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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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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Mrs A Hill  Richmond September 2018

My husband used the words "it doesn't get much better than this" at frequent intervals during the holiday, and he wasn't wrong. A fantastic holiday, with walks that were challenging in parts but rewarding with frequent breath-taking views. We saw hardly a soul as we walked through the forest (day 1 and 2) and then out into open countryside with views that stretched right to the distant horizen. Walking was mainly on GR's, with some on small roads, where all that passed us was the farm traffic getting ready for the grape harvest. The accommodation was first class, where the only thing to think about was the century the building was built in. The highlight for me was staying at Chez Delphine in Puycelsi: a 14th century building that used to accommodate 20 policemen and their families. Sitting on our terrace, looking over the quiet medieval streets and the rolling hills behind, with swallows flying overhead, it seemed as if life hadn't changed over the centuries. In all, a super holiday that will sustain us over the dark winter months.

Ms A Tonge  Bath September 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed this walking holiday in a very untouristed and beautiful part of France.We barely met another walker on our route. All the walks were very well directed in the walking notes and we didn't go wrong at all.The accommodation was good quality and all the hosts were charming. Each place had its own character. We particularly enjoyed les Vents Bleus and the pool.

Francophone walker   August 2018

Among many highlights: Fantastic walks from Bruniquel to Puycelsi and around Puycelsi in the foret de Gresigne. A warm welcome and very interesting and friendly conversations with owners at Cornelia, Chez Delphine and Les Vents Bleues. Puycelsi is a superlative place to spend 2 nights - I would not hesitate to go back to this lovely village whenever the opportunity arises. Roc Cafe in Puycelsi a very welcoming and enjoyable place to have dinner with lovely views. Very good quality of accommodation and attention from chambre d'hote owners. Taxi owner very friendly and chatty.

The Guest family, Somerset   August 2018

We loved the interesting and good quality accommodation on this holiday. The walking was lovely and scenic and we enjoyed walking through proper French countryside. The mix of pretty woodland and open countryside was good and we loved foraging in the hedgerows for mirabelles, plums, damsons and figs. Delphine’s rooms were very comfortable and the garden and pool area very tiny but lovely. The meals at Le Roc cafe were a fun start to the holiday and it was nice to have a mixture of restaurants and food provided in the accommodation on this holiday. The pool area and garden at les Vents Bleus were spacious and relaxing and we enjoyed an extra day here (after an epic hot, long walk with no shade to get here) relaxing by the pool and riding bikes to local villages. Florence’s cooking (in Donnazac) was simply amazing. On the walk to Cordes it was incredible to round a corner and there it was, dramatically perched on a hill and spilling down the hillside. Our teenage daughters enjoyed this holiday as much as we did and we all enjoyed the feel of staying in people’s houses (but with privacy and space) rather than in hotels. The hosts all gave us the perfect amount of space but were still around if you needed anything and were very friendly and helpful. 

Ms V Vose  Broadstairs June 2018

Everything was excellent as usual! 

Anon   May 2018

Walking routes all in good condition and well-signed - mostly on GR46 or PRs.

The accommodation and meals provided were all excellent. Great packed lunches.

If you are staying in Puycelci on a Saturday night make a point to go to the Roc Cafe and enjoy the jazz singing (Lina Modika and guitarist) al fresco.

Hostellerie Vieux Cordes (in Cordes sur Ciel) was good choice for a meal on the last night.

Mark, Denver, Colorado   April 2018

I have just returned from my first Inntravel trip, two wonderful weeks including the Villages of  the Dordogne and the Land of the Crusades, a part of France that may not be particularly familiar to many Americans.  The Inntravel experience was especially rewarding in that it emphasized both the journey and the destination. Where some other walking trips I have taken have been more about the journey to an incidental overnight stay, the various inns and the people who ran them were some of the most memorable aspects of the trip. Without exception, the innkeepers took immense pride in their businesses and were eager to share the history of their establishments and of the local area and its cuisine. All of the luggage transfers and taxi transfers were seamless, even when I created a bit of a "contretemps" by joining the wrong taxi company in my first transfer. The walking notes are the best I have used, and I soon learned that if the course did not make sense it was because I had not been paying close attention to the notes. The maps were useful in providing an oversight of the walking course in the landscape, but I never once had to consult them en route or wish I had brought a compass to find my way--the notes were that accurate. Over the course of the trip several of my hosts volunteered unprompted that Inntravel was one of the best companies to work with, which I think is a particularly eloquent endorsement.  

