Culture and adventure in Tarn et Garonne

Montauban © CRTL Occitanie / D.Viet


  • Accommodation 78€ - 120 €/night for 2 people (exc. barge hotel)


  • An adventure by bike, car or on foot.

  • Multi-facetted heritage: from Moissac cloister to Montauban's street art.

  • The flavours of local market produce.

  • The exceptional Gorges de l'Aveyron nature site.

the best period

Spring and Summer


4 days

This fabulous voyage takes you from the Canal des Deux Mers and Gorges de l’Aveyron to Montauban, where Ingres and Bourdelle once lived, and beautiful medieval villages oozing age-old charm.

Canal des Deux Mers to Moissac: the journey begins on a bicycle

Rent a bike in Castelsarrasin and pedal forty-odd minutes along the canal to Moissac, soaking up the peaceful idyllic atmosphere with birds singing as you ride!

Once you reach the capital of chasselas (a grape variety whose wine you'll want to sample in season), you can't miss a guided your of Moissac Cloister and Abbey, UNESCO World Heritage sites as part of the Way of Saint James. With its finely carved and illustrated Roman capital-topped columns, the cloister is among the world's most beautiful!

Speaking of chasselas... If there's one unique place to visit, it's definitely L'Uvarium where you can treat yourself to some time out to appreciate the flavour and subtlety of Moissac's star fruit.


The uvarium opened on the banks of the Tarn in 1933 as a booth devoted to uva-based treatments (uva meaning grapes). The murals around the doors echo the ones in Hall de Paris, another Moissac building. The painted ceilings celebrate chasselas in all its vibrant and colourful glory.

Night in Moissac

End the day soaking up the Southern French lifestyle with bed and board at Le Moulin de Moissac. Aside from the hotel's fabulous views of the Tarn River, it's famous for its spa in a staggering vaulted brick room. Put on your swimsuit and we'll see you tomorrow!

Montauban, art everywhere!

Drop your bike off in Castelsarrasin and hop into your car to drive to Montauban. The first stage of your tour takes you to the Ingres Bourdelle Museum to learn about 2 of the town's famous sons.

Your thirst for culture may be sated but you've worked up an appetite, so head to Le Bruit en Cuisine where chef Mathieu Lévèque will get your mouth watering!

After 6 years in Alpine restaurants and 5 years working for eateries in the Alain Ducasse Group, Mathieu Lévèque has returned to his roots to open his own eatery. Experience dishes in the chef's likeness with vibrant, tasty, original and colourful food in a cosy, chic and welcoming atmosphere.

Spend the afternoon seeing another side to the town as you hunt down street art here, there and everywhere! It's a great way to elevate a city's buildings and it's certainly full of surprises.

After dinner in one of the restaurants somewhere like Place Nationale, settle into your home from home: La Péniche Gaïa, a boat with bags of history.


Worth the detour

The Gaïa is a Dutch cargo barge that transported sand and gravel from 1927 to 2006. It's been turned into a barge hotel providing passengers with the ultimate in comfort, taking care of the environment ("clean" fuel and natural cleaning products) and now bringing visitors barge accommodation or cruises on the Tarn and Canal de Montech from Montauban Port Canal.

Bruniquel: journey from Prehistory to the Middle Ages

Explore in and around Bruniquel on foot or horseback on one of the themed signposted trails from Tourist Information.

The small town is curled up in the Gorges de l'Aveyron and listed as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France." Take your pick from the prehistory trail  (1.5 hr) or, if you fancy a horseback adventure, "Bruniquel on the ridge paths" (3 hrs).

The best way to explore the village centre and its two châteaux, made famous by The Old Gun film, is definitely on foot!

Spend the night at the new B&B (5 ears of corn rating), La Maison de Marie Jo.

Marie Jo has turned the family farm where she was born into beautiful guestrooms with a leafy garden and pool that has breathtaking views of the green hills around Bruniquel.

Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val: a pearl in its cliff setting

Nestled in the magical Gorges de l’Aveyron, the village of Saint Antonin Noble Val also has a claim to fame as it starred in the Steven Spielberg-produced The Hundred-Foot Journey. The best day to visit is Sunday morning so you get a real feel for the village at the traditional farmer's market! Local life at its best!  Have lunch at one of the village restaurants and listen to the sing-song Southern French local accent.

Spend the afternoon drinking in the Gorges de l’Aveyron on a canoe ride. It's the best way to soak up its sheer drop, peace and beauty plus you may well spot a peregrine falcon on the hunt. The bird of prey reigns supreme and can nest in total peace here.

To end your fabulous voyage in Tarn-et-Garonne on a high, our experts have revealed one of their best-kept secrets and recommend you stay in a stargazing dome a stone's throw from the Gorges de l’Aveyron. Close your eyes, the Sandman is coming... 


How to get there?

  • By car: Castelsarrasin is 1 hr north of Toulouse. From Toulouse: A62 to Bordeaux, exit at Castelsarrasin.

  • By plane: arrive at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport, then travel by car.

  • By bike: take the Canal des Deux Mers green path from Toulouse

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