50% OFF! August 16 to 25, 2018 Tour
culture, history and heritage
There are some obvious unmissable sites and villages in Aveyron. Indeed the "département" is boasting such a richness, we'll try to highlight the most famous here.
(See the banner top photo as well)
Located on the Way to Santiago de Compostella, Conques abbey-church prides itself on sheltering under its vaults, a unique treasure of Romanesque sculpture and artifacts. Now recognized as the jewel on the Way we'll be able to admire the tympanum of the Last Judgment and figurative capitals, all magnified by Pierre Soulages’ stained glass windows. The gilded or plated reliquaries of the Treasure, embellished with ancient enamels, cameos, intaglios and precious stones are exquisite examples of medieval craftsmanship. The precious treasure, assembled and preserved through the ages, nestles around the monastery within an environment of great beauty that is today recognized in the selective list of "Les plus beaux villages de France".
Located in the south Aveyron, Brousse-le-Château is quite minuscule. Its name evokes both the inextricable vegetation that the first farmers who settled on the site had to discipline, and the fortress that dominates the village, part of which had already been built before 1000 AD.
As soon as you approach the village set in the heart of the Causse du Larzac—Larzac plateau—you are surprised by two towers springing from a rocky chaos, the Larazac. La Couvertoirade was a Templar Knights village, probably one of the most well-preserved as of today.
Peyre is a rupestrian village remarkable in many ways such as tuf stone houses, "calades"—cobblestone streets—as well as a troglodyte church, sculpted into the rock face. Peyre offers an exceptional view of the Millau viaduct.
Another medieval village on the banks of the river Lot and land of ancestral traditions where houses are built of pebbles.
A 13th century "bastide royale", built around the largest arcaded square in the Rouergue, is an architectural gem. Timber-framed and corbelled houses, ornamental carved stone, finely wrought doors, vestiges of fortifications, moats, towers and entrance gateways invite you to take a trip back in time.
These standing stones are still fascinating are their exact meaning is still a mystery. What are these statues representing? What do these enigmatic sculptures tell us about these communities? These sculptures—found in Aveyron—represent one of the largest groups in Europe!
To note, Aveyron is the French "département" counting the most dolmens including ahead of any other "département" of the Celtic Brittany region where the word "menhir" come from. According to a recent estimate, Aveyron alone would count more than a 1000!
The Millau Viaduct
The tallest cable-stayed in the world!
Suspended between sky and earth, with its slender lines and appearance of a sailing boat, Millau viaduct makes you dream and meets with everyone’s approval. A human challenge, technological prowess, dimensions that take your breath away, perfect integration with the surrounding landscape: it strikes the perfect balance!
visit of TOULOUSE-LAUTREC museum (albi) as well as his childhood chÂteau, located a few minutes from my home
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (1864-1901), also known as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, caricaturist, and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant, and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent, affairs of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec is among the best-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period, with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. In a 2005 auction at Christie's auction house, La Blanchisseuse, his early painting of a young laundress, sold for US $22.4 million and set a new record for the artist for a price at auction.
Midi-Pyrénées has more Cistercian abbeys than any other French region—including Burgundy and the Paris region!
Sylvanès is one of these remarkable ones.
Cistercian abbeys were all founded in the first half of the 12th century. Sylvanès being dated 1132. All of them flourished and became extremely powerful, before suffering the ravages of the Hundred Years' War—14th century—and later the Wars of Religion—16th century. Sylvanès got altered and embellished during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Belcastel and its château
Built a thousand years ago into the rock, the Château de Belcastel overlooks one of the most beautiful medieval villages of Aveyron. In this former stopping place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, by the banks of the Aveyron, stone-built houses and roofs tiled with "lauzes" stone slabs rise in tiers at the foot of the fortified castle that was remarkably well restored in the late 1970s by famous architect Fernand Pouillon.
A postcard-like medieval village nestling at the foot of the château. The château being originally built to protect the village and did its job for centuries. Located on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, at the heart of the Lot valley, just before Entraygues-sur-Truyère, Estaing benefits from remarkable buildings: château, church, Gothic bridge and Middle Ages village architecture.