The Villages of the Dordogne trip passes through forests, upland causses, and...

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Mr P Lloyd  Cheltenham September 2017

Quality and character of the accommodation was superb. The towns were wonderful, especially that first view each time as you rounded a corner or reached the crest of a hill.

Mr R Elen  Woking June 2017

Meals in the restaurants were rather basic and had very similar menus. The exceptions were a very good meal at Le Ménagier in Castelnau and the included evening meal at Donnazac.

Eilis O'Brien  Ireland June 2017
Caught France in a heat wave but plenty of water, hats and sunblock kept us on trail. Puycelci is just charming; Delphine is a wonderful host and a really interesting person, so - if you are interested in history, music and Europe - take time to chat! We stayed on the top floor suite with the balcony facing east so got to experience an extraordinary sunrise with the birds darting through the early morning mist. Her home is a wonderful combination of eclectic, the historical and the beautiful. We walked to Bruniquel and were "too late" for lunch in the only open restaurant - but as lots of things in France, patience meant they looked after us with a great salad platter when they were ready. Delphine collected us and was kindly patient as we were in the wrong place for our rendezvous. We moved on as our walk took us but this is the spot to which we will return.
Mr J Foster  Knaresborough June 2017

A great way to see this part of France, to understand more of the history, great accommodation.

D Preece  London June 2017
We loved this holiday. A beautiful part of France - incredible ancient villages and wonderful accomodation. An extra day at Les Vents Bleus is definitely recommended. Delphine's (Puycelci) picnic of crudités and a tiny sandwich might not be enough for you - we had to supplement it with an extra chunk of cheese. Lovely meal at le Menagerie in Castlenau - the sort of thing you fantasise about after several hours of long, hot walking! A meal at Hostellerie de Vieux Cordes was rather an anticlimax and didn't meet expectations. Our second night we decided to flee the tourist trap and headed down the hill (other end of Cordes from Maison Bakea) to Bistrot Cordais, which also has a terrace with great views and we had a lovely relaxed evening there. We didn't feel quite ready to come home at the end of this holiday, and wished we'd had a few more days walking. Thank you Inntravel.
Mrs F Maguire  Thatcham May 2017

We found that the bed and breakfast arrangement did not suit us as frequently we needed an early start to avoid the heat and predicted bad weather which meant we had a long wait to gain access to the new accommodation and so in future we would choose walks with hotels involved.

Inntravel response

This holiday uses four high-quality, family-run chambre d'hôtes (guesthouses). The majority of our guests particularly enjoy the more personal experience that this sort of accommodation offers despite them not necessarily have all the amenities and services, or indeed staff, that a hotel does; check-in is typically after 4pm to allow the guesthouse owner time to prepare the rooms and do the grocery shopping - but we understand that this can be problematic if unseasonably hot weather demands early starts for the walks.

Mrs E Lende  USA April 2017

This was a lovely walk through beautiful farm lands and forests. The towns that we passed by and stayed in were charming. Altogether a wonderful walk that was characteristic of Inntravel's high quality.

Mr M Saunders  Monmouth April 2017

A fantastic holiday. The countryside was varied ranging from forest, woodland, vineyards and pastures containing a beautiful variety of wild flowers. The bastides exuded a lifstyle from times gone by, especially in the evenings when strolling around the ancient buildings in Puycelsi and Cordes....and there's even the chance to experience the historical character whilst staying there in the chambres d'hôtes. The quality of the accommodation was very good and enough food in the picnics to allow for double the walking !

Ms J Thompson  Llandeilo October 2016

A brilliant trip with faultless walking notes, reliable transport service and wonderful hosts at the Chambres D'Hotes. It's a lovely part of France and I was blessed with very good weather. I took advantage of many of the recommendations provided by Inntravel and previous travellers on places to eat and things to see. One other thing I would recommend visiting is the Chocolate and Sugar museum in Cordes. The displays that have been created by this talented confectioner are truly amazing.

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