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! Don't forget the Sunday morning market in Najac itself. Buy lunch and take it back to La Sérénité.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 sun lounger and read the afternoon away.
Be active. Walk or cycle the gorges of the Aveyron River
There are several hundred km of marked trails for both walkers and mountain bikers. Start from the house or drive down into the gorges. Hire a bicycle to explore the level, shaded tow-paths which run for miles in each direction and picnic at the secret beaches along the Aveyron.
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.
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.
A most beautiful village
A visit to Belcastel, one of 10 beautiful villages of the region, is an absolute must. Wonder as to how they built the houses and fortress clinging to the hillside or even managed to get the raw materials to its isolated but spectacular location. Watch the Aveyron River glide by and dream yourself back 400 or more years in history.
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. This magnificent piece of technology/architecture is quite stunning and worth a visit.
See other attractive Bastides
As well as Najac, there are a number of beautiful bastide towns within a 40-minute drive of La Sérénité - Villeneuve, Sauveterre and Cordes sur Ciel amongst others. Take a stroll around the narrow streets, stopping to look in the shops and art galleries, and then head to the square for lunch in one of the cafes.
Take in the collection of Toulouse-Lautrec paintings
In the museum dedicated to the artist in Albi, his home town. Albi is a wonderful city with lots to see and do on a day out. The cathedral of Ste Cecile will take your breath away.
Yes, even in the summer! 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.
Plenty of sporting activities
Do the Gorges by raft. Or let a horse take the strain and go pony trekking or buggy riding. Play golf at Villefranche and at Albi or pop up the road to St Andre de Najac for Mini-Golf.
Walk in the steps of Richard the Lionheart
Around the Najac fortress and be part of the 'second' British invasion of Najac!
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