Master the Art of French Living in Tarn
While a lot of tourists head to the south of France for a relaxing holiday by the beach, Tarn region (just east of Toulouse in southern France) caters to a more curious, hedonistic crowd. Visiting underrated Tarn was one of the highlights of my time in France, and I remember the region fondly thanks to its friendly locals and their funny accents, wide-open spaces, mild temperatures and stunning architecture (including the famous sapphire-coloured Albi Cathedral). With a plethora of immersive activities and over 22 different types of landscapes as a backdrop, Tarn is more than just a pretty face and is, in fact, the ideal place for people who wish to add a little substance to their vacation.
Master the Art of Southern French Cuisine
Few other international cuisines are as famous and as highly regarded as that of France; why not “join the useful to the pleasant” (a loose translation of a famous French expression) by taking cooking classes at Halle des Terroirs in Gaillac? Not only is this an excellent excuse to treat yourself to a gourmet meal, but you will also get to impress your friends back home by expertly preparing an authentic and hearty French recipe for them when you get back. Team up with local chef Marie to learn how to cook local iconic Occitan products like Roquefort cheese, foie gras, duck magret and other delectable specialties.
All to be washed down with a glass of wine, of course.
2000 Years of Wine Making
Speaking of wine, a holiday in Tarn just wouldn’t be one without a proper winery excursion. I was lucky enough to visit a few cellars in the region, which, even though they were different in shapes and sizes, shared the same contagious passion for their craft. Strictly-controlled by an AOC label, the sparkling Tarn wines are famous for using the ancestral Gaillac method, which consists of bottling the wine in advance, effectively completing the fermentation in the bottle where bubbles form naturally—a technique that precedes that of Champagne.
Make The Most of Your Time With Viti Pass
If like me you can only go to Tarn for a weekend break, I suggest you also opt for the Viti Pass, which costs €150 for two people and includes a table d’hôte dinner with drinks, one night in a hotel or farmhouse inn, breakfast, tour and tasting session of a local winery (+ three bottles of wine), as well as a visit of the Musée de la vigne et du vin in Gaillac. A perfectly charming and romantic getaway in the heart of one of France’s most authentic and quaint regions.
To me, a holiday in Tarn is all about sipping a crisp glass of wine while enjoying splendid panoramas — like the episcopal city of Albi, the medieval village of Lautrec or the rolling hills of Cordès-sur-Ciel, take your pick! Views, drinks, historic towns, friendly locals and goods meals are, to me, five perfectly acceptable reasons to cheers as the French do: Santé!