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The Best of Both

The Tarn department is to be found between Toulouse and Montpellier. It is a fantastic mix of both Languedoc and Pyrenees culture. The landscape is contrasting, with green forests giving away to sun soaked vineyards. The natural beauty of the area has been spared from over development. The 350,000 inhabitants enjoy a Mediterranean-like climate and a slow pace of life. The land is kept green by downpours in the spring.

Culinary Delights

The Tarn is beginning to rely on tourism for its main source of industry. Along with the climate and landscape, the other major lure is the cuisine. The most popular wine comes from the town of Gaillac, which has been producing it since Roman times. The most popular dish is foie gras.

Putting the Albi in the Albigensian Crusades

Albi, situated along the banks of the river Tarn is the departmental capital. It is from this river that the reddish clay is extracted to construct just about every building in the town. Albi is largely responsible for producing the heresy that led to the start of the bloody Albigensian crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries. Its other claim to fame is slightly more positive. The artist Henri de Toulouse grew up here and bequeathed the town with the largest collection of his works.

An Awesome Cathedral

The town's enormous Cathedral, also built from red clay, looks more like a fortress than a spiritual focal point. It was built soon after the Cathar movement was crushed in order to overwhelm the locals at the sheer power of the Catholic Church. At night it is illuminated to produce one of the most dramatic sights you are likely to see.

On the Pilgrim Trail

Castres is a busy town, at least by Tarn's standards, and makes a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside. The town owes its development to pilgrims who used the town as a stopping off point on their way to Compostela. It boasts a superb art museum showcasing works from across the border in Spain. The radical socialist Jean Jaures was born here and grew up in the small village of Saix just to the southeast. He was assassinated while promoting peace just two days before the start of World War I.

How to get there

Toulouse, Rodez, Montpellier and Carcassonne all have their own airports with regular flights from the UK. At the most it'll take about an hour to get to here from one of the airports. It is now possible to get a TGV train to Toulouse, from where you can join the Midi-Pyrenees' comprehensive rail network.

Tarn property prices

Properties prices have risen in recent years. They tend to be above the national average yet still represent good value for money. The most popular style of property are the stone farmhouses.

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Tarn is located in the south east of the Midi-Pyrenees in southern France.

Tarn Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map



Albi Guide

Castres Guide

Cordes sur Ciel Guide

Gaillac Guide

Lacaune Guide

Lavaur Guide

Mazamet Guide

Mirandol Bourgnounac Guide


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