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Carol Cooper
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Véronique,

Merci beaucoup !

I have enjoyed so much the Aveyron district and your companionship.

This is truly a hidden gem, this part of France and yourself.

I can feel the history and begin to appreciate the depth of culture and regional pride that forms the French character. I believe that if anyone wants to understand France, this is a great place to begin with as it shows the roots.

You are a font of knowledge and shared with me lots of information on geology, linguistics, culinary specialties, history and religions. And I can't believe all the little roads and pathways you know!

When touring villages and other locations you set the history and context and then knowingly guided me to make sure I looked up the pathways, saw the carvings and found the hidden treasures.
If I was on my own I would have only found a very few locations and missed many more; like not appreciated signs of Roman and Gothic architecture for instance.

Thank you for the tour of markets, the experience of local shopping, tasting and eating local specialties, even making your crème caramel!

This was what I wanted and more.

I appreciated you could slow down during the hot days and that the vehicle had air conditioning.

Encore, merci !

~ Carol Cooper

 

Robert (Bobby) Frank
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

Véronique,

Tu es super !!

I had the best stay and visit at Véronique's lovely home in Aveyron. You could not ask for anything more in a hostess, who became a friend. I especially enjoyed many things about Véronique. Her warmth, caring, tremendous knowledge about the area, including the history and culture. She is tremendously accommodating and generous with helping her guests in any way she can.

The Marcillac winemakers Philippe Teullier and his mother proudly showing us a bottle of red, rosé and white they produce on their domain.

The Marcillac winemakers Philippe Teullier and his mother proudly showing us a bottle of red, rosé and white they produce on their domain.

The Aveyron is a hidden area of France helps one to discover the many gorgeous villages and areas Aveyron counts. The area of and near Aveyron is little known by outsiders, yet it is beautiful and historic. Rolling hills, 12th century hilltop villages, historic city of Albi, a great but undiscovered wine region called Marcillac, and Véronique as your guide.

The only downside is it's a bit harder to get to the Rodez area than most other parts of France, but it's well worth the small extra hassle.

~ Bobby Frank

 

Kay Fong
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Dear Véronique,

What a wonderful guide, host and friend you have been!

Gateau-a-la-Broche.jpg

I have learned and experienced so much in this "little touristed" region of France!

I have loved all the villages and beautiful countryside that you have so safely driven us through and to.

Even in the rain, your cheerful disposition and energy amazed me...and I marvel at your seemingly effortless meals that you have made for us which were delicious, nourishing and colorful.

I have a new view of France and will treasure this trip as one of the top experiences for me!

I hope we can be in touch!

For the 100th birthday of    Pierre Soulages    (alive and painting still), 2019 marks a series of special events including this installation of mixed media at the Rodez Soulages Museum. Kay was quite amazed all along.

For the 100th birthday of Pierre Soulages (alive and painting still), 2019 marks a series of special events including this installation of mixed media at the Rodez Soulages Museum. Kay was quite amazed all along.

Love,

~ Kay Fong

The result of a “gâteau à la broche” workshop Véronique organized for us. So yummy, we took a few pieces for the way back home!

The result of a “gâteau à la broche” workshop Véronique organized for us. So yummy, we took a few pieces for the way back home!

 

June Kagdis
Torrance, California, U.S.A.

Dear Véronique,

Treasure hunting at an antique shop in the medieval village of Najac. Quite a lot of character all around! The owner is a farmer and wine maker too.

Treasure hunting at an antique shop in the medieval village of Najac. Quite a lot of character all around! The owner is a farmer and wine maker too.

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful guide, historian, etymologist, cook, driver, ambassador and a friend in Aveyron!

By the waterfall of Salles-la-Source.

By the waterfall of Salles-la-Source.

Your love for your place was infectious and all your visitors here came to love Aveyron as much as you do, I'm sure.

Besides the beautiful sites, I loved meeting your family and friends. They were so welcoming and friendly. I wished I knew how to speak French so I could have conversed with them.

Your cooking was wonderful and delicious.

According to my translator:
« Tout était super et j'ai apprecié chaque instant passé avec vous ! »
(I hope it's correct!)
« J'espère qu'on se reverra. »

~ June Kagdis

 
Lunch at Belcastel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. An extraordinary culinary experience in a history-filled medieval village!

