Need an authentic break in the south of France? Prefer to visit the department of Aveyron to live peaceful and picturesque moments.
To visit the Aveyron is to treat yourself to a trip to one of the most beautiful places in the southwest. There are rivers, green plateaus, gourmet visits, excessive gorges, and picturesque villages here.
There’s plenty to do! It is full of exceptional sites to discover, between charming villages and majestic natural landscapes.
No doubt, the department of Aveyron is well anchored in French solid traditions. Discover our best tips for visiting the region and 14 must-do things to do in the Aveyron.
The 14 Best Things To Do in the Aveyron
1. The Larzac
Do you like outdoor activities? Let Le Larzac, a land with a unique cultural and architectural heritage, delight you.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the biodiversity on the 1,000 square kilometers south of the Aveyron is exceptional. One of its most beautiful stops is the stop at the medieval village of La Couvertoirade.
2. The Lot Valley
Here, you will oscillate between discovering atypical villages of the region and striking heritage discoveries.
In Saint-Geniez-d’Olt, you can enjoy a cake on a spit, a specialty not to be missed when visiting the Aveyron. Or if you make a stop in Sainte-Eulalie-d’Olt, classified among the most beautiful villages in France.
Then a passage through the City of Saint-Côme-d’Olt, everything will make you appreciate this parenthesis of calm and authenticity.
3. The hikes of the Carladès
Do you want to hike in the Aveyron? We advise you to look at Carladès. More than twenty-three hikes and walks around the Gorges de la Tuyère are offered here. Roads and natural discoveries will leave you with an inexhaustible memory of the region.
4. The cellars of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon
This atypical and unique cheese is an integral part of French heritage. It is here, in Aveyron, that you can know all the secrets. In the Regional Natural Park of the Grands Causses, the famous cheese is made in Roquefort-Sur-Soulzon.
Compagnons arranged the cellars in the Aveyron, and they are essential to do so.
5. The sites of the Hospitaller Templars
The Templar circuit is an original way to make good history in Aveyron. Here, in the heart of the Grands Causses Regional Natural Park, UNESCO has recognized the territory as an exceptional territory.
Discover the history of the Order of the Temple of the Hospitallers. Guided tours are possible and recommended to capture every detail of this piece of history.
6. The Aubrac plateau
It is the heart of the Aveyron highlands, on 2,500 square meters of forests and pastures. The Aubrac plateau ensures a perfect change of scenery and an oxygen cure assured.
It is a star place on the Aubrac plateau. The Laguiole knife is known worldwide. A museum exhibits old Laguiole knives as well as tools of the trades of yesteryear. An essential to visit in Aveyron.
Restaurant Chez Bras
The establishment of the Bras family, located on the puech du Suquet, is a mandatory stop if you visit the Aveyron.
Here, the cuisine is seasonal local and honors the country’s specialties. It is also and above all one of the ten best restaurants in the world, as much to tell you that the bar is very high.
It’s a tradition on set. Enjoy an aligot in a buron. These old stone houses with a lauze roof are reminiscent of when shepherds took refuge to make and store cheese.
7. The Grands Causses
This natural park covers more than 330,000 hectares. In other words, it is the third-largest natural park in France.
Located south of the Massif Central, it forms a perfect triptych, with the Cévennes National Park and the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park among the largest natural areas in Europe.
8. The gorges of the Dourbie
One of the unknown jewels of the Aveyron. These green gorges are located near Millau and offer stunning views between the Causse Noir and the Causse du Larzac.
These are 18 kilometers across the river where villages and hamlets of character will cross your path.
9. The Lévézou
The Lévézou plateau is located in the center of the Aveyron. Here oscillates a reserved natural area between lakes and mountains.
Thus, you will be able to discover five artificial lakes. Lake Bages, Pont-de-Salars, Gourde, Pareloup and Villefranche-de-Panat.
10. Sylvanès Abbey
It is one of the first Cistercian abbeys built in Rouergue in the twelfth century. The place is sacred, and its architecture testifies to one of the West’s greatest spiritual and artistic moments.
The International Festival of Sacred Music and World Music takes place every year in July and August.
11. GR® 65
It is also nicknamed the Way of Santiago de Compostela. The roaming path is done over five days or step by step. There are 102 kilometers from East to West to explore in Aveyron. Each step will take you through the must-sees of the region.
