Six Simple Day Trips from Toulouse
So, you’re due to spend some time in Toulouse, and you’re looking for day trips, right? Well, you’re in luck. Toulouse is a great base from which to explore.
Within easy reach, you’ll find enchanting medieval towns, land rich with fabulous vineyards, and bustling modern cities – but if you don’t have a car, getting around can sometimes be more complicated
Many of the guests that join us on our gourmet Toulouse Walking Tours are in the middle of a wider journey around France, and they’ll often use Toulouse as their travel HQ.
Its central location and well-connection by trains to other cities in the region mean that you don’t HAVE to rent a car if you want to take a day trip.
Join us today as we select six of our favorite day trips from Toulouse, all of which are just an easy, direct train ride away. If you have any questions, please get in touch.
We’ll begin with an obvious choice. The medieval city of Carcassonne is a jewel of 13th-century architecture – towers, defensive walls, and winding cobblestone streets. Wandering through the atmospheric streets of Carcassonne is the closest you can come to entering the pages of a book of fairy tales.
Sat picturesquely atop a hill, Carcassonne’s fortifications enwrap the historic town, with its walls featuring no less than 52 watchtowers! Needless to say, Carcassonne’s founders were taking no chances. They wanted to ensure no one could lay siege to their town.
The site’s cinematic beauty earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997, and it remains a favorite among history-loving tourists in France.
In addition to the astounding appearance of the town, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome from the locals and plenty of delicious traditional French cooking.
Wine enthusiasts traveling through Toulouse will not want to miss out on a trip to Gaillac.
Found just 57 kilometers northeast of Toulouse on the river Tarn, Gaillac was established by the Romans in the classical era, and they gave the area its tradition of winemaking.
Christian monks continued producing wine throughout the medieval period and cultivating new grape varieties (visit the Abbey St Michel to get a profound feel for the town’s medieval past).
A wonderfully walkable town, Gaillac is ideal for those who like to wander, stopping for coffee, food, and wine as they do so.
Don’t leave Gaillac without trying some of the delicious red, white sparkling, sweet, or rosé wines they’re renowned for – just head over to Maison des Vins in Gaillac for a free tasting of a rotating selection of local wines
If you are passionate about wine, why not join us for the Toulouse Wine Bar Tour? With this tour experience, you will develop your tasting vocabulary and learn all about the wine regions surrounding Toulouse.
Another town located on the river Tarn and another gorgeous destination possessing historical wonders. Albi is well known for its characteristic brick architecture, with the town’s highlight being its 13th-century cathedral, the largest brick cathedral in the world.
Albi was also the birthplace of the much beloved French artist Henri-Toulous Lautrec. A museum dedicated to the iconic painter is located within the splendid Palais de la Berbie, another brick architecture masterpiece.
We highly recommend that any art lovers check out the Lautrec museum as it provides an intimate insight into the artist’s fascinating life.
Inhabited since the days of Celtic civilization in France, Cahors is most famous for the Pont Valentre (pictured above), a magnificent arched bridge that dates from the 14th century.
Most excitingly for the gourmands among you, Cahors is also famous for wine and food. Wine has been in production here since the time of the Romans, and the town is particularly known as the original home of its Malbec grapes and the distinctive “black” wine made from them.
The foods most associated with Cahors are truffles and foie gras. Enjoy a relaxing day in this picturesque town and indulge in plenty of delectable local specialties.
Located just 65 kilometers east of Toulouse, you’ll be struck by Castres’ brightly painted Renaissance houses upon arrival. These homes once housed the town’s merchants and artisans, who brought the town prosperity via the textile industry.
Culture vultures will want to head to the Musee Goya to see works from the Spanish master and examples of work from a dizzying array of other notable artists.
A perfect destination for oenophiles, Bordeaux promises fabulous wine, glorious 18th-century architecture, and plenty of museums.
Begin your day in Bordeaux by exploring the city’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. La Grosse Cloche is one of France’s oldest belfries and a wonderful glimpse of Bordeaux’s medieval past.
To experience the splendor of Bordeaux’s 18th century, head to the Grand Théâtre-Opéra National de Bordeaux. The interior of this enormous Neo-Classical building served as an inspiration for Paris’ famous Opéra Garnier.
Within the opera house’s restaurant, Le Quatrième Mur, you’ll find a charming tea room that offers great views of the Place de la Comédie – a perfect stop for afternoon refreshment.
Bordeaux’s Jardin Public is another good choice for those looking to relax. Established in the 18th century to offer Bordeaux’s residents a green space for recreation, this delightful park has been designed in the English style and offers a beautiful setting in which to enjoy a picnic.
Finally, as dedicated wine lovers, it would be remiss of us not to recommend the Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s museum dedicated to all things wine. The extensive multimedia and interactive exhibits dive into wine production and culture across the globe.
This utterly fascinating modern museum is guaranteed to leave you thirsting for a fine bottle of locally-produced wine!