La Bastide l’Evêque is a character village on a granite plateau overlooking the Gorges de l’Aveyron where numerous ‘martinets’ (hydraulic forges) were once used to beat copper in the Middle Ages. One of them, the Martinet de la Ramonde, has been totally restored and is a fascinating place to visit. Enjoy the great outdoors and follow the many signposted footpaths through the countryside to discover churches, castles, bridges, mills along the way. Go a little further on to feast your eyes on the picture-postcard villages of St Salvadou, Vabres-Tizac and La Capelle Bleys.
The Ségala area also contains the village of Rieupeyroux with its delightful arcades around the Place du Gitat, its half-timbered houses and its fountain. Stroll through the small, narrow streets to the church of Saint-Martial, a listed monument. Rebuilt in the 14th century, its system of defence makes the church one of the rarest and most noteworthy examples of fortified architecture in southern France. Families love visiting the little village of Pradinas, with its Musée des Traditions Agricoles du Ségala (museum of agricultural traditions) and its animal park with cinema stars like wolves and bears plus a falconry display.
In summer, there are many traditional summer festivals, Bastide festivals and twilight markets to enliven your holiday and enjoy some local speciality foods like charcuterie, tripe, veal from Aveyron and Ségala, prune rissoles.
What to do in the Bastides du Rouergue ?
Chapelle des Pénitents (Villefranche de Rouergue), priory
Château du Bosc, magnificent family home of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec (Sauveterre-de-Rouergue)
Walks, treetop adventure, museums, castles , horse riding, walks with donkeys, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, rafting, caving, Via Ferrata, treasure hunt, orienteering, hot-air ballooning, art workshops (Sauveterre)
ON FOOT : Bastides de Rouergue are accessible via the GR36 and 62b hiking paths
BY ROAD : Autoroute A20 northbound, exit 59 (Caussade and Saint Antonin Noble Val)
Autoroute A20 southbound, exit 58 (Cahors-sud /Villefranche de Rouergue) exit 54 (Gouffre de Padirac, Gramat and Rocamadour) then follow Figeac and Villefranche de Rouergue
Autoroute A75 southbound, exit 42 (Séverac le Château)
Autoroute A75 northbound, exit 45 (Millau, Saint-Beauzély, Castelnau-Pégayrol)
BY RAIL : to Villefranche de Rouergue or Najac
Direct train from Toulouse approx. 1½ hours
From Nîmes or Montpellier, change at Toulouse
From Paris via Toulouse, Clermont Ferrand or Brive la Gaillarde
Daily overnight train via Figeac"