Map of Tarn-et-Garonne, The Great River Valleys
Montauban, this beautiful and welcoming pink city, is located in the center of this territory of the Great Fluvial Valleys, punctuated by the Aveyron and the Tarn. The Canal des Deux-Mers is also a common thread to follow, it will take you (by bike or boat) to Toulouse on one side and Bordeaux on the other. Pretty little towns deserve a stop, for a visit, for a weekend. Along the water, discover this territory which lends itself to family holidays, strolls as a couple or with friends, river walks... There will be no shortage of beautiful landscapes!
Watered by the Garonne, Valence-d'Agen is a 13th century bastide where water is omnipresent. Beautiful small and large fountains are to be discovered, as well as two magnificent washhouses: the Théron washhouse and the Saint-Bernard washhouse. The Tuesday morning market takes place in a beautiful hall, not far from there is the Place Nationale, the Notre-Dame church, as well as a beautiful dovecote. But the beautiful wealth of the city is its port-canal of the two seas, which connects Bordeaux to Toulouse. Very close to the public garden and other fountains, it is the extension of the Canal du Midi which leaves from Toulouse. We walk there with delight, to find freshness in the summer and admire the magnificent sound and light show “Along the water… a story”, in the middle of summer. If you are starting a cycling trip with the family or alone along the canal, take advantage of the Valence stopover, where you will find all the amenities.
Valence d'Agen, The Garonne
Since 1994, it has been listed among the "Most Beautiful Villages in France", so don't miss a visit to Auvillar, on the banks of the Garonne. Located on a rocky outcrop, on the road to Santiago de Compostela (the Via Podiensis), you will see an amazing and unique (in the southwest) circular and columned grain market. It is a tourist and artistic place, with many art galleries and a museum which presents a collection of earthenware made in the city in the 18th century. Also admire the brick Clock Tower which houses the Skipper Museum, Saint-Pierre Church, the Sainte-Catherine-du-Port Chapel.
The circular Grain Hall of Auvillar
Perfect for a weekend, this well-located village will appeal to urban dwellers from nearby towns. We walk there to admire the Castle of Richard-Coeur-de-Lion and its 4 towers (where he stayed) which houses the Town Hall. The village church was rebuilt in the 17th century with a Toulousain style bell tower, there is also another church, that of Moutet, with thick mud walls, its wall bell tower and rustic furniture.
The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave:
It is the second municipality of the department of Tarn-et-Garonne, in terms of population and economy. Located between Bordeaux and Narbonne via Toulouse, at the tip of Languedoc, Castelsarrasin is a flowery town. A few kilometers west of Montauban, there are all amenities. The city is home to the Saint-Sauveur church, made of Toulouse-style bricks with an octagonal bell tower, the Saint-Jean church and the Notre-Dame d'Alem church. Observe the beautiful clock of the Hôtel de Ville, flanked by 2 statues. Also take a walk on the metal footbridge, along the Garonne canal, next to the station. Continue your discovery in the center, where beautiful houses are visible: Maison Renaissance, Hôtel Lamothe-Cadillac, Maison de l'Abbé des Prades, Rue de la Discretion and Rue de la Solitude typical of the Middle Ages. It is pleasant to stroll in the port, along the canal towards the lock...
The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Castelsarrasin:
On the alluvial plain of the Garonne, 10 kilometers from Montauban, Montech is a dynamic town. It is crossed by many small streams, by the Canal des Deux-Mers and is home to a magnificent national forest , La Forêt d'Agre (1474ha): an ideal place to come across deer, deer, wild boar, foxes and rabbits. For a family stay, this forest is full of walks. Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation is a Gothic-style church with 17 bells, some of which date back several centuries. In Montech there is also a nautical stop, where you can take cruises on the Canal and also take advantage of the Pente d'eau, an ingenious work to avoid boaters going through 5 locks (thus saving time!).
