The most beautiful villages in France

The Rignac area is ideally located for visiting the Aveyron district as well as the nearby Tarn and Lot districts. Here are some of the sites we recommend.


chateau Belcastel

7,5 km – 11min from Rignac

Classified amongst « the most beautiful villages in France », this small town is only at 7 kilometers from Rignac. It presents you one of the finest medieval heritages, which has been nicely restored and preserved.

Its narrow cobbled-stoned paths will lead you to the fortified castle on top of the village. This castle is also famous for making a link between medieval history through its architecture and its armors collection, and today's art with a modern art-gallery with artistic work coming from all around the world.

Belcastel is crossed by the River Aveyron. You’ll go from a bank to another by taking the old gothic bridge in order to arrive to the Sainte Marie-Madeleine Church, where you'll find the resting place of Alzias de Saunhac (1373-1448). This person was the local Lord who built the church, the bridge and the last part added to the castle of Belcastel.



We advise you :

-To visit the former Trades Museum

-To visit the Castle

-To do a guided or audio-guided tour of the village




34 km - 44 min from Rignac

In the Ouche valley, you'll find this village in a geological site which is has the shape of a shell. The name of Conques comes from the term « concha », which means « shell » in the local language. The village of Conques is known worldwide, thanks to its Romanesque architecture master pieces, but also thanks to its Treasure.

The cobbled stones streets and the timbered houses guide you to the Romanesque abbatial Church of Sainte Foy and its famous tympanum where is carved the Judgement Day. The modern stained-glass windows were created by Pierre Soulages.


The treasure is where you can find the Majesty of Saint Foy. This is the only reliquary remaining from the eleventh century. It is one of the five great treasures of medieval gold smithy in Europe, and the only one in France with such a large collection from the Early Middle-Ages. Finally, Conques is one of the main stage on the pilgrim's road to Santiago de Compostella : that is why, the abbatial church and bridge are designated as part of the World Heritage UNESCO list.


Not far away:

-The ostrich farm in Senergues

-The hamlet of La Vinzelle




53 km - 1h from Rignac 

Along the way to Santiago de Compostella, the history of Estaing blends itself with the history of its castle. Classified on the Historical Monument list since 1945, it has been restored step by step since it was bought by a group of investors (known as Foundation V.G.E. Nowadays) led by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (former French President) in 2005. We can discover inside this castle a permanent exhibition called « Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, a man at the service of France and Europe ».


We advise you :

-To continue your visit by going to Espalion and to visit another « Most beautiful village in France » Saint Côme d'Olt, then, take the road back to Rodez and stop to have a look at Bozouls and its canyon.

-To go along the River Lot, passing by Entraygues-sur-Truyères, Decazeville and Montbazens.



St Cirq Lapopie

63 km - 1h10 min from Rignac

Medieval village, Great site of Midi-Pyrénées, elected « France's favorite village » (a famous French TV show) in 2012. This is one of the most important sites along the Lot valley. Lots of artists were attracted to this place, such as André Breton.

On top of the hill, about one hundred meter above the river, this village is composed by thirteen Historical Monuments. You can admire, while talking a walk in the streets of Saint Cirq Lapopie, old houses from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, with arches on the lower parts, which reminds us of the commercial activities that made this village so wealthy.

St Cirq


Not far away :

-Cruises from Cahors, Saint Cirq Lapopie or Bouziès

-The Pech Merle with their 29000 years-old paintings.




Cordes sur ciel

63 km -1h15 from Rignac

Cordes-sur-Ciel fascinates every visitor who sees it for the first time. At first : we have this vision of a village above the clouds. Then, you get to know its rich history, from its creation by Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse in 1222 until today.

Behind its fortified gates, you’ll can admire various wealthy houses with carved facades from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century.

This exceptional site and its architectural heritage make us consider Cordes-sur-Ciel as one of the most symbolical medieval villages in France.



Not far away :

You can continue by visiting Monestiès and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val


Capdenac le Haut 

34 km - 48 min from Rignac

On top on the hill, above the meanders of the River Lot stands Capdenac le Haut. It was considered as one of the key position of the Quercy region and was highly important during the Middle-Ages. Its exceptional architectural heritage certifies its rich an dynamic past. 

We advise you to visit : the dungeon, the exhibition about the Prehistorical, the Gallo-Roman and medieval times, the « Englishmen » fountain, the « five senses » medieval garden, the « mille et une pattes » Garden.


Not far away :


-The Raynal & Roquelaure canning factory