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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Aveyron

Town of North Aveyron, Espalion is located on the banks of the Lot, dominated by the castle of Calmont d'Olt. The town charm all visitors with its picturesque houses at the water's edge, as well as its important architectural heritage partly World Heritage of UNESCO.

Ideally located, the city of Espalion is a must for tourists eager to reach the plateau of Aubrac and the Lot valley. In addition, the Aveyron city is in the center of the triangle Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier.

The sweetness of life reigns Espalion, which is also called the First smile of the south. It is good to settle in this city where heritage shines on every street corner. Monuments or listed with the Historic buildings abound, and it is difficult to resist against any such architectural beauty.

Geographical information

Tourism labels
Latitude44.5205640 (N 44° 31’ 14”)
Longitude2.7613170 (E 2° 45’ 41”)
AltitudeFrom 330m to 764m
Surface area36.60 km²
Population4438 inhabitants
Density121 inhabitants/km²
PrefectureRodez (31 km, 34 min)
Insee code12096
IntercommunalityCC Espalion-Estaing

Nearest cities & towns

Bessuéjouls4 km (7 min)
Saint-Côme-d'Olt4.9 km (8 min)
Coubisou6.9 km (9 min)
Le Cayrol9.7 km (10 min)
Bozouls9.7 km (11 min)
Estaing9.9 km (12 min)
Sébrazac11.3 km (17 min)
Gabriac12.4 km (14 min)
Lassouts13.4 km (18 min)
Castelnau-de-Mandailles13.8 km (19 min)
Montrozier17.6 km (22 min)
Montpeyroux17.9 km (18 min)
Le Nayrac18.3 km (20 min)
Cruéjouls18.4 km (20 min)

Things to see and do

Partly world heritage of UNESCO or classified historic monument, the city of Espalion is one of the tourist jewels of Aveyron.

Located on the heights of Espalion, the castle of Calmont d'Olt is classified historical monument. Built between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries, it still presents the evolutions of the armament of castles over time. It is possible to admire siege engines and attend events on the theme of siege warfare in the Middle Ages. Archaeological exhibitions, panorama and other activities for children are also available.

Built at the presumed site of the beheading of Saint Hilarian by the Saracens in 730, the Church of Persia is one of the architectural jewels of the city of Espalion. It was built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries in a pure Romanesque style. Composed of pink sandstone and white and a blue slate roof, the Church of Persia is composed of a chorus from the eleventh century, and the interior houses a Christ in Majesty, a Carolingian or slab of the XII frescoes century.

World Heritage of UNESCO and listed historical monument, the Old Bridge was built in the eleventh century. Included in the city's fortification system in the fifteenth century it was doubled in the mid nineteenth century. It allows to enjoy the Calquières, covered galleries in former tanners houses and a small Renaissance castle.

A rich religious heritage of the city Espalion stakes with the Penitents chapel and its carved wooden altarpiece classified, and its small museum of religious art, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the nineteenth century, or the Chapel Ursulines of which only a part of the façade with four columns with Corinthian capitals.

In the city, you can admire the Old Palace, built on the banks of the Lot in 1572, with towers and other towers, the old prisons, or the hamlet of Flaujac, a fort built in 1442.

The cultural offer of Espalion is rich, thanks to the presence of museums. Located in the former Church of St. John the Baptist, Joseph Vaylet museum is dedicated to the Popular Arts and Traditions, including a beautiful bedside gathering clams collection, weapons, or other musical instruments. In the old prisons, Rouergue Espalion of the museum provides an understanding of the prison world of the nineteenth century and admire a collection of brass in Rouergue.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres

Events and festivities

Fort lively city of Espalion opens regularly at events and other cultural events.

A weekly regional products market is held every Tuesday morning in the market place, while a traditional market takes place on Friday morning on the market square.

In July and August, on Wednesdays, a night market of producers Country is present with musical entertainment.

Place in bandas festival in May each year. On this occasion, several bandas come and give concerts enliven the streets of the old center.

From mid-July to mid-August, the Aveyron hosts a festival of the Full Nature Hiking Espalion which is one of the reception areas.

The Espalion film festival is organized every year in September. On a given theme, the filmmakers show their films to a jury and the public. Meetings are also proposed to discuss the themes.

At that time, an autumn festival can enjoy a fun fair and the presence of different craftsmen.

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Canoeing, kayaking or rafting in the Lot Valley
Sports sensations19 € Vieillevie (29 km)
Tour of the Laurens estate and cellars
Local flavours2 € Clairvaux-d'Aveyron (30 km)
Acrobatic trail for all levels of ability
Entertainment21 € Salles-Curan (35 km)
Karting at Les Bouscaillous leisure park
Sports sensations17 € Castelnau-Pégayrols (46 km)


Last nameOuting typeDifficultyDurationDeparture municipality
The Arasses
Village visitEasy2h00Villefranche-de-Panat (48 km)
Municipality of Tayrac: from the plateau to the valley
HikeEasy2h30Tayrac (55 km)
Saint-Gervais Path
HikeIntermediate4h00Hures-la-Parade (56 km)


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals