Enjoy a stay in the heart of the Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron, Grand Site Occitanie Sud de France. On quiet paths combining history and wild landscapes, passing through the medieval towns of Villefranche de Rouergue, Caylus, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and Najac. A beautiful hike that combines gastronomy, heritage, varied and wild landscapes.
The detailed program
Day 1: arrival in Villefranche de Rouergue
Villefranche de Rouergue is a medieval bastide with a rich architectural heritage. Located at the confluence of two rivers: the Aveyron and the Alzou, it is one of the emblematic hearts of Grand Site Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron. Take the time to stroll through its streets and discover its must-see monuments: the Chartreuse Saint-Sauveur, XNUMXth century monastery, masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic and the Chapel of the Black Penitents, a XNUMXth century Baroque chapel which has retained a remarkable ornate wooden vault.
Day 2: Villefranche de Rouergue – Parisot
You leave Villefranche de Rouergue along the banks of the Le Malpas stream, then the banks of the Assou stream which will take you to the Castel Mill of the XNUMXth century (one of the last horizontal wheel mills still in operation), then until La rouquette. This village was grouped around a castle of which only a round tower remains. The church built in the XNUMXth century on the other bank of the stream has a small porch and a bell tower.
You will then leave the Assou valley to change landscapes by heading towards a territory of moors and dry lawns where it is not uncommon to see orchids in the spring. You will travel along a ridge at an altitude of 400 meters allowing you to observe the surrounding countryside before descending towards Cambayrac and Parisot.
Your stage for tonight is a bed and breakfast near Parisot. On site swimming pool and table d'hôte.
Day 3: Parisot – Caylus
Depart Parisot where was born Jean de la Valette, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, who will give his name to the capital of the island of Malta: Lavalette. Very nice stretch that takes you to Caylus passing by Loze, Lacapelle Livron which was created around a commandery of Templars, the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace and by bonnet valley. Superb views on arrival in Caylus.
Your stage for tonight is a bed and breakfast with swimming pool near Caylus, you will dine at the excellent table d'hôte.
Day 4: Caylus – Saint Antonin Noble Val
After breakfast, departure to St Antonin Noble Val, through the woods, sometimes along the Gourgue rivers or Windscreen, you will discover the causse and its little heritage of dovecotes, fountains, gariottes, crosses… to Saint Antonin Noble Val, a XNUMXth century city, you will admire the old Town Hall, the oldest French monument of civil architecture. The drapers, who traded with the whole of Europe, were the richest and most influential traders there. It is on Sundays that Saint Antonin is the busiest with its unmissable traditional market.
You will be welcomed in a bed and breakfast in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. Depending on the day of the week, you will eat at the table d'hôtes or in one of the restaurants in the village.
Day 5: day in the heart of the wilderness center
This day is free and you can program it according to your wishes. A few suggestions:
- A hike in the heart of the Gorges de l'Aveyron with viewpoints over the Aveyron river and the limestone cliffs…
- A refreshing break in the river
- A descent into canoe Kayak from St Antonin Noble-Val to Cazals
- A ride in bike that you can rent on site to get to the penne fortress and discover Bruniquel one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France"
At the end of the day, transfer to the village of Laguépie, charming village located at the confluence of two rivers: the Aveyron and the Viaur.
Night in Laguépie, in a guesthouse, homestay and dinner (table d'hôtes or traditional restaurant depending on the season and the day of the week).
Day 6: Laguepie – Najac
Very wild hike towards Najac ranked among Mediafixer most beautiful villages in France. The beginning will be very easy! You will walk along the banks of the Aveyron before sinking into the wild gorges. You will then go up to Mergieux, a former holiday village which now houses bubbles nestled in the heart of nature. You will cross a forest of Douglas firs. At Bastit, a photo stop is a must: you will have a superb view of the whole village of Najac which stretches over its rocky outcrop more than 1 km long.
You will then descend through the undergrowth to the Saint-Blaise bridge, a historic monument from the XNUMXth century. This bridge on the back of a donkey allowed merchants and pilgrims to cross the Aveyron in all seasons.
You can stop there for a swim before going back up to the village of Najac. Your first stop will be at The Church of Saint John the Evangelist that you can visit before going to the royal fortress (included in the stay). The dungeon will offer you a breathtaking view of the town overlooking the river in a grandiose site: meanders on one side, sandstone cornice on the other, rocky ridge...
Night in Najac, choice of bed and breakfast or hotel and dinner with a master restaurateur.
Built by the Counts of Toulouse on an old fortified castle from the XNUMXth century, the fortress of Najac remains a witness to the military architectural genius of the Middle Ages.
Its extraordinary defensive power is highlighted by a large scale model. The dungeon houses 6,80 meter archers… the highest in the world!
Day 7: Najac – Villefranche
You reach Villefranche de Rouergue by taking the GR 36 which is nothing but a stage of Way of St Jacques de Compostela, on the variant of Conches to Toulouse. The “Rouergue fault” has reflected in the vegetation the difference in the nature of the land: Causse or Ségala. From chestnut woods to sunken paths lined with dogwood trees. You will cross Monteils, a charming village on the banks of the Aveyron, calm and flowery. 23 km and 100 meters of elevation gain.
In Villefranche, night in a comfortable and quiet bed and breakfast. You will dine in a restaurant in the city.
Day 8: day of departure
The breakfast is copious: bread, cakes and sometimes the jams are homemade... It ends your stay!