You are here

CASTRES AND LE SIDOBRE
Itineray of a native of the Tarn Département

Duration
2
days
Budget
€0 (excluding entrance tickets)
Features
  • Castres: a must-see in the Tarn Département
  • Sidobre: the largest granite massif in Europe
The best period
  • Automne
  • Eté
  • Printemps

Choose a fine summer's day, gather up your family and your best friends, and set off for the Tarn Département More precisely, set off for Castres. The little Tarn town has a Spanish feel, with its colourful houses along the River Agoût, its Goya Museum, strolling around the Place Jean Jaurès (who was born here), its rugby team, and so on. Then carry on towards Le Sidobre, land of rocks and legends. The children (and probably the adults too!) will clamber around on these granite blocks which defy the laws of gravity, making up stories about stone hunters.

 

Pascale - Tarn Tourisme
de Tourisme Tarn
Recommended by
Pascale
Les maisons sur l'Agoût à Castres
Les maisons sur l'Agoût à Castres
Castres, place Jean Jaurès
Castres, place Jean Jaurès

Stroll around Castres Spanish-style

Which Spanish painter has made Castres famous? You will have the answer once you've walked around the Place Jean Jaurès and along the banks of the River Agout, with the reflections of the colourful houses. The former Bishops' Palace rises in front of you, with the famous Museum of Goya and Hispanic Art on the first floor.

   

Did you know?

The river used to be the centre of life in the town of Castres. In the middle Ages, the houses on the River Agout belonged to artisans like tanners, dyers, parchment and paper makers, and weavers, who used the waters of the river in their business.

A bord du coche d'eau
A bord du coche d'eau

Boarding the local river boat

To enjoy the laid-back Castres lifestyle, there's nothing better than to board a "coche d'eau", a local flat-bottomed, wooden boat typically used for travelling on the river. You glide along the River Agout beside the colourful houses to the Gourjade Park. A great half-hour walk that the children will love too.

Find Out More  

With children

When you get to the Gourjade Park, you can enjoy all the activities: a playground for the children, rollerskating area, golf course, picnic area... perfect for a relaxing day with the family.

Le musée Goya
Le musée Goya

The Goya Museum

Right in the heart of Castres, the Goya Museum is the local benchmark for Hispanic art. Velázquez, Zurbarán, Goya and Picasso all have their significance in different periods. From the windows there is a birds-eye view of the Bishops' garden, presenting an attractive picture: a French-style garden designed by Le Nôtre in the 17th century. This town is a real history book!

   

Did you know?

The Goya Museum is installed in one part of the former Castres Bishop's Palace, which was designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, one of the architects of Versailles. 

Sidobre, la rivière de rochers
Sidobre, la rivière de rochers
Sidobre, la Peyro Clabado
Rochers du Sidobre

Visiting the Rocks of Le Sidobre

Go and tackle the Le Sidobre Rocks, 30 mins by car from Castres, and recapture your inner child as you explore the marvellous trail of wonders. Right in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park, the largest granite plateau in Europe is a geographer's paradise. Each rock has its own name and its legend: the Three Cheeses, the Goose Rock, the Peyro Clabado (Nailed Rock), the Trout's Leap, and many more. Not to mention the Blackbird Lake, for a relaxing pause by the water's edge.

   

Original

The Peyro Clabado (Nailed Rock) is a block of granite weighing 780 tonnes, balancing on a smaller block barely one metre square! Impressive.

Brassac

A little history

On each bank of the River Agoût, there is a mediaeval castle that has resisted the passage of time. One was Catholic, the other built by the Protestants. If you go and visit the Museum of Protestantism  in Ferrières, you will find all the history of the Wars of Religion which is linked today to the history of the Tarn Département.

   

Café de Paris, Brassac
Café de Paris, Brassac
Café de Paris, Brassac
Café de Paris, Brassac

Dine at the Café de Paris in Brassac

After the emotions of mountains and rocks, head to Brassac for a well-deserved gastronomic stop. There's nothing Parisian about the Café de Paris hotel-restaurant! The atmosphere is cosy, unassuming and friendly. Arnaud, the Chef, and Sandrine his wife will welcome you with Tarn hospitality: smiles, attentive service, advice about the region. And on the plates? It's wonderful! You can also spend a restorative night in one of the charming bedrooms.

Find Out More

A Mum and her family in the Tarn Département

The "Maman voyage" blogger has come to the Tarn Département with her family to explore this route. From Castres to the Le Sidobre Rocks – loved by parents and children alike!  Vidéo 0 :45 © Romain Leclerc.

   

#sidobre #Caestre

Instagram Sidobre
@laetylaety
Sidobre
Instagram Caestre
@lesvoyagesdeyohan
Castres
Instagram Sidobre
@flofabre
Sidobre
Instagram Caestre
@flopassenfaire
Caestre

Where to sleep and eat, what to do?

Hotel

Hôtel Renaissance

CASTRESTarn
Rental accommodation

Le Castelet

CASTRESTarn
Latitude: 43.603671000000
Longitude: 2.241154000000
How to get there
  • By car: 1hr by road from Toulouse by the A68 motorway. 2¾hrs from Montpellier by the A75 and the D999.
  • By train: 1hr journey direct from Toulouse, 3hrs from Montpellier.
  • By air: from Castres Airport (link with Paris Orly-Castres Mazamet)

Find Out More