Travel to the heart of the Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron by bicycle!
This stay combines prestigious itineraries and extraordinary heritage: castles, abbeys, churches... The route follows a route linking magnificent medieval bastides: Villefranche de Rouergue, Najac, Villeneuve d'Aveyron, Beauregard, Verfeil sur Seye, Cordes sur Ciel...
Stroll through these charming villages, some of which are ranked among the most beautiful in France: Penne, Bruniquel... Contemplate landscapes that change every day: the wide open spaces of the causse, the Lot valley, the Viaur valley, the Aveyron gorges... a very nice circuit!
9 days, 8 nights from 840€/person
6 days of cycling in roaming and freedom
Stay organized by the Balaguere
The detailed program
1 Day: arrival in Villefranche de Rouergue in the heart of the Grand Site Occitanie Bastides and Gorges de l'Aveyron.
You can choose to arrive by car or by train (reception possible at the SNCF station). Depending on your day and time of arrival, the topo-guide of your circuit will be given to you at the Villefranche de Rouergue Tourist Office or at your 1er accommodation. If you have reserved bicycles (classic or electric hybrid bikes), they will also be given to you. You can start using the PASS Bastide offered by the tourist office; it includes 4 visits including the visit of the royal Bastide, the baroque chapel of the Black Penitents, the former monastery of Chartreuse Saint-Sauveur XVth and the Urban Cabrol museum. You can also take advantage of these visits at the end of your stay.
Your stopover tonight is a comfortable and quiet bed and breakfast or hotel near the city center. You will dine in one of the restaurants in the city center.
2 Day: Villefranche de Rouergue / Villeneuve d'Aveyron / Grotte de Foissac / Cajarc (42 km – 772 m of elevation gain)
After breakfast, departure for Cajarc via the causse of Villeneuve d'Aveyron and Saujac.
The prehistoric caves of Foissac, classified historic monument are your next stop before going to Montsalès (La Tour art gallery) then to the cliffs of "Leap of the Mounine" ; we discover a very beautiful point of view on the Lot river.
Your stage for the day will end in the Lot valley at Cajarc, labeled “Site Remarquable du Goût” for its production of Quercy Saffron. Opportunity to visit the Georges and Claude Pompidou House of Arts, center for contemporary art.
Along the way, we advise you to take your lunch break or picnic at Villeneuve d'Aveyron, in the heart of Grand Site Occitanie Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron : founded in the middle of the XNUMXth century around a monastery and successively saved, county bastide, then royal bastide at the end of the XNUMXth century. The church is a beautiful building, a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic; the murals, from the beginning of the XNUMXth century, represent the legend of the hanged man/depended (pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela).
Dinner and night in a very nice hotel with a large swimming pool, in a green environment. The chef offers you a cuisine, prepared according to the seasons and the market, leaving a place of choice to saffron, produced on site.
3 Day: Cajarc / Cistercian Abbey of Loc Dieu / Loze (45 km – 530 m of elevation gain)
After breakfast, departure for the Causse de Limogne. It is a very beautiful stage which will make you discover the Vauclusian resurgence of the Gouffre de Lantouy, the dolmens of Martiel, the former fortified Cistercian abbey of Loc-Dieu and its park, Laramière and its former priory, the house-apiary of Promilhanes, the Bosse windmill, Beauregard and its old hall with a solid frame covered in slate to get to Saint-Projet where the castle of Queen Margot.
Lunch break or picnic possible at plan of water of the mill of Bannac, a beautiful quiet and relaxing place.
Overnight in a bed and breakfast with swimming pool overlooking the Bonnette valley. Dinner on site at the table d'hôtes.
4 Day: Loze / Caylus / Cas castle / Bosc cave / Saint Antonin Noble Val (32 km – 663 elevation gain)
After breakfast, departure for Saint Antonin Noble Val passing through the Bonnette valley, typical villages and picturesque landscapes: Loze, Lacapelle Livron, which was created around a Templar commandery, the chapel of Notre Dame de Grâce, the petrifying waterfall and the Notre Dame sanctuary. of Dame de Livron nestled in a circle of greenery…
On the way to the Aveyron gorges, you can visit cas castle and discover the family history of the Counts of Lastic.
A detour to Espinas will allow you to visit the Bosc caves before descending towards Saint Antonin Noble Val enjoying a superb view of the village.
Arrival at the medieval village of Saint Antonin Noble Val, also at the heart of Grand Site Occitanie Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron. Old houses tangled along narrow streets, with their twin or mullioned windows, their Gothic or Romanesque arches, covered hall, old town hall from the XNUMXth century... Afternoon in the heart of the open countryside “ Gorges of the Aveyron » with the possibility of going down in a canoe-kayak or swimming.
