Tarn, a mountainous department of south west France, is situated in the Midi-Pyrenees province. Tarn is a glorious region of rural France, where the pace of life is leisurely, the culture is strong and the scenery is green and peaceful, broken only by fortified medieval towns and impressive fairytale Tarn chateaux. Holiday rental chateaus in Tarn are perfect for family holiday, extended family reunions and special occasions due to their size, space and grandeur, all at hugely good value.
As I mentioned, Tarn has a rich, traditional culture. The museums of Albi give a great insight into the history of the department, including the famous Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, dedicated to the local artist. The engineering miracle of the Millau Bridge which straddles the Tarn Gorge makes essential viewing from a Tarn gite, especially if you have hired a car to drive hundreds of metres above the ground.
The river which carved the huge Aveyron Gorge is a mecca for white water rafting and canoeing, with some of the best and most challenging stretches starting in the St Antonin area, which is a great place to take a Tarn gite or chateau if you intend to take to the river. Horse riding in Tarn is hugely popular too, with the open expanses of green open spaces lending themselves to both single day rides and long riding holidays. The mountain biking and walking in Tarn is also top class, with many marked trails across some of the most beautiful scenery to be found in the area.
There are some great golf courses in Tarn too. The course of Chateau Lasbordes in Albi is a particularly good course, but there are many excellent rounds to be had all across the department, so you will undoubtedly be able to find a good course in close proximity to your holiday rental gite or chateau in Tarn.
Cordes-sur-Ciel is probably the most magnificent fortified bastide towns, set proudly on a hilltop in the Tarn countryside. The huge, domineering chateau which dominates the skyline offers sweeping panoramic views across the department, and is a perfect place to start getting a feel for the department’s rich heritage and culture when you first arrive at your holiday rental in Tarn.
Wine connoisseurs who have taken a self catering property in Tarn must visit Gaillac, the village at the centre of the Tarn’s wine trade, and the local markets in most villages sell delicious local produce, especially the large bustling market at St Antonin.
The walking, riding and cycling season in Tarn starts as early as April, as average temperatures are already around 20°C, rising to a daily average of around 30°C in August.
Just forty five minutes from Toulouse International Airport (TLS), and five hours from Paris on the TGV, a self catering Tarn chateau or gite has become very accessible from the UK. easyJet, British Airways, BMI and Flybe all offer flights from the UK, so cheap flights to Tarn should not be hard.