Lunch at Belcastel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. An extraordinary culinary experience in a history-filled medieval village!

Kathi Stinson
Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, U.S.A.

Dear Véronique,

You are the French Energizer Bunny!

After the Michelin-starred restaurant, we visited the postcard-like village, Belcastel. Here, on the medieval bridge leading to the church/chapel. Unbelievable, cars are allowed to go through on this cobblestone bridge and both ways! Behind the photographer and up the hill is the medieval château of Belcastel we visited. As well, we met Thierry, the local potter at his atelier shop, another friend of Véronique.

After the Michelin-starred restaurant, we visited the postcard-like village, Belcastel.
Here, on the medieval bridge leading to the church/chapel. Unbelievable, cars are allowed to go through on this cobblestone bridge and both ways!
Behind the photographer and up the hill is the medieval château of Belcastel we visited. As well, we met Thierry, the local potter at his atelier shop, another friend of Véronique.

The time with you has flown by much too quickly!

Thank you for showing me Aveyron!
Your love for the area is infectious.

So lovely to meet your friends and family and share stories, translated of course, with them.

Your knowledge about history and geology of the area helped to understand what I was seeing.

I so admire your cooking skills and will be taking memories and pounds with me!

Your home has inspired me to do something about mine!

Until we meet again,

Cheers!

~ Kathi Stinson

 

Joyce Kimura
San Pedro, California, U.S.A.

Dear Véronique,

Cool day when visiting Albi.

Cool day when visiting Albi.

This has truly been a memorable trip for me. I so appreciate how you have shown us your love for Aveyron, through your stories, the food, the day trips to the beautiful villages.

In spite of some rain, you made every effort to see that we did as much as possible.

~ Joyce Kimura

 

Judith Nichol
Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Judith and Marilyn Kinsella enjoying the day. One of the day’s highlights was a visit of the “Trou de Bozouls”. The amazing Bozouls village is perched on both sides of the cliffs’ edges overlooking the Dourdou river and its gorges. Although seemingly a stream nowadays, the horseshoe-shape canyon was formed million years ago, and is 400 m (over 1300 ft.) in diametre and 100 m (over 300 ft.) deep!

Judith and Marilyn Kinsella enjoying the day. One of the day’s highlights was a visit of the “Trou de Bozouls”.
The amazing Bozouls village is perched on both sides of the cliffs’ edges overlooking the Dourdou river and its gorges. Although seemingly a stream nowadays, the horseshoe-shape canyon was formed million years ago, and is 400 m (over 1300 ft.) in diametre and 100 m (over 300 ft.) deep!

Travellers want to discover an authentic, undiscovered and unspoilt region, and that describes Aveyron. We marvelled every day at the beautiful countryside, picturesque villages, spectacular geological formations, and the endless historical places and structures. There were no groups of tourists, no busses, just locals going about their lives.

Veronique is an excellent guide to see this area. She is an easy and sunny person, very knowledgeable about the region, and having grown up there, was able to show us some lovely secret places.

She looked after us very well, taking into consideration our wishes and needs, and often surprised us with something delightful.

A shot of the house from the yard side. On the left side, Véronique is actually watering the flower beds.

A shot of the house from the yard side. On the left side, Véronique is actually watering the flower beds.

The house in Baraqueville is bright and comfortable. We loved coming back to it every day and relaxing in its peace and quiet.

I enjoyed my time here very much and recommend Veronique as guide. She will easily design an itinerary to suit you, and the region will not disappoint.

She is also a careful and safe driver!

~ Judith Nichol

 

BilL Webb
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

This was an amazing vacation; thanks to your hospitality and attention to detail!

Bill is quite proud to show the Laguiole knife he made in Aveyron with Christophe’s support.

Bill is quite proud to show the Laguiole knife he made in Aveyron with Christophe’s support.

Your knowledge of the area made the visits second to none.

We are so lucky to have seen the French countryside and experienced all these villages this way.

A wonderful visit!!

~ Bill Webb

 

Norma Webb
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you exploring southern France.

Norma and Bill had the opportunity to get on a private bird watching day. It was lead by naturalist Robert Straughan; an English-speaking expert based in Aveyron.