If you still have a bit of strength, a short loop towards the Roc d'Anglars will allow you to have one of the best viewpoints over the village.
On the way, a stop is essential to visit the medieval village of Caylus, in the heart of the Grand Site Occitanie Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron : the house of wolves and "its gargoyles", the church and the Christ of Zadkine, the eco-museum, markets on Tuesday and Saturday mornings...
Lunch recommended in Caylus or picnic at Lake Labarthe.
Night in a charming bed and breakfast in the heart of the village. Depending on the day, dinner at the table d'hôtes or in a restaurant in the village.
5 Day: Saint Antonin Noble Val / Penne / Bruniquel / St Antonin (48,5 km – 1365 elevation gain)
After breakfast, departure for the gorges of Aveyron to discover very beautiful villages: Penne and Bruniquel which are labeled "Most Beautiful Villages of France".
For history buffs, you can visit the fortress of Penne and castles from Bruniquel; in 1975 they were used as a backdrop for the film "Le Vieux Fusil" by Robert Enrico with Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret.
Return by the Corniche road; you will have the chance to discover a wild and preserved environment as well as privileged points of view on the hamlet of Brousses and the cliff of Capucin.
Lunch break or picnic during the tour. Possibility of swimming on the stage.
Night and breakfast in the same guest room as the day before.
Depending on the day, dinner at the table d'hôtes or in a restaurant in the village.
6 Day: Saint Antonin Noble Val / Beaulieu Abbey / Doyenne de Varen / Najac (39.5 km – 913 elevation gain)
After breakfast, departure for Najac, a charming bastide perched on a peak, surrounded by the Aveyron river and dominated by a mighty fortress. Built by the Counts of Toulouse on an old XNUMXth century fortified castle, Najac fortress remains a witness to the military architectural genius of the Middle Ages.
Along the way, possibility to visit theAbbey of Our Lady of Beaulieu in Rouergue, a former Cistercian abbey belonging to the national monument center and venue for contemporary art exhibitions, the gardens of Quercy, labeled “remarkable garden” in Verfeil sur Seye and the deanery of Varen, former residence of the dean of the priory, characteristic of the defensive architecture of the end of the Middle Ages in Rouergue.
You will then have the opportunity to have lunch in the old village mill or to have a picnic on the banks of the Aveyron. Swimming possible here.
Arrival at the medieval village of Najac, one of the most beautiful villages in France the heart of Grand Site Occitanie Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron at the end of the afternoon. Opportunity to practice an activity at the outdoor base of theAAGAC: adventure park, sensation course with quick jump, zip lines or canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle on the Aveyron...
Dinner and night (guesthouse or hotel) in the heart of the medieval village of Najac, one of most beautiful villages in France.
7 Day: Najac / Laguépie / Cordes sur Ciel (39,5 km – 1030 m of elevation gain)
Another unforgettable day with this step towards Ropes on Sky.
After breakfast, departure for the Viaur valley, a natural border between the departments of Tarn and Aveyron as it was in the past between the Albigeois and Rouergue, between Gascony and Languedoc.
Possible stopover in Laguépie and Saint Martin Laguépie including the castle will give you a breathtaking view of the 2 rivers and the 2 villages. By reservation, the volunteers of the "Lou Viel Castel" association will be able to offer you a visit to the site.
Lunch break or picnic during the tour.
The Gothic city of Ropes on Sky fascinates the newcomer because it is perched between heaven and earth. Created at the beginning of the XNUMXth century during the Albigensian crusade against the Cathars of the South, it became “the most beautiful if not the richest of the new towns of the South. » Today it is still a lively and animated bastide thanks to the many artists and craftsmen.
Return by train at the end of the day.
Like the day before, dinner at a master restaurateur and night in a guesthouse in Najac.
8 Day: Najac / Saint Sauveur Charterhouse Monastery / Villefranche de Rouergue (31 km – 640 elevation gain)
After breakfast, visit the village and the royal fortress of Najac; then departure towards Monteils where you will see a XNUMXth century church, an old wash house but also and above all a must in the Rouergat region: Carl's farm. On site, exhibition of old brass and possibility of meals at “La Table Paysanne”. Cooking is done in an old-fashioned copper cauldron and a wood fire. By reservation only.
In the afternoon, before your return to the royal bastide, historic center of Villefranche de Rouergue, we advise you to stop and visit the former monastery of Chartreuse Saint Sauveur if you did not have time on the day of your arrival.
Your stage tonight is a bed and breakfast or a hotel, near the city center. You will dine in one of the restaurants in the city center.
9 Day: end of stay
Breakfast and end of stay in Villefranche de Rouergue.