Witness to the medieval past of the Pays d’Albret, the commune of Vianne is one of the few villages in the region that has preserved its fortifications. Despite Gallo-Roman remains proving that the place has been inhabited for several millennia, Vianne is a “new” town that came into being in the 13th century, at a time when the dynastic quarrel between kings of England and kings of France was in full swing. What to do in Vianne? Here is our tourist guide.
Tourism Vianne : what to do ?
Discover the ramparts of the bastide, visit the church of the commune of Lot-et-Garonne, stroll along the baïse… If you are passing through the Albret country, sightseeing in Vianne is worth the diversion.
Discover the bastide of Vianne
Whether you are a medieval enthusiast or just in search of new discoveries, a walk to visit the bastide town of Vianne is the main tourist activity to be undertaken.
What is a bastide?
The bastide of Gascony refers to the Languedoc word “bastida” which means “village” and more precisely to the typical villages of the region which followed a regular plan.
Mainly built in the Middle Ages in Lot-et-Garonne, land of the Gascons, there are nearly 500 bastides throughout the region.
Among them is the charming village of Vianne where, in the past, all sorts of people with different interests met. Between wandering Cathar populations, nobles, bourgeois and peasants, Vianne was a lively bastide town.
What there is to know about the foundation of Vianne
Officially, the town of Vianne was founded on 21 September 1984. It was the act of trimming (a feudal law contract) between Jourdain de l’Isle and the seneschal of Guyenne, Jean 1er de Grailly, which allowed the development of this bastide which has managed to retain some of its authenticity over time and which today has a special aura which makes all its charm.
Dino, Vianne’s glassblower
The Gascon town of Vianne is not worth a visit just for its beauty and medieval world.
On your way to Vianne, you must pass by Dino’s glassworks. A glassblower for several decades, his workshop is located in the very heart of his shop.
No need to pay to discover the talents of this master glassmaker from Gascony. All you have to do is go there and admire.
Stroll along the Baïse River
Whether you are alone, in love or with friends, the small town of Vianne is crossed by the Baïse, a river which you can walk along and which will give you the opportunity to take a digestive stroll after enjoying a good meal in one of the restaurants in this village in the Pays d’Albret.
Alse read : Where to fly-fish in Albret ?
The church of Vianne
It is the only church in the area to have authentic Carolingian tombs and is an unmissable historical monument in the town.
The church of Saint Christophe, once dedicated to Sainte-Marie de Villelongue and later renamed Notre-dame, is a religious edifice that was built by the Templar order.
Another peculiarity of the building is the marks left by the stain-takers on the walls. These marks are the signatures of the labourers who were paid on a piecework basis and who were responsible for erecting this monument, which now belongs to the cultural heritage of the town.
When to travel to Vianne?
To make tourism in Vianne, in the same way as in Nérac, Agen or in the other communes of Lot-et-Garonne, you have to choose the right moment. The one where the number of visitors is not too high.
Namely: the Pays d’Albret sees its affluence increase during the school holidays and particularly during the summer period.
If you really want to take advantage of this village situated near the capital of the Pays d’Albret (Nérac), we advise you to go there in May or June. At this time of the year, the temperature is relatively mild and crowds are limited.
For those who want to spend the night in Vianne, the Château de Laroche bed and breakfast is the most recommended place.
With its enchanting setting and its 9-hectare park, this castle, which was part of the 100-year war, has notably welcomed personalities such as Marcel Prévost who enjoyed staying there.
In the heart of the castle you will find :
- An outdoor swimming pool
- A private lounge area
- Nearby activities
- One breakfast included
- A table d’hôtes
Concerning rates, the guest room offers accommodation from 190€/night (2 people).
Where to eat in Vianne?
There are 2 addresses to remember if you wish to have lunch or dinner in the Gascon village.
- The restaurant l’Atypik: located in the heart of the town, this friendly restaurant offers unique, rich and affordable menus.
- L’escargolade de Vianne: for snail lovers, this restaurant is the place to eat. On the menu: snails, suckling pig, stuffed chicken and many other delicious original recipes.
How to get to Vianne?
Vianne is located a few kilometres from Nérac. To get there, you have to take the car.
From Nérac: Take the D930 then the D642. Journey time: 15 minutes
From Agen: It takes about 30 minutes to drive to Vianne. You have to take the D119.