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TARN - The Horn of Abundance of the Tarn

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Map of the Tarn, territory of the Horn of Plenty of the Tarn

Map of the Tarn, territory of the Horn of Plenty of the Tarn


Among the most beautiful villages in France, an attractive agricultural production, vineyards, beautiful castles and paths studded with small brooks that sing... This is the Land of Plenty! Here almost everything is built on a puech, a puy, a mound! The villages take to the heights to reveal magnificent viewpoints and offer you climbing in all seasons :) Don't forget the camera, sneakers and a basket of groceries to leave with all the marvels of the area.


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Puycelsi

One of the most beautiful villages in France, perched above the Vère valley and the Grésigne forest, Puycelsi rightly means "the high hill". The foundations of the city date back to the 10th century, then several wars emptied the village, which was almost abandoned of all population until the 1960s, when running water was (finally) supplied. Life is gradually returning to settle on this pretty stretch of hill, the inhabitants are now more than a third of foreign origin (English, Canadian, Dutch, Belgian). Walk along the 800m of ramparts and defense towers, visit the Saint-Roch Chapel, the Saint-James Chapel, the Castle of the Captains Governors and the Saint-Corneille church.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Puycelsi:

  • Walking enthusiasts can take the "heritage trail", a 12km hike to be done in about 4 hours of walking. Watch out, it's going up! A beautiful waterfall is on the way: the Audoulou waterfall.
  • At the bottom of the village, there is a Conservatory of Fruit Species and Ancient Vines. To preserve these varieties from disappearance, to preserve this rustic diversity, with unparalleled taste values, the General Council of the Tarn has created this place which is part of an Agenda 21. Open days, guided tours and courses take place regularly.

Puycelsi on his mound

Puycelsi on his mound

Castelnau-de-Montmiral

Near Puycelsi, there is another most beautiful village in France, also built on a limestone peak: La bastide de Castelnau-de-Montmiral.

At the turn of its pretty alleys, you will discover the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption church, the large square of arcades where cars no longer have the right of citizenship. Guided tours of the village are organized in season, inquire at the Tourist Office. Don't miss the magnificent panorama over the Vère valley from the heights of the village.


View of Castelnau-de-Montmirail

View of Castelnau-de-Montmirail

Gaillac

In Gaillac, the big star is the vine (and also Pastel). Come to this festive and lively place to discover the very beautiful Benedictine abbey of Saint-Michel, on the banks of the Tarn. It is the 3rd town in the department, its economic growth is going well and wine tourism is developing. It was the monks who first brought the arable land to fruition on this Tarn terrace. All styles of wine flourish here!

Also discover the church of Saint-Michel de Gaillac , Saint-Jean de Tartage and the church of Saint-Pierre.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Gaillac:

  • Come and take part in the aperitif-concerts organized by the winegrowers in the vineyards during the summer season!
  • An original and very nice museum: the natural history museum, with beautiful collections of animals, insects and shells, as well as a garden. The Museum of Fine Arts is housed in a magnificent residence , Le Château de Foucaud. At the Musée de l'Abbaye, you'll learn all about wine (you'll enjoy it better without the kids!!). Another surprising museum: Musée Conservatoire inVINcible VIGNEron, with a large collection of objects and tools related to the vine.
  • If you are in the area on a Sunday, go to the Club des Trains Miniatures Gaillacois. To return to childhood and enjoy the joys of the electric train. Check their upstream site to make sure it's open!
  • Do you like to visit magnificent castles? Stay at the Château de Mauriac, you will be well received, in a small committee or in a group!

Gaillac

St. Michael's Abbey

Gaillac vineyards

Gaillac vineyards

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Rabastens

Rabastens is in the Tarn, but only a good half hour from Toulouse in Haute-Garonne, so many Toulouse residents like to come and relax there on weekends! What can you find there? Beauuuuuuucoup churches, about 25, because the town is extremely large and includes several parishes. However, don't miss Notre-Dame du Bourg, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its magnificent frescoes. The city is located on the way to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle: a variant of the Puy route.

There are a multitude of hiking and cycle paths to be taken from the city, in all directions. To avoid losing your way, ask the tourist office for a map and follow the signs.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Rabastens:

  • Looking for a bit of peace? Meet at Lac des Auzerals.
  • In Saint-Suplice la pointe, just next to Rabastens, is Le Souterrain medievale du Castela: 142m of underground wandering, below the castle, dating from the Middle Ages... A surprising visit!

Rabastens on the banks of the Tarn

Rabastens on the banks of the Tarn

Giroussens

Giroussens in the Pays de Cocagne has prospered from yesterday to today thanks to the pottery know-how (painted terracotta) of its inhabitants since the 16th century, and its ceramics centre. Perched village, it conceals many pleasures and attractive visits. To see the ceramics and glazed earthenware from the great era of Giroussens, go to the Musée du Pays rabastinois, in Rabastens, just next door. The Center Céramique de Giroussens will present to you the techniques, works and influences of contemporary ceramists.

A very beautiful floral park is to be discovered: the Jardin des Martels, a magnificent floral park of 35,000m 2 which welcomes around 60,000 visitors a year and offers many activities.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Giroussens:

  • Youpiiiiii a steam locomotive! A very nice tourist railway awaits you for a ride in a vintage train. In Saint-Lieux-les-Lavaur, an unparalleled trip to do with the whole family.
  • To know everything about the life of bees, as a family and with great respect for these insects, go to the Ruchers du Tigou.

