To view our photo gallery with larger images, click here
About the Village
Castelnau-de-Montmiral is a magnificent 13th century bastide nestled in the heart of the Gaillac wine region. In the department of Tarn in the Midi-Pyrénées, it overlooks awe-inspiring, panoramic views of:
• the diverse forests of Gresigne (one of the biggest oak forests in Europe)
• the River Vêre valley with its fields of sunflowers (in season) and
• glorious rolling vineyards of the Gaillac wine region, one of the oldest wine regions in France
Castelnau-de-Montmiral was chosen by the French government as one of the most beautiful villages in all of France -“Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” - and the charming village square - La Place des Arcades - hosts a market each Tuesday morning with local seasonal fare and handmade goods. For your convenience, a small supermarket (stocking many local wines), post office, pharmacy, hotel and restaurant which provide an unbeatable location to enjoy coffee, drinks or a meal while breathing in the history of the cobblestoned streets and arcaded buildings.
Activities & Leisure
Castelnau-de-Montmiral is an ideal place to use as a base for exploring and experiencing the diverse offerings of Southern France. The area is as rich in its cultural and gastronomic delicacies as it is in its appeal for outdoor activities from running, hiking and biking (rentals and tours available in Gaillac) to swimming, boating and fishing in the 3 small lakes at the Base de Loisirs (summer only), just two kilometers from Castelnau. Horseback riding, tennis, golfing, canoeing and kayaking are also available in the region.
In the summer, the performing arts scene is abundant, well-attended and varied. Theatre performances and music of many genres are offered, with jazz and classical festivals often leading the way. Add that to Art Exhibits, food and wine tasting and simply absorbing the flavours of bygone days and you have a vacation made in heaven!
Nearby places to visit
There is so much to see and do in the Midi-Pyrénées area, from touring bastide villages to exploring the bigger towns and cities.
Gaillac and Albi - both of which bank on the River Tarn - are amongst the larger urban areas, full of eclectic shopping, markets, restaurants and museums, including the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi. Cordes-sur-Ciel is well known for its mid-size outdoor market (Saturday mornings) and is home to the Musuem of the Art of Sugar and Chocolate. Puycelsi and Bruniquel were also named “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” and in our opinion the stunning village of Penne should not be missed. Oh! And don't forget Toulouse, the fourth largest city in France and it's less than an hour away!
We found Rick Steves' informative website had useful travel tips on transportation, money, phones & technology, health and general European trip planning amongst other things.
Click on the images to view bigger pictures. Click on the names to learn more about each local destination.