Laguépie

Laguépie used to be famous for its plethora of shops and bustling markets; today it’s renowned for its festivals and river-beach scene. The Viaur is one of the cleanest rivers in France, so it’s very safe for bathing and its water feels fantastic on the skin.

Downstream of the bridge the river is edged with sand and grassy areas to sit and relax. The bubbling water runs clear and you can choose to paddle safely with young children or go into deeper areas to swim properly. Upstream of the bridge, a pontoon is put up for the season (mid July to September) and a lifeguard is in attendance during peak hours. An area is dedicated for playing in the water on blow-up floats – great for older children and teenagers. If that’s too busy for you, there is nearly a kilometre of good, peaceful swimming upstream from the landing stage.

The river scene is very lively for about six weeks when the French take their holidays, but otherwise it’s quiet, dominated by herons and swifts, and look out for the kingfishers. The balcony overlooks the main thoroughfare to the pontoon area – a great spot for people watching. The river has a stony bottom, so you may like to bring shoes that can get wet.

If you want to stay put, then there are numerous places to eat, drink, swim or fish. In addition, the campsite is a lovely spot, it has a tennis court (pay 8€ at the campsite office) and we have racquets and balls. There is also a pétanque (boules – we have them too) court, a small mini-golf pitch, table tennis and peaceful swimming spot that gently slopes into the water – great for beginners and paddlers. There are several paths along the banks of both rivers and there is also Lou Viel Castel, the ruined old castle on the Tarn side of the Viaur that you can see from the master bedroom, to visit.

You can be out and walking or cycling in the countryside immediately you leave the village. The countryside is very beautiful and varied. We have several books on circular hikes that you can use. There are lots of places to hire canoes, including Saint Antonin Noble Val and Najac, near the station.

Laguepie is a fantastic jumping-off spot. There are countless beautiful villages within a short drive. Get to one for midi (noon) and have the plat du jour! If you want bigger or busier places then there is Albi, Saint Antonin Noble Val, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Gaillac, Montauban or Villefranche de Rouerge. Market day is often a good choice: Saint Antonin has an amazing Sunday market, Cordes on a Saturday and Villefranche on a Thursday.

Culturally, there is always something happening over the summer: lots of musical gigs, art shows, festivals, fetes, as well as the renowned Université Occitane festival over five days in mid-July, that showcases the history, folklore, music and language of the Troubadours, the region’s proud medieval heritage.

The great thing is that you can pace yourself and choose the type of holiday you want. Eat out or at home and sit on the balcony, shop at French markets for excellent fresh produce, visit abbeys, medieval cities, beautiful stone villages, walk for miles, cycle, canoe or swim. Or, of course, do nothing very much at all. We cannot guarantee the weather, but it is often hot, and if by some amazing fluke it isn’t, then buy a bottle of red and borrow one of our books.

Festivals and Fetes

If you want to time your visit with one of the numerous festivals and fetes held in Laguepie here are a selection with dates:

  • La Foire aux Fleurs: flower fair, with varied stalls, attracts many visitors, last weekend in April
  • La Fête de l’Estampe: engraving festival and seminars, last weekend in May
  • Brocante et vide grenier: antique fair and car-boot sale, on a Sunday, early-mid July
  • Université d’été Occitane de Laguépie et des Gorges de l’Aveyron: festival/ conference of Occitanian language and culture, with musical events and poetry, second week of July
  • Bal des Pompiers: fireman’s ball, 13th July
  • Lez’art Festival: arts festival in a hamlet within the commune, mid July
  • Fête de Lez: fete of this hamlet, with pétanque competition, outdoor meal and dancing, mid-July
  • Compétition nocturne de Moto Cross: night-time motocross competition and fireworks, last Saturday in July or first in August
  • Brocante et vide grenier: antique fair and car-boot sale, on a Sunday, mid-August
  • Fête du village: Laguepie village fete, various events, competitions, bands, outdoor meal and dancing and fireworks, mid-August
  • Journée européenne du Patrimoine: Lou Viel Castel, the chateau, open weekend, third weekend of September
  • La foire à la Châtaigne: Chestnut fair, tons of chestnuts grilled and of apples juiced, chestnut crepes, multiple stalls, guided rambling, attracts thousands of visitors, last weekend in October