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A guide to Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees

Category: Midi-Pyrenees - Departments
Department No : 82
Prefecture : Montauban
Subprefecture : Castelsarrasin
Arrondissements : 2
Cantons : 30
Communes : 195
Area : 3,718 km2
Economy : Agriculture, textiles and manufacturing
To Visit : Moissac, Montauban, St Antonin Noble Val, Bruniquel
Attractions : Gramat Animal Park, Canal deux Mers
Events : Festival of Magic and Illusions, Besumont de Lomagne equestrian show
Population: 206,034

Key points about this information item A guide to Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees


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Geography and climate

Tarn-et-Garonne is located in the north west of the Midi-Pyrenees region, just north of Toulouse.  The department was formed in 1808 from parts of Gascony and Languedoc, with its capital at Montauban.  It is one of the least populated departments in France and is very rural with many beautiful towns and hillside villages to visit.

 

Three rivers run through the department, the Tarn, Aveyron and Garonne and the valleys and rolling hills are dotted with vineyards.

 

The climate is very mild with the winter temperatures normally held above freezing.  Rain occurs most in the spring and can be heavy, so for most of the time expect warm sunny days.

 

Tourism

There are plenty of small quaint villages to visit, each with a long history, such as Bruniquel a picturesque fortified village on the Aveyron river.  Auvillar, on the River Garonne, used to be an important port despite its distance from the sea and barges and boats passing through had to pay a toll.  The towns fortifications are still intact and the village has to be entered through one of the three gates.  Lauzerte, is a medieval village constructed at the end of the 12th century and now makes a delightful place to visit.  All three villages are listed as some of the most beautiful in France (Les Plus Beaux Villages des France).

 

Beaumont Lomagne is an old bastide town founded in 1276 by Cistercian monks and today is famous for its racecourse.  Lafrançaise is another bastide town that has a number of buildings to visit and a swimming pool centre for all the family.   Montpezat de Quercy has a 14th century which contains 16th century tapestries relating the life of St Martin.

 

Saint Antonin Noble Val was originally built around an 8th century Benedictine Abbey, but this has been destroyed through successive battles and sieges.  The village is interesting to visit for the narrow streets and historic buildings.  Two larger towns worth a visit are Moissac and Montauban.  The Abbey at Moissac had a lucky escape and the beautiful cloisters were saved, while Montauban is one of the oldest bastide towns in the south west and retains much of its original town centre.

 

 

At St Nicholas de la Grave, the water sports centre has a sailing school with a variety of boats for hire.

 

Because of the warm and mild climate, events are held all year with wine festivals, music and arts.  Have a look at our events to see what is coming up.

 

Economy

Tarn-et-Garonne is one of Frances biggest producers of fruit and along with the cereals grown and livestock raised sees agriculture featuring highly in the economy of the department.  There is a small industrial sector involved in producing textiles and manufacturing.

 

Wine production is important with six appellations in the department and many vineyards scattered around

 

Cuisine

Local specialities include garlic, goats cheese and truffles while the typical dishes of the area are the familiar cassoulet, duck and goose dishes, pates and terrines.  Local wines are found in abundance also.

 

Transport

Toulouse-Blagnac is only forty-five minutes from Montauban and offers International flights, including budget airlines.  Rodez is around ninety minutes drive from the area, with Ryanair flying from Stansted and Dublin, while internal operators connect to Paris and Lyon.

 

The TGV from Montauban to Paris takes only four hours fifty minutes and from there connecting trains will get you easily to the major towns of the department.  To see the more rural areas will require a car unless you are keen cyclists.


Our travel information pages have more details.

Holiday accommodation in the Tarn-et-Garonne.

Property for sale in Tarn-et-Garonne.

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