Norma and Bill had the opportunity to get on a private bird watching day.
It was lead by naturalist Robert Straughan; an English-speaking expert based in Aveyron.

It was wonderful seeing not only the changing landscapes but the beautiful villages, historic castles and churches.

Norma and Bill Webb enjoying times at Rieupeyroux’s restaurant.

Norma and Bill Webb enjoying times at Rieupeyroux’s restaurant.

Some amazing meals as we travelled, complete with varied wines, made us appreciate the fresh produce and local wine industry.

With my farming background, I tremendously enjoyed touring Benoit's farmland, and eating his organic veal.

It will forever change the way we look at local produce and the fullness of flavours found here in France.

Thank you for a fantastic 10 days!

It was a wonderful experience and I know Bill's highlight will be his lovely Laguiole knife he made with Christophe's support.

Merci beaucoup!

~ Norma Webb

Bill and Norma Webb visiting Sauveterre-de-Rouergue.

Bill and Norma Webb visiting Sauveterre-de-Rouergue.

 

Doris, Andrea and Brandi Johnson
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Véronique,

Thank you for a wonderful visit. We really enjoyed getting to know you and your France!

Andrea, Doris and Brandi during a stop at Montjaux.

Andrea, Doris and Brandi during a stop at Montjaux.

The area, people, and your family and friends were wonderful and we enjoyed seeing it and meeting everyone.

You have a lovely home here and thank you for letting us use it for those 10 days.

The food was excellent as well. Thanks for the recipes!

I'll make sure to try them outthough I'm nowhere near as good as chef as you!

The area has such a long and rich history and your information on the area and places we visited was excellent!

I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see and know Francenot just Paris!

Merci beaucoup!

~ Brandi Johnson

Doris at the semi-troglodyte village of Peyre. And yes, it is lavender right behind Doris.

Doris at the semi-troglodyte village of Peyre. And yes, it is lavender right behind Doris.

We really loved our vacation time. I loved all the villages. This little corner of France is a paradise.

~ Doris Johnson

Thank you, Véronique for the wonderful vacation. It was great seeing all, the history and the Millau Viaduct.

The food was excellent.

~ Andrea Johnson

 

Ian McKenzie
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Ian_McKenzie3.jpg

Dear Véronique,
I'm in the happy state of sadness that my wonderful stay here in your home is coming to an end today!

I've really appreciated the unique cocktail of hospitality, touring, sight seeing and above all companionship as a solo traveller this time.

Ian McKenzie 2

You made me feel at home. It was so great being able to completely unpack my suitcase and move in for the duration.

At the same time, being able to have so many experiences that I would not have otherwise had.

 

What you offer is a truly unique travel experience that
I feel privileged to have enjoyed.

Regards, 

~ Ian McKenzie

 

Sue and Jason Bissonnette
AIRDRIE, Alberta, Canada

Thank you so much for opening your home and your knowledge of the beautiful region you call home.

I could have never imagined such beauty, and sense of community in my life.

It makes me feel I stepped back in time, to a simpler time. Where neighbours care about each others' well-beings. Our society has veered so much from that. It is nice to know it still exists.

Sue and Jason just got served lunch at a St. Cirq La Popie restaurant

Sue and Jason just got served lunch at a St. Cirq La Popie restaurant

You have opened our eye to so much and I truly believe it has changed our lives.

We have a whole new love for France and all it has to offer.

Thank you.

~ Sue and Jason Bissonnette

 

Danielle Labonté AND Claude Léger
Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Très chère Véronique,
Un grand merci de ton accueil en Aveyron. C'est une région que nous avons adorée grâce à ta passion que tu possèdes en toi pour ton terroir et que tu as si bien partagée avec nous.

Danielle and Claude at the Point Sublime

Danielle and Claude at the Point Sublime

Claude et moi ne garderons que de fantastiques souvenirs en tête et un immense appétit de revenir dans ce coin de paradis si diversifié.

Avec affection,

~ Danielle Labonté et Claude Léger

 

Lyndall Yeoman
melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Véronique,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful Aveyron with me. Going to the small quiet villages with incomparable images of medieval stone cottages, bridges, and castles will stay with me always.

In Gramond, a retired finishing carpenter shares with us his passion for rocks.

