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AVEYRON - The Heart of Aveyron


Ségala lies in the heart of the Aveyron region. There are quiet villages nestled in the countryside. Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere for your holiday, close to the main tourist sites and towns of interest (for tours and daily excursions), but with a tranquility off the beaten track.

If you like fishing, swimming, water sports or sunbathing during summer, it is an ideal place for a holiday. There are many large reservoirs, all at different altitudes. Apart from being an economic asset, farming provides the rhythm of life. Food lovers will enjoy what the Aveyron has to offer which is provided by small producers, local shops and good restaurants.

In the heart of the Aveyron, holidays are relaxing and full of 'the good life' using locally produced food. Enjoy walking or trekking with friends and family through the villages and surrounding countryside to uncover the charm of the area.


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PONT-DE-SALARS

South of Rodez, Pont-de-Salars is located in the Lévézou region ; a high plateau with large lakes providing nautical and nature activities. It is a pleasant place for family holidays due to the lovely beaches along the lakeshores where swimming is allowed, hiking of different difficulty levels, interesting villages to be discovered and tourist sites for all the family.

Pont-de-Salars is a farming commune which has benefited from its geographical location and natural resources for its economic and tourism development. Rural tourism is very important today for the development of this region, especially during summer.

On the heritage side, explore Poujols church, the lovely Pont de Saint-Georges, the hamlet and Camboulas Castle (in ruins, but it is a lovely site for a walk) with Viaur stream at its base.

Flora and fauna enthusiasts will be delighted to walk in the Viaur Riparian forest, the wetlands of the Vernet, the Tourbière de Bial, the bocage de la Trappe. It is interesting to note the diversity of the natural areas and ecosystems around Pont-de- Salars. The different landscape features making up the Lévézou region explain this diversity : the plateau, the many lakes and the valleys.

The lakes are mainly artificial ; they are reservoirs with hydroelectric dams and are now a tourist attraction.

Go and enjoy Pont-de-Salars lake or Bage lake, not far away, which are reserved for fishing.


Le barrage de Pont de Salars et le lac

SALLES-CURAN

Also located in the Lévézou region, a little further south, is Salles-Curan. From a tourist point of view, most activities take place at Praloup lake, another large dammed reservoir. The lakes of the region are linked by underground galleries three metres in diameter. Their construction is mentioned in the Marshall Plan, for the development of France in 1950s. It was a mammoth undertaking, which employed, at times, more than 2,000 workers. The electricity plant is in Poujet. To learn more about this titanic project, visit the Tourist Office in Lévézou.

In the village of Salles-Curan, there are information boards showing a guided tour. In the environs, visit Larguiès Castle and Micropolis, the city of insects, which will please children.

There is also the village of Castelnau-Pegayrols, approximately fifteen kilometres away that is worth a detour. It is a fortified medieval village on the edge of a cliff, with a Roman church and lovely houses ; an ideal place to spend an afternoon. In Saint- Beauzély, another lovely picturesque village, visit the Museum of the Métiers de la Pierre (stonework) located in a castle.


Village de Salles Curan


Lac de Praloup

BARAQUEVILLE

This is a new town (built in 1973), but with its origins dating back to 1749. Its development was due to its strategic position - the development of transport networks, the organisation of fairs, the emergence of the railway and the rural exodus... This small village, which is not really one, has all the amenities necessary for a town. Vors and Carcenac-Peyrales merged to become Baraqueville. Therefore, in Baraqueville, you can see old farmers' houses, barns, a lovely fishing lake, a Gallo-Roman fountain. Like many other towns in this region, Baraqueville benefits from having an artificial lake : the Val de Lenne lake. During summer it is buzzing, with a refreshment bar, supervised swimming, boat rental. In a word it is fun !


RIEUPEYROUX

Capital of the Haut Ségala, Rieupeyroux was a former sauveté (a sacred asylum created by the church for the protection of the weak) since 11th century. Modulance chapel, located on the highest point of the commune, developed round Saint-Martial church, which is a listed historic monument. You will see half-timbered houses, a square lined with arcades, lovely narrow streets and a good local producers' market on Sunday morning during summer.

There are exhibitions and cultural events at the Centre Culturel Aveyron Segala Viaur, which is located in Rieupeyroux.

Not far away, in Pradina, visit the Musée des traditions Agricoles du Ségala (Traditional farming customs museum) located in the animal park, an enjoyable place, 15 hectares (37 acres) in area, with nearly 200 animals (open from April to November).



SAUVETERRE DE ROUERGUE

In Ségala, the country of one hundred valleys, is Sauveterre de Rouergue, one of the most beautiful villages in France. A land of hills and valleys, where hundreds of small streams and rivers twist across the landscape. Situated between the Viaur and Aveyron valleys, there are wooded landscapes and meadows at different altitudes. Agriculture is well developed, thanks to the soil and also a hydrographic network allowing good management of the fields. Farming is important, especially for veal and lamb. Sauveterre de Rouergue is a former royal bastide. Visit Saint-Christophe Collegiate church which is beautifully furnished, the classic alleyways organised in a grid pattern, the main square and an impressive succession of 47 arcades. For a number of years, the inhabitants have valued local artistic expertise. A number of artisans live here all year round and bring a new dynamism to the town which suffered from a rural exodus and its lack of proximity to other more important towns. In the Espace Lapérouse, which houses the Tourist Office, there is a Professional Art Centre which has exhibitions.

Sauveterre knives are made here ; the town housed up to thirty blacksmiths during the 15th century. The industry has been modernised over the past few years.


Ville de couteliers !

NAUCELLE

There are not one, but two, Naucelles to explore ! There is the old village, with its historic alleyways, the Tourist Office, the church etc... and then there's Naucelle-gare which is the second part of the town. It is more residential and has the rest of the amenities you would expect, which developed with the arrival of the railway. The railway played an important role in the development of the town, which up until then, had been overshadowed by Sauveterre nearby.

Naucelle was attached to Bonnecombe abbey since it was built by the same monks who built Saint-Martin church in 1254. Cross the town to see a few remains of its medieval past (a door, a square lined with arcades, half-timbered houses...). If you go to Naucelle, taste the local speciality, Tripous : veal stomach stuffed with ham, garlic, parsley, veal tripe and flavoured with tomato and white wine.

Bonnefon lake nearby is used for fishing.

The market takes place on Saturday mornings in Naucelle.


L'église de Naucelle

REQUISTA

In Requista, sheep are important. The town houses the second largest sheep market in France. It takes place from 9.30 every Monday morning and many sheep and lambs are up for sale in a big 4,400m2 barn built especially for the market. They come from far and wide for this market! The farmers, buyers and the plain curious gather and prices are set.

The Requistanais is an agricultural region of natural landscapes where the sheep graze peacefully. In the town of Requista and its surroundings, you can eat well for excellent value for money (great for tourism). Look for the statue of the sheep in front of the Town hall and church.

In Lincou, go to see the Manoir de Lincou Art Museum. In the Requistanais region, in Auriac-Lagast, there is a beautiful view, with an orientation table. There is also a state-owned forest, the forest of Lagast, which provides lovely walks. Trout fishing enthusiasts can fish in Brasc Lake from April to the end of August. Visit the lovely, very small village of la Selve, which is a former Templar Command. Rock-climbing enthusiasts will love climbing the hard rock of the Rullac-Saint Cirq, a picturesque site on a rocky promontory. There is an adventure trail in Reycabrot.


La Star de Requista !