The Tarn is a beautiful place famous for its quaint villages, acres of rolling hills, unspoiled countryside and peaceful lakes. La Durantie itself is situated between two of the most beautiful villages in France, or officially “Les plus beaux villages de France” – two of just 150 villages in the country which hold this official label. Puycelsci is 6km from La Durantie and Castelnau de Montmiral is just 2km away.
Despite its beauty and tranquility, there is plenty to do and see in the region. The Tarn boasts some of France’s most interesting and popular tourist attractions.
But don’t take our word for it! Here’s what people are saying on TripAdvisor about the attractions:
Jardins des Martels, Girousseus
By Peter, France – Reviewed 17th September 2014
These beautifully laid out gardens offer interest and colour from April to October. Try and go when the lotuses are out (June-August), they are simply beautiful. We have visited most months now and are never disappointed.
Our top tip: Make sure not to miss the Japanese pagoda and stepping stones across the pond!
“What an incredible location”
By Christina, Cardiff – Reviewed 6th February 2015
The tiny village of Hautpoul, thought to have been built in 413 by the Wisigoths is perched high above the town of Mazamet. It has been beautifully preserved and is now pedestrianized. There is a statue to the Virgin Mary overlooking the valley and the remains of a small medieval chateau. There is also a reconstruction of a medieval garden and a museum. The views are superb of the valleys.
Our top tip: Best explored by foot! A lovely ramble up to the top of the village will reward you with some amazing views.
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi
“The Palais de la Berbie and its gardens, great collection”
By Anonymous, Croatia – Reviewed 4th November 2014
Thanks to the parents of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the museum possesses the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world. Over 1000 works, pictures, lithographs, drawings and preparatory studies including all 31 posters provide a complete documented approach of the artist and illustrate each facet of his innovative talent. The museum is located in a lovely setting.
Our top tip: The art of the great Toulouse de Lautrec is alluring enough to make the visit worthwhile, but the setting and the lovely gardens are not to be missed! Spring and summer visits are recommended. The museum reopened in 2012 after refurbishment; the sleek renovation has given a modern touch to the interiors of this impressive historic building.
Cathedrale Ste-Cecile, Albi
“The paintings are remarkable”
By Michael, Australia – Reviewed 22nd February 2015
Big! It is one of the biggest churches we have seen. It’s quite beautiful; the paintings are as remarkable as are the statues. Albi is a nice town to visit actually. We loved it – do yourself a favor and check it out.
Our top tip: Try one of the audio tours (available in several languages) to find out about the cathedral’s fascinating history.
Musée de la Mode, Albi
“A jewel of a museum”
By Hatty, UK – Reviewed 29th June 2014
I’ve visited this museum twice now and been stunned by the quality of the display and the wonderful venue. This is a private museum created by an inspired collector of costumes. They are beautifully displayed, the building is fascinating and in the oldest part of Albi. The catalogues are beautifully printed and there is even a shop where you can buy some vintage items if you have a penchant for collecting or the old and loved, as I do.
Our top tip: It’s not a huge museum, but make sure you leave enough time for your trip as the 5 rooms are packed with information and exhibits that are well worth taking your time to enjoy.
“Great scenery and walks”
By Mary, UK – Reviewed 7th July 2014
A brilliant part of the Tarn for walking and spectacular scenery – the granite formations provide excellent points of interest and photographic opportunities.
Our top tip: Sidobre is an absolutely great place for exploring by bike. There are plenty of cycle-hire shops in nearby Castres.
Château de Penne
“A fantastic Medieval village”
By Denise, UK – Reviewed 14th August 2014
This castle is not a ‘French château’ it’s a proper fortified castle on the top of a huge approximately 200 foot rock outcrop. As spectacular as you would see anywhere in the world! A fantastic place to visit. The village is genuinely medieval and absolutely lovely.
Our top tip: Make sure you leave enough time to explore the picturesque medieval village as well as the castle itself.
Jardin des Paradis, Cordes-sur-Ciel
By John, UK – Reviewed 11th September 2014
Well-advertised and worth following the signs if you are looking for somewhere a little different, away from the shops and tourists. A hidden gem with so much to see and appreciate in relaxing and peaceful surroundings. Different styles of garden in such a small area and good to see there is a small shop/cafe to stop for refreshments.
Our top tip: It’s a great place to visit during the summer months; an oasis from the heat with water features and a lovely pond….cooling and calming.
Musée Laperouse, Albi
“Australian connection to Albi”
By Shanthini, Australia - Reviewed 4 November 2012
The French explorer La Perouse was born in Albi. This museum is dedicated to his amazing voyage of discovery throughout the pacific and Asia rim. It contains relics from his ship which sank on his way back to France as well as maps and documents. Interesting link to Australia in this small town in South of France.
Our top tip: The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. So if you have any questions, let them know.
Musée Goya, Castres
“Small but well organised.”
By Ben, Australia – Reviewed 31 May 2013
Delightful city council run art gallery that has permanent and temporary exhibitions. Free entry and helpful staff make this a worthwhile visit.
Our top tip: The museum shows much more than just Goya; there is usually a very varied selection on display. During sunnier months make sure to spend time in the lovely surrounding gardens.
Musée Charles Portal, Cordes-sur-Ciel
By Jane, UK – “Beautiful” Reviewed 1 August 2013
This is a magical place and getting the little train up to almost the top, saves your energy for walking the cobbled streets to the vantage point at the top. Steeped in history this is a picturesque place and one of France’s many treasures.
Our top tip: Not far from the ‘Jardin des Paradis’- try to incorporate both in one trip and spend some time taking in the breathtaking views of the tarn from this picturesque hill-top town.
Office de Tourisme de Castres
“Excellent – worth a visit!”
By Shanthini, Australia – Reviewed 10th October 2014
There are the usual brochures, of course, but the people themselves are what make it special. They really like their jobs and take time to talk and really answer questions. Very helpful.
Our top tip: Located next to the Goya Museum, the tourism office is really easy to find and great for finding out anything from simple directions to in-depth information about the local attractions.