There are a number of places in France that begin with the word Villefranche so when looking it up on maps etc do make sure you have the correct one or you could be heading in completely the wrong direction. This is the one in the valley of the Lot River, south of plain Villefranche, has a population of about 12,000 in the Aveyron department of Occitanie region, an area sometimes described as the deep green of France.
There is a direct train from Paris and flights from London to Rodez-Marcillac airport at nearby Aveyron.
When you do get there though there is something for everyone from mysterious caves, trips in a horse drawn caravan (balades a rolotte), trekking by horse from the Ranch des Trios Maries, organized treks or gentle walks by yourself. Visit the many bastides in the area (fortified mediaeval villages) or just find a pleasant café, sit and enjoy. It isn’t just Piccadilly Circus where one can people watch. There are organized walks between places where your luggage is transported for you to wait at the next hotel – a slower and more thorough way perhaps to get to know the area than just driving around. There are chateaus, mills, museums galore. For those who enjoy sport there is golf and even paintballing, rock-climbing and an aero club, even mushroom hunting. The Relais de Farrou, 3 minutes outside town, has a sauna, Turkish baths, WiFi, pool and more, as well as a restaurant and hotel.
Food and Drink
Food and drink are of the Gascon variety – lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, much of it organically grown. There are a number of places in the area with cookery schools for those who don’t want to just eat in restaurants, but have a go themselves at producing local dishes. This can be just a morning session in a local restaurant or longer courses in luxurious surroundings.
- Assiette de Gourmande ( the Greedy Plate), Place André Lescure, 12200 Ville Franche de Rouerue, Tel no: 05 65 45 25 95 for regional dishes
- Le Relais de Farrou, Route de Figeac, 12 200 Villefranche de Rouergue,
Tel no: 05 65 45 18 11
Decide what kind of property you are seeking, determine your budget, make a note of any special requests e.g. room for a pool , a down stairs toilet etc and whether this is to be a place to live all year round or just for holidays. Armed with the answers to these questions Sextant properties should soon be able to come up with suitable properties for you to visit. It may take a while to find that perfect place, but one day soon your dream could become a reality. Sextant properties can put you in touch with an experienced local agent, just what you need.