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Espalion - a dynamic large town

Espalion is a fairly large and very dynamic town that is located in the Aveyron department of southern France. The town lies on the Lot River, in the glorious countryside of the verdant Lot valley. Attractive and with some interesting historical and architectural features, Espalion lies in a strategically important geographical position, with good links to all parts of France. It offers great business opportunities as well as providing a very pleasant lifestyle and excellent facilities.

Historic bits and pieces

Just because Espalion is a thriving commercial and industrial centre for its region, don't assume that there is no history and culture to discover and enjoy in the town. There are definite signs of a rich and varied history, and the sun bleached façades of the buildings that rise from the ancient cobbled streets are a pleasure in themselves. The riverside quarter is the most appealing, where the balconies and galleries of old tannery houses lean out over the water. Here you can find the 16th century Renaissance palace and the magnificent 11th century three-arched bridge which spans the River Lot.

St Hilarion de Perse Church and Château de Calmont d'Olt

There are two interesting churches to see, both dating from the 11th century. Of the two, St Hilarion is probably the most captivating, with twin spires, four clocks and a number of wonderful statues. The other dominant historical feature of the town is the ruined (though still impressive) Château de Calmont d'Olt.

Museums in Espalion

Espalion is the home town of Benoît Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze, who invented the diving suit, and there are a few places in Espalion, where you can learn about their work and also about general life in the area. There is the Diving Museum, housed in the Church of St Jean, the Joseph Vaylet Museum and the Rouerque Museum.

Lively commercial centre

Espalion has a very lively commercial centre with excellent shopping and a thriving and appealing café scene. The shops here are reputed to be some of the best in the region, with everything from chain stores to designer boutiques to keep you occupied if you have a little cash to spare for some serious retail therapy! You will find all manner of restaurants here too, with a good variety of cuisines and prices. Out of town there are a great number of industrial estates and sites available for further economic development. Espalion also offers all schools, health care and other services.

Activities on offer

Sports fans, and lovers of the great outdoors will also find plenty to please them in this area. The town has sports clubs and leisure facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, gymnasiums and other amenities, and in the surrounding countryside you can find horse-riding, cycling, canyoning, canoeing, fishing, hiking and many more outdoor activities.

Out and about

The Lot Valley is green and fertile, and the scenery is absolutely beautiful all around this town. There are plenty of interesting places to visit within reach, and the city of Rodez and the fabulous Millau (pronounced Mee-oh) Bridge are obvious places to start.

How to get there

The TGV to Rodez means that you can travel by rail for most of the journey from the UK to Espalion. Air travel is another possibility, with the airport at Rodez very nearby, and the big airport at Toulouse is also close enough to be useful. Rodez is served by Ryanair and Toulouse by British Airways, easyJet, bmi, Jet2 and flybe. If you are travelling by car, the town lies on the D921.

Property prices and availability in and around Espalion

Property in Espalion can be very reasonably priced, especially when compared with much of the south of the country. The architecture of the houses is distinctive and typical of the Aveyron, and there are some wonderful opportunities to purchase some of these traditional homes for renovation. Cottages and barns to renovate can be found for amazing prices from as little as under 50,000 Euros.

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Espalion AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Espalion?

Espalion is located in the central south of France. It lies in the north-east of the Aveyron department.

Espalion Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Aveyron Guide

  Aveyron Map

Population: 4,457

Access: By air: Fly to Rodez or to Toulouse. By rail: The TGV stops at Rodez. By road: The town is accessed from the D921.

Economy: The economy is very buoyant with a mixture of commerce and industry. Industry is still developing with sites available for commercial buildings.

Interesting fact: Espalion was the place where the scuba diving suit was developed.


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