In Gramond, a retired finishing carpenter shares with us his passion for rocks.

Seeing the different micro-regions with their differing landscapes was amazing. Véronique, you were the perfect guide and hostess. Always informative and cheerful in the face of an injured ankle. It has been lovely to get to know you.

Béatrice, thank-you for your hospitality also and your wonderful driving. May you both enjoy good health and happiness.

With love, from Lyndall.

~ Lyndall Yeoman

 

Dan and Laura Bamber
Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada

Dear Véronique and Christian,
Thank you so much for your hospitality. We had a wonderful time experiencing your France.

Clément Debord, owner of the winery/vineyard the "Domaine de la Petite Tuile" explains his work to (left to right) Dan, Laura, Ernie, Debbie, Nadine and Jack. Multiple wineries visits and wine tastings were scheduled on that day.

Clément Debord, owner of the winery/vineyard the "Domaine de la Petite Tuile" explains his work to (left to right) Dan, Laura, Ernie, Debbie, Nadine and Jack.
Multiple wineries visits and wine tastings were scheduled on that day.

Véronique, your sparkling personality and infinite knowledge brought the villages to life.
Your enthusiasm and pride made the trip exciting for us all.

Christian, your skill at navigating the winding and narrow roads was very impressive.
Your patience at answering our constant question of "This is a two-way road?" with humour made me smile.

Thank you for customizing the trip for us by setting up the biking, the kayaking and a trip to your cousin's farm.

You made us all feel special and welcome.

~ Dan and Laura Bamber

 

Thomas mockler
New York, new york, U.S.A.

From left to right: Véronique, Thomas, Heather and Patrick, having a lot of fun, enjoying life at the Sauveterre-de-Rouergue producers' market.

From left to right: Véronique, Thomas, Heather and Patrick, having a lot of fun, enjoying life at the Sauveterre-de-Rouergue producers' market.

I want to express my delight and complete satisfaction with a recent tour in the “province” of Aveyron, a relatively undiscovered jewel of France which contains an abundance of cultural and aesthetic attractions to please the seasoned traveler. For those with leisure to combine a cosmopolitan stopover in Paris with bucolic serenity and Medieval wonders—or for those who have already seen Paris—Aveyron has much to offer.

In Saint-Léons, François Lassauvetat— an antique motorcycles collector—is so proud to show us his impressive collection.

In Saint-Léons, François Lassauvetat— an antique motorcycles collector—is so proud to show us his impressive collection.

The combination of sweeping natural beauty, indescribably picturesque villages, and ancient architectural treasures will provide a lifetime of happy memories and offers a welcome change from more-touristed itineraries. Véronique, our “hostess” (too bubbly and affable to be called a tour guide), delighted to share the hospitality of her cheerfully renovated home and squire us through the length and breadth of Aveyron. The people are quite friendly and approachable: I recall one proud villager inviting us into his home to view his collection of antique motorcycles (he must have had more than 50).

A typical day might begin with a light breakfast (or a yummy homemade quiche) followed by a drive to one of the many gloriously quaint ancient villages or towns with ample free time for individual exploration. Weather permitting, lunch might consist of a group picnic on a scenic overlook where lively conversation and local wine enhance the relaxed atmosphere and group bonding.

An overview of a few Aveyron landscapes

Afternoons would be spent exploring other remarkable sites with dinner at around 7 or 8pm. Particularly alluring to me was the multitude of ancient churches, castles and village architecture which recalled both the simplicity and dangers of Medieval times. And while we saw about a dozen of these incomparable villages, there was ample variety and an assortment of other attractions. Museums, dinner at local farmers’ market, wine tastings, a comprehensive visit to a working farm andmy personal favoritea tour of the Roquefort cheese caves are just a few of the treats in store for the Aveyron adventurer. My final thoughts: wear comfortable shoes, enjoy the local wines and try the aligot… this is a trip I will remember with pleasure.

~ Thomas Mockler

 

Jack and Nadine Mar
Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you, Véronique and Christian for sharing the many passions you have for France.

Kayaking along The Tarn River | Jack, Nadine, Ernie, Debbie, Dan and Laura

It has been a very unique and wonderful experience full of diversity and special events, one after another, after another...wow!

