Gite Solterre

What to do there?

Gite Solterre provides a faboulous escape from hectic city’s life without comproming on luxury and modern living comfort — solid wood furniture, comfortable sofas & beds, underfloor heating throughout, heated plunge pool with jets, outdoor furniture, BBQ kiosque, British FreeSat, DVD/Plasma TV, iPod docking stations, selection of board games, books and music.

Walking, cycling, hiking and riding

Beautiful walks through vinyards in all directions from the house. Nearby is located Forest of Gresigne, one of the biggest oak forests in Europe — it offers fantastic views and walking opportunities. This area of France is loved by cyclists – Tarn region offers more than 20 tours with 4 difficulty levels — from family outing to experienced cyclists course.

Wine tasting

Wine tasting, presentations and tours can be arranged in many local domains and «cave cooperative». One of our nearest neighbour M Plageolle (?) is the most famous wine maker in the region who over the years put Gaillac wines back on the map and now many local vineyards rank among the foremost producers in South-West France.

Nearby villages and towns:

Castelnau de Montmiral

Distance from Gite Solterre — 7 minutes drive

This «bastide» or fortified village overlooks the Vère valley and is now listed as «one of most beautiful villages of France». It was founded in 1222 by Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse. The centre of Castelnau de Montmiral has not been altered much troughout the centuries, the oldest buildings are from the XVI & XVII centuries. It has a trully charming market place (La Place des Arcades) with the town hall, couple of restaurants, some shops and a hotel. Just behind there is a Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church that is the home to the reliquary cross of the Counts of Armagnac, adorned with 310 precious stones.

Gaillac

Distance from Gite Solterre — 10 minutes drive

Gaillac is the nearest to us proper town with numerous shops, restaurants, bars, cinema, supermarkets and banks. It is the capital of local wine making region.The old town has some charming squares with fountains and narrow streets lined with old houses that are a happy combination of timber and brick work. The XI-XIV centuary Abbey St-Michel stands on the bank of river Tarn that gives the name to the whole department.

Cordes-sur-ciel

Distance from Gite Solterre — 15 minutes drive

A quintessential medival hilltop village that was built in 1222. It became a favourite haunt of heretics and a major Cathar fortified town — at some point the entire village was excommunicated. Devastating epidemics of plaque later sent it into decline and Cordes was in an advanced state of decay at the begining of XX centuary. Restauration work began in the 1940s. The winding, steeply sloping, stone streets of the «upper town» are now home to «medieval» crafts, galleries, museums, small individual shops and numerous bars and restaurants, including the . In the «lower town» there is a number of shops, banks, pharmacy and a small but good Saturday market.

Albi

Distance from Gite Solterre — 25 minutes drive

Albi is the capital of Tarn department, it lies on the banks of the river Tarn and is dominated by an enormous catherdral-cum-fortress Cathedrale Ste-Cecile said to be the biggest red brick building in the world. The construction began in 1282 and was intended to symbolise the Church’s newly found grandeur and power in the aftermath of the crusade against the Cathars (also known as Albigensians). Next to the Cathedrale is the Toulouse-Lautrec museum that contains the most complete permanent collection of artist’s work. Albi isoften referred to as La Ville Rose because of its red-brick buildings which glow pink under the setting sun. It is a very charming and friendly town — it has a fantastic choice of individual shops, quality restaurants and tea-salons.

St Antonin-Noble-Val

Distance from Gite Solterre — 25 minutes drive
A delightful town 30km southwest of Najac sits on the bank of the Aveyron beneath the beetling cliffs of the Roc d'Anglars close to the famous Gorges of the River Aveyron. St Antonin-Noble-Val has endured all the
vicissitudes of the old towns of the southwest France: it went Cathar, then Protestant and each time was walloped by the alien power of the kings from the north. Yet, in spite of all this, it recovered its prosperity, manufacturing cloth and leather goods, endowed by its wealthy merchants with
a marvellous heritage of medieval houses in all the streets leading out from the lovely place de la Halle and its prolongation. The town was used as a location for the 2001 movie "Charlotte Gray", starring Cate Blanchett. It
attracts many visitors especially on a Sunday morning during the market hours. We strongly recommend you to visit this lively market - quintessentially French experience! St Antonin-Noble-Val is also the local centre for canoeing. 

Castres

Distance from Gite Solterre — 45 minutes drive
Castres is a busy city that stands on the banks of Agout river. It boasts a remarkable fine arts museum devoted to Spanish painting and in particular to the works of Goya. Take a stroll on the Venice-like Quai des Jacobins and sip a cup of tea in one of the numerous tea-salons. Castres has a small zoo and a planetarium that stages special shows for children.

Toulouse (45 minutes drive)

Distance from Gite Solterre — 50 minutes drive

Toulouse is the 4th largest city in France after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, it has 1.135.000 inhabitants. Fueled by aerospace and high-tech industries (Airbus headquarters are located here) Toulouse now has the highest population growth of any French metropolitan areas. Because of its famous university founded in 1229 it is also a rather young city - Toulouse has the 2nd largest student population in France after Paris. At the heart of the Midi region, "Ville Rose" has always occupied an important place in the South-West of France. The Saint-Sernin basilica, a jewel of 11th and 12th century Roman art, is an important stage on the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimage. Toulouse is great for a quiet stroll around the historic centre, walking alongside the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, or stopping in one of the many cafйs. It's a very musical city - lots of classical and jazz concerts, fantastic opera house, new 9000 seater Zenith arena for pop acts. Numerous museums, wellstocked art galleries, numerous theatres, cinemas. All the major brands in fashion, design, leather goods and jewellery are represented in Toulouse. The city neighbourhoods also live by the rhythm of the open-air and covered markets.

To book your French holiday accommodation at Gite Solterre, in the Tarn department, Midi-Pyrenees near Toulouse, Gaillac, Albi and Cordes-sur-Ciel please e-mail solterre@gmail.com