7 reasons to live in Tarn-et-Garonne

Place Nationale in the city of Montauban (c) Mariedofra / Getty Images

Place Nationale in the city of Montauban (c) Mariedofra / Getty Images - Credit: Archant

Remarkable landscapes and delightful villages full of heritage are a breath of fresh air in Tarn-et-Garonne, south-west France

Tarn river and the city of Montauban (c) JackF / Getty Images

Tarn river and the city of Montauban (c) JackF / Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. City of Art and History

The department of Tarn-et-Garonne in Occitanie was first created in 1808 by Napoleon when the capital, Montauban, became a prefecture to satisfy its rich and powerful inhabitants the Montalbanians. The city remains a lovely place to visit or live in, with elaborate mansions and buildings made from pink stone thanks to the historically lucrative pastel trade. An official ‘town of art and history’, the focus is the beautiful 17th-century Place Nationale, where you will also find the St-Jacques Church, the oldest building in the city. The French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was born here in 1780 as well as the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle almost a century later, who was a student of Auguste Rodin. The house where the prolific sculptor was born is located next to the Musée Ingres Bourdelle which hosts absorbing collections of both their works.

2. A place to go with the flow

There are 4,000km of waterways and hundreds of hectares of lakes in Tarn-et-Garonne. This makes it an attractive area for fishing enthusiasts as well as boaters and cyclists. Head to the confluence of the Tarn and the Garonne rivers and you will find yourself in a 400-hectare ornithological reserve home to dozens of species of birds. For a relaxing and accessible bike ride, take a trip along the plane-tree-lined towpath alongside the Canal des Deux Mers which passes through Moissac. The canal also crosses the Tarn River at the Pont-Canal du Cacor which is a remarkable architectural sight to see.

The Plus Beau Village of Lauzerte (c) Nick Parford Photography

The Plus Beau Village of Lauzerte (c) Nick Parford Photography - Credit: Archant

3. Three Plus Beaux Villages

There are three Plus Beaux Villages de France in Tarn-et-Garonne. Lauzerte is a quaint bastide town, founded by the Count of Toulouse, with an attractive main square home to many medieval houses along with a quirky modern sculpture resembling an upturned corner, created by a local ceramic artist. Bruniquel was an important crossroads in the Middle Ages and boasts two castles, the château vieux built between the 12th and 13th centuries and the château jeune which dates to the 15th century. Thirdly, Auvillar overlooks the River Garonne. This picturesque village was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for its pottery and is a stop on the famous pilgrims’ Way of St James.

4. Incredible Gorges de l’Aveyron

The Gorges de l’Aveyron is a breath-taking environment great for escaping to nature and having a fun family day out. Go canoeing and kayaking on the river or find a calm spot on one of the beach areas to sunbathe and take a swim. For a different perspective why not go hiking or cycling along the clifftops to admire the breath-taking views.

Markets in Moissac (c) Nick Parford Photography

Markets in Moissac (c) Nick Parford Photography - Credit: Archant

Most Read

5. Popular markets

One of the region’s most popular markets is held in the heart the medieval city of St-Antonin-Noble-Val on Sunday mornings and is a the place to discover the regions speciality dishes and produce. The stunning village of Auvillar also hosts a vibrant Sunday market in its spectacular circular market hall. While, the Place des Récollets in Moissac offer fresh produce including local Moissac cherries, as well as clothes and homewares on either a Saturday or Sunday morning.

6. Red, red wines

There are also six wine appellations to sample in Tarn-et-Garonne including Coteaux du Quercy, a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) appellation reaching from the south of Cahors to the north of Montauban and covering 18 towns surrounding Montpezat-de-Quercy. Clay-limestone soils and plenty of sunshine produce fruity rosé and red wines. The aromatic negrette grape is the hero of the PDO Fronton, cultivated on the terraces of the left bank of the Tarn and producing red and rosé wines.

7. Idyllic properties

Rolling hillsides and valleys create an incredible backdrop for rural farmhouses with terracotta roofs and acres of land, or pretty country cottages, while medieval village properties are full of character and history. The average property price in the department is €1,480/m² according to Notaires de France. Above are some of the latest properties for sale on France Property Shop.