What a jam-packed learning experience full of fun and laughter!

Your integrity, focus and care will lead to greater success in your tour business.

Kindness and Respect.

~ Hugs, Jack and Nadine Mar

Jack at his arrival

Jack at his arrival

 

effie best
adelaide, south australia, australia

A photo of a castle taken by Effie

I spent 10 lovely days with Véronique, exploring the Aveyron. Aveyron has 10 of the official “most beautiful villages of France” and we visited 9 of them—and several other villages that were at least as pretty. Old castles on the hilltops with stone houses clustered at the base, winding old streets, flower pots and hanging baskets, old bridges over small or large rivers, large and small churches…the Aveyron has lots of them!

Conques

Conques

It was interesting to cross the pilgrim’s path from time to time—we saw walkers with their sticks in the towns on the route from Puy to the Spanish Camino. Some towns like Conques have relied on tourists [called pilgrims!] for centuries. Apart from the pilgrims and an occasional busload, there were few other tourists on our track. There were plenty of people around, though, at the markets, an art fair, sitting in squares or street corners. In some towns there were quirky decorations described as “Land art”. Being in France, of course we ate well.

At Rignac, some locals having a lively conversation around some wine in a typical restaurant.

At Rignac, some locals having a lively conversation around some wine in a typical restaurant.

Véronique's house is so comfortable. Baraqueville itself is a rather ordinary town, but excellently placed for travel all over Aveyron. And on market day, the market comes right up to the front door of Véronique’s house.

 

 

Véronique grew up in the area and has explored it further, so her knowledge of places is amazing. She is a good driver and has an amazing ability to find her way along the twisting roads. she also seems to know the most interesting street corners in every town. The tour was altogether a great experience...

~ Effie Best

 

Pauline Hoche
Boca Raton, Florida U.S.A.

Dear Véronique,

Wendy and Pauline

Wendy and Pauline

You made this 10-day experience a very special moment, with your bubbly personality and verve.

Thank you for sharing your lovely home and meaningful experiences with us, as well as your love for this beautiful part of France.

May God bless you and your family with joys and laughter that only a loving and united family is blessed with.

Mille mercis!

~ Pauline Hoche

 

Heather Walter and Patrick mccloskey
canmore, Alberta, canada

Quelle belle visite en Aveyron! 

My husband and I love international travel, and Véronique has found an ideal niche for people like us. Experience (my) France gave us the opportunity to explore the back roads of an unsung region of France with someone who knows the area intimately and could take us off the beaten path—in true French style!

Market day in Villefranche-de-Rouergue.

Market day in Villefranche-de-Rouergue.

Véronique, as host, was terrific. She not only knows the towns and countryside, but also many interesting people, like vintners and other local producers. She’s even related to one of them! It made such a difference to have her as our guide, translator and fellow traveller. She opened doors for us in a way we could never have experienced otherwise.

The towns we visited were incredibly picturesque, and often situated in beautiful or dramatic landscapes. From our base in Baraqueville (handily located in the centre of Aveyron), we were able to take day trips to every part of the region. We were struck by how varied the landscape was from one corner to the other. Every day was a new and aesthetically rich treat whether we were exploring medieval villages, ancient sites, artisans’ studios or natural wonders like the Roquefort caves.

Heather wandering in Saint-Cirq Lapopie, voted in 2012 "The Preferred Village By The French".

Heather wandering in Saint-Cirq Lapopie, voted in 2012 "The Preferred Village By The French".

Benoit, Véronique's cousin, an organic veal producer at Valady's farmers' market, next to Rodez. We had the opportunity to visit his farm. The organic farm has been in the family for over four generations now. With lots of heritage buildings dating 200 and more years ago, it was mainly a summer residence for the local clergy.

Benoit, Véronique's cousin, an organic veal producer at Valady's farmers' market, next to Rodez.
We had the opportunity to visit his farm. The organic farm has been in the family for over four generations now.
With lots of heritage buildings dating 200 and more years ago, it was mainly a summer residence for the local clergy.

And every day we ate and drank the best that the region had to offer. Most afternoons we stopped in a scenic place for a delightful picnic of local wines and cheeses, sausages and pâtés. In the evenings we would dine at a different restaurant, or occasionally gather with locals at a weekly producers’ market in a village square. The food was delicious, with many regional specialties. We made it our personal mission to try everything.

