Elegance, tranquillity and a high level of comfort await you in this self-contained apartment situated in the heart of this unique bastide village of Najac, one of Frances beautiful villages.
The air here has been described as intoxicating, likened to champagne! The village itself is a wonderful hotchpotch of medieval houses, stretching along the ridge high above a horseshoe bend in the Aveyron River to its impressive and militarily distinctive castle, La Fortresse Royale. The village’s narrow streets are worth exploring, with breath-taking views of the village and the surrounding countryside around almost every corner. The castle is well worth a visit. It is a magnificent example of 13th century military architecture, never taken in battle and has an exhibition with a model of the castle as it was in its heyday. The view of the surrounding countryside from the top of its tall turret is breath-taking. It is possible, on a very clear day, to see the Pyrenees.
And from the house, there are extensive walks through the woods or down to the riverside meadows below the castle and along the river banks.
There is a surprisingly varied range of activities to do here in the village and down by the river. Najac sits astride the GR36, one of France’s famous Grande Randonnée walking trails and, starting from Najac, there are another nine recognised walks through the Aveyron Valley by the river and up over the wooded hills to the meadows beyond. Down by the river overlooked by the castle there are tennis courts, kayaking, tree-walking, mountain biking, and Najac's elegant swimming pool. Both the Aveyron and the other lovely river in this area, the Viaur, are excellent for picnicking, exploring, bird watching and swimming. Horse-trekking and an excellent golf course are also nearby.
Our house was probably built in the fifteenth or sixteenth century before the renaissance style of house building established itself in France. Formerly three separate houses, they were amalgamated in 1776 to form one large establishment to house the Notaires offices and living accommodation. We have discovered, in an old chest in the grenier, legal documentation dating back to 1810 and carrying the seal of the Emperor Napoleon. The main part of the house has been sympathetically restored and now, on the first floor, has, as well as the boutique self-contained flat, two large and elegant bedrooms, both dedicated to Chambre d’Hôtes with its associated breakfast room. The first floor, the landing of which houses a comprehensive library, is accessed by a large wide staircase.
Najac boasts a wide range of restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the house, and they offer a wide range of local cuisine, from gourmet to crepes, at a wide range of prices.
The village also has its own railway station at Najac Gare, with trains going south to Toulouse and north to Figeac and on to Paris.
In the peak summer months you will be right at the heart of busy village life with its cafés, galleries, and boutiques. Outside of the main summer period, the village takes on a different personality and becomes a charmingly peaceful haven, away from the real world and ideal for 'chilling out'.
Although technically Najac is in the Aveyron Department we are actually situated right on the edge of the departments of the Tarn, Tarn et Garonne and the Lot, so there is plenty of scope for exploration.
Our nearest large town is Villefranche de Rouergue which, on Thursday mornings has one of the largest markets in France. The underestimated Gaillac vinyards, which we regularly frequent, and are producing excellent wines of all three colours, are to the South of us and are certainly worth a visit.
Albi to the South East has a unique cathedral, the Toulouse-Lautrec museum, river cruises and a city centre that abounds in Italianate architecture and reminds us so much of Paris with its pavement cafés and boutique shops. There are a host of excellent restaurants as well.
Travel from Najac in the opposite direction from Albi takes you up to the Lot and the city and vinyards of Cahors and the bastide village of St Circ Lapopie on the banks of the Lot, which has a vibrant artist community.
South-west of Najac you can drive along the Aveyron Gorge through Varen, a lovely village, to St Antonin Noble Val. This town was used in the filming of “Charlotte Grey” in the late ‘90’s and is worth a visit, especially when the market is on a Sunday morning!
We could on and on, but why don't come and experience it for yourself!