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Walks and rides
Hikking, biking, cycling, you will discover the region on the numerous tracks specially designed to enjoy your favorite activity.
In the Gorges of Aveyron river and in the Méandre d'Ambialet, you will appreciate a family canoeing day with a pic-nic lunch along the river.
You can also choose a horse-riding adventure within one of the local equestrian farm.
We have on your disposal all the information, guides, magazines and if is not enought, you can rely on the owners to give you good advices on the region's secrets.
Bastides and medieval villages
Bastides are fortified new towns built in medieval Languedoc, Gascony and Aquitaine during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Most bastides were built in the Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Gers and Tarn départements of France, because of the altitude and quality of the soil. Some were placed in important defensive positions.
In the region, along the Vere and Aveyron rivers, you will discover some of the oldest bastides, Cordes sur Ciel and Castelnau de Montmiral founded in 1222, but also some picturesque villages standing on their rock, such as Puycelci, Bruniquel and its 2 castles, Penne and its cathar castle.
The region is the earliest viticultural centre of ancient Gaul, though possibly after those of Languedoc around Narbonne, with wine production established in early 1st century. Roman merchants transported wine to Bordeaux and Northern Europe down the Tarn River, and vineyards soon followed in the valley. Archaeologists have found Roman pottery in Montans. The town of Gaillac grew up around a Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages. Vineyards flourished in the care of the monks, who needed wine for religious purposes. In time the Counts of Toulouse gave Gaillac the right to put a rooster on the barrel in recognition of their wine.
The traditional red wines of the region are considered able to be kept for 8–10 years. They are made of the grape varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Duras, Fer or Syrah. Rosé is made from the same grapes.
City of Albi
Albi, the episcopal city, added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage in 2010 was built around the original cathedral and episcopal group of buildings. This historic area covers 63 hectares. Red brick and tiles are the main feature of most of the edifices.
Among the buildings of the town is the Sainte Cécile cathedral, a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Older than the Palais des Papes in Avignon, the Palais de la Berbie, formerly the Bishops' Palace of Albi, now the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, is one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France. This imposing fortress was completed at the end of the 13th century.
The Old Bridge (Pont Vieux) is still in use after almost a millennium. Originally built in stone (in 1035), then clad with brick, it rests on eight arches and is 151 m long. In the 14th century, it was fortified and reinforced with a drawbridge, and houses were built on the piers.