About the Region
Our property is located in the medieval village of Estaing. Estaing, nestled in the heart of the picturesque Vallée du Lot is in the north of the department (or county) known as Aveyron which is one of eight in the Midi-Pyrenees. At Entraygues sur Truyère the river Truyère tumbles out of the Auvergne and joins the river Lot.
Sheltered by the northern and easterly aspects of the Auvergne and Aubrac mountains, part of the Central massif, we enjoy a Mediterranean style climate with early spring, long summers, late autumns and consequently short winters. With the nearest Auto route 96 kilometres away and the nearest railway line 48 kilometres little has changed over the years and the Vallée du Lot remains a haven of peace and tranquillity.
At the heart of our area is Conques, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in the whole of France and a stop over point for en route to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain for over a 1000 years. The display of gold, precious stones forms one of France’s most treasured collections. The many medieval villages are largely untouched by tourism each one proudly maintained in the unique style of this area with “fish scale” roof tiled houses. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, with tourists still looked upon as something of a novelty.
Generally the area enjoys a near Mediterranean climate. The summers are warm and dry with occasional rain and thunderstorms. The winters have average temperatures of 10°C in December and January.
Hours of Sunshine
On average there are 2163 hours of sunshine per year.
(Lille 1600, Paris 1796, Lyon 1976, Toulouse2047)
Temperatures can go above 30°C at the height of summer with warm nights. Our cottage has heavy stone walls which tend to keep the internal temperatures much cooler. The Spring and Autumn bring long periods of clear blue skies but with chilly nights and during the winter the night time temperatures regularly drops well below freezing.
Sporting activities are well catered for.
Here in cleaner and less crowded surroundings, rivers and lakes provide all that can be offered on the coast whether it is swimming, wind surfing, sailing, canoeing rafting or fishing.
Walking paths are excellent with many well marked paths crossing all types of terrain from hills and mountains over 2000ft, through to deep river gorges.
There are tennis courts in every village, good horse riding establishments and golf courses .
There are also ski resorts about an hour away in the Aubrac and Cantal.
SKIING at Le Lioran (www.lelioran.com)
The resort at Le Lioran is not very large but a delight for families and those who want to ski more cheaply without too much commercialism.
The golf course at Mezeyrac is considered to be one of the prettiest 9 hole courses in France and well worth a visit. Clubs can be hired on the course and there is an excellent restaurant providing lunch and evening meals.
The local favourite riding establishment provide nags which are fit, clean and alert and can walk, trot, canter or gallop hopefully at your command, around some of the most beautiful almost mountainous region with fantastically dramatic views.
Both the Truyère and the Lot provide excellent fishing either from a boat, the river bank or standing in water up to your waist. Fishing permits are available locally and rods can be hired. Quite large fish are there for the netting (or so they say!).
If you like the water this is a lovely day out. Rent a canoe at Entraygues and drift or paddle 10 or 20kms down the beautiful Lot river through beautiful gorges abundant with wild life. Stop off for a breather and a picnic on one of the sandy beaches along the river and then continue to enjoy the gentle excitement of a run down the rapids.
You will be transported back up the river to the original dropping-in point, by the owners of the hire shop.
SAILING and WIND SURFING
Many lakes glisten in the sun beneath a knuckle of hill and mountain tops. Some are quite long (up to seven miles) and have sailing facilities upon them. Lazying about on a boat in the lakes is hugely popular.
All around are well maintained, very quiet footpaths which criss-cross the valleys and climb up to 2000ft above the rivers. Walk to the top or bottom of a 1500ft water fall or just down to the town - in the fresh clear air its always pleasantly tranquil
If you prefer a drive out, visit the bustling town of Millau, the splendid Tarn Gorges and view the world's largest work of art - the Millau Viaduct - the highest bridge crossing in the world.- Breath Taking!
We have provided a backpack picnic hamper to make exploring simpler and just that little more convenient.
La Belle Maison is situated in a very quiet side street on the outskirts of the village. It is a pleasant short stroll into the centre of the town where you will find all the elements of typical French village life, cafes, bars, superb local restaurants, bakers, butchers and all the accoutrements of the French experience.
On the ground floor, an entrance hall, garage and wine cellar.
The first floor features a large living area with comfortable sofas, TV, antique marble fireplace and a modern dining suite. French doors open onto a balcony overlooking the entire village.
The kitchen on this floor is completely modernized with all facilities, dish washer, fridge/freezer, ceramic hob, oven, combination oven/microwave and features extensive crockery and kitchen equipment.
Also on this floor is a cloakroom with toilet and hand basin.
From the kitchen a door leads to a small secluded rear terrace with outdoor setting and sun lounges.
On the second level is the master bedroom and a twin bedroom. A very spacious bathroom with bath and shower and separate toilet complete this floor.
Tall windows allow the morning sun to flood into both bedrooms.
Bed linen and towels are provided and the house is totally oil fire heated.
Estaing the Village
A superb chateau with historical and political connections, a gothic church and superb medieval architecture rightly makes Estaing in south west France part of the “beautiful villages of France” a select group …”L’un des Plus Beaux Villages De France”.
Situated on the prettiest part of the Upper Lot River, the Gorge du Lot, between the village of Espalion and Entraygues, Estaing is an essential part of the St Jacques de Compostelle trail and it is visited by hundreds and hundreds of pilgrims (wearing the scallop shell insignia) each year on their way south to Spain.