Estaing, Midi-Pyrenees: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Estaing in Aveyron

Visit Estaing (Midi-Pyrenees, France)


Estaing is a village about 25 kilometres north of Rodez, in the Aveyron department of the Midi-Pyrenees. It has qualified to be included as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.

It is a picture-postcard village in a lovely setting at the base of the Aubrac mountains and at the mouth of the the Lot River gorges in the northern part of Aveyron. It is on the route of one of the important pilgrim trails to Santiago de Compostela, in part because the relics of St Fleuret are held in the village church.

Exploring Estaing

Estaing is a very attractive town, with lots of fine medieval and renaissance period houses to admire as you explore, both in the village centre and along the banks of the Lot river.

The village is dominated by the Chateau of the Estaing family, also dating from the 15th century and open to the public. The castle is currently owned by the Estaing family, who have reacquired the chateau that was lost to the Estaing family after the revolution.

historic centre of Estaing

The Church of Saint-Fleuret in the centre of Estaing was built in the 15th century on the site of an older priory, and also holds two or three important works of art, in addition to the 15th century stone cross outside the church. The church is unusual in appearance because it has both a steeple and a bell-tower.

Other notable attractions in the village are a lovely wrought iron cross and a gothic stone bridge across the Lot river. The bridge was built in the 16th century and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella.

The Renaissance style 'College' was built to house six priests from the Saint-Jean fraternity. It has a lovely wooden door with the coat of arms of Estaing engraved above it. This building is now home to the Mairie and Estaing Tourist Office.

If you come to Estaing as a pilgrim (and about a third of visitors to the tourist office are pilgrims) then you will want to head to the large bourgoise mansion which is now the 'Hospitalité Saint Jacques' who will stamp your pilgrim passport.

The much smaller River Cussane meets the River Lot on the edge of town. Originally four medieval bridges crossed this river allowing villagers to get to their gardens on the left bank. Two of these bridges still remain.

France This Way comment: the centre of the village is pleasant to explore but the highlight in Estaing is really the views across the village from along the river, from where you can see the castle, the bridge and the houses along the riverside all at the same time - beautiful!

On the edge of the village is a wine co-operative where you can taste and buy wines from the Estaing area.

medieval bridge on the Lot river

Festivals in Estaing

The first Sunday of July is the day for the fete of St Fleuret, celebrated in the village since the 11th century with a costumed procession.

If you are in the region around the middle of August try not to miss the 'la nuit lumiere' when all the village and the bridge are lit by candlelight and later there is a firework display in the village.

The second weekend of September is another date for the diary. This is Estaing's medieval weekend when all the village wear medieval costumes and various medieval activities take place in the village.

Attractions nearby

The setting of Estaing, surrounded by gorges, mountains, crashing streams and rivers makes it the perfect place for a wide range of outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, fishing and canoeing. The village forms part of the upper Lot Valley.

Among the many villages to visit in the region there are three close to Estaing that are listed as 'most beautiful villages of France': Saint-Eulalie-d'Olt and Saint-Come-d'Olt to the east and Conques (our personal favourite) about 20 kilometres to the west.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Aveyron guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also:

Map of Estaing and places to visit

Visit near Estaing with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Aveyron

Tourist classifications

Estaing is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Estaing, Rodez, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, 12190, France || GPS: latitude 44.554, longitude 2.672

Plan your visit to Estaing, Midi-Pyrenees

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Estaing (Francais)