St. Antonin Noble Val
Saint Antonin Noble Val formed the picturesque decor for the English film Charlotte Gray. It is a breathtaking medieval city on the Aveyron. It was built in the 12th century and has the first and therefore oldest town hall in all of France.
There are many nice small shops, where you can buy anything from pastries to soaps, art works and antiques. You also should not miss the busy and highly enjoyable Sunday market, which is ideal to collect presents for family and friends at home and for yourself of course
Cordes sur Ciel
The name means ‘cord to heaven’, after the way the village has been built around the mountain. During the summer months, there is a train that will take you to the top from where you can enjoy breathtaking views and have a great lunch. In summer there also is the medieval “Festival of the Grand Falconer” (which lasts 2 days!). The theme changes every year. Animations follow one after the other for two days: grand parade, music and story-telling, stilt-walkers and magicians, a concert and a medieval ball, animals to look at, a medieval tavern, handicraft market, etc. This is a family outing.
The market is on Saturday morning.
Ville Franche de Rouergue
Ville Franche is a “bastide” or settlement, characterised by a pattern of straight, small streets, that divides the housing blocks in squares. At the Place Notre Dame, a square with arches, there is a large regional market where all sorts of traders are found, the most special part of it being right on this Place Notre Dame, where small traders offer their home-grown products. It is where people come to trade one crate of tomatoes, or a couple of chickens from their own yard.
A little further away, but also very much worthwhile is Albi. A fabulous ‘pink’ town, dominated by one of France’s largest cathedrals. The town dates back from the thirteenth century, with many sights to see, like the birthplace and museum of the famous painter Toulouse Lautrec.
Merchant houses, a very high clock tower, the ruins of a castle situated high up and especially an exceptional statue of Christ in the historic church, from famous sculptor Zadkine.
It’s a village full of character, where time seems to have come to a standstill. There are a couple of nice outdoor cafés in the village square. The Tuesday market is also fun. It is when the village comes alive. You can go on wonderful hikes, set out in the beautiful surrounding areas.