Departing from the fortified towns and gorges of Aveyron, treat yourself to a road trip on the road to the Grands Sites d'Occitanie. Eight exceptional sites to explore less than an hour and a half by car from Villefranche-de-Rouergue!
Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron, in the heart of the Grands Sites Occitanie!
Grouping together Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Villeneuve, Najac, Caylus et Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, the Grand Site Occitanie "Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron" offers you a perfect harmony between preserved nature et authentic heritage. Explore them character villages of the territory, admire the large natural spaces and discover many sites and monuments remarkable.
From towns to villages, travel the roads of the former Midi-Pyrénées region to discover eight other Great sites of Occitania :
Figeac, Lot and Célé Valley
32 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue and 24 km from Villeneuve
Between the Lot and Célé valleys, explore Grand-Figeac, a characterful destination between the Causses and the Auvergne mountains.
Go back in time through the history of these stones that have survived the centuries. Along the landscapes, explore this Grand Site from cliffs to gorges, discovering castles, fortified houses, abbeys and priories. On your way, you will see:
52 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Take the D1 towards Rodez. After the village of Lanuéjouls, take the D5 towards Decazeville.
Let yourself be enchanted by the charming village of Conques. A must stop on the way to Santiago de Compostela, Conques will take you back to the time of the great builders of the Middle Ages. On your way, you will see:
55 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Take the D1 towards Rodez
You will see it from afar, the bell tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral... From its height of 87 meters, it overlooks the town of Rodez.
Explore the city, Cathedral at the Museum relieves, come say hi to them statues-menhirs at the Fenaille museum and savor the Aveyron gastronomy.
At the Wednesday or Saturday market, in lively brasseries and gourmet restaurants: this is also where you will taste Rodez, feeling the strong and pleasant ascendancy of a land full of life.
Cahors, Lot Valley
55 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Take the D911 towards Cahors
In the majestic setting of the Lot valley, Cahors, City of art and history, is made for the joy of exploration. First stage : the Valentré bridge, emblem of the city classified as world heritage by UNESCO. Then, at the turn of the medieval streets, enjoy the charm of the renovated squares and the Secret Gardens that bloom the city.
Do not leave without taking a walk in one of the vineyards of Cahors to discover an ancestral know-how. On the way back, go through the Lot valley ! Stop off at the charming village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and contemplate panoramas breathtaking view of the valley.
Cordes-sur-ciel and medieval towns
45 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue and 26 km from Najac
A few kilometers from the Aveyron gorges, Cordes sur Ciel is a Medieval city outstanding. Perched on its promontory, it is rich in Architectural Heritage recognized throughout Europe.
Along the streets, immerse yourself in nearly 800 years of history and stroll around the many craftsmen's workshops and galleries... On your way, you will be able to see:
Albi, Tarn Valley
74 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue and 50 km from Najac
Colourful, gourmet, commercial, with one hour from Najac, Albi welcomes you to an almost Italian way of life. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Episcopal City has retained its old appearance marked by the Pont-Vieux, the fortifications along the Tarn, the Berbie Palace and the powerful Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, a gigantic brick vessel erected in the above the Tarn.
On your way, you will see:
Millau – Roquefort Sylvanes
110 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue
First step, the Millau Viaduct ! Looking like a sailboat, it has become a real work of art to contemplate. In the surroundings, grandiose landscapes await you: wide open spaces of the Grands Causses Regional Nature Park, Larzac of the Templars and Hospitallers, Gorges du Tarn… Enough to whet your appetite so go and taste the king cheese of the region, the Roquefort !
On your way, you will be able to see:
75 km from Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Dressed in pink bricks, Montauban is the first medieval new town noon. Cross its Old Bridge which spans the Tarn and explore its old center. From the architecture of medieval streets to the paintings by Ingres and Bourdelles, through street art, art is everywhere! On your way, you will see: