When we decided to move to France and create luxury holiday accommodation, a considerable amount of research went into the decision to focus on the Aveyron department in the South of France. We wanted somewhere unspoilt with lots of history and sites of interest, quiet, yet accessible.
The Aveyron has it all. Ten of the most beautiful villages in France, five ‘Bastides’ (walled towns that were built in the 13th century), Norman Foster’s architectural marvel, the Millau Viaduct (the tallest bridge in the world) with the Roquefort cheese caves close to the bridge site and a must to visit. We would also strongly recommend visits to Conques (a world heritage site), Cordes sur ciel (hill top town), Najac, Belcastel and Sauveterre de Rouergue (all members of the exclusive group ‘most beautiful villages in France’). And much, much more.
Villefranche de Rouergue is one of many towns of interest less than an hour from Le Bouyssou, with its famous Thursday open air market, said to be the second largest in France. Villeneuve d’ Aveyron (Bastide village) and Foissac (prehistoric caves) are a few minutes down the road as is the river Lot and its department, where we have Figeac (said to be ‘the best small town in France’) and its great Saturday market. Rocamadour (one of the most visited sites in France), St Cirq Lapopie (a breathtaking hill top town – one of our favourites in the area), the world famous Pech Merle caves (with the prehistoric cave paintings) and Cahors for its fine wine and its medieval bridge are all within easy reach from Le Bouyssou. Popular with our visitors is a relax and swim in the Lac du Tolerme with its sandy beach, ‘DIY BBQ’/picnic area and ‘Bistro de Quercy’ restaurant with balcony terrace over the lake. Further afield, you can visit the largest brick building in the world, the magnificent St Cecile’s Cathedral at Albi (which also has the Toulouse Lautrec Museum).
Tennis in Figeac and Capdenac, Horse Riding (approximately 3km away), Canoeing on the river Cele, just outside Figeac, Fishing on the Lot, Cele and Aveyron, Golf (three courses within one hours drive). During the winter you can access Skiing within one hour thirty minutes from Le Bouyssou. We can also arrange Balloon flights, weather permitting, from Loupiac and Paragliding lessons at the school in the village!
Markets are a major part of French life and there are lots to chose from around and about us. The largest is in Villefranche de Rouergue on a Thursday morning, (twenty minutes drive ) said to be one of the largest markets in France in the summer time, and voted by The Guardian newspaper as 'The Best Market in France'.
Figeac market is on a Saturday morning, (ten minutes drive) again all of the streets and squares are filled with stalls. A little further afield is St Antonin de Noble Val, (approx one hour drive) used as the setting for the film Charlotte Grey qnd Steven Spielbergs 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'. The market is in the tight winding streets and offers fresh bread from the ovens, local cheese and wine straight from the barrel, lots of fresh produce, traveling players, local artists and many resting places where one can sit and watch the world go by, with glass in hand.