We have never been drawn to large organized group tours, so the idea of travelling with a maximum of six people was very appealing. It allowed for some flexibility and down-time in the itinerary, which was great. And one of the amazing things about this trip was how few other tourists we saw—and no tour buses!

We loved our visit to Aveyron, and we would whole-heartedly recommend it to any other independent-minded travellers.

~ Heather Walter and Patrick McCloskey

 

Susan Jacobs and David Rowbottam
perth, western australia, australia

Enjoy the experience of living at the French pace of life in one of France’s most diversified départments. Véronique will guide you through the weekly markets and small towns with their festivals, showcasing their way of life. From a comfortable home base near Rodez in Aveyron, visit Roman ruins and the towns and castles built since. A unique experience with the opportunity to wine and dine on the local produce, including a visit to the world famous Roquefort cheese caves. Véronique can also tailor your itinerary if you have a special interest; a most enjoyable way to see a very interesting part of France.

~ Susan Jacobs and David Rowbottam

 

Richard Peake
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Richard and Diane having dinner at Baraqueville's home.

Richard and Diane having dinner at Baraqueville's home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Véronique, I can't imagine a better way to experience Aveyron than with you. You shared your beautiful region and lovely family with us.

Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.

~ Richard Peake

 

Gerry Stephenson
Canmore, Alberta, Canada

I had the good fortune to spend a week with Véronique and Christian at their beautiful home in Baraqueville recently and had a marvellous time there.

The house is very comfortable; my bedroom was large and very quiet while the bathroom was brand new and very well equipped.

Meals were excellent with the emphasis on local produce.

Gerry having dinner and fun at Valady's marché gourmand. On Gerry's left are Suzanne (Véronique's aunt), Héloise (a great cousin), Elizabeth (one of Véronique's cousin), as well as lots of locals having great times. Véronique is across the table.

Gerry having dinner and fun at Valady's marché gourmand.
On Gerry's left are Suzanne (Véronique's aunt), Héloise (a great cousin), Elizabeth (one of Véronique's cousin), as well as lots of locals having great times. Véronique is across the table.

I had not imagined that such a beautiful part of France could be so attractive yet have only enough tourists to make it interesting and no crowds to disturb our outings.

We saw deep and spectacular gorges, lovely rivers and villages with well-preserved, very old houses and churches.

As a coal miner and Mining Engineer I was particularly interested in the two museums one of which had specially constructed mine roadways which were totally authentic and housed equipment, artifacts and photographs illustrating the coal mining history of parts of the Aveyron region.

If you are interested in learning about European, and particularly French, history and customs and visiting beautiful countryside you should consider joining one of these very personal tours hosted by a couple who grew up in this lovely part of France.

Gerry and Véronique facing the Millau Viaduct—a couple hundred metres away—the Tarn River flowing behind them.

Gerry and Véronique facing the Millau Viaduct—a couple hundred metres away—the Tarn River flowing behind them.

I should say that Véronique and Christian are good friends of mine here in Canmore, Alberta but I believe I can say this has not influenced my thought in writing this description of my visit.

~ Gerry Stephenson

 

richard rigaux
calgary, Alberta, canada

Najac and its château

Najac and its château

Thank you Véronique for a most memorable vacation. Some of my favourite memories of Aveyron are of being driven through the départment on tiny back roads that I would NEVER have found, driving from one small village to another to find an amazing vista, or castle or lunch. I think of the towns by the food we ate there. Duck in Estaing, aligot in Najac, mushroom filled pastries in Marcillac. The villages are ancient and magnificent and full of history that Véronique really knows well.

The Baraqueville home

The Baraqueville home

Véronique knows Aveyron so very well and is eager and excited to show it off. We got exactly what we were looking for, an insider’s view of that part of France. And we were the only ones there. Virtually everywhere we went we found few other tourists, and sometimes we were the only ones at a site.

This was in the beginning of July. I was especially impressed with our accommodations. That big, beautiful, bright house in Baraqueville was comfortable and very homey. It was certainly not a hotel, but Véronique’s home of which she is justifiably proud. After 10 days in Aveyron we felt we had had an adventure, found a treasure, and made a good friend.

