At the regional crossroads
By using Cordes sur Ciel as a base to discover the surrounding region, it is possible to make exciting new discoveries in every direction: ■ To the south, the sun glows on the red brick towns and the vineyards of Gaillac. ■ To the east is the Segala and Carmausin, wild and rugged country of miners, ranchers, and rich in reminders of Jaurès. ■ From the north, carried by the wind all the way from the Massif Central, comes the influence of the nearby Aveyron. ■ The west, inhabited since prehistoric times, offers villages proud of their past. More information: www.pays-albigeois-bastides.org www.pays-bastides-vignoble-gaillacois.fr Documentation: Albigeois Bastides and Vineyards of Gaillac (FR/EN/ES) Albigeois and Bastides Guidebook (FR)
The huge brick cathedral and the former episcopal palace, now a museum celebrating the work of Toulouse Lautrec, are located on the banks of the Tarn, a striking landmark visible for miles. This unique site was registered on July 2010 by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO. But Albi is also a a very liveable location, worth visiting and wandering through at leisure… With its colourful small squares, ancient and prestigious buildings, charming and beautiful vistas, this city offers something for everyone. More information: Tourist Office of Albi.
Medieval villages and bastides
Since the Middle Ages, within a radius of fifty kilometres, a network of villages has grown up, which are marked by the convulsions of regional history. Today, their magic and their authenticity fascinate visitors.
These villages form two main groups: ► Villages perched on hill tops, strongly fortified and with steep, winding streets leading to the manor house, as can still be seen at Najac (Aveyron), Penne (Tarn) or Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne). ► The bastides, new towns of the thirteenth century, with their well-ordered urban planning based around the central market, and whose rise followed the crusade against Cathars. Among the most typical bastides villages are Castelnau-de-Montmiral (Tarn), Lisle-sur-Tarn or Rouergue (Aveyron). But Cordes is unique among all these bastide villages, because it demonstrates all the hallmarks of urban and architectural development of that time!
Near to forests, valleys and plateaus…
Because of its specific situation and the rich soil of the area, Cordes offers a surprising mosaic of landscapes. Coming from Gaillac or Saint-Antonin via the Roc d’Anglar and gorges of the Aveyron (Tarn-et-Garonne), the roads wind across the limestone plateaux, covered by vines and crops. Between Puyselci, Vaour and Castelnau-de-Montmiral, lies the majestic Grésigne Forest, famous for centuries for the exceptional quality of its trees; its name comes from its red sandstone soil. Another forest, even wilder, extends east of the Tarn, between the gorges of Viaur and the valley of the Tarn (Ambialet). The valleys light up with fresh meadow flowers on sunny days and the wide horizons of the puech open to the Pyrenees (south) or to the Quercy (north west). Nature lovers will find all the attractions needed for an enjoyable stay!
At the heart of South-West.
Situated less than a hundred kilometers from the Bordeaux – Toulouse – Carcassonne axis, our village is part of the great tradition of the Southwest. Defined by the Occitan culture and the strong influence of its heritage, it is also a recreational area, where leisure and pleasure come together. And in our town you will always find a tradition of friendliness and joie de vie, an authentic landscape, a special event or a warm traditional dish to enjoy!
Why not wander in the shaded alleys of Monestiés, nestled in a meander of the Cérou river ? This village holds numerous testimonies of its glorious past (Medieval fortifications, Roman bridge, half-timbered houses as well as the Saint Jacques Chapel and its set of 15th century statues.)
There is also Lagarde Viaur, a medieval village destroyed during the crusade against the Albigensians, or Villeneuve-sur-Vère, a 13th century fortified town.
Hiking and Mountain Bike trails offer you remarkable views of the Ségala landscapes, and will lead you to discover the little treasures of our heritage: chapels, windmills, fountains,…
For the thrill seekers, head to Cap’Découverte (zipline, wakeboard, downhill mountain carts…) !
During the summer you will be able to find a supervised beach with diverse water sports and activities at the Roucarié lake.
The Ségala is known as the land of Coal and was the home of Jean Jaurès.
Some of the most emblematic sites that will recall this history include The Mine museum, The Glass museum and the Jean Jaurès area in Pampelone.