Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – The Most Beautiful Villages in France
Saturday 22nd April 2017 and ‘Day 4′ of our travels (continued).
A bit of background on Belcastel:
The incredibly beautiful village of Belcastel is situated in the Aveyron department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. It’s about 20 kilometres west of Rodez and most definitely a must-see place if you’re in the area.
Continuing north, we headed cross-country to our next destination. As we drew closer to the river Aveyron and its many tributaries, the landscape became more dramatic with lush, tree-lined valleys, rock promontories and crystal-clear rivers and streams.
All this beauty should have prepared us for the wonder that was Belcastel but to turn a corner and suddenly see the beautiful Château de Belcastel appear as if by magic in its hidden valley was simply breathtaking.
Belcastel is a picture perfect, chocolate box fantasy of a village. Spanning a sharp curve of the Aveyron River, the majority of its buildings, including the restored château, are on one side of the bank whilst the church and a sprinkling of hotels and cafes can be found on the other.
Each is joined by a 15th century arched stone bridge which practically sparkled in the glorious sunshine. Just above are a few shots of this beautiful stone bridge.
To my amazement, I saw a gentleman guiding a young woman, in a car, over this bridge. There was barely enough room but she managed to cross unscathed. I wish I’d taken a shot of this great feat now.
Hidden away until the early 20th century, the village was relatively inaccessible and it was as recent as the 1970’s that the château was purchased and restored by a local architect. This spurred individual property owners to join in the restoration of the village and lead to its extremely well deserved Les Plus Beaux Villages de France appellation.
Fish scale roofs (apparently referred to lauze-roofing), thickly forested hillsides, and overhanging balconies with skirts of verdant wisteria all add to the fairy-tale-esque feel of this spectacular place. Stunning.
We visited so many beautiful historic towns and villages on our ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ trip but I have to say, Belcastel was one of my favourites. God willing, I will come back here because this magical place deserves more than one visit.
Sincere apologies for the poor quality videos, that’s my doing. It’s been pointed out to me that I should have turned my phone around. Sorry about that. 😀
All photos and videos are the property of myself and Amanda.
Thanks for visiting.