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Why Aveyron should be your next holiday destination

PUBLISHED: 12:05 04 October 2017

Estaing in Aveyron, in the north of Occitanie, makes a perfect holiday destination © Aveyron Tourism

Estaing in Aveyron, in the north of Occitanie, makes a perfect holiday destination © Aveyron Tourism

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With charming villages and unspoilt countryside, Aveyron is a great holiday destination for getting away from it all

Belcastel is one of Aveyron's 10 plus beaux villages de France © Freeartist / ThinkstockBelcastel is one of Aveyron's 10 plus beaux villages de France © Freeartist / Thinkstock

It has lots of pretty villages

Aveyron has 10 plus beaux villages – more than any other department in France – so you’ll have more than enough material to fill your Instagram feed with pictures of rose-covered cottages and cute cobblestone streets!

The Millau Viaduct is 19m higher than the Eiffel Tower © Auvergne TourismeThe Millau Viaduct is 19m higher than the Eiffel Tower © Auvergne Tourisme

See the tallest bridge in the world

At 343 metres high, the Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge of its kind in the world. It was designed by British architect Norman Foster who said crossing it should be “like flying by car”.

The craftspeople of Causse Gantier in MillauThe craftspeople of Causse Gantier in Millau

Quirky museums

Located in Millau, Causse Gantier is where fashion houses such as Chanel, Kenzo and Saint Laurent source their gloves for haute-couture collections. It also serves as a sleek, stylish and modern museum space that offers a fascinating insight into the history of the city’s glove-making industry.

Creamy mashed potato blended with cheese: aligot is the food of dreams (c) ThinkstockCreamy mashed potato blended with cheese: aligot is the food of dreams (c) Thinkstock

Eat aligot

Silky-smooth mashed potato is blended with tomme cheese and sometime a little garlic to make this ultimate comfort food. Calorific and so delicious!

Learn about and taste lots of Roquefort (c) DreamstimeLearn about and taste lots of Roquefort (c) Dreamstime

Visit the Roquefort caves

Take a tour of the cellars where the Roquefort cheese is ripened in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon and learn how one of France’s favourite fromages is produced. The best part is at the end when you get to taste some of the cheese.

Kayaking down the Gorges du TarnKayaking down the Gorges du Tarn

Adventure sports

From kayaking down the Gorges du Tarn to paragliding over wooded forests and scaling rocky cliffs, Aveyron is a playground for lovers of the great outdoors. Jump right in!

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The sound of (blissful) silenceThe sound of (blissful) silence

Get some peace and quiet!

Facebook updates and traffic-logged roads have no place in Aveyron’s landscape of winding valleys, towering mountaintops and lush green forests so you can just enjoy a slow pace of life for a while.

Musée-Soulages opened in 2014 (c) Wiki CommonsMusée-Soulages opened in 2014 (c) Wiki Commons

It’s accessible

Although it can seem that you’re blissfully a million miles from the modern-day world, in reality you’re only a two-hour drive from Toulouse and Montpellier and their international airports so you don’t have far to go once you’re off the plane.

Musée Soulages

Housing over 500 works from one of France’s greatest artists, Pierre Soulages, this museum in Rodez that opened in 2014, has put Aveyron’s capital on the cultural map. It also hosts temporary exhibitions from other artists, plus it also houses the top-notch brasserie, Café Bras.

Market day in Villefranche-de-Rouergue (c) Wiki CommonsMarket day in Villefranche-de-Rouergue (c) Wiki Commons

The markets

You’ll never have to go too far to find a market in Aveyron where you can experience some of the department’s best food, artisanal produce and of course meet the friendly locals! Markets are an ideal place to soak up Aveyron’s atmosphere.

Aveyron is ever-popular with walkersAveyron is ever-popular with walkers

There are lots of walking routes

Many of Aveyron’s towns and villages are on the Camino de Santiago and there are lots of walking and hiking routes around the area so don’t forget your walking boots!

Vélorail du Larzac is a novel way to experience Aveyron's stunning scenery © Aveyron TourismeVélorail du Larzac is a novel way to experience Aveyron's stunning scenery © Aveyron Tourisme

It’s fun

Doing a cycling or bus tour is fun, but Aveyron has come up with a much more imaginative way to see the surrounding countryside. Vélo Rail du Larzac allows you to pedal along the old train tracks, taking in tunnels and viaducts as you pass above the River Cernon.

Estaing is dominated by a beautiful château © Aveyron TourismeEstaing is dominated by a beautiful château © Aveyron Tourisme

Estaing

Dominated by a beautiful 13th-century château at the foot of the Aubrac mountains, Estaing has a Gothic bridge, a beautiful medieval church and a lots of lovely riverside bars.

Conques is like something from a fairy tale!Conques is like something from a fairy tale!

It inspired fairy tales

Conques was the inspiration for Disney’s new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Just strolling through its cobblestone, twisting streets feels like something from a film!

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