Gard (30440) Population: 366 Altitude: 170 m
St-Laurent-le-Minier is a small village tucked up along the little Crenze river valley, just south of the Cévennes, west of Ganges. It's an authentic village, not overly restored for tourist, and has a large, open square in the center with terrace café.
The river running down through the village is crossed by some pretty, stone bridges. The narrow streets not very medieval, but you can discover some old houses and some picturesque doorways.
A number of artists have ateliers and botiques in St-Laurent-le-Minier. When we visited (July 2014) they were in the midst of an event with open-house displays and sales, and a flea market in the main village square. Many of the small shops were decorated with strings of brightly painted tennis shoes, and the village streets were decorated with brightly painted shoe prints, leading to some of the boutiques.
Just 1 km below the village center, the little Crenze river flows into the Vis. The Vis river at this point has some "beaches" on both sides, flat areas with a mixture of sand and fine gravel, the sides exposed due to a low dam just upstream (to the south). With beaches rather rare out in this remote forested area, the St-Laurent-le-Minier beaches and swimming holes are very popular.
This is in no way a regulated beach, and there's no lifeguard or or other control to the activities here, but that hasn't diminished its popularity. One of the activities popular with the most daring is high diving (or high jumping) from the bridge crossing over the Vis river. The bridge is on the side road leading up to the village, and is single lane, so doesn't have very heavy traffic.
North less than a km from the St-Laurent-le-Minier bridge is a place called La Papeterie, where the ancient paper manufacturing was located.
A bit further north from La Papeterie, along the D25 towards Ganges, are some of the mines that were once so important for the local economy. There's nothing official to visit, but you can walk in and have of look at the mining areas.
Transportation Saint Laurent-le-Minier
Department 30, Gard Buses
- See Beyond's Gard Department Bus Schedules for Gard bus-lines maps and bus-line schedules (Horaires).
Maps (Plans) for the Gard bus lines are on the www.edgard.fr website, with a flash webpage for each of five zones around Nîmes (www.edgard-transport.fr/plan/?rub_code=5).
Schedules for the Gard bus lines are available via the www.edgard.fr website horaires page (www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires/?rub_code=23).