Three mountain ranges form the south eastern border of the Department of Tarn. The pasture land of the Lacaune Mountains has streams and rivers for fishermen and canoeists. Ancient Sidobre in the heart of the Haut Languedoc Regional Natural Park - the largest granite plateau in Europe - is best explored on foot or by mountain bike. Here, huge strangely shaped rocks with names like The Three Cheeses carved by wind and weather lurk amongst the woods and deep river valleys. Some peaks in The Montagne Noire can rise to 3500ft. Influenced by both the Mediterranean and Atlantic, each valley has a different climate and vegetation.
One of France’s oldest wine-producing areas around Gaillac has pink Bastide villages, churches and abbeys and an August wine festival. Also in summer there are farmers markets for poultry and vegetables and pink Lautrec garlic at Realmont and Trebas.
Art and heritage meet in the capital city of Albi which spans the River Tarn. Tarn’s most famous son, painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was born here and a visit to the museum holding over 1,000 of his works is a must, also the Cathedral of Ste-Cecile which is a masterpiece of southern Gothic art.
The multicoloured riverside houses in Castres give the town a Spanish atmosphere and the Museum of Spanish Art here includes works by Goya.
Holidaymakers in Tarn will not be short of different ideas for leisure activities - swim in a mountain lake in summer at Mazamet, enjoy active treetop adventures at Le Cri de Tarzan or join the Midi Pyreneans’ passion for rugby and watch a match at Gaillac Sport Club.