Ariel view of Castelnau-de-Montmiral
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 Occitanie (aka Midi-Pyrénées,) region it overlooks awe-inspiring, panoramic views of:
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 a 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. Enjoy sweeping scenic views from the balcony of the local cafe.
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 kilometres from Castelnau. Horseback riding, tennis, golfing, canoeing and kayaking are also available in the region. There is also an art school run by Francis Pratt in the village that offers two week courses at various times of the year.
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 Occitanie (aka Midi-Pyrénées) region, 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.
This bustling and well-known tourist destination is chock full of artisan shops, art galleries, and restaurants winding all the way up to an enormous village square. Big square, big views - get the camera ready!
Market day is Saturday.