Epicurean adventure in French Tuscany


  • Accommodation: from 80€/night for 2 ppl.


  • Culture and architectural heritage.

  • Food & drink and lifestyle.

  • Villages and bastides.

  • The Gaillac vineyard.

the best period

Spring and Summer


3 days

From Albi the red city to the Gaillac vineyard via the dreamy hilltop bastide of Cordes-sur-Ciel, soak up the peace and quiet as you experience this fabulous voyage together in a setting that brings to mind Italy's beautiful scenery and La Dolce Vita.

Albi and the Episcopal City

After a late morning arrival in Albi, a pre-lunch wander around the old town is in order as a taster for the afternoon delights. Potter around the maze of medieval lanes and stop for lunch at Le Lautrec to sample the Tarn speciality of salt cod stew: Cassoulet à la Morue?

After a hearty meal you'll be ready to tackle the UNESCO Episcopal City of Albi with a trip to Palais de la Berbie, home to the Toulouse Lautrec Museum, followed by Albi Cathedral, a Southern French masterpiece of gothic art and the biggest brick monument in the world.

End the day on a high with dinner at L'Épicurien where you can enjoy a generous cuisine full of flavours.

Your accommodation for the night will be just as dazzling as we recommend a stay at Alchimy, a cosy Art Deco hotel in the heart of Albi.

Albi's covered market: a temple of good food

A morning walk around the indoor market is a must if you want to pick up some Tarn specialities: melsat (cured meat made from offal, "melsat" is the Occitan word for "spleen") bougnettes (sweet crackers), Lacaune cured meats and cheese, millas (dried salted liver) and poumpet (lemon puff) for pudding. Just the names make your mouth water don't they? 

After that, lose yourself in the old town and stroll from St Salvy Cloister to the River Tarn over the brand new footbridge 30m above the water: feast your eyes on unrivalled views of the old town.

Have a picnic on the Tarn's banks for lunch as you gaze at the gabares (flat-bottomed boats) taking holidaymakers on a mini cruise (something to consider if you have the time). 

In Cordes-sur-Ciel: discovery of a winegrowing region

The Tarn has another big surprise to round off your lunch: the hilltop village of Cordes sur Ciel which was voted France's favourite village in 2014 and Remi, Nobody's Boy was shot here in 2019.

Make a beeline for Cave Saint Michel in the village centre. The manager is on first name terms with all the region's winemakers. There's a huge choice and the prices are very affordable too. The manager will help you choose the right wine for you. Keep an eye out for shops selling the village speciality: delicious Croquants de Cordes (light almond biscuits).

On the way to Château de Salettes, the 4* hotel and spa deep in the Gaillac vineyard where you'll have dinner and spend the night, make a pitstop at Domaine de Montels for a Gaillac wine tasting.

Did you know?

The short story is that Château de Salettes was one of many properties in Henri de Toulouse Lautrec's family. It's now been turned into a lovely hotel with spacious and sleek rooms in a château that rises from a sea of Gaillac designation vines in a magical setting. Food-wise, the château restaurant is one of the best in the Tarn.

Castelnau de Montmiral and the Gaillac vineyard

Spend the morning exploring Château de Mayragues, an organic winery that's been growing biodynamic vines for over 20 years, then head for the bastide of Castelnau de Montmiral for a walk around the village and lunch. Today is all about wine so make your way to Senouillac, still deep in the Gaillac vineyard, to get your room keys at La Vigneronne B&B ("la vigneronne" means winemaker").

But before you have dinner and a good night's sleep here, join your host for:

  • A cookery class with former head chef Cyril who only works with local produce. Help him rustle up local dishes that you can tuck into at the table d’hôtes dinner or...
  • A ride in the vineyard on the winery's bikes...
  • Unless you'd prefer to just chill out by the pool and soak up the spa?

In Gaillac: hiking and refined cuisine

Pick up your picnic hamper from the B&B and explore Gaillac on the Les Hauts de Gaillac footpath to see another side to the vineyard. (The walk lasts 5 hours but it can be cut short).

With dinner fast approaching, our experts recommend the restaurant Vigne en Foule. The chef, Julien Bourdariès and his team, will make your experience at Vigne en Foule a unique moment full of delicacies.

How does it work? The chef hosts dinner at home and serves you and your fellow diners a single menu with their choice of food and wine pairings. You are informed of the address 1 hour before dinner.

We've chosen the Delga B&B for your overnight stay in a brick mansion typical of the region with a pool and cosy patio.

The Maison des Vins de Gaillac

After an organic breakfast at the B&B, end your epicurean adventure with a trip to the Maison des Vins de Gaillac. No break would be complete without a spot of wine shopping after all.

How to get there?

  • By car: 1 hour drive from Toulouse on the A68 motorway. 2 hr 45 from Montpellier on the A75 and D999.

  • By train: 1 hour direct from Toulouse, 3 hours from Montpellier.

  • By plane: from Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport or Castres Airport (connection with Paris Orly-Castres Mazamet).

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