Map of Tarn-et-Garonne, The Coteaux de Gascogne
Gascony, this former, large province in southwest France, has a little part of itself in Tarn-et-Garonne, in the natural region of Lomagne. There are lovely sunny hillsides, agricultural land, bastide towns and green hills. There are always local producers to meet... Part of the department is close to the Gers and the Haute Garonne, you can visit many places in one go : nature loving and gourmet holidays all at once !
Lavit-de-Lomagne - de Lomagne ? Yes ! It used to be a region, shared between the department of the Gers and the Tarn-et-Garonne. Also called "La Petite Toscane Française" (small French Tuscany), due to its mild climate ; it was an important trade crossroads. This is the region where you find white garlic ; a quality product which grows in the sunny, fertile soils, nestled between hillsides and small valleys in this beautiful region. Beautiful bastide towns, churches, characterful houses are all to be found here. There are lots of charming places to visit and Lavit is representative of this joie de vivre lifestyle.
To learn more about Lomagne, visit the Maison de la Lomagne in Lavit. It houses a permanent, well-illustrated exhibition, to help you understand life in the heart of this area. Walk to the church of Saint-Jacques, which has a 27 metre high rectangular bell. The Hôtel de ville (Town Hall) in Lavit is beautiful architecturally, dating from 1840. The “Halle” (covered market), all in ironwork, has 32 columns made from cast iron. For a walk or a stroll, the “Petit Parc” and the “Grand Parc” are open to visitors.
The best tips to follow, and plans of Tarn Aveyron in Lavit :
This is a beautiful bastide town dating back to 1276. Beaumont-de-Lomagne is a thriving commune thanks to fairs and agricultural markets, as well as having a reputation for white garlic. Beaumont-de-Lomagne houses lovely mansions and brick built characterful houses. Here is a funny fact : due to historical turmoil, the town went from being located in the Haute Garonne to being in Tarn-et-Garonne since 1802.
Beaumont-de-Lomagne is without doubt a pleasant location for a holiday ; it has an interesting cultural heritage, is geographically well located in order to explore the surroundings. Wander round Beaumont-de-Lomagne, and find the church of Notre- Dame-del'Assomption. This is a massive construction with a 50 metre high Toulousain type octagonal bell tower, which took more than 90 years to build. The 14th century covered market houses the market on Saturday mornings. To see beautiful buildings, head towards the Maison Fermat which has a media library and the Hôtel Toureilh where the town hall is located. Look for the half-timbered Maison du Seigneur d’Argombat, the Hôtel de Ruble, the Maison Molas, the Maison Jean 1st d’Armagnac, the Cordeliers if you are an architecture enthusiast. Visit the Tourist Office, pick up a map and find these beautiful buildings and numerous others in the commune.
What about the garlic ? It is an ancient condiment, with known healing qualities : a bacteria killer, a very efficient worm controller, an antiseptic and, apparently, a powerful immune system stimulant. In the markets, you can find it presented in different ways - in braids, in strings, in cloves or in confits of delicious ready made preparations. The Lomagne, on its own, provides around 12,000 tons of white garlic per year. To celebrate garlic in Lomagne, go to “Ail en fête” (Garlic fair), in July ! This event has up to 15,000 people each year (and not a vampire in sight!)
The best tips and plans of Tarn Aveyron in Beaumont-de-Lomagne :
Beaumont-de-Lomagne, Pierre Fremat
In the west of the department of Tarn-et-Garonne, at the border with the Gers, is Gramont. Located on the banks of the Arrats River, this small village, with a population of less than 150 people, has a beautiful Renaissance château, positioned on the hills facing Gascony. The chateau dates from the 13th century (great tip: free tours on the 1st Sunday of each month, due to its national monument status). Gramont is a leasant stop with an abundance of beautiful places to visit : walk round the village to discover lovely houses, which were initially built to accommodate the domestic servants and staff working in the chateau.
The best tips and plans of Tarn Aveyron in Gramont:
A beautiful walk marked as a pedestrian trail, offers a tour of the village and its wonders ; it takes approximately 1 hour. A lovely walk for all the family. Do not miss a visit to the Musée du Miel (Honey Museum) to learn everything about the bees' life, beekeeping and beehives throughout the world. Honey tasting is offered at the end of the tour. Another great visit, but more for adults, is the Musée du Vin et de la Vigne (The Wine and Vine Museum). You will see a collection of winemaking artefacts, the history of the vine in the region and, of course, wine tasting.