Drive over the world's tallest bridge, visit historic buildings and purchase this southern French town's famous leather products.
Millau's standout feature is its road bridge, the tallest in the world. The monumental structure is just one of the many reasons to spend some time in the southern French town. Nestled in a wide valley in the Mid-Pyrenees and surrounded by white cliffs, Millau is also a great place for hiking and biking. Inside the town, find historic buildings and workshops selling leather goods that the town is renowned for.
Whichever way you approach Millau you are bound to see the Millau Viaduct. The cable-stayed bridge stands at 1,125 feet (343 meters) and has pylons that are taller than the Eiffel Tower. Study this impressive feat of engineering from several viewpoints. One of the best vistas is from the Jardin des Explorateurs in the Viaduct Espace Info Center. This building also has a museum that charts the bridge’s history.
Venture into the town and you will discover the Square Tower of the Kings, a 12th-century tower built for King Alfonso II of Aragon. Other historic buildings include the Church of Notre-Dame de l'Espinasse, also from the 12th century and the 18th-century Ayrolle Washing House.
Trace more of the town's past when you visit Millau Museum. Examine fossils and view archeological relics from prehistoric and Roman eras. The museum also explores the history of Millau's leather and glove industry. The town has been a major leather manufacturer since the Middle Ages and it continues to this day. Look out for high quality leather goods in some of the boutiques and leather tanning workshops. Break up your tour of the town with a stop in one of the cafés on the Place du Mandarous, the main square.
Whether you want a leisurely stroll in the countryside or a strenuous mountain hike, head for the Grands Causses Regional Park. There are 1,850 miles (3,000 kilometers) of marked hiking trails.
Millau has good road links with the rest of the country and is a lovely place to stay overnight on a drive through France, or for a longer vacation.