Lac de saint Andéol aubrac plateau.Lac de Saint-Andéol, on the Aubrac.
©Lac de Saint-Andéol, on the Aubrac.|© B. Colomb Lozère Sauvage Pour Pact Aubrac

Lake Saint-Andéol

And unravel the mysteries of Aubrac's most famous lake.

Discover Lac de Saint-Andéol, the largest of the Aubrac lakes, at 12 hectares and 15 metres deep. Located in the commune of Marchastel, it is regularly visited by hikers on their way to Santiago de Compostela. It is the easiest lake to observe.

A place of pilgrimage in ancient times, it is dominated by a huge granite cross.

All about

Saint-Andéol lake

Lac de Saint-Andéol, a sacred site since the dawn of time, was first mentioned as a site for pagan rituals in the 6th century by Grégoire de Tours. It consists of a high-altitude reservoir that has gradually developed naturally in the remains of an ancient volcano crater on the Aubrac plateau. People used to go there in procession to cure ulcers, rheumatism…

The many legends of Lac de Saint-Andéol


  • According to a tradition still quoted in the 19th century, “there was once a town here, which was swallowed up in one night and turned into a lake to punish the inhabitants for their inhospitality”. (Broca, 1872).


  • Saint Gregory of Tours, in his “Histoire Ecclésiastique des Francs” (Ecclesiastical History of the Franks), states that “Since time immemorial, between 4,000 and 5,000 people have gathered on the banks of the lake every year, on the second Sunday in July, to worship the god of the waters, bathe, feast and throw edible foodstuffs, fodder, sheep’s fleeces, copper, silver and gold coins into the lake”.

As you can see, Lac de Saint-Andéol is a place full of mysteries and wild legends!

The Apostle Saint-Andéol


In the 3rd century, Saint-Andéol, apostle of the Vivarais region, came to the sacred lake with the intention of putting a stop to these pagan practices. He built a chapel dedicated to Saint-Hilaire. No longer standing, this chapel, located some 1,500 meters to the east of the lake, is the only church in Aubrac whose construction can be traced back to the early Middle Ages. It later became a parish church. Its ruins lie a hundred meters north of Buron Saint-Andéol.

Every year, the faithful and the priest of Marchastel made a procession to the chapel. Until the 19th century, offerings were still thrown into the lake, and pagan ceremonies were still performed there…


The secrets of Lac de Saint-Andéol

Even today, and despite the excavations already carried out by numerous archaeologists, the lake has yet to reveal all its secrets.

Many small sculptures from the Gallo-Roman era have been found, as well as vases of protohistoric origin, a few coins and pieces of wood gnawed by beavers, long thought to be the remains of a legendary lakeside city.

Practical information on


on the Aubrac

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