In Occitanie, for those who love markets, there is a lot of choice: Fridays or Tuesdays in Gaillac , Saturdays in Cordes and Rabastens, Sundays in St Antonin, most days in Albi.

Gaillac’s 110 winemakers offer wonderful wine-tasting opportunities.

The rich architectural, artistic and historic heritage has something for everyone:  churches, castles at Bruniquel, Penne and Najac, medieval hill-top ‘bastide’ villages (Castelnau de Montmiral, Cordes, Puycelsi). Do not miss the amazing city of Albi (25 minutes by car, bus or train), with its vast cathedral and the magnificent Toulouse-Lautrec museum dominating the historic centre.


For visiting without driving, local train services from Gaillac offer relaxed trips to Figeac, Villefranche de Rouergue (a famous Thursday market), Rodez (the Soulages Museum) and, just 40 minutes on the local train, Toulouse – whether for its cultural (Bemberg Foundation) and historic riches (St Cernin, Les Jacobins, St Etienne), its gastronomic delights or its serious shopping opportunities.

Destinations for easy day trips by car from Perches include Cahors  (+ Lot valley), Carcassonne (+ Canal du Midi), Castres, Conques, Mazamet (+ Montagne Noire), Millau (+ breath-taking bridge), Moissac, Montauban, Revel (+ St Ferréol lake), Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (for serious foodies) and Sorrèze.


Walkers and hikers can choose from nearby woodland walks to longer and harder trails in the Grésigne and Sivens forests and the Aveyron gorge.

Golf courses in easy reach of Perches include the 18-hole Albi-Lasbordes course, on the banks of the Tarn – rated by many as the best in South West France.

The rolling countryside attracts cyclists of all ages and levels (Gaillac has 2 rental services, including electric bikes). The Tour de France passes nearby almost every July.

On the Aveyron there is good canoeing, both from St Antonin and from Najac, with great views of the Gorge (30 minutes by car).

The leisure complex, Cap’ Découverte, offers a wide range of exhausting and exhilarating sports (France’s longest artificial ski slope, waterskiing – a 30 minute drive)