8 must-do things in Estaing

Estaing

Interested in visiting Estaing? Then check out the 8 must-see things to do in France’s most beautiful village!

If you visit Estaing, you’ll discover a rich cultural and historical heritage. Located in the Lot valley in Aveyron, Estaing is one of France’s most beautiful villages. Don’t hesitate to visit its imposing château, perched on a rocky outcrop at the bend in the road.

But there are plenty of other things to do! That’s why in this article you’ll find the 8 must-do things to do in Estaing during your stay!

1. Estaing castle

Chateau Estaing

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Iakov Filimonov

The imposing Château d’Estaing, listed as a Monument Historique, dominates the village. Purchased in 2005 by former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, it was built in the 13th century around a pentagonal keep. A visit will plunge you into the history of the famous d’Estaing family.

Atop the keep are five turrets and a terrace. Climb to the top of the towers and enjoy breathtaking views over the Lot and the surrounding area!

2. Estaing bridge

Pont Estaing

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Begir

If you come to visit Estaing, you won’t want to miss the bridge. The bridge is another of the village’s landmarks. It crosses the Lot between Sébrazac on the left bank and Estaing on the other.

Built from 1490, this structure is made of schist with a limestone crown. Its central pier is topped by two architectural elements facing each other. Upstream, a cross, and downstream, the statue of François d’Estaing.

3. The medieval village

Village Estaing

Photo credit: Shutterstock – VivienneK

The medieval village of Estaing is full of little wonders to discover. These include the Hôtel Cayron, now the village town hall, and the former college. As you stroll through the village, you’ll also be able to admire other beautiful facades dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

You can also visit Estaing during its Médiévales festival every second weekend in September. Soak up its unique atmosphere and plunge back into the past!

4. Saint-Fleuret church

Eglise Saint Fleuret

Photo credit: Shutterstock – CELINE NAEGELEN

No visit to Estaing is complete without a visit to this beautiful church, home to the relics of Saint-Fleuret. Built in the 15th century, it is listed as a Monument Historique. Before entering the building, take time to admire the carved stone cross in front.

The latter reminds us that we’re on the road to Santiago de Compostela! Inside, you can admire a 15th-century Christ and a 17th-century pietà. There’s also a statue of St. James in a gilded altarpiece, as well as the saint’s relics.

5. Chapelle Saint-Jean de l’Ouradou

Chapelle de l'Ouradou

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Père Igor

This chapel is another must-see monument in Estaing. Built between 1524 and 1529, it lies about a kilometer northwest of the village. Don’t miss the chance to admire it, and especially to go inside.

The chapel is home to many artefacts and curiosities. Among them is the choir adorned with an altarpiece with a niche in the flamboyant Gothic style.

6. Maison de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d’Estaing (Estaing vineyard, wine and landscape centre)

Vigneron d'Olt

Photo credit: Facebook –
Cave Des Vignerons d’Olt

Run by the Vignerons d’Olt, the Maison de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d’Estaing (Estaing Vineyard, Wine and Landscape Centre) gives you the opportunity to learn more about this vineyard, the smallest of its kind in France. If you’re a wine-lover visiting Estaing, be sure to check it out! The tour includes tastings and sales of local wines.

7. Canoeing down the Lot river

Vallée du Lot

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Floris Fossey

If there’s one must-do activity in Estaing, it’s canoeing down the Lot! There are several kayak routes in the Lot valley, accessible to all.

Situated downstream, Estaing is the arrival point for numerous hikes along the river. You can set off from Espalion and make your way down to this most beautiful village in France!

8. Hiking around Estaing

Via Podensis

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Graphophile

Estaing is located on the via Podiensis (GR® 65) of the Compostelle pilgrimage. For a medium-difficulty hike, you can opt for the beautiful stretch from Estaing to the Golinhac plateau, which offers mid-mountain scenery.

The latter is 14 kilometers long. The more courageous can opt for the route to Santiago de Compostela from Aubrac to Conques. This 72-kilometer route takes in the beautiful Aveyron countryside and 10 superb villages!

How do I get to Estaing?

By train

The nearest train station is in the town of Rodez. To get to Estaing from this station, you’ll need to take a cab. Buses between Rodez and Estaing or neighboring Espalion are rare. However, train services between Rodez and Toulouse are fairly frequent.

By car

If you have a car, you’ll find it easy to get to Estaing and back. To get to the Aubrac, here are a number of itineraries you can follow from the larger towns in the area:

  • From Toulouse, follow theA68 towards the N88. You will then bypass Albi and continue on the N88 to Onet-le-Château. Follow the D988 towards Estaing;
  • From Montpellier, take theA75 through the Grandes Causses. At Séverac-le-Château, take the N88 to Laissac, then the D28 and follow the signs to Estaing ;
  • From Lyon, take theA89 to Clermont-Ferrand. Follow theA75 and exit at Saint-Flour. You will then have to cross the Aubrac Regional Nature Park via the D921 ;
  • From the north-west, you’ll need to get to Brive-la-Gaillarde or Tulle. From Brive-la-Gaillarde, take theA20 to Montfaucon, then the D802 and D840. From Tulle, take the D120 to Aurillac, then the D920 to Estaing.

By plane

If you’re coming by air, land at Rodez-Aveyron airport and drive 40 minutes to Estaing. To find a ticket at the best price, we recommend you use a flight comparator like Skyscanner.

Where to stay in Estaing?

If you’re planning a visit to Estaing, you’re bound to ask yourself the question of accommodation! Fortunately, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in France’s most beautiful village.

In particular, you can opt for charming hotels or self-catering cottages. There’s something to suit every budget. You can also choose to stay with a local, via the Airbnb platform for example, or in a tree-lined campsite in the region. To find the solution that suits you best, don’t hesitate to use a hotel comparator.

Now all you have to do is pack your bags and set off to discover the village of Estaing!

Map of hotels and accommodation – Occitanie