Day trips to discover the French culture

Toulouse is located in the South-West of France and offers great possibilities for day trips. Here is our selection of diverse day trips with different distances, depending on how long you would like to drive.

Villages/ Towns

Carcassonne

About one hour drive on the motorway and easily reachable by train, Carcassonne is really impressive to see. This medieval village is as great to see by day, as by night. Find all information about the history and ways to get there hereTip: Park free at bottom of hill and walk up to have a great view on the whole cité.

Another way to enjoy Carcassone is to go to one of the concerts during the Carcassonne festival in July, as it is happening right in the castle itself. They offer opera, classical, but also pop concerts with known artists like Angus & Julia Stone, a-ha or Beth Ditto.

You can also enjoy the great architecture of Carcassonne during the  fireworks on the national holiday 14th July while sitting in a close-by vineyard. However, it will be really crowded and you need to be there quite early. The best is to take camping chairs and picnic and enjoy the full afternoon and evening there. Careful though as they wait back can be quite long.

Cordes sur Ciel

It’s a small medieval village not too far from Toulouse. It’s really cute village existing since 1222 and gives you a great feeling of a medieval French village. You can either walk up the village to have a look around the many little streets or you can go on a walk of approx. 12km and enjoy the view from a distance.

Tip: Cordes sur Ciel can be nicely done on a day trip with Albi.

Albi

Albi is a great little town with 50,000 inhabitants, also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Albi is known for its cathedral Ste-Cécile that is one of the largest brick buildings in the world, and its famous painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

During summer, you can enjoy the atmosphere of the town during the Festival Pause Guitare from 3-8th July. The festival offers free and paid concerts all over town.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie


This village
is situated on the heights of the river Lot and offers a spectacular view on the valley. The village is popular with many artists, so take a stroll around the tiny streets and have a look in the many galleries that can be found around the village. You can also enjoy the view on the village from the river below, the nature is great and the village has been selected “Favourite village of the French” in 2012.

Millau


Millau is very impressive. You can of course drive over the bridge, however if you like to experience the bridge differently, a good way of doing so is to go kayaking along the river. Not the most challenging river for kayaking, however, you pass right underneath the bridge which offers you a very nice view. We rented our kayak with Evolution 2 Millau.

Tip: A great thing to do on the way back from Millau is to stop in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, where you can visit the cheese caves where the real Roquefort cheese is made. 

Rocamadour

Rocamadour has a remarkable architecture and is definitely worth a trip. The village is classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a pilgrimage site for a thousand years. The village is well-known and attracts many tourists especially in high season. Try to come early to enjoy the small streets with not too many people.

NATURAL SITES

Pic du Midi

Le Pic du Midi is a bit further away but definitely a highlight in this region. You can take the gondola up the mountain or hike up (5h hike) if you really fancy and enjoy an amazing view over the Pyrenees. Last winter, they installed a sky bridge so that you can fully enjoy the mountain panorama.

If you are looking for an exclusive experience, then stay a night or join one of the concerts happening this summer on the Pic du Midi.

Bike tour along the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is classified UNESCO World Heritage Site and really worth visiting. The best is to go on a bike ride along the canal. Look at our former blog post here.

Beaches at the Mediterranean Sea

The closest beach to Toulouse is Narbonne plage. It’s a huge sandy beach, but not the nicest of the region. You will need around 2 hours to get there.

Plage Le Dôme is quite a nice beach, as it is a very long sandy beach far from any village with little beach bars to enjoy a great meal at the beach or a nice cocktail.

If you are looking for a more sporty day, Leucate or Barcarès can be a good choice. This region is really windy and therefore offers great opportunities for  different water sports, such as windsurfing, wake boarding, kite surfing, paddle etc.

Have fun visiting this beautiful region. If you are looking for great natural sites not far from Toulouse to go for a swim in summer, stay tuned as we are currently putting together tips for lakes and rivers to swim during hot summer days. 

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