are ancient rights of way through fields and woodland, formerly used for
ox and horse-drawn carts going to the river. These were rich lands for
grain, grazing, vines and honey. Les Devezes is high up with dramatic
views over steep valleys and rolling fields, with the Viaur river far
below and groups of hamlets and farms studded about the entrancing countryside.
The "Grande Randonnee des Gorge de
Viaur" traces its route around and about this area and is highly
regarded for its beauty, wildness and rare wildlife. Serious walkers and
strollers alike find immense pleasure in the shorter circuits clearly
marked with their local histories, ruins, wildflowers and mushrooms.
Excellent swimming is available, free, at many points along the Viaur;
the nearest at La Garde is in a fabulous shady setting with a nearby bar/restaurant
and pretty beer garden - ideal for picnics. There are many leisure activities
canoe and kayak hire at several places for short or long hire (many rivers
run through gorges and are great fun to explore); equestrian centres with
escorted pony trekking; bike-hire; and nearby towns have open air swimming
pools, tennis courts and, of course, cafes, bars and restaurants!
Provisions, banks, garages and Syndicat d'Initiatives are 12-15 minutes
away at Mirandol to the east or Laguepie, ancient and dramatic, to the
west. We also have a wealth of information available in the house with
leaflets on practically everything, and can help you personally, if required,
with our views on places to visit, restaurants to try and where to sample
or buy the nicest wines!
The region has had historical links with England since early medieval
times and the Hundred Years War produced the amazing hilltop fortified
villages known as 'bastides' - many now reduced to picturesque ruins.
Others like Cordes, Conques, Najac, Carcassonne and Rocamadour have continued
splendidly. The TARN has two capaitals ALBI and CASTRES, and both of these
gracious old cities are worth visiting for architecture, museums (Toulouse
Lautrec), shopping and very reasonable excellent food. GAILLAC is the
wine centre of the region. The AVEYRON capital is RODEZ, a sombre and
beautiful granite city. Villefrance de Rouerque or St Antonin-Noble-Val
have enchanting river settings and enticing narrow streets with interesting