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Famed for its dramatic gorges, a network of narrow rifts which meander 50kms through the countryside, the Tarn is also home to some historic cities, beautiful towns, charming chateaux and rolling vineyards. So you'll find many of the great charms of France here, and the best places to stay in the Tarn vary widely from camp sites to chambres d'hotes to luxury hotels .
Come in the summer months and wonder at the sparkling waters of the River Tarn running between steep cliffs and canyons, making this a truly spectacular place to explore by kayak or canoe.
As well as the gorges, the Tarn has three major mountain ranges, which really add to the scenery - some of the peaks are above 3000ft. The rest of the countryside is fertile, with plenty of orchards and vineyards breaking up the views.
The best places to stay in the Tarn can get very busy during the peak months of July and August, especially those either in Albi or close by. So plan ahead and book early, or else come during the quieter months when you can appreciate the region without the crowds.
- Chateau de Salettes is a quiet and comfortable rural chateau, but with a Michelin starred restaurant serving wines from the chateau's own vineyard. They also run regular art exhibitions. But despite the flashy sounding write up, the 13 rooms start from just £106 per night.
- La Reserve in Heritage Listed Albi, is a smart, 22 room hotel set amongst picturesque gardens overlooking the river. There's fishing, sailing and tennis on offer, as well as the local sights, and the fact that this hotel was a favourite of the Queen Mother lends it additional pedigree.
For a rural escape
- The Cuq en Terraces offers stylish rooms, beautiful walled and terraced garden, outdoor pool and delicious food.
- Hotel Cap de Castel is surrounded by sunflowers in the summer months. Rooms are romantic and the food is french fine dining. Great for couples or romantics.
- Domaine de Rasigous is perfectly situated for exloring Abli, Toulouse and Carcassone. Plus it offers outdoor pool, excellent restaurant and charming grounds.
Best Hotels in Tarn
Domaine d'en Naudet 5 rooms from $76Tarn
A beautifully restored B and B with characterful bedrooms and contemporary bathrooms. It provides the perfect idyll from which to enjoy the picturesque rolling countryside. Relax by the outdoor pool or enjoy day trips to nearby towns steeped in history.Sights nearby - Visit the nearby town of Albi and explore Saint-Cecile Cathedral and the Berbie Palace.Views - Breathtaking views of the rolling countryside.Local markets - A lively steet market in Laveur.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Sawdays
Hotel Cap de Castel 11 rooms from $98Puylaurens, Tarn
A beautiful hotel in a stunning location surrounded by sunflower valleys. Romantic rooms combine charming rustic decoration with all the mod cons for luxurious effect. Lovely pool and gardens, and an excellent French fine dining restaurant. Ideal for foodies and couples.Luxury - Rustic, romantic, but every bit luxurious.Views - Stunning views over sunflower valleys.Foodies - A French fine dining restaurant.Sights nearby - Saint-Felix-Lauragais Castle, Church of St. Felix and Stade du Travet.
Domaine de Rasigous 5 rooms from $84Saint-Affrique-les-Montagnes, Tarn
A beautifully renovated manor house hotel just outside Albi, Carcassonne, and Toulouse. Romantic rooms and suites have creamy furnishings and all the mod cons including DVD players. Excellent restaurant, swimming pool, massages, and stunning parklands to wander through. Sophisticated luxury.Total relaxation - Excellent food, lovely rooms, views, massages, country air, and a pool.Romantic BreakSights nearby - Albi, Carcassonne, Toulouse are all nearby.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Cuq En Terrasses 8 rooms from $99Cuq Toulza, Tarn
Discreet retreat on a sleepy hillside hamlet with beautiful panoramic views. Double rooms and two private apartments are available for couples wanting a comfortable, peaceful getaway midway between Toulouse, Albi and Carcassonne. For people who want something low-key with delicious food.Romantic Break - An 18th century presbytery with antiques, fresh suppers served on the terrace with views and fragrance from the herb gardenLocal markets - Everyday of the week nearby, notably Toulouse, flea market around St-Sernin basilica till noonGreat walks - Plenty of walks around the beautiful gardens and surrounding countryside.Cooking classes - Cooking classes can be arranged on site by gourmet chef.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Villa de Mazamet 5 rooms from $115Mazamet, Tarn
Set in a beautiful early 20th century house, La Villa de Mazamet carries the class and comfort of that era into it's hotel service. The elegant rooms are decorated with warm colour schemes and tasteful furniture. Recline poolside in the landscaped garden or indulge in some spa therapy.Total relaxation - With plush rooms and a luxury spa as well as delicious food and a welcoming homely atmosphere.Local exploring - An ideal base for exploring, Carcassonne, Albi, Mazamet and the surrounding Regional Park.Sights nearby - History buffs will be glad to hear the magnificent Lastours Castle is just twelve miles from the hotel.Local markets - Browse the local market at Mazamet and pick up a few treats to bring home with you.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de Salettes 13 rooms from $141Albi (Cahuzac sur Vère)
The tranquility and comfort that this rural chateau boasts is a perfect chance to relax, even for families. But, with a Michelin-starred restaurant, wines from the vineyard, regular art exhibitions and surrounding historic cities Toulouse and Carcassonne, it never gets boring.Local exploring - Very close to some of France's most historic citiesRestaurant - Michelin-starSights nearby - Historic towns of Toulouse and Albi are nearbyGreat walks - Walks in the Gresigne forest
La Reserve, Albi 22 rooms from $289Albi
A smart and charming hotel near the gorges of Tarn. Elegant rooms, spacious poolside and the picturesque garden overlooking the river. Fishing, sailing, tennis and the sights of UNSECO-listed Albi nearby. Ideal for couple on an escape to France.Learning - A town of history: artist Toulouse-Lautre was born hereHistoric - Queen Mother made this hotel her base on trips to AlbiSights nearby - UNSECO listed town of AlbiSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux