The Tarn and the Aveyron in a campervan
June 26, 2019
Your van trip starts in the charming little town of Rabastens, which is about an hour from Toulouse.
Your rental campervan will then take you through the Gaillac vineyard, one of the oldest in France, to the medieval bastides where the Cathars took refuge: Castelnau de Montmiral, ranked one of France's most beautiful cities, and the incomparable Cordes sur Ciel, a small hilltop town that sometimes emerges above a blanket of fog, a phenomenon from which its name derives ['ciel' means 'sky']. Gardening fans will want to visit the astonishing Jardin des Paradis, normal in Cordes sur Ciel. Then head back down through the magnificent episcopal city of Albi, Tarn's capital spreading out at its base. The town is nicknamed Albi the Red because of its redbrick houses. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia is the largest brick cathedral in the world. Art lovers should visit the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum celebrating the Albi-born artist.
Then head on to Rodez, Aveyron's capital city. Its historic city centre is well worth a few hours. It also has several good museums, including the Soulages. Head back to your campervan, which will be impatient to get back on the road towards the northern part of the department with its collection of the Most Beautiful French Cities. Start in Conques, a can't-miss stop on the Route of Saint Jacques de Compostelle. In the Lot valley, check out Estaing and its imposing chateau, as well as Saint-Côme d'Olt and Sainte-Eulalie d'Olt, at the base of the Aubrac. Head back down towards Millau. If you take the A75 motorway, you can stop at Aire du Viaduc to see an incredible view of the Viaduc de Millau. Millau is the gateway to the famous Tarn Gorge where you can spend unforgettable evenings in your campervan after swimming in the Tarn. You'll enjoy watching the majestic vultures that live in the gorge as they take to the air, making the place even more magical. Drive up to the Causse du Larzac or the Causse Noir, large semi-desert limestone plateaus that are so beautiful to see. In the Grands Causses Natural Regional Park, visit the Roquefort sur Soulzon cheese cellars where the King of Cheeses, Roquefort, is ripened. Diderot gave this cheese its moniker in the 18th century.
Whether in Tarn or Aveyron, sports fans will have a blast, especially with water sports like canoeing, kayaking, canyoning, and swimming in the rivers or lakes that dot the region. Other activities include climbing, bicycling, mountain biking and hiking. As you turn back to Toulouse from Millau, you can choose to go through Albi, following the Tarn's meandering path. This takes you past Brousse le Château, named one of the most beautiful French towns, and impressive Ambialet, a town tucked into a bend in the Tarn that's so tight the city almost becomes a peninsula. You can also branch off towards the southern part of the Tarn department towards Castres where you can take a boat ride to admire Agoût's iconic houses with their colourful facades. Rugby is popular in Castres and in Toulouse. If you're lucky enough to be in one of these two cities during a home match, be sure to attend!
We suggest you set off on your campervan adventure to Tarn and Aveyron from our WeVan rental location in Toulouse.
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