Montech, side canal of the Garonne
Inhabited since the Palaeolithic era, Verdun-sur-Garonne is a town located on the left bank of the Garonne. It is an ancient fortified city, visit the Castrum (the oldest part of the city), passing by the brick Clock Tower and continuing towards the 17th century market hall. In the distance, we can see the Château de la Reine Margot and its tower. Open your senses to start a walk on the Ile de Labreille, a sensitive area of 32 ha, protected in a meander of the Garonne. You will find a beautiful hiking trail there, without any vehicle, and can enjoy a moment of fishing or discovering the flora and fauna.
Verdun-sur-Garonne and the Clock Tower
Another town along the Canal des Deux-Mers: Grisolles. We come here for a green stopover, to eat well and rest. Grisolles is famous for the invention and production, let's say on an industrial level, of the sorghum broom (the classic yellow straw broom). Until 1998, for more than a century, 40 factories produced this type of broom, making the city one of the main industrial centers of the department! Visit the Calbet Museum in Grisolles, in a beautiful house typical of the village, for a trip back in time. Also visit the 13th century Saint-Martin church.
The Calbet Museum in Grisolles
Montauban is the largest town in Tarn-et-Garonne with approximately 60,000 inhabitants. It is a very beautiful bastide, on a human scale and bright, where it is good to live and come on vacation. It is a dynamic city, which values its heritage and endeavors to make visitors, as well as inhabitants, discover all its cultural and historical riches. As such, it is labeled "City of Art and History". The animations are numerous, festive and throughout the year, things move in Montauban! A major tourist spot, an essential stopover during your stay in Tarn-et-Garonne, it is one of the "Grands Sites Midi Pyrénées". Stroll through its pink brick streets and alleys, with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Watered by the Tarn, Montauban enjoys a pretty canal port, which leads to the Canal de Montech, linking the river Tarn to the Canal des Deux-Mers (which itself links Bordeaux to the Canal du Midi in Toulouse!).
Visit of Montauban:
Many buildings and monuments are worthy of interest in Montauban (which has 43 inventoried), starting with the many churches, reflecting various cults. The Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral, the highest point of the city commissioned by Louis XIV at the end of the 17th century, the Saint-Jacques-de-Montauban church, the Saint-Étienne church... there is also the Temple of the Carmelites, the temple of the Faculty... Discover the Ingres museum, whose building was used to hide the Mona Lisa during the Second World War. The central square of the city is "La Place Nationale", with its sumptuous arcades. Pass the Old Bridge, which dates from the 14th century. Take advantage of your visit to the Tourist Office to discover the former Jesuit college.
Nature lovers and families looking for a green odyssey for a picnic will find themselves at the Jardin des Plantes and its attractive arboretum. Around the center, eastern district of the city, is a magnificent Rose Garden with more than 12,000 specimens. The Parc du Treil extends over 13,000m2 , you can walk there to discover the Tarn and its banks and observe the island of Pissote on the Tarn.
For playful discoveries, the Victor Brun Natural History Museum presents collections of birds and mammals. The Montauban Toy Museum will delight children. The Paumadou Museum, or Mini Museum, will appeal to art lovers and anyone wishing to enrich their knowledge of art.
Montauban also offers a selection of concert halls and shows, look at the programs on the city's website.
Montauban and its magnificent squares
The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Montauban:
Montauban, the cousin of Toulouse
Located in the alluvial plain of Aveyron, the bastide of Nègrepelisse is a natural and relaxing place, which is developing thanks to green tourism. You will see the church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens , rebuilt in the 19th century. The remains of the castle of Nègrepelisse, which is today a center of art and history: La Cuisine. Observe the magnificent retaining walls of the castle and the adjacent mill (which is open to visit and in operation all summer). On the site of the Castle and the mill, take a walk on the "island", a path punctuating a sensitive space, where beautiful varieties of flora can be contemplated.
For the little etymological history, the original name of the town was Sieurac, it seems that the woodcutters who made charcoal while wearing a pelisse (a coat lined with fur) blackened by soot, in the local forest , gave the current nickname to the city.
The Castle of Nègrepelisse