Thank you Véronique. I really did love to Experience your France.

~ Richard Rigaux

 

Pam Dowe
Bellata, new south wales, Australia

Dear Véronique and Béatrice, I am writing this note to say thank-you both very much. Merci beaucoup.

I have really enjoyed my visit.

This holiday has been a real success because you have shown great hospitality, professionalism and kindness.

I have visited all the places I really wanted to see and taken lots of photos of this beautiful area. I believe it is the natural beauty—the trees, sounds of the birds, running water, flowers that will stay in my memory.

I am really grateful to have experienced your France in such comfort.

I have enjoyed the food.

Left to right: Béatrice, Lyndall, Véronique, and Pam at a Monestiés restaurant.

Left to right: Béatrice, Lyndall, Véronique, and Pam at a Monestiés restaurant.

Béatrice, I really commend you on your careful driving.

So, merci beaucoup.

Amitiés, from Pam.

 ~ Pam Dowe

 

Anita Rigaux
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We had never thought to go on an organized tour of another country. Not for us the regimental time clock, but this was a stay with someone who knew the country and we would see it from her perspective.

We had such a good time! Véronique was such a great hostess! She was a competent guide and really fun to be around.

An helicopter view of Villefranche-de-Rouergue on a market day

An helicopter view of Villefranche-de-Rouergue on a market day

We loved our room with the windows wide open and no screens!

One of the bedrooms

One of the bedrooms

I was told by someone before I went to France that I would starve, but no...that was not the problem, we had so much to eat.

Our favourite...sitting on the terrace in the restaurant in Estaing and eating roast duck. We had wine, and amazing duck and fabulous weather and wondered why we don't have this more often. And then there was the amazing view from the café in Conques, and the first aligot eaten overlooking the valley in Najac.

And markets! Loved the amazing variety of the markets, and in Villefranche-de-Rouergue, eating at the night market.

Véronique knew her restaurants and their food and where the best Roquefort was to be found.

All in all an excellent trip, highly recommended.

~ Anita Rigaux

 

sharon leong
Oakland, california, U.S.A.

Véronique,
Thank you for making my stay with you so enjoyable.

Serres hamlet. At the centre is the organic farm Véronique's cousin runs. This used to be a summer residence for priests during the 18th and 19th century before being bought out by the family at the turn of the 20th century. Sharon had such great times visiting and having dinner at the farm!.

Serres hamlet. At the centre is the organic farm Véronique's cousin runs. This used to be a summer residence for priests during the 18th and 19th century before being bought out by the family at the turn of the 20th century. Sharon had such great times visiting and having dinner at the farm!.

I feel that you took me as a friend besides, taking me on a tour around your loved area of Aveyron.

This has been one of the best experiences of my traveling life.

I will always remember this wonderful meandering with you!

Love, Sharon.

~ Sharon Leong

 

Diane Nevill
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Diane and Richard having lunch at a Roquefort-sur-Soulzon restaurant.

Diane and Richard having lunch at a Roquefort-sur-Soulzon restaurant.

Oh, what a fantastic time my husband and I had with Véronique in Aveyron. We have traveled in France many times, sometimes just the two of us or with friends. Other times we were with small groups of up to 14 people. Exploring the countryside of Aveyron as a threesome with Véronique was special, indeed.

We arrived on July 1st as strangers and by the next day it felt like we were staying in a friend's home and she was showing us around where she lives. Her sister Béatrice lives in the house, too, and was delightful. She would cook an evening meal for us and we all ate together. It really did feel like we were living the French experience.

My husband wanted to make a Laguiole knife. Véronique found an artisan knife maker who worked one-on-one with Richard to make his folding pocket knife. This special day was definitely the high point of his trip.

We explored seven of the most beautiful villages in France. They were breathtaking—and practically empty of other tourists!

The variety of our experiences made for a delightful adventure: the bigger cities of Rodez and Albi; the tiny hamlet of Belcastel; the villages of Valady, Bozouls, Najac, Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, Baraqueville. We visited museums, churches, had a wonderful lunch at the family farm, visited Véronique's special 90+ year-old friend. We attended a morning market; dined at an evening market. There were too many memorable experiences; roamed them all.

