France // The Massif Central //

La Couvertoirade

La Couvertoirade, 45km south of Millau, is billed as a perfect “Templar” village, although in fact its present remains post-date the dissolution of that Order in the late thirteenth century. It’s still a striking site, completely enclosed by its towers and walls and almost untouched by renovation. Its forty remaining inhabitants live by tourism, and you have to pay to walk around the ramparts (wlacouvertoirade.com). Just outside the walls on the south side is a lavogne, a paved water hole of a kind seen all over the causse for watering the flocks whose milk is used for Roquefort cheese.