A desire to cut from our daily Toulouse life brings us to Aveyron! Three days in Villefranche de Rouergue: perfect for a weekend less than 2 hours from Toulouse.
Friday: visit of the unmissable monuments of Villefranche de Rouergue
The Chapel of the Black Penitents
We start our weekend with a visit to the Chapel of the Black Penitents, in the heart of the historic center.
We observe the beautiful painted wooden vault, the immense altarpiece and the six large paintings that surround us. There is an enchanted atmosphere in this place, reinforced by the baroque music that comes to us in the background.
After this beautiful visit, we take a break at the gaya restaurant located nearby. We savor quality home cooking concocted from fresh, local produce.
Monastery of Saint-Sauveur Charterhouse
We then take the direction of Monastery of Saint-Sauveur Charterhouse which is located at the gates of the city. Once past the gates of the monument, a timeless parenthesis awaits us! We let ourselves be carried by the audio guide through the rooms, in the footsteps of the Carthusian Fathers and lay brothers. My favourite: the small cloister and its decor of sculpted stones.
We join the Glacier brewery For dinner. In a warm atmosphere, we order a cocktail for me and a local beer for the gentleman. Then follow our dishes: an aligot sausage and a duck breast with Roquefort sauce. Local meat of course!
Saturday: the bastide town of Villefranche de Rouergue
Villefranche small market
After a good night's sleep in our cozy nest in Fleurines and a hearty breakfast, Romain, the owner, advised us to go for a walk on the small market in Villefranche. Less important than that of Thursday morning, however, it includes everything we need to prepare our midday picnic.
Hiking on the Boï circuit
Once our backpack is filled with food and fresh water, we put on our sneakers to go hiking on the heights of the city. We first follow the Aveyron river to leave the city center before crossing the Alzou river and taking the Stations of the Cross.
We then go back down via a small shaded path which takes us back to the edge of the Aveyron river. The place is peaceful, the ducks sail peacefully on the water. We cross a small hamlet where there are old mills before going up to the heights where beautiful views of the surrounding area await us. We contemplate the gorges then, on the other side of the hill, we see the village of Villeneuve then Villefranche de Rouergue.
It's picnic time! We choose a table at the foot of the Calvary, in the shade, to enjoy the products gleaned from the morning market. The setting is peaceful and the view of the Aveyron gorges is magnificent.
After this break, we admire the view of Villefranche from the Calvaire belvedere… Superb!
Treasure hunt in the bastide
In the afternoon, we choose an alternative to the traditional visit to the bastide town of Villefranche de Rouergue with a treasure hunt. We bought the booklet “Little murder in the bastide” on sale for €3 at the tourist office and off we went to investigate!
Sunday: getaway on the causse of Villeneuve d'Aveyron
Third and last day of our getaway, we take the opportunity to discover Villeneuve d'Aveyron, 15min north of Villefranche de Rouergue. This small medieval town is charming with its light stones, its small shops and its beautiful buildings.
Sunday is the day of market ! Under the chestnut trees of the pretty Place des Conques, the colorful stands follow one another. We first stroll through the bastide part (this term no longer holds any secrets for us since our visit to Villefranche!) then in the saved part. The streets are this time more tortuous, even labyrinthine. We gladly get lost in this maze of stones…
We then take the road again to have lunch at the Farrou Relay. Here you can savor modern cuisine inspired by classic bases. All concocted with local products!
Abbey of Loc-Dieu
This afternoon, last visit before returning home: the abbey of Loc-Dieu. Past the large entrance gate, we discover a large romantic park that invites you to stroll. In front of us, the impressive Cistercian abbey stands behind a pretty pond. The perspective is very beautiful! We follow one of the guided tours during which we learn that the building is the oldest of the Cistercian abbeys of Rouergue! Throughout the visit, many anecdotes follow one another and we are enchanted by the peaceful atmosphere of the place...
What a refreshing stay! Does the program inspire you? Here is the recap of our visits and activities for a three-day and two-night getaway in Villefranche de Rouergue.