12 Essential Visits in Tarn-et-Garonne

12 Essential Visits in Tarn-et-Garonne

Our choice of must-see villages, buildings and other places of interest

Related article: Great Destinations: The Waterways of Tarn-et-Garonne


This village above the Garonne, famous for its circular covered market place, is classified among the Plus Beaux Villages de France. Rich in cultural heritage, it is a popular pilgrim stopover on the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle route. www.auvillar.fr

Abbaye St Pierre

Abbaye St Pierre, Moissace. Credit © Gillian Thornton

Abbaye Saint-Pierre, Moissac

This UNESCO-listed monastery retains a number of features from its medieval prime, including an important Romanesque sculpture around its entrance, and cloisters with 76 narrative capitals. www.abbayemoissac.com

The arched Pont Canal du Cacor

The arched Pont Canal du Cacor, near Moissac. Credit © Shutterstock

Pont Canal Du Cacor, Moissac

The Cacor canal bridge carries the Garonne canal across the river Tarn just outside Moissac. It was built in the 19th century to carry goods between Toulouse and Bordeaux, avoiding the seasonal fluctuations of the Tarn.


Montpezat de Quercy

Montpezat de Quercy. Credit © Gillian Thornton


Montpezat is a characterful town in the north of the département famed for its 15th-century canons’ lodgings, La maison des Chanoines, and a glorious 16th-century tapestry inside La Collégiale Saint-Martin telling the story of what life was like there. www.montpezat-de-quercy.com


Lauzerte. Credit © Shutterstock


Also listed among the Plus Beaux Villages de France, Lauzerte is another pilgrim stopover on the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle route. This medieval bastide town features an arcaded market square and a pilgrims’ garden with annotated panels. www.quercy-sud-ouest.com


Caylus. Credit © Gillian Thornton


Famous for a 12th-century castle and offering lovely views, many medieval properties remain in this hilltop village. Stop off at the hilltop chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Grâces in nearby Lacapelle-Livron, and the ‘petrified waterfall’ rock formation. www.caylus.com

Market Saint Antonin Noble Val

A market in Saint Antonin Noble Val. Credit © Gillian Thornton


This town in the Averyon Gorges was the setting for 2014 film The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren. There is a new Via Ferrata site on Roc d’Aglars and a buzzing Saturday morning market.


Base de Loisirs

Base de Loisirs. Credit © Gillian Thornton

Base Des Loisirs, Saint- Nicolas-De-La-Grave

This outdoor activity park around the confluence of the Tarn and Garonne includes a bird reserve popular with migrating and overwintering species that is renowned for the diversity of its winged visitors and residents. www.stnicolasdelag.online.fr/loisirs

Bruniquel. Credit © Gillian Thornton


Two hilltop castles, steep cobbled streets and panoramic views all come together at Bruniquel, another town named among the Plus Beaux Villages de France. There is an unfolding story too of traces of Neanderthal inhabitants found below ground. www.gorges-aveyron-tourisme.com

Place Nationale, Montauban

Place Nationale, Montauban. Credit © Gillian Thornton

Place Nationale, Montauban

Its harmonious pink-brick square, rebuilt in the 17th century and surrounded by a double arcade, is the physical and cultural heart of the town. Take it all in from a café table before exploring the old streets.


Le Musée Ingres.

Le Musée Ingres. Credit © Shutterstock

Musée Ingres Bourdelle, Montauban

Formerly the Musée Ingres, dedicated to painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the museum reopened in December 2019 as the Ingres-Bourdelle museum, to jointly honour sculptor Antoine Bourdelle.


Abbaye de Belleperche

Abbaye de Belleperche. Credit © Gillian Thornton

Belleperche Abbey

One of the largest and richest monasteries in southwestern France during the Middle Ages, the Abbey has a beautiful cloister, plus a permanent exhibition of Table Art through the ages, as well as the Valfré collection of nearly 250 Chinese teapots.


For more places to see in Tarn-et-Garonne go to www.tourisme-tarnetgaronne.fr

From France Today magazine

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