Thursday, November 17, 2011

Millau Viaduct

For those of you who travel to Pézenas and Languedoc from Calais and Northern France, you are well advised to take the A75 motorway south all the way to Pézenas & Beziers, where it links to the A9 heading for Spain. On doing so, you will cross over the Millau Viaduct, completed in 2004, and located in the département of Aveyron. It's the largest road bridge in the world. Before the bridge was constructed, traffic had to descend into the Tarn River valley and pass along the N9 near the town of Millau, causing heavy congestion in July and August. The bridge now crosses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking two limestone plateaus, the Causse du Larzac and the Causse Rouge.

The A75, with the A10 and A71, provides a continuous high-speed route south from Paris through Clermont-Ferrand to the Languedoc region and through to Spain, considerably reducing the cost for cars travelling along this route.

Many tourists heading to southern France and Spain follow this route because it is direct and without tolls for the 210 miles between Clermont-Ferrand and Pézenas, except for the bridge itself. The toll bridge costs €6.40 for cars (€7.40 during the peak months of July and August).
Now though, the bridge itself has become a major tourist attraction, and when you see the pictures taken by a Villa Isabelle guest, Pierre Perreux, you can understand why. It's a truly stunning experience to cross over, and there's an excellent viewing point where you can park and take a moment to admire the man-made elegance of Millau.

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