Najac stretches out along a single street. The village is perched on an exceptionally long rocky ridge. Right at the end, stand the imposing fortified château whereas below, the river Aveyron meanders.
It is here and nowhere else in the world that the famous Roquefort cheese is produced.
The historical version of this cheese’s past is no less zesty. Julius Caesar and then Charlemagne apparently savored the marbled cheese of the region, though the first written mention of Roquefort dates back only to the 11th century. Nonetheless, Denis Diderot (1713-1784)—French philosopher and author of "l'Encyclopédie"—named Roquefort: "Le Roi des Fromages", or King of Cheeses.
A medieval village and a church with a twisted spire, fortified gateways, beautiful houses on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, this village has remained unchanged for centuries.
visit of soulages museum, rodez
Note: Pierre Soulages—born in 1919, still alive and painting—is a French painter, engraver, and sculptor. In 2014, François Hollande—former France President—described him as "the world's greatest living artist".
Christie's, the famous art dealers, wrote about Soulages:
But before Soulages reached his current investigations of what he calls ‘outrenoir’, or ‘beyond black’, he began with the gesture. As Abstract Expressionism exploded from the New York scene across the globe to spawn movements such as Gutai in Japan and Danseakhwa in Korea, Soulages, whose early work anticipated the genre, was one of a group of Post-war Europeans who fully embraced the movement, enjoying recognition beyond his native France. ‘Post-war European art was at a height in the 1950s, and Soulages was at the centre of that moment,’ says Kemper Museum of Art associate curator Karen T. Butler. ‘His early works flaunt his interest in materiality and mark making. That is also reflected in his titles, which tell you what it is: the kind of painting, dimensions, and the date. They are not symbolic.’
This list is far from exhaustive. There are many options for how we'll spend our time. We'll decide how together.
You’ll experience the real rhythm of French life now and then, off the beaten track in southern France!
conditions and price
- Bring in at least 2 friends. You have to bring your own friends as we do NOT form up groups of guests who do not know each others.
We are offering you an authentic customized VIP French experience at an amazing price! First-come, first-served.
- Price is US $2000 per person instead of US $4000!
- Tour is all-inclusive for 10 days. See our frequently asked questions for more details.
- Registration need to be made prior to March 31, 2018.
- This specific promotion applies only to this select tour, August 16 to August 25, 2018.
CONTACT US NOW
What's included in Experience (my) France tours?
- Pick-up in Aveyron, at Rodez airport or Rodez train station.
- The accommodation at Véronique's art-déco house for the 10 days/9 nights in Baraqueville, 20 min away from Rodez. The house is truly YOUR home for 10 days as well as conveniently located at a crossroads to experience the most of the area you'll discover.
- No shared bedrooms. On the top, each bedroom has its own private en-suite full bathroom.
- Regional wines hand-picked by Véronique and/or other beverages during meals.
- Private tours where planned, and according to your needs, wants and desires where permits.
- Food (all breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners over your 10-day experience) and wine tastings where/if planned.
- Entry fees to museums, castles, exhibitions, as well as all gratuities and other planned experiences.
- Services of Véronique, your bilingual local guide/host and personal driver.
- Transportation during the tour in a comfortable air-conditioned car or van depending on the size of your own group, the one you formed with your family, friends and/or companion(s). As there's a lot to experience close-by the house, we drive an average of 120 km a day.
- A tour that will be designed at your own pace. Yes, we can spend more time wherever you'd like to. Your tour could be more or less active as well as we welcome all fitness abilities. Keep in mind, so far each single tour has been unique and entirely à-la-carte.
That's what we consider a VIP tour—without the cost—as well as a real, authentic and private French experience.
what is not included?
- Airfare or any travel expense to and from the pick-up location, Rodez.
- Lodging and/or guiding BEFORE or AFTER your tour.
- Special wines and/or beverages other than those included during meals.
- Personal items purchased during your experience in Aveyron.
- Shipping of your purchases and/or associated cost(s).