Albi, vallée du Tarn Fascinating, enthralling, soul-stirring

Albi

Albi, D.Viet

Jardins du Palais de la Berbie

Jardins du Palais de la Berbie, D. Viet

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, D.Viet

Ambialet (Vallée du Tarn)

Ambialet, Christophe Bouthe / CDT Tarn

Why visit Albi?

  • An episcopal town and the Mapa Mundi listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, a top French museum.
  • Unspoilt nature on the banks of the Tarn.
  • Albi farmhouses you can see on the outskirts.
  • Jean Jaurès' homeland (Verrerie Ouvrière d’Albi glass bottles, Mine Museum in Carmaux).
Cartographie Albi

Cartographie Albi, F. Duvernoy/ CRT Occitanie

Must-sees

Albi episcopal town

Head for Sainte-Cécile Cathedral next to the Palais de la Berbie: you're in the heart of Albi's episcopal city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This architectural group all in orange brick has remained amazingly uniform. It also includes the Saint-Salvi Collegiate Church and its cloister as well as the Pont-Vieux over the Tarn (one of the oldest bridges in France).

Sainte-Cécile Cathedral is a Southern French Gothic masterpiece whose Renaissance decor and spiritual power are captivating.

Cité épiscopale

Cité épiscopale, D.Viet

DID YOU KNOW ?

Sainte-Cécile Cathedral is home to the largest collection of Italian artworks painted in France at the start of the Renaissance. Its painted decor takes up 2 hectares!
 

An absolute must

Get to know Toulouse-Lautrec

The Palais de la Berbie next to Sainte-Cécile Cathedral plays host to a world-renowned museum: the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum devoted to the master artist born in Albi in 1864.

Meet this one-of-a-kind, quirky and engaging artist in the stunning palace setting where Albi's bishops once lived. His world of cabarets, brothels, circuses and race courses comes to life in an unrivalled collection of posters, paintings, drawings and lithographs.

Salle du Musée Toulouse-Lautrec

Salle du Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, François Pons

Well worth a visit

You can also visit the Lapérouse Museum, devoted to the 16th century Albi explorer of the same name, and the Fashion Museum, a private one-of-a-kind French collection housed in the former Annonciades convent.

Treat yourself

Stroll around Albi old town

Explore the old town's lanes lined with half-timbered houses from the Middle Ages. Admire the Renaissance mansions, proof of the wealth brought about by trading woad, a plant whose blue pigment was extracted.

Unearth secret gardens, staircases and fountains. The old town is a lively area where it's a joy to stroll around the shops, soak up the sun on a café terrace or go into the Baltard-style market hall to try all the Tarn's tastebud-tantalising treats.

Jardins du Vieil Albi

Jardins du Vieil Albi, D.Viet

With children

Riddles, treasure hunts and paper chases... The kids are going to love Albi. Tourist Information provides themed trails to suit everyone: ideal for getting to grips with the town's heritage.

Be a fountain of knowledge

Why is Albi known as "the Red"?

Terracotta's shades of pink, orange, ocre are Albi's signature architectural feature in its episcopal city and old town. Sainte-Cécile Cathedral and the Palais de la Berbie are actually the world's biggest brick buildings.

Brick was introduced by the Romans and is very widespread in the Toulouse area. It gives this urban ensemble its signature stylish and warm harmony making Albi seem like Italy.

Albi

Albi "La Rouge", D.Viet

OUR FAVORITE

Get lost in thought in the Palais de la Berbie grounds with views of the Tarn. Take a break to unwind in Rochegude Park and its themed gardens.
 

Découvrez Albi par le Tarn

Découvrez Albi par le Tarn, D.Viet

BOAT TRIP

Explore Albi on the Tarn

Looking for an original way to explore Albi? Go for a barge trip. This flat-bottomed boat was once used to transport goods and now means you can get up close and personal with the Tarn's wild banks. See another side to the episcopal city from the river and look out for remnants of the river trade: mills, docks, lock house and more.

Drive back up the Tarn Valley to the fabulous winding Ambialet and beyond.

WORTH THE DETOUR

Explore outside Albi and visit medieval wine-making towns (the AOC Gaillac vineyard is just outside Albi): Cordes sur Ciel, Castelnau-de-Montmiral, Puycelsi, Bruniquel north of Albi; Gaillac and L'Isle-sur-Tarn to the west.
 

Albi, southern style

Colourful, gourmet, bustling, Albi is the place to soak up La Dolce Vita. As the capital of the Tarn with a population of almost 50,000, it has managed to beautify and show off its many assets to earn a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
 

Photos of the travellers #TourismeOccitanie #VoyageOccitanie

  • @gallivantinglaura
  • @mikamiguel182
  • @marie_de_m
  • @mickalifornie

HOW TO GET THERE

  • By car: on the A68 motorway from Toulouse, A75 from Montpellier, A20 from Paris.
  • By plane: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (1 hr), Castres-Mazamet Airport (45 mins), Rodez-Marcillac Airport (75 mins), Carcassonne Airport (1.5 hrs).
  • By train: daily connections from Paris and Toulouse.

Find out more

Your itinerary with Rome to Rio