Have a game of tennis
The only property in our French portfolio to have a tennis court.
on a Wednesday morning to shop at the market, then head back to Tournesol for a relaxing lunch al fresco.
Canoe & Kayak
Join a group and learn to paddle on the river Aveyron, starting out from Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val.
Rabastens and Lisle sur Tarn
Two of the closest towns to Tournesol, they both sit on the banks of the River Tarn and are lovely places to wander around. Lisle sur Tarn has the largest covered square in South west France. There are some excellent walks around Rabastens - ask at the tourist office for the maps and info.
Jardins de Martel
South of Rabastens on the D12, this is something for all garden lovers. Nine acres of garden containing over 2500 varieties of plants from all over the world.
If you like paintings and museums,
visit the beautiful red brick towns of Montauban, where you will find the Ingres Museum, and Albi, where you will find the Toulouse-Lautrec museum amongst other places of interest, including some good restaurants.
Visit the Château de Mauriac just outside Gaillac.
This is a stunning château to visit where the owner displays his sculptures and works of art.
Gaillac is well known for the wine
produced from the vineyards in the area. Rows of vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. The area is one of the oldest wine producing regions in France dating back to the 10th Century. Visit the Tourist office in Gaillac to pick up more information about the wine and the map for the Route de Vin. And of course don't forget to buy some of the local produce!
Spend the day at the Cite de L'Espace,
just outside Toulouse - perfect for adults and older children. Here is a showcase for the space technology that happens in Toulouse. There are some excellent interactive exhibitions and shows with guided tours and lectures available. You can spend a day here or combine it with a visit to the Airbus factory; Europe's largest aircraft factory. Here guided tours take 1 ½ hours and must be booked in advance. It is great for older kids and the extended tour includes Concorde
La Ville Rose
Why not spend a day in Toulouse and wander through its streets, stop for a coffee and watch the world go by. This beautiful 'ville rose' or 'pink city' so called because of the warm coloured bricks used for many of the buildings, is a lively and bustling place.
Find your way around Toulouse by bike.
Cycles can be hired next door to the tourist office in Place Charles de Gaulle.
Head in the Castres direction
and you will come across a completely different landscape - an area that retains a sense of mystery - the Sidobre plateau overlooking the Castres plain. Here you will find huge granite bolders shaped by the weather into weird and strange forms - find the one called Roc de l'Oie (Goose Rock) or Les Trois Fromages (the Three Cheeses). Underground rivers and grottos complete the picture. Difficult to describe but worth the visit.
Visit Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse
This art gallery houses over 2,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art from World War II to the present day. Admission is around 7 euros (www.lesabbatoirs.org)
and its awesome Cathedral is a must and the tour of the choir cloister is worth it for the extra 2¬ The peace and cool of this building is very moving. From the Cathedral you can take a selection of walks around the town that take you up charming back streets and across the River Tarn. It is fascinating to see the old mills that flank the River and bear witness to the milling history of the area.
To get a better riverside view of Albi
you can even take a trip in a flat bottom boat down the River Tarn. You have a choice of a half hour trip or two hours! Trips depart from the foot of the Palais de Berbie, returning for a leisurely meal that you can eat outside in the shadow of the Cathedral or beside the River itself.
Take an old train round the lakes of Monclar-de-Quercy
Take an old train round the lakes of Monclar-de-Quercy A little old steam train that has been saved from destruction and restored to take you on a lovely 3km tour (daily trips in July and August, otherwise on Sundays only)
The XIIIth Century village of Cordes stands high above the Cérou valley and on misty mornings looks like an island floating in the sky. Join a guided walking tour and don't miss the Gothic mansions and little palaces with sculpted human figures or mythological animals decorating the sandstone facades.
If you are a keen artist,
the semi-Tuscan landscape of the area with its warm, Mediterranean light and undulating hills will be an inspiration, especially when the sunflowers are in full bloom. Simply take the car and have a drive around, stopping to paint when you feel like it
Or simply do nothing at all,
apart from swim, read a few novels, swim in the pool, sunbathe, eat some good food, try the local wines and relax for the whole of the holiday.
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