The Tarn and the region around Gaillac is one of the regions where you will discover a typical French countryside.. Only one hour from Toulouse, it offers a great landscape full of vineyard and forest with cute little towns to discover and great wine and local products to try. It is definitely one of the places that needs to be visited.
Villages to visit
A very small, but cute town listed as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’. We stayed very close to this town and just popped by on our way through. We were amazed by the cuteness of the streets and the main square. It has definitely a lot of charme and even if it is quiet during winter, we had a great time wandering around. The village offers two restaurants serving traditional food and one tea shop where you can get a tea, smoothies and crêpes during the afternoon.
Bruniquel is a cute little town with a castle on top. We haven’t visited the castle, so I cannot really share my experience with you, however we had a wonder around the castle and the town in itself which offers great views. Several walking paths leave from Bruniquel, e.g. the Circuit de Cabéou that offers you several great view points on Bruniquel and its castle. You can find the full route here.
One recommendation we can definitely give is the restaurant “Chez Pigassou“. The restaurant is small and decorated with taste. We had wild boar in a nice dark sauce which is seasonal and real tasty. They also have a little shop where you can buy local products.
Puycelsi is a nice town sitting on top of the mountain overlooking the valley. The view from around the town is really great. You can still walk along the city wall to discover the village. Listed also as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’ it also has two restaurants open in winter with a great view overlooking the valley and the Pyrenees: Le Jardin de Lys and the Roc Café (more restaurants in summer).
Miellerie de Puycelsi
If you like honey, then we would definitely recommend you to go to the “La Miellerie”. On a private farm, the owner welcomes you in her little shop full of honey products. She really takes time to let you taste all different sorts of honey. It’s a great place to bring back some gifts from your trip. You will find not only honey, but also a sweet wine with honey, honey sweets and much more.
Address: Moulin D’Olivery, 81140 Puycelsi
Cordes-sur-Ciel is definitely worth the detour. You can find more information on the village and the best way to visit it in our former blog post.
Saint-Antonin is a cute little town in the next department Tarn-et-Garonne. Often known as a place to practice a lot of outdoor sports like kayaking, mountain biking and much more. However, there are still things you can do during winter though, like enjoying the Sunday market in the historical centre (especially in winter, as it is not too full). We bought a lot of local products like cheese, saucissons, aligot and much more. The market is open from 8h-13h. A perfect way to buy local products for your apéritif! Enjoy!
More information on the town and things to do here.
The Tarn offers a great variety of activities, from hiking in the vineyards and the forests around, mountain biking, visiting towns and cities or enjoying for example the “Festival des Laternes” in Gaillac from 1st December to 31st January.
Hikes and walks around the wine country
The region offers spectacular views over the vineyards and the valley, sometimes you are even able to see the Pyrenees. On this website you can find different hikes possible in the region for all levels and with different themes.
The Gaillac region is known for its wine and the many wineries. Gaillac hat its own “Wine House” (Maison des Vins), with over 100 sorts of wine. However you can also visit the different wineries directly. They will be happy to let you taste their wine and explain you more about wine making.
The Festival des Laternes is a really impressive light show in Gaillac that is running from 1st December to 31st January. As the biggest Latern Festival in Europe, the show is on around 4 hectors and offers over 1500 lanterns which are all lighten up during the 8 weeks of the show. This year and for the first time, the festival hosts a dinosaure show. Nearby parking with regular shuttle service is provided.
We stayed at the domaine de Durantie, a great new villa complex outside of Castelnau-de-Montmiral. They have several villas, all with a private pool or whirlpool.
A quite luxury experience however the price was totally fine for the season and the houses are furnished with so much taste. Everything you need to cook a great meal is there, a chimney, TV and the most important a nice whirlpool or pool (depending on the house you rent). A perfect spot for a weekend with the girls, friends or with your partner. We loved it there!
Have a great time discovering this region,