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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > France > Other Regions > Land of the Crusades

Land of the Crusades

The Tarn - timeless medieval landscapes
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Extend your stay
Combine this with our Landscapes of the Tarn walk to make a wonderful two-week Long Tarn Trail. Alternatively, if flying via Toulouse, why not add on an extra night or two to explore the city?
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • evocative landscapes reminiscent of Tuscany
  • timeless ancient villages
  • rich history & heritage
  • delightful chambres d'hôtes (guesthouses)


The countryside north of the Tarn Valley hides a timeless landscape of unspoiled medieval bastides, or fortified villages, largely dating from the turbulent 12th century when the English sought to dominate this land, and the Pope encouraged the Albigensian Crusades to rid this region of Cathar heretics. Today, all is calm and you can now enjoy a leisurely exploration of the tiny, arcaded squares and crumbling fortifications before walking along inviting footpaths to discover one of France’s most alluring corners.

The traveller who looks at the summer night from the terrace at Cordes knows that he need go no further and that, if he wishes it, the beauty of this place, day after day, will banish solitude.
Mail on Sunday

Combine leisurely walking through landscapes reminiscent of Tuscany, a spot of history, chambres d’hôtes  (guesthouses) of great character and flavoursome regional cuisine, and you have all the ingredients for a delightful walking holiday. The route takes you through the rolling countryside just north of one of France’s greatest rivers – the Tarn – ending at the remarkable village of Cordes-sur-Ciel. Along the way, you stay in some of the typical medieval fortified hill-top villages that make this region so special.

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 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 9 11 14 16 20 24 27 27 24 19 13 10
mm 77 79 74 66 61 46 22 43 65 104 101 78

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.