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Fountains and a faded elegance

The town of Lacaune, lying quietly in the Tarn department of south-west France, has an air of faded elegance which is typical of many small southern French towns. Set in lovely countryside close to thermal hot springs, Lacaune is certainly comfortable in its own skin, and makes little concession to change for the sake of change. This is, of course, part of its charm, and who would have it any other way? Lacaune is a town of fountains and cafés, of boules and boulevards, where an essentially French lifestyle is lived much as it has always been.

Home of a famous dairy herd… of sheep!

Lacaune is the place where a famous breed of dairy sheep originated. The Lacaune sheep is renowned the world over for its excellent, rich milk, which is used to produce the delicious blue cheese beloved of the French, Roquefort. Acknowledged as one of the finest of blue cheeses, legend has it that a young shepherd boy was eating his bread and cheese for lunch one day when he spotted a particularly alluring shepherdess pass by. He immediately gave chase, leaving his cheese uneaten. When he returned to the spot some weeks later, the cheese had formed a fine blue mould, which upon tasting was discovered to be very good, and this blue cheese was given the name of Roquefort!

Amenities available

Lacaune has a good selection of shops and other amenities, providing for most everyday needs. There are two large towns close by anyway, should you need to do some 'big city shopping', so take your choice from Castres or Albi. Not much further away is the grand old city of Toulouse as well, so there is no need to feel stuck in the country… unless, of course, you like it that way.

Lacaune's excellent restaurant

One thing you won't feel deprived of, however, is an excellent restaurant. The Chez Calas restaurant, at the top of the Place Vierge, is listed in the red Michelin guide, and is every bit as good as this implies. Book in advance though, as it is a rare occasion that there is a table empty all evening.

Casino or amusement arcade?

Lacaune also has the distinction of owning a casino… although it could be hinted that this has seen its glory days pass by and is now more of an amusement arcade. Good for a rainy afternoon, perhaps?

Charcuterie and wine

Not content with the cheese connection, Lacaune is renowned for its superb charcuterie, especially its hams. The tradition is so strong in the town that there is a charcuterie museum which makes an interesting place to visit, and which charts the history and methods of production. Not advisable for vegetarians though! Lacaune is also in a wonderful wine producing region. Try Gaillac, good in both red and white forms, and inexpensive too!

Sporting connections

Lacaune, being a thermal town, has various activities on offer that are based around the hot springs. You can enjoy swimming and simply bathing in the naturally heated waters, which are said to be beneficial to health. There are also many other sporting opportunities, with excellent waymarked routes for walking and cycling, and a lake on the edge of town for fishing and water sports.

How to get there

There are direct flights from the UK to Toulouse (British Airways, bmibaby, easyJet, flybe, bmi), Rodez (Ryanair), Carcassonne (Ryanair), and Montpellier (British Airways, Ryanair, GB Airways) airports. Toulouse has a TGV stop, and this makes it possible to travel first by Eurostar and then by the super fast TGV, keeping fans of rail travel more than happy.

Property prices and availability in and around Lacaune

If you are seeking a real bargain in a lovely and unspoiled region of the south, you really should take a close look at Lacaune. There may be cheaper areas, but the prices here are still very reasonable, especially when compared with the rest of the south of France. Lacaune is fairly rural, which helps to keep prices down further, and also means that the likelihood of finding that dream farmhouse with land to renovate is quite high.

your comments...

1. A visitor to the site comments on the winters in the area (added 28/6/16)...

Having lived near here for nine years, I feel that it is not helpful not to mention the harsh winters and the inability to move once the snows come down. That was the main reason for us moving to another area in the south. There is nothing to do in the winter months as one has to be careful of the weather, so you can't go to Castres or Albi at the drop of a hat. Toulouse is a good two hours away on roads that are difficult and tiring to drive on. Our first winter was a shock as one morning we couldn't find the cars - now that was a bad winter.

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Lacaune AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Lacaune?

The town of Lacaune is located in south-west France, in the east of the Tarn department.

Lacaune Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF TARN

Tarn Guide

  Tarn Map


Population: 2,844


Access: By air: Fly to Toulouse, Carcassonne, Montpellier or Rodez. By rail: Take Eurostar to Paris or Lille, then a TGV to Toulouse.


Economy: The economy of the town is agricultural, with the raising of dairy sheep prominent. Lacaune is also known for its charcuterie.


Interesting fact: In 1800, a feral child known as Victor of Aveyron was found, naked and unable to speak, in the woods outside the town. The film, 'L'Enfant Sauvage', by Truffaut, was based on Victor's story.


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