the otter, and the Montpelier grass snake. Protected plants include golden garlic, orchids, and drosera. The foothills of the surrounding mountains settle into the plains that are covered with vineyards in the wine regions of Galliac and Saint Chinian. The Haut (upper) Languedoc has the Gorges of Heric, an expansive area for hiking and rock climbing in large forests.
Often called the Plateau des Lacs, the La Salvetat-sur-Agout and its surrounding villages are situated in a mountain plateau with four distinctive lakes - Lac de Laouzas, Lac de La Raviege, Lac des Saint-Peyres, and Lac de Vesoles. This region offers trout streams, towering pine and oak forests, and bracing mineral springs in a mountain environment that inspires outdoor pursuits. It is an area known for the importance of gastronomy, a feature of the local villages.
Limited vacation rentals are available on Lac du Laouzas, as well as lodging in many of the small hamlets near the lake. Nature tourism, which is where the visitor respects the environment, the animals, and the plants is encouraged; and it shows. The area is pristine with beautiful mountains and ample opportunities to see wildlife. Pull up a chair, a kayak, or a bike and just enjoy the view.
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