The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...
Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France
© D.Viet / CRT Midi-Pyrénées Aveyron echoes with the past. Every densely wooded gorge and valley, every ancient bastide town and every winding road seems to whisper of pilgrims making their weary way south, of Romans and rebellious Gauls or of Knights Templars, thundering across the plateaux. Part of the Massif Central but also the northern most part of the Midi-Pyrénées, as a department Aveyron has an earthiness, a simplicity and a quiet but wild ruggedness that’s hard to find elsewhere. Forests and vineyards cling to steep ravines, medieval villages poke their heads out of leafy canopies in the hills and rivers dotted with old mills and forges laze their way through cool musty valleys. landscape and you just have to take your time here and absorb. walk on the wild side The plateaux of the Aubrac to the north east of the region are vast, forlornly beautiful and represent the Aveyron at its most untamed. It feels wild and unconquered here with a haunting beauty to its bleakness and you can roam for hours in solitary delight interrupted by nothing more than mountain shelters (Burons) and the occasional Aubrac cow. It’s definitely the place to start if you want to imbibe the very soul of the region and it also harbours one of the ancient pilgrim trails that cuts across France. No one seems to be in a rush here and the region’s cuisine remains deeply connected with its past and its terrain. It’s all about the
3 star taste of the Aubrac plateaux It’s hard to imagine how it must have felt to the tired travellers as they bowed their heads into the wind and pushed on to the south. But, if you have the time, follow in their footsteps a while across and down from the lofty plateaux. You'll cross through the pretty hillside villages and into the thick and craggy relief of forests of chestnut, pine and oak. Gradually you will be drawn on to the beautiful haven of Conques. But if you can’t travel the trail and don’t want to meander alone, join one of the “Aubrac Rando” guided walking tours. They leave from the village of Laguiole and this way, you'll get a real sense of these hills. www.rando-aubrac.co It’s an area which was also the childhood home of Michel Bras (the only three star Michelin - chef in the region) who says that he takes much of his inspiration from the 2,000 local varieties of flora and fauna that you’ll find here. His restaurants is just 10 minutes outside the village of Aubrac, and hovers like a floating beacon of luxury, indulgence and all that is modern, with glass walls giving way to dramatic views over the valley to Laguiole. You’ll find that the dishes served here are as much about art and poetry as they are about the terrain with the emphasis on edible flowers, herbs, beauty and all that’s in season. There’s a hotel here too but you will need to book. www.bras.fr