The tourist railway

The tourist railway

The Agout near Giroussens

The Agout near Giroussens

Lavaur

Capital of the Pays de Cocagne, Lavaur is proud of its natural and historical heritage. Located near the Agout River, it is a dynamic city with a lot of appeal for tourists and locals, in 2012 it was ranked 11th most dynamic city in France! Several industries, businesses and artisans have settled there, including the cosmetics group Pierre Fabre, which employs more than 700 people.

A fruit and vegetable cooperative is in charge of marketing the apples and other marvels produced in the region: we are in the Land of Plenty, the climate, the richness of the soil and the involvement of the inhabitants make it a productive land.


You will discover the beautiful Saint-Alain Cathedral and its amusing Jacquemart, a golden automaton that strikes a bell to indicate the time. Stroll through Lavaur to see the Town Hall in a former courthouse of beautiful Second Empire style architecture. Near the cathedral, visit the Jardin de l'évêché, its majestic cedar and its large statue. Pass by the Saint-François church, then one of the most beautiful vestiges of the old fortification of the city: the Tour des Rondes, all clad in pink brick. The Lavaur hospital is also made of bricks and dates from the 17th century. In terms of town planning, pass by the Pont de Lavaur which spans the Agout, go and see the Halle aux grains (end of the 14th century) and the Lavaur viaduct.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Lavaur:

  • Le Plô is a beautiful walk in a garden with an esplanade. Another green space: the Square du Général Bressolle.
  • Art lovers will go to the Municipal Museum of Vrais and in summer to the Museum Chapel which hosts temporary exhibitions.
  • The cultural and artistic agenda is rich in Lavaur, thanks to the many associations that bring it to life.
  • For hiking enthusiasts, ask the Tourist Office about following the Roman Way, a route around Pastel, the amazing dye plant.
  • The large market takes place on Saturdays in Lavaur.
  • Wine fanatic? Meet at the Domaine d'En Ségur, to visit the cellars, learn all about the vines and... taste! In summer you can even have meals on site.

The interior of Saint-Alain Cathedral

The interior of Saint-Alain Cathedral

Graulhet

Graulhet and its pretty little streets is a very nice stopover or resort for the holidays! Crossed by the Dadou, a peaceful river, it is a good distance from the main traffic arteries, which gives it all the charm of a city on a human scale. In Graulhet, traces of human civilizations dating back to Gallo-Roman times have been found. This is explained by the geographical and geological position of the city, in a valley, on a rocky plateau surrounded by wetlands. Economically, Graulhet has distinguished itself by the know-how of its tanners. The region's leather was well known for its color, strength and price. It unfortunately underwent a strong social crisis at the beginning of the 20th century, then the economic crisis of 1929 weakened to the decline, this industry however so flourishing. Today, the city relies on its tourist attractions and the economy is turning more towards trade, crafts and sustainable development. In Graulhet, you can see the Old Bridge, listed as a Historic Monument, the pretty medieval quarter with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses, and in particular the Hostellerie du Lyon d'Or.


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Graulhet:

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Lautrec

Lautrec in Pays d'Agout, what a beautiful village (one of the most beautiful villages in France...)!

Between Albi and Castres, it is a medieval city solidly established on a hill, opposite the plain of Castres, facing the Montagne Noire and the Pyrenees. Obviously, you know this name well, Lautrec... Which comes from that of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, extravagant and prolific poster artist! Lautrec is the town of origin of his ancestors.

Discover the Saint-Rémy collegiate church and its magnificent interior furnishings, some of which are listed as historical heritage. On the central square of the city, you will find a stone hall which hosts the market. At the entrance to the town, the Porte de la Caussade , dating from the 13th century, is a medieval vestige of the town's fortifications . Put on your trainers and take on the small medieval streets , dotted with magnificent buildings, all in stone and wooden corbels. At the very top is the reward for the climb! The view is breathtaking, at Calvaire de la Salette (328m!) and its orientation table. Land of plenty, Lautrec is certainly one with its fragrant and tasty pink garlic , come and discover it at the market!


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Lautrec:

  • The clog-maker's workshop awaits you, the Esclopier, to learn all about the making of wooden clogs, an ancestral know-how, presented here in a very educational and interesting way.
  • At the very top of Calvaire de la Salette, there is a pretty windmill, hanging on the hill. Renovated in 1992, it can be visited in summer and admired!
  • If you are looking for a very beautiful residence to stay, there is the Château de Brametourte, which also organizes events from time to time, such as visits, bike rides, etc.
  • If you like nature but you are not sure of your physical condition, do not hesitate to rent an electric bike to enjoy the beautiful walks around Lautrec, with the slightest effort! Meet at Velotrek.
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum of Lautrec, on the 1st floor of the Town Hall.

Lautrec, a beautiful medieval town

Lautrec, a beautiful medieval town

The mill has to be earned, at the very top of the Calvary of La Salette!

The mill has to be earned, at the very top of the Calvary of La Salette!

Puylaurens

At the gates of the Montagne Noire, there is Puylaurens and as its name suggests, it is installed on a "puy", a mound, hill...

The village was built around its castle, Cap de Castel, built in 1258. Today it is a quality hotel and restaurant. Stroll through the city and its surroundings with the discovery circuit: "Castles and churches of Puylaurentais".


The tips and good plans of the Guide Tarn Aveyron in Puylaurens:

  • Young and old adventurers alike will enjoy a 1/2 day at Cri de Tarzan, an amusement park with a course in the trees.
  • For quad biking, motorcycling and other mechanical sports, go to the Circuit de l'Aubépine, which also offers events and activities for companies (seminars, incentives).
  • Not far from Puylaurens is Magrin, with an interesting Pastel Museum.
  • In nearby Algans, discover the “Nostra Terra Occitana” Agricultural Tool Museum.
  • The market takes place every Wednesday in Puylaurens.