The gorges and valleys of southeast Aveyron make deep cuts into the wild limestone plateaux (Causses) of the Grand Causses Regional Natural Park and the better known Cévennes National Park creating an area of outstanding natural beauty and a feeling of being in a land that time forgot. Still standing are fortified villages later maintained by the Knights Hospitaller but originally built by the Knights Templar who probably also helped in the fortification of our village, Cantobre. It’s an area rich in wildlife of all sorts, from wild boar, deer, beavers, eagles and four sorts of vulture, to orchids and other wild flowers. We have seen more species of butterflies in and around Cantobre than are in the whole of the UK.
Both our Cantobre gîtes (or self-catering holiday rentals) have stunning views of the Dourbie valley from their private terraces and access to our 800 m2 garden that includes a pétanque/boules court, a grassed area and our own rock that probably has the best views of Cantobre and a 360° panoramic view of the Trèvezel and Dourbie valleys and the 3 limestone plateaux (Causse Bégon, Causse Noir and Causse du Larzac) that surround us. There is also a small, terracotta tiled, north facing terrace with views that equal the stunning views from each gîte’s private terraces. The gîtes have very well equipped kitchens, washing and drying machines and for the occasional rainy day the living rooms are equipped with Terrestrial Television which provides French channels and a Satellite receiver to watch UK Freesat channels. We share our own library with you so you can read a book or two while you stay with us, the library also contains many games and puzzles, and CDs and DVDs that you can play on the DVD player provided. Free secure WiFi internet is also provided.
We used to come to the area for our holidays and it’s perfectly situated for a wide variety of visits and activities. It’s now our home and we are on hand to help you with your luggage and shopping when you arrive and to make your stay more enjoyable.
You could spend a holiday here without having to use your car, hiking in the hills, walking down to the river Dourbie for a swim in the crystal clear water or a spot of sunbathing or maybe fly fishing for the local zebra trout; alternatively, just stay in our secluded garden with 360° views of the surrounding countryside or relax on your gîte’s terrace with a bowl of olives, a glass or two of wine and our bird watching telescope.
If you did want to drive somewhere, 45 minutes north takes you to the Tarn Gorge, the northern boundary of France’s Mediterranean climate. Also a favourite route for cyclists, 30 minutes west down the Dourbie Valley is Millau, a big centre for outdoor sports such as paragliding, canoeing, caving and climbing (we also have our own climbing wall at Cantobre) with an Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool, and it’s our nearest big town with hypermarkets and a large outdoor market, it’s also home to the Millau Viaduct, the world’s tallest bridge. 5 minutes to the south takes you up the Dourbie Valley to the 10th century village of Nant with restaurants and bars, our nearest shops and market; in summer there are free music events every week. Another 25 minutes southwards takes you out of the causses and the mountain air and into the Languedoc, France’s largest wine production region; another 45 minutes and you’re at the Mediterranean coast!
There are lots of family visits to go on, boat trips down the river Tarn, caves and caverns with stalagmites and stalactites, visiting Roquefort cheese caves, the reptilarium, wild animal parks and Micropolis, a whole centre about insects; there are even Knights and jousting tournaments; all are favourites places to visit when our young grandson comes to stay.