Aveyron is one of those almost secret parts of France that you think can’t possibly exist in real life. Ancient bastide villages with cobbled winding streets make you feel as if you’re in a place where time has stood still. There are lush green valleys and flowery meadows, forested gorges and vineyards that cling to the side of steep hills. Medieval hamlets whose roofs poke out of the leafy canopies that cover valleys lure you to stop and wander in wonder.
Towns like Estaing, officially one of the most beautiful in France and Conques on the pilgrim route are sublimely beautiful. Villefranche-de-Rouergue has one of the prettiest markets in France, spilling out from Place Notre-Dame with stalls piled high with fruit and vegetables, spices, sticky sweets, warm breads and patisseries, herbs, flowers, meats slow turning on the spit and vast pans of steaming shell fish, all teasing and tempting you. Najac with its astonishing castle and dramatic views, Belcastel where you cross a bridge and find yourself stepping back in time, and Roquefort, birthplace of the famous cheese.
It’s a place that’s not to be rushed but savoured, where you’ll fall in love with the way of life. Totally unspoiled by mass tourism, this is La France Profonde, unchanging, authentic and utterly charming.
A very special Experiential tour
Experience (my) France are a tour company with a difference. They run French immersion tours for small groups (no more than 8 people) that are authentic and fabulous in the lovely Aveyron region.
Hosted in the extremely beautiful art deco style home of bi-lingual local Véronique Héry in the town of Baraqueville (near Rodez), Experience (my) France’s all inclusive tours are not like other tours. There’s no rushing about keeping to an itinerary of places to tick off. This is a tour that’s put together for you based on what you want to see and do and what you want to experience.
As a local, Véronique will introduce you to the authentic life of Aveyron from its cuisine and wine to its people, history, traditions and culture. If you want to improve your French as you go, that can be added into the programme. If you’d like to walk part of the pilgrims route, add more wine tasting and vineyard visits, try cheese at the organic cheese farm – no problem, this is a tour that’s about what you want to do. And, if you’re not sure, then Véronique is happy to make suggestions and share the jewels and secrets of Aveyron to make your dream tour come true.
The goal of your trip says Véronique “is to create goose bump moments, so you take home memories to last a life time and have a trip that you’ll cherish for ever”.
See Experience (my) France website for details: www.ExperienceMyFrance.com