Additional Location Information
Albi is 35 minutes drive from Toulouse, impressively situated on the River Tarn, amongst rolling hills, gorges, vineyards, farmland and woods. The lively town has events all year round, in addition to its famous sights.
The red bricked town is crowned by 2 churches - Sainte-Cecile Cathedral, a 13th century fortress church, a masterpiece of Southern Gothic architecture, with 78 metre bell tower, huge 15C medieval painting of the Last Judgment (originally 200 metres wide), and a highly ornate rood screen; and St Salvi's Collegiate Church with quiet cloister.
The neighbouring Archbishops Palace "Palais de la Berbie" with stern red walls, and decorative garden, overlooking the river Tarn, now houses the Toulouse-Lautrec museum, with over 2000 of his paintings. Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, at his family's mansion at Hotel du Bosc, close by.
Albi - has events year round, from a large carnival in February, nearby car racing in March, and May; a huge flea market in June; numerous theatre and music festivals through July, and August; a book fair in October, film festival and art salon in November, and Christmas concerts and fair in December
The surrounding area of Albi, is glorious walking country full of interesting villages and sights to visit.
3 kms away is Lescure, an ancient fortified village with beautiful Norman church. Near too, is Gaillac, with its famous wines, Abbey church, and the 15c Chateau of Mauriac. Closer to Toulouse, is the village of Lisle-sur-Tarn, - a pretty medieval bastide village, with arcaded walkways, central square, and ancient houses; for those with a sweet tooth - there is also a chocolate museum.
Visit too, Monestiés, medieval village, with lovely gothic church; Réalmont, with plaza with covered walkway, and circular farm; Graulhet, with leather exhibitions; Cordes-sur-Ciel - proclaimed one of the most beautiful villages in France, with gothic sculpted facades, art galleries, shops, and a stunning hilltop; and Bruniquel, a breathtaking castle above the Aveyron river.
For those seeking cosmopolitan excitement Toulouse is only 35 minutes, with exceptional art galleries, its Saint Sernin basilica, the broad Place du Capitole, restaurants, theater, night life - you can even visit where the Airbus is built!
The Albi railway station is 5 minutes walk with TGV connections (via Toulouse). International airports: Toulouse (35 mins), Carcassonne (2 hours), Castres/Mazamet (60 mins).