La Vallée
Great things to do near La Vallée
Explore the medieval village of Najac
A stunning example of the famous Bastides of the south-west and awarded 'one of the most beautiful villages of France'. Lunch on one of a number of sunny terraces looking deep into the valley of the Aveyron from this defensive ridge.

Walk in the steps of Richard the Lionheart
Around the Najac fortress and be part of the 'second' British invasion of Najac!

Visit St Antonin-Noble-Val
An easy drive and particularly good on a Sunday morning when there is a comprehensive market. It is a fascinating mediaeval town with fabulous buildings. The tourist office is open on a Sunday and it is possible to get a town guide to the sites of interest although just wandering is very rewarding. Buy food at the market and picnic by the river

Experience the culinary choices in the Najac area
With at least 6 restaurants open in season, choose from the gourmet, listed restaurants of Le Belle Rive and L'Oustal del Barry (Michelin quality dining with menus from euro 20-60) to the family-friendly Italian. Serving much more than just 'pizza and ice-cream', Il Cappello challenges you with its 6 course 20 euro menu (yes, including wine). For the 'less hungry' try the 5 course menu at Mont Le Viaur (St André de Najac) for just 12 euros (including wine and coffee)!

Be active. Walk the gorges of the Aveyron River
There are several hundred km of marked trails for both walkers and mountain bikers. Start from the house on the heights or walk or drive down into the gorges. Hire a bicycle to explore the level, shaded towpaths which run for miles in each direction and picnic at the secret beaches along the Aveyron.

Cordes Sur Ciel
A must visit bastide town! It is possible to ride in the Petit Train from the lower square to the old town at the top of the hill. It is a climb of 78 metres so to be recommended! There is a wealth of 13th century buildings within the five lines of fortification. Many are now the workshops of artisans so there is an element of tourism. Take coffee at the restaurant in the Place De Bride with superb views over the valley.

Be Lazy
Do the Gorges on the cute single-track railway north and south from Najac. Or just stay on the train past the Gaillac vineyards and on to the red-brick magnificence of Toulouse. Take a guided tour around the Airbus factory: be among the first to see the latest and incredible A380 double-decker. Or, go Out-of-this-World and visit Space City.

Be Sporty
Do the Gorges by raft. Let yourself be wafted along. Or let a horse take the strain and go pony trekking or buggy riding. Play golf at Villefranche and at Albi. Pop up the road to St Andre de Najac for Mini-Golf, or to see an authentic water-driven saw-mill or visit a talented British potter.

Go Skiing
For a great family day out, whatever the weather, try Cap 'Decouverte' near Carmaux, about 45 minutes from Najac. A converted coal mine which has been made into a 1600 acre leisure centre offering a dry ski slope complete with cable cars, zip-lining, tobogganing, cycling, rollerballing, skating and mini-karting. There is also a swimming pool and museum.

Get Wet
Do the Najac Gorges by Canoe or Kayak, down the rapids and chutes and fall into 6-12 inches of water: There are several different starting points, just decide how many ancient water mills you want the river to pull you past. Take lunch in plastic bags for those secret beaches.

Get Warm and Wet
Don't move from the house, just enjoy the heated pool, relax on your sunbed and read the afternoon away.

Take it Easy
Enjoy the different shaded areas and the outside dining with dramatic views over the Aveyron gorges. Watch the birds of prey circling above you on the warm thermals. Drum up enthusiasm for a petanque competition and throw your boules around.

Make your own entertainment (inside)
In the Games Room enjoy table tennis, authentic 'babyfoot' (table football), and darts.

Make your own entertainment (outside)
Use the acres of garden and meadow for cricket, badminton, rounders and boules.

Walk from the House
A circular walk down the lanes and disused medieval roads through the woods, and do some people-watching at one of the local bars before wandering back again.

Visit a superb (and very French) market
In the Bastide of Villefranche de Rouergue every Thursday morning and find almost everything including, yes, really big pants. Dont forget the Sunday morning market in Najac itself.

See other attractive Bastides
Including Villeneuve, Sauveterre and Cordes 'Up In The Sky' within a 40-minute drive.

Do Toulouse-Lautrec
In his dedicated museum at Albi overlooking the mighty River Tarn (40 minutes) and take in the breathtaking cathedral of St Cecile

See a modern Wonder of the World
Take a day trip to the world's highest viaduct at Millau carrying the A75 motorway to the Mediterranean. A visit to the famous Roquefort cheese producers, water activities at the Lac de Pareloup or an interactive experience with insects at Micropolis are just some of the places to include in your day out.

Do a winetasting and chateaux tour
There are many chateaux and ancients sites to visit, such as Belcastel near Rodez but Chateau du Mauriac is a must. En route to Gaillac in a very rural setting this Templar red-brick chateau is the family home of the artist Bistes. Beautifully restored and decorated by this talented man, you can also buy prints (and originals) of his work and get to shake his hand. The Gaillac area has marked tours around the Domaines with lots of opportunities to sample.

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