Every year, the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum welcomes thousands of visitors for a rich and varied tour of the local painter’s work. Early paintings, seedy Paris, and theatre scenes... more than 1000 pieces, including his famous Moulin Rouge posters, are on show in the wonderful setting of the Palais de la Berbie, one of the best preserved Episcopal buildings in France.
But we will also venture out from Albi to explore the Tarn Valley, charming villages, and fortified medieval towns.
DINNER IS SERVED!
From December to March every year, truffles have pride of place in local markets. The black princess hides beneath downy oaks, before ending up at the famous Albi market.
White truffles are harvested from May onwards. To sample truffles as they are meant to be eaten, head to Sorges, a three-hour drive from Albi, and attend the famous truffle tagliatelle nights on the first Friday of July and August.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Albi is known as the “red city” because of the earthen bricks from which it is built. It is resplendent in the summer sun. Here, we can roam the narrow lanes and discover Saint-Cécile cathedral, or laze on the banks of the Tarn!
This fortified town, built in 1222 atop a rocky promontory 25 minutes from Albi, is a stop on the Camino de Santiago. Overlooking the valley, Cordes-sur-Ciel is a true jewel hewn out of the rock. You can wander its steep lanes in wonder, as you pass ceramic workshops, painters, and other jewellery-makers.
A 90-minute drive from Albi, Millau is hugely popular with paragliders, and even lays claim to the title of free-flying capital! It’s a great opportunity for your first flight in a tandem paraglider or hang glider, flying over the famous viaduct for an unforgettable experience.
The Tour de France 2019 will stay in Albi for three days: arriving on the 15th, a rest day on the 16th, and setting off on 17 July. That’s plenty time to look back on Eddy Merckx’s time-trial win in 1971, or Cadel Evans’ win in 2007 after his lonely efforts.