Visit Belcastel (Midi-Pyrenees, France)
Belcastel is for me one of the great villages of France. We visited on a sunny few days at the end of October when there were almost no other tourists and it really is an incredibly beautiful place. There is nothing at all to 'spoil' the village, which is a perfect ensemble.
Belcastel is a very pretty village nestling in the wooded slopes along the banks of the Aveyron River, with the 11th century castle towering on the rocky outcrop above the village.
The ancient houses, most notable for their stone (lauze) rooves, spread up the steep hillside between the river and the castle, along pretty, narrow cobbled streets.
Belcastel castle itself is open to the public and is interesting both for the characteristics of the medieval castle itself such as the moats and the keep and the medieval armour on display, the views from the castle, and because of the exhibitions of modern art that are displayed (some permanent and some temporary) in both the rooms of the castle and in the adjacent gardens.
In the centre of Belcastel the river is crossed by a very attractive stone bridge, narrow with five arches, built by the same person who founded the church - both date from the fifteenth century. Don't forget your camera!
You will find a lovely picnic area across the bridge in Belcastel next to the church.
About one kilometre from Belcastel (follow the road next to the church) you can see the remains of an old fort.
The story of the rebirth of Belcastel is interesting. The castle was recently (during the 1970's) acquired and meticulously restored by the architect Fernand Pouillon, from his own funds. This then motivated the rest of Belcastel to beautify themselves, mostly during the 1980's.
Perhaps this in part explains Belcastel's 'perfection' - although it avoids the 'too perfect' look of some of the recently restored 'most beautiful villages'.
Nearby don't miss the chance to visit Conques, another exceptionally beautiful village.
Among the many picturesque towns in the region around Belcastel we also highly recommend you visit Figeac, Although it is about 40 kilometres from here (several other market towns are closer to Belcastel) Figeac has one of the most impressive historical centres in France.
Photos of Belcastel
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Belcastel
Belcastel is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Belcastel, Rignac, Rodez, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, 12390 || GPS: latitude 44.388, longitude 2.3359
Map of Belcastel & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Belcastel, France
- Jardin d'Eden du château du Colombier - remarkable garden (15km)
- Sauveterre-de-Rouergue - town of art and history (19km)
- Conques pont sur le Dourdou (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (24km)
- Conques - most beautiful village (24km)
- Conques abbatiale Sainte-Foy (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (24km)
- Villefranche-de-Rouergue - recommended detour (24km)
- Estaing pont sur le Lot (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (32km)
- Estaing - most beautiful village (32km)
- Figeac - recommended detour (33km)
- Najac - town of art and history (34km)
The French version of this page is at Belcastel (Francais)