12. The most beautiful towns and villages of Aveyron
In the heart of the Grands Causses Regional Natural Park, the town of Millau is rich in history. With quality skins raising the city to prominence in the past, this solid French city earned the name “Capital of the Glove.”
We discover the prehistoric time with the archaeological site of Gaufesenque, the Middle Ages with the remains of the Pont-Vieux, the contemporary era with the famous viaduct of Millau, and much more.
it is rare to see so much wealth in one place! Between the abbey church of Conques, a masterpiece of Roman art, the treasure of Sainte-Foy, the bridge of Dourdou, the solid and the stained glass windows of Pierre Soulages, challenging to choose.
Here you can see the typical pattern of the new towns of the Middle Ages in the southwest of France. Founded in the twelfth century by Alphonse de Poitiers, the city has a quality historic architectural heritage.
- The collegiate church
This bastide in the southern Gothic style took more than 300 years. The masterpiece of the collegiate church is the stalls of the sculptor André Sulpice at the back of the church. There are sixty-two in all.
- The restaurant at Noémie and Quentin de Top Chef
If you’re looking for a place to stay and eat in the city, head to the Univers restaurant run by the two stars of the small screen. The cuisine is refined and creative but highlights regional assets.
It is a cultural city in Aveyron. This is precisely how it obtained the label Pays dart et Histoire. No matter whether you’re visiting a museum or walking through the alleys, enchantment is abounding in this city.
The Soulages Museum sits from the top of its contemporary corten steel building. One of the jewels of Rodez to visit in Aveyron to learn more about the French painter Pierre Soulages. It is also an opportunity to take a gourmet break at Café Bras.
If you are visiting the Aveyron, be sure to see this medieval city with its stone or half-timbered houses which set the tone.
A postcard-worthy landscape, it is impossible to miss this village. The ruined castle was entirely renovated by Fernand Pouillon, one of the most eminent architects of the twentieth century.
Perched on a rocky stop, Najac is a village that stretches on a single street. A beautiful view of the Aveyron flows below, and a castle is classified as a Historic Monument.
Located in the heart of the Lot Valley, this village offers breathtaking views of the Lot. A beautiful place.
Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon
Located on the Road to the South, this village will immerse you in the history of the Templars of the Hospitallers. The place is ideal for walks or mountain biking among the 45 kilometers of marked trails.
If you are looking for what to do in Aveyron in gloomy weather, do not hesitate to visit the Reptilarium du Larzac.
The geological site of the Bozouls canyon, nicknamed Trou de Bouzouls, is the result of the erosive action of the waters. Aveyron is a curiosity of impressive dimensions that you will have to explore.
With a diameter of 400 meters and a depth of 100 meters, the site is designated as a sensitive natural area due to its unique fauna and flora.
14. Local specialties
Visiting the Aveyron is also an opportunity to taste local specialties. As in all regions of France, gastronomy is an important aspect of the region.
- As a dish, it is impossible not to test the aligot, the tripous, the farçous, the cheese soup or the estofinado; Laguiole cheeses or fouace;
- Continue with cheese, such as Laguiole, the cabécou du Roquefort or the no less famous Rocamadour. All accompanied by an excellent Marcillac wine. In the Lot valley, it is the hare and deer stew, but also the trout dumplings or the wines that make a sensation;
- Finish in style with either a cake on the spit or a fouace, a dessert located between the brioche and the cake. Or an oil pump made based on brioche dough.
How to get to the Aveyron?
If you come from far away, you can arrive:
- By plane to Rodez airport directly. Direct lines from Paris or Brussels are being developed. The use of a flight comparator such as Skyscanner will, however, be helpful to find the schedules and fares that suit you;
- The Rodez train station is also a good compromise to come by train. However, a change will be necessary during your journey;
- By car, from the A20 or A71 if you come from the North of France, or the A47 from the East and the A20 from the South-West;
- It is also possible to take the bus and arrive either at the Rodez or Millau bus station.
Where to stay in Aveyron?
To fully enjoy your holidays in Aveyron, the region offers diversified accommodation. From the simple hotel or Airbnb to more atypical rentals such as cabins or yurts in nature on the highest plateaus.
One of the benefits of the Aveyron is not being exposed to mass tourism. This leaves the opportunity to find accommodation with good value for money.
Look on an online hotel comparator to compare offers. Our advice is to favor the Aubrac if you are looking for calm and desert landscapes, Millau and its surroundings for sports activities, Rodez to be the most in the center and the side of Villefranche-de-Rouergue for atypical villages and medieval cities.