La Forêt Souriante - Albizia

Najac, Aveyron
+33 (0)6 25 87 42 26

A detached and arty 1850s house with pretty shutters in the 'smiling forest' with bucolic views from a lovely garden, near Najac


1 bed


1 bedroom


Sleeps 2

The Experience

You’re on a hillside overlooking a deep valley with the fabulous Château de Najac perched on the opposite hillside. A gently sloping lawn, a wildflower meadow with mown paths, mature trees and glorious picnic spots will keep garden lovers outdoors as much as humanly possible, but there’s plenty of space indoors also.

Rooms are light with books and games to occupy you should the weather be foul. The kitchen space is along one wall of the living area so cooking will be sociable and there’s plenty of preparation workspace. You’ll find basics in the cupboards plus a welcome hamper with a quick meal for your first evening and a bottle of wine. One large and lofty bedroom upstairs has wonderful long views and a well-designed bathroom.

Keen walkers can reach the Aveyron river in 30 minutes for a cooling swim or a spot of kayaking. Back home laze in a hammock, visit Najac’s Sunday market, or join one of Anita’s painting classes – you’ll feel inspired.

La Forêt Souriante - Albizia - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Finding the perfect view from the garden and sitting down to absorb it fully
  • Being surrounded by so much beauty in nature and wildlife
  • Stocking up with gorgeous local food at Najac’s 'marché nocturne’ throughout mid-July and August
La Forêt Souriante - Albizia - Gallery

You should know

  • A low beam runs along the bedroom ceiling
  • You share the big garden with other guests (although you have a private terrace too)


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
From 4pm Saturday
Check out
By 10.30am Saturday
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 7 nights.
15 November - 20 March.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Restaurants, 5km.


Nightly price
from €125
Weekly price
from €650
1 Cottage for 2
From €1251 bed1 bedroom


We had a wonderful weeks holiday despite mixed weather. Tjarco and Anita are lovely welcoming hosts who were able to give us lots of tips on walks and places to visit. The gite is comfortable and very well equipped with fantastic views across the valley towards Najac. The walks along the river watching kingfishers were a highlight of the holiday. We particularly liked sitting out in the garden catching the last rays of sun enjoying the birds along with a glass of wine. We will definitely be booking a return visit.

Pete & Val, Caubon Saint Sauveur

I would love to stay in this charming house to spend my days exploring the deep wooded valleys and medieval towns, taking in the views every evening from the garden after hikes or have a day off and do an art course with the talented artist owners!

Nicky, Sawday's Inspector

Read more reviews


The neighbourhood

It's quiet here on the hillside. In spring the blossom and roses in gardens and hedgerows fill the air with heady scent and there are several walks from Najac, through forest or along the river. In autumn you can forage for ceps and chestnuts. Ask Anita about the open-air 'art route' in summer, as well as the beautiful public gardens nearby. Cordes-sur-Ciel is 25 minutes.

Local points of interest from Anita Van Overmeeren & Tjarco van Wijngaarden

  • The area surrounding Najac is well known for its beautiful walks. In the gîte you find a guide book with 8 walks for every level around Najac, you can even start a walk from your own gîte. Or try to do a walk around Bor et Bar with very varied landscapes.
  • The French love to cycle, so there are some great routes here. You can rent bikes (even electric moutainbikes) within 3 miles from La Forêt Souriante. We are located close to the rivers l'Aveyron and Le Viaur, both are great for wild swimming and canoeing.
  • If you like horse riding it is possible to go horse riding through the beautiful surroundings. Ferme équestre de Daoudou, 2 miles up the road from La Forêt Souriante, provides horse riding tours, they even organise tours with a swim with the horses.
  • In the surroundings of La Forêt Souriante, in the Tarn you can make a wine tour along the oldest vineyards of France. Discover the unique taste of the white and red wines made from grape varieties that has been produced in Gaillac for ages.
  • As garden lovers, we were pleasantly surprised to find some beautiful gardens to visit in our area. Amongst them are 'les jardins remarquables'. Les jardins de Quercy is such a jardin remarquable and just a 15 minutes’ drive away: a true inspiration to us.
  • Visit romantic French villages like Belcastel, Saint Cirq Lapopie, Saint Antonin Noble Val or Cordes-sur-Ciel and stroll around lively markets and eat in good restaurants. Or go to interesting exhibitions in the museums in Albi, Montauban or Rodez.


Anita Van Overmeeren & Tjarco van Wijngaarden

Anita (an art teacher) and Tjarco (formerly in television) are Dutch. They were first drawn to France by the wild, untouched areas you can still find here. They love contemporary art, gardening, Scandinavian design, meeting people, entertaining and cooking. They know their unspoiled, hilly region well, including all the birdlife, so can help you make the most of your time here. They live next door.