Places to Visit

There are lots of picturesque villages and towns within easy reach of Villa Rudel for you to explore. In summer, all of these villages and towns have markets, local fetes/festivals and Vide Greniers (attic clearance sales). Our favourite places include:

Cordes sur Ciel – 10 minutes

Cordes is a large fortified Bastide village. Its’ position on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful Midi Pyrenees countryside earned Cordes its name ‘Cordes in the Sky’ to indicate its height above the clouds

Cordes has dozens of medieval narrow streets, fascinating Gothic architecture and an interesting array of art galleries, museums, shops and restaurants. Cordes is a lively and fascinating place to visit especially in the summer, when it holds numerous festivals some of which literally take over the town and therefore it was of no surprise that it was voted French village of the Year 2014

There is a tourist train every 20 minutes that takes you up to the top of Cordes and drops you off if you are feeling the heat or simply want an easier afternoon out

Gaillac – 20 minutes

Gaillac is a lively old market town on the river Tarn.  It has an impressive Abbey as well as many other historical buildings. During August it has live music in the local square every Friday night

Wine Lovers rejoice!

Gaillac and the surrounding region has been  famous for its fine wines and abundance of vineyards since the 10th century. To celebrate its wine history, Gaillac hosts an annual Wine Festival (Gaillac Fête des Vins) in the heart of Parc de Foucaud in Gaillac on the first weekend of August. Take an aperitif in the shade under the park’s 100 year-old trees, have a pleasant lunch in the sun, spend the afternoon listening to music from the region,  join in with the wide range of activities for both children and adults as well as sampling some of the lovely wines from across the area. This is definitely worth a visit if you are staying with us at that time

Given the regions’ association with wine, we strongly recommend that you visit at least a couple of local Domaines (vineyards) to taste or buy some of the local wines during your stay

Our favourite Domaines are:

In addition, throughout the summer many of the local vineyards offer some really good evenings with live music, food and wine during the week. We will provide details of these for your information

As well as being easy to drive to, you can also catch a train to Gaillac (and Toulouse) from Vindrac Station which is 6 minutes from Rudel

Albi – 30 minutes

7602661210_52bd4ffefb_bAlbi, situated on the River Tarn is the capital of the Tarn and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

It is a small, bustling city with good shops, several excellent restaurants and a great bar and café culture

Dominated by a massive pink brick, gothic cathedral, it has a museum dedicated to famous French artist Toulouse Lautrec, which houses the largest collection of his works in the world

Albi is a great place to visit during the summer, offering lots of live music, a new theatre with cinema, and plenty of cultural experiences including boat trips and river cruises on the river Tarn, horse drawn carriage rides, and a covered market

St Antonin de Noble Val – 30 minutes

st antonin town
St Antonin

Saint Antonin Noble Val is situated on the Aveyron river, in the heart of the Aveyron Gorges amid spectacular countryside. It is a Medieval town which still retains an atmosphere of the Middle Ages. The town hall built in 1125 is the earliest example of civil architecture in France and now houses the Museum

St Antonin offers you culture and history as well as an extensive range of outdoor activities:  fishing, canoeing, climbing, caving, cycling, swimming, tennis, horse riding and rambling.  The area is rich in flora and fauna with many beautiful walks along the river or through the gorges

St Antonin has a range of different bars and restaurants and hosts an excellent very large market every Sunday morning which is well worth a visit

Toulouse – 1 hour

One of the jewels in France’s south-westerly crown, Toulouse is located on the banks of the River Garonne

Known as ‘La Ville Rose’ thanks to the dusky pink bricks in many of its buildings, Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France and has a large cultural scene with many old buildings and landmarks, museums and art galleries, a beautiful old quarter and a wide range of fabulous shops, bars and restaurants

There is a fantastic indoor market everyday (with a number of very good and  very French restaurants just above it) and an enormous outdoor market every Sunday morning. Enjoy river cruises, walking tours, the Botanical and Japanese Gardens and plenty of interesting museums. You can even hire a bike for a few hours for the day to explore this fascinating city

Bruniquel, Castelnau de Montmiral, Najac, Monesties and Puycelci – 20/30 minutes


Bruniquel, Castelnau de Montmiral, Najac, Monesties and Puycelci are medieval Bastide villages and are included in Frances’ top 100 most beautiful villages. All have lovely restaurants and a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside – well worth a trip out


Tennis at Cahuzac sur Vere, 10 minutes


Canoeing at Saint Antonin Val Noble, 25 minutes (fun day/half day out – take a picnic, some drinks and plenty of suncream)

Golf d’Albi-Lasbordes – ranked number 36th best golf course in France at Albi, 35 minutes

Swimming Complex (with indoor and outdoor pools/slides, cafe)  at Albi, 30 minutes

Treetop Adventure Park Childrens outdoor treetop climbing park with over 70 activities including zip wires, free fall and monkey tree climbing at Saint Antonin Val Noble, 25 minutes

Outdoor Leisure Complex (with swimming lake, slides, boating lake with pedalos, fishing lake, tennis, crazy golf, play area for toddlers, football pitch, bar and restaurant) at Base de Loisirs, Castelnau-de-Montmiral, 15 minutes

Outdoor Adventure Park (with lake, beach, boating, diving, water skiing, skiing/sledge, zip wires, mountain bikes, skate park, go-karting, paintballing) at Cap’ Decouverte, Le Garric 30 minutes

Swimming Lake (with dedicated beach, fishing, jogging tracks, picnic areas with bar-b-q’s, childrens play area, fitness trail, pedaloes, canoes and windsurfing) at Base de Loisirs de la Roucarie, near Monesties, 40 minutes

Horse riding Individual or group lessons or rides at Vieux, 10 minutes

Boat trip Albi Take a half an hour or lunchtime cruise (take a picnic) and see the sights of Albi from the Tarn

La Cite de l’Espace A space-themed attraction including IMAX cinema, a planetarium, plus more than 250 interactive exhibitions and children’s area, Toulouse, 1 hour

Airbus Tour If you are interested in aeroplanes then take the ‘Airbus’ tour to see how they are  made and their history. Book in advance and you must take your passport, Toulouse, 1 hour

Musee Conservatoire inVINcible VIGNEron (Museum of Wine) showing the history of vine growing and wine making in France, near Gaillac, 15 minutes

Bruniquel, Castelnau de Montmiral, Najac, Monesties and Puycelci are medieval Bastide villages and are included in Frances’ top 100 most beautiful villages. All have lovely restaurants and a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside – well worth a trip out

We have a number of books and maps at Villa Rudel showing local walks and cycle routes for you to use as well as descriptions of some of our personal favourites

Markets and Vide Greniers Most local villages have markets and a Vide Grenier (attic sale) during the summer months where you can pick up local produce such as bread, cheese and vegetables as well as a French antique or two

Wine Tasting and Apero Evenings There are an abundance of local vineyards for you to visit. Taste the local wine during the day, or at night, try one of the many apero evenings for a local meal, live music and dancing

Village Fetes In the summer many of the villages hold a fete: meet the locals and join them for a night of live music, dancing, a 3 course repas (meal) and wine tasting

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