Within the dramatic department of the Tarn and its eponymous river gorges, one feels a sense of the south west meeting south east. Architectural styles meet, and the climate from west to east, and north to south, are often quite different. Roads are often winding and the pace of life is necessarily slower. Limestone and sandstone foothills, with granite peaks; this is serious rugby country: frontier-land.
The capital Albi, birthplace and museum to Toulouse Lautrec (he produced 7000 works in a 20 year career, and died aged 36) and boasting a magnificent brick cathedral on the river, as well as modern shopping facilities. Gaillac and Castres are larger towns, Castelnau-Montmiral and Cordes-sur-Ciel absolutely unmissable go-to visits.
Looking to buy a property with a view? You almost can't fail in the Tarn!
Tarn fact file
Land area: 5758 square kilometres
Population: 370 000 (64 sq km/170/sq ml)
Population density: 65/km²
Main town: Albi
Local property styles
Much in evidence is the pink brick in many of the towns and villages. Elsewhere you'll find paler stone traditional properties with Roman tiled roofs.