Highlights of Gaillac
If you are a wine tourist who wants a compact wine region crammed with a vast range of attractions, Tarn river system, river boats, historical wine and hilltop villages, English Bastide towns, great markets and so much more, then the Gaillac wine region will appeal to you
The region is dominated by the Tarn River which divides and defines the terroir of the grape regions. Interesting towns and villages cling to its banks while elegant bridges, including the Millau Viaduct, span it at various points. Beyond Albi, the Tarn river flows through some beautiful countryside and the road follows the river most of the way. A day out driving along the valley is a favourite pastime and there is a very good country restaurant to visit. The road which follows the river is built on an old railway line and offers fine views of the river.
Walking and cycling
The stunning surrounding countryside is excellent for walking, rambling, cycling and even running! The vineyards are open for all to wander through, and /or cycle through along easy paths. You can take in the countryside, enjoy the fresh outdoor and maybe linger for an hour or two in a village cafe, or picnic on the excellent regional foods and wines so readily available from local shops. There are forests where you are free to wander so the potential for walking, picnics, horse riding and cycling is endless.
The "Golden Triangle" of the Gaillac/Tarn region
The three towns that form the corners of the Gaillac "golden triangle":
The nearest market town and centre of the local wine region. Markets are on Friday mornings and highly recommended. During the summer Friday evenings see open air concerts held in the Abbey grounds - wine and food are usually included. This friendly town is worth a visit for coffee or lunch and a wander around the older quarters.
A lively ancient city, founded by the Romans (c.100BC). Enjoy walking around the pedestrianised old quarter, admire the red brick gothic Saint Cecile cathedral, soak up the views of the river Tarn and explore the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and gardens.
A must to visit, it is situated 110m above the surrounding countryside and is probably the most beautiful 'bastide' in France (c.1250). It was built in the 13th century in the aftermath of the devastation of the crusades against the Cathars led by Simon de Montfort. Cordes offers fantastic panoramic views and wonderful architecture which is steeped in history, with plenty of shops and restaurants.
Always a popular destination, and a must-do for all art lovers, as there is a very good collection of Toulouse-Lautrec's work on display. The museum is right in the centre of Albi next to La Cathédrale Ste-Cécile.
This is a region of hilltop fortified villages and 'bastide' towns. Within these medieval structures you will find interesting half-timber building, quiet town squares and markets, all within well-constructed walls and protected gateways. These make up the very heart of the region.