Véronique's home is quite comfortable and modern. She goes out of her way to be sure her guests have what they need.

Thank you Véronique and Béatrice for our very unique French adventure!

~ Diane Nevill

 

Ernie and Debbie Maclagan
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Véronique and Christian,
Thank you so much for a lovely holiday.

Véronique, you have so much knowledge, love and enthusiasm for the Aveyron region; you are an amazing ambassador.
The villages that you took us to are beautiful and filled with history to tell the generations.

Thank you, Christian for your magnificent driving skills through the narrow windy streets.

As hosts and guides, you are both very accommodating, professional and friendly.

From left to right, Jack, Nadine, Véronique, Laura, Dan, Debbie and Ernie during their biking day in Aveyron in front of Cassagnes-Comtaux and the Marcillac vineyards.

From left to right, Jack, Nadine, Véronique, Laura, Dan, Debbie and Ernie during their biking day in Aveyron in front of Cassagnes-Comtaux and the Marcillac vineyards.

Thank you for arranging our side trips of biking and "Gaillacing".
Fantastic!!

Much appreciation and best wishes.

~ Ernie and Debbie Maclagan

 

Linda Landau
Irvine, California, U.S.A.

My stay in the Aveyron was just fabulous.

Véronique is the perfect guide. She knows every back road and hidden staircase.

She showed me the chapels and the cathedrals, the villages and the hamlets, the art, the architecture, the strange and the wonderful.

I never would have seen so much without her expertise.

Best of all were the special unexpected surprises—a band playing in the street, a warm crêpe covered with sugar, a jar of honey from the beekeeper.

Véronique is excellent company. You will have a very good time.

~ Linda Landau

 

Shirley Mcronald
Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

Simply put, perfect from start to finish.

~ Shirley Mcronald

 

Wendy
Alberta, Canada

Chère Véronique,

Wendy and Véronique taking a "selfie" in Aveyron

Wendy and Véronique taking a "selfie" in Aveyron

A really personal experience of Aveyron, a region of France I had never heard of. You know so much of its history which you impart so well.

This tour was to be a subjection to the French language to me as well as anything else. I felt overwhelmed sometimes but I did improve my understanding of it. I must continue in order to improve.

I think David coming for some time was really pleasant too.

Bonne chance et nous gardons le contact.

À bientôt.

~ Wendy

 

david colpitts
Canmore, alberta, Canada

Véronique,

Thank you very much for looking after me so well—just three days, but a chance for me to visit with Wendy, see your beautiful place and countryside, and enjoying your hospitality.

I've been spoiled, I will find it all then more difficult to return to the Camino as a result—but the memories will help keep me going.

~ David Colpitts

Conques—a UNESCO site—a definite highlight on the Camino and where Véronique picked up David to share a few days touring with Wendy

Conques—a UNESCO site—a definite highlight on the Camino and where Véronique picked up David to share a few days touring with Wendy

 

Peter and Rolande Hopkins
Canmore, alberta, canada

Modern day transportation in the setting of Rodez’s enduring architecture. Photo Credit: Peter Hopkins.

Modern day transportation in the setting of Rodez’s enduring architecture.
Photo Credit: Peter Hopkins.

We recently visited the Aveyron region of France and thoroughly enjoyed our exposure to its culture, history, architecture, cuisine, language and scenic countryside.

We participated in a tour, entitled Experience (my) France, an opportunity to experience life as do the Aveyronnais. This holiday enabled us to connect more closely with life in Aveyron than we would as travellers passing through the area.

We resided in the home of our guide, Véronique who not only hosted us but served as guide on our daily excursions. Véronique was born and raised in Aveyron and as a student of its history and culture is eminently qualified to guide her visitors.

Villefranche de Rouergue on market day. Photo Credit: Peter Hopkins.

Villefranche de Rouergue on market day.
Photo Credit: Peter Hopkins.

 

 

 

Her passion for life in Aveyron and her energy for sharing it combine with her extensive knowledge to produce a truly memorable holiday. Our heartfelt thanks, Véronique for your warm hospitality and dedication to making our Aveyron experience unforgettable.

~ Peter and Rolande Hopkins

 

 

 

To note, Peter Hopkins is an accomplished photographer as well as blogger. He shared more on his blog posts: