Centrally located in the southern French Occitanie region, previously known as Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées, is the department of Tarn which is named after the river. The Tarn department has a gentle climate which is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
The region is rich in nature, culture and history. The landscapes vary from valleys surrounded by hills to mountainous areas. This rich variety in landscapes combined with the architectonic and cultural heritage, the traditional resources and age-old history result in in a varied couleur locale and an amazing holiday destination.
In the Tarn you will find spectacular scenery, the mountains Monts de Lacaune and the Montagne Noire, the Sidobre granite rocks, the Gaillac vineyards, the charming Pays de Cocagne and last but not least, les Bastides des Albigeoises. There are medieval villages such as Bruniquel, Puycelsi, Penne, Castelnau de Montmiral and Cordes sur Ciel. History lovers and lovers of beaux villages de France can indulge themselves visiting Lautrec, Ambialet, Lincou, Brousse le Chateau, St. Izaire, Coupiac and Plaisance. But if this is not enough for you, there are more castles, ruins and Cathar caves within reach. And go and see the fortified medieval city of Carcasonne, Rodez and its Gothic cathedral, Milau and its impressive viaduct and last but not least, Toulouse with the Renaissance palaces.
Albi, la Rouge
What was once a settlement in the Bronze Age, is now one of the most picturesque districts of the town. Albi is situated on the river Tarn and has the typical history of a south-west French city, with an imposing cathedral, lively districts and quiet enclosed gardens. But it is mainly the contagious Mediterranean flair which shows itself in the place of birth of Toulouse-Lautrec. Albi is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The old centre of this episcopal town is situated around the imposing Cathédrale Ste-Cécile d’Albi and there are winding old streets, lanes, shops and restaurants. Characteristic houses made of red bricks with terracotta rooftiles together with the Mediterranean atmosphere gave the town its nickname ‘Albi the Red’. The Palais de la Berbie, next to the cathedral, was once the residence of the powerful bishops of Albi. The completely renovated Museum Toulouse-Lautrec can be regarded as one of the best contemporary French museums. The terrace-shaped gardens of the Palais offer a beautiful view of the town and the river Tarn. You will enjoy the typical art de vivre of Albi.
If you would like to thoroughly explore the surroundings, you will find a centuries-old network of paths with a total length of 3,500 kilometres. There are walks for the recreational walker and, for the more experienced walker, walks taking several days to complete. There are numerous well-marked paths for walkers and cyclists with a great variety for all levels of experience.
And of course, you must take a trip by canoe along the Tarn. While for golf lovers, there are beautifully laid out golf courses.
Les circuits du Tarn
To make things easy for you we have seven Circuits du Tarn available for you at the Domaine. These well written, marked out day trips vary from 70 to 175 kilometres. You can drive through the Tarn countryside by car or motorbike following these Circuits. And each of these trips have their own theme so you can get to know all aspects of this beautiful part of France.
Traditional festivities, colourful markets and gastronomic specialities will make your stay in this area complete and they will give you the feeling of joie de vivre in the broadest sense.
We hope to be able to introduce you to this beautiful part of La Douce France.