This region covers the departments of Tarn and Lot in southern France, including Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec which is a cathedral city on the banks of the River Tarn with a strong artistic and architectural tradition.
The countryside in Tarn and Lot is green and rolling, with vineyards, river valleys and hill top villages and fortresses, such as Cordes. The town of Cahors is at the heart of the beautifully dramatic Lot valley surrounded by rolling wooded hills and vinyeards. The valley itself is dotted with mediaeval towns. The area is noted for its wine and the vineyards of course can be visited. An excellent idea is to combine a holiday in Tarn and Lot with a stay in Auvergne to the north-east, enjoying a gastronomic tour around the two regions.
Alternatively, the region can be included in a self-drive touring holiday through the southwest of France, or around the Dordogne, Basque Country and Massif Central. The area can also be reached by train, allowing you to enjoy a rail holiday following in the footsteps of Toulouse Lautrec.
Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan 12.4, Feb 11.5, Mar 12.5, Apr 17.6, May 20.1, Jun 26.5, Jul 28.4, Aug 28.1, Sep 26.1, Oct 21.1, Nov 15.8, Dec 13.5.
Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France.
Cultural highlights include music festival in Toulouse, Limoux wine, the ruined fortresses of the Cathars, the craggy valley of Aveyron, the mediaeval fortified village of Cordes, Gaillac wine, the Charcuterie of Lacaune, and the Goya museum at Castres.
Self-drive: We recommend a couple of nights en route each way, perhaps in the Loire Valley and the Dordogne. By motorail from Calais to Toulouse from April to October. By Air: Airports at Toulouse and Bordeaux and then about a two hour drive onwards.
The Chateau de Mercues enjoys a splendid location surrounded by woods, fields and vineyards above the valle
A four star family run hotel with a good reputation for comfort, service, and cuisine.
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Paris Airport Main airports are in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, with scheduled and low cost airlines flying into the country from all over the UK. Currency Euro (£1 = Euro 1.24) Size Roughly 600 miles wide and 700 miles long Population 66 million Average temperature Varies dramatically, from about 8 degrees in winter in Brittany to 26 degrees in summer in Corsica, with snow on the Alps and Pyrenees year-round
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