In the southwestern corner of the Massif Central, the landscapes start to change and the altitude begins to drop. The wild, desolate moorland of the Aubrac is cut and contained by the savage gorges of the Lot and Truyère rivers, in the confluence of which lies the unspoiled village of Entraygues (“between the waters” in Occitan). To the south, the arid plateaux form a sort of intermediate step to the lower hills and coastal plains of Languedoc.

The town of Rodez, the capital of the old province of the Rouergue – renamed Aveyron after the Revolution – also has much more of a Mediterranean feel, with its pink sandstone cathedral offering a stark contrast to the dark volcanic structures of the Auvergne. The town is certainly worth a visit, though its attractions need not keep you for more than a day. The two great architectural draws of the southwest are Conques, with its medieval village and magnificent abbey, which owes its existence to the Santiago pilgrim route (now the GR65), and the perfect little bastide of Sauveterre-de-Rouergue.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The world's quirkiest food festivals

The world's quirkiest food festivals

Tomato-drenched crowds wading through a lake of passata at Valencia’s La Tomatina festival might be a familiar image, but such passionate and eccentric cele…

22 Dec 2017 • Lucy Cowie insert_drive_file Article
Ebikes: are they worth the hype?

Ebikes: are they worth the hype?

Though they may be sniffed at by "real" cylists, e-bikes are opening up serious mountain routes to the more casual pedaller. Andy Turner dons some lycra to find…

27 Oct 2017 • Andy Turner local_activity Special feature
20 seriously weird places around the world

20 seriously weird places around the world

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, we've got twenty pictures to prove it. 1. Spotted…

26 Jul 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right