Activities and places to visit in the region
If you have chosen Cordes sur Ciel as your holiday base, or if you are considering relocating to the area, there are many activities and places of interest for you to explore. Sports opportunities are abundant: a water park, tennis and boules are within a few minutes of the town centre; cycling trails, hiking and pony trekking are all to be found in the surrounding countryside - bikes can be hired in town and maps are available from Tarn Tourism; for the truly adventurous it’s just half an hour by car to St Antonin Noble Val where you can try canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting, or go caving; if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not try a hot-air balloon flight over Cordes?
Cordes sur Ciel and its neighbouring towns have a rich programme of exhibitions and festivals every year: a huge music festival takes place across several towns on the same day in June; art, film, dance and wine all have special events throughout the season as well as food fairs celebrating everything from cheese to garlic and courgettes to bread and there are many regional signature dishes to be tried.
Residents and visitors who enjoy the beach are just two hours from the Mediterranean at Narbonne and winter sports fans can ski in the Pyrénées - Andorra is only three hours away. Culture vultures will want to visit Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and pilgrims will make their way to the miraculous shrine of Rocamadour, clinging tightly to a sheer cliff side in the Alzou Valley. At Rocamadour there is a climb of 216 steps to the top (pilgrims still do it on their knees) but you may prefer to take the modern lift - whichever way you choose, the views from the highest point are awe-inspiring, but not recommended if you suffer from vertigo.
Southwestern France is renowned for its prehistoric cave paintings: Pech Merle contains art from 20,000 years ago and is open to the public daily between April and early November, whilst the Cave of Niaux is open between July and September. These sites are both within two hours’ drive of Cordes sur Ciel.
Wine lovers can spend a pleasant day visiting the many vineyards in the region and there are around 100 within 20 km of Cordes sur Ciel. Most domaines welcome individuals and groups and offer tours of the property, including the winery and tasting sessions, with the opportunity to purchase your favourites on site.