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Go on a road trip from Toulouse for a 3-day weekend or a week’s holiday!

Toulouse, the capital of Occitanie, is renowned for its pleasant living environment and cultural richness. Being very well served, it is a very good starting point to go on a road trip and explore the region!

Discover the small medieval towns in the surrounding area, the iconic Carcassonne and breathe fresh air on the road to the high mountain lakes in a converted van!

Whether alone, with friends, family or as a couple, travelling in a campervan will give you absolute freedom! You will be in control of your itinerary and this getaway will allow you to discover the region differently. Be prepared for an adventure you would never have experienced by taking the train or plane! 🙂

Our tips for a successful road trip:

Carcassonne

3-day getaway

I'm discovering
Heavy

One-week stay

I'm discovering

Day 1: Château de Merville and Saint-Antonin-Noble-val

We start this road trip in Occitanie from our agency Blacksheep Van de Toulouse. Once the vehicle is in your hands, head to your first destination: Merville Castle. Built in the 18th century, it testifies to the architectural know-how of the time. This castle is known for its park which is nearly 30 hectares. Composed of boxwood and oak aisles, you will find in the center a surprising ballroom. The peculiarity of the park is often the delight of children: a journey within the maze that deals with the Great Inventions mixing puzzles and secret codes will immerse your children in the evolution of science. Of course, you can also visit this largest maze of boxwood in Europe as well as the castle through a more "classic" guided tour.

In the afternoon, continue your first day of road trip from Toulouse... Take the road to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, a small medieval town. His story is based on the life of Saint Antonin: who had gone to preach the Gospel in his native country. Unfortunately, he was not accepted and he ended up on death row. His remains, abandoned on a boat, were recovered at the confluence of the Aveyron and the Bonnette. Found by a wealthy lord, he built an abbey to protect the relics: St. Antonin Abbey. Continue your tour as you stroll through the city to discover the old town hall as well as the Romane House. For a cool break, you can visit the Bosc cave. A guide will introduce you to the impact of water on the walls, geological features, as well as some remains of animal bones.

For the night, find a nice spot on Park4Night or the Blacksheepapp. There are quite a few places with views of the forest or the mountains. It is also an opportunity to cook a good little dish for that first night in your converted van.
If this is your first road trip in a van... The moment of doubt about the shower or the toilet will surely arrive... But don't panic, we've put together a little article on van hygiene to give you some tips so your weekend goes well!

Day 2: Gaillac and the Martels Gardens

For this second day, head to Gaillac, famous for having one of the oldest vineyards in France. Labeled a "City of Art and History", it has a rich cultural and historical heritage and has Gallo-Roman remains.
Start with a visit to St. Michael's Abbey in Gaillac, located on the banks of the Tarn, you can admire the view of the river. Built in the 10th century, it was damaged during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion before being rebuilt in the 17th century. Today, the Abbey buildings house the Vine and Wine Museum, while the former abbey church has become the Church of St. Michael, which is open to visitors.
Near the abbey, you can go to the Château de Foucaud, where the Museum of Fine Arts is located. Classified as a Historic Monument, you can also admire the architecture as well as the gardens accessible to visitors. It is also in this park that the Lantern Festival takes place (organized from December to the end of January) where you will discover a real light show.
Continue to visit Gaillac as you stroll through the city centre and explore the small squares, charming alleyways and old buildings.
Then finish the morning with a visit to the vineyards (find the different wineries)and take the opportunity to make a tasting and discover the know-how of the winemakers who make the reputation of the city.

In the afternoon, head to the gardens of the Martels for a flowery break. This project was born out of a passion for nature and flowers. These gardens, which were originally a simple hobby, have become a must-see for flower lovers. Be surprised by the diversity of plants present throughout the floral park, the exotic greenhouse and the mini-farm. Plus: the flowers in the park are available for sale at the garden centre.

Why not take advantage of your proximity to the vineyards to test a night at a winemaker's? We spotted a few on Park4Night who look nice! In the evening, when you are comfortably settled and you will look at the sublime photos you have taken in the last two days... Don't hesitate to tag us on social networks (Facebook or Instagram)! The Blacksheep team will be delighted to follow your adventures aboard their campervan!

Day 3: Saissac and Carcassonne

It's the last day of your road trip from Toulouse... Located in the heart of the Black Mountain, the landscape of the fortified village of Saissac can be likened to a postcard. Perched at the top of the Audoise plain, you will have a stunning view of the Pyrenees Mountains.

Start with a visit to the Cathar Castle, one of the oldest in the Black Mountain. Perched at an altitude of 450 m, it hid a treasure trove of more than 2000 copper and silver coins: it is still the largest discovery of coins in Languedoc today.

Then, do not hesitate to stroll through the city and be surprised by the various monuments, memories of past eras. As a fortified village, the charm of Saissac rests in part on the various towers (such as the Big Tower, the Square Tower or the Roussignole Tower...) but also the old gates that allowed access to the center (the Autan Gate, the Gate of Cers and Echaugettes...)

The village is home to other places that bear witness to ancient life such as the washhouses, the Church, the Soldano House or the Hotel des Saptes.

Second stop of the day: the medieval city of Carcassonne. This is a must stop on this road trip in Occitanie in a van! This city is full of riches and charm: it established itself as a royal fortress during the reign of Louis IX, before being abandoned in the 17th century. It was not until the 19th century that the city was saved and rebuilt.

You have been listed the main places to visit in Carcassonne:

- The Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, built in the 12th century, blends Gothic and Romanesque art harmoniously.
- The Comtal Castle, a must-see monument of the city, you can admire a view of the city from the ramparts.
- The Narbonnaise gate, its name comes from its orientation towards Narbonne, it is composed of two towers and previously allowed access to the city.
- The Theatre of the Medieval City, renamed the Theatre of Jean-Deschamps to pay tribute to the actor and director. Every summer, it becomes a very lively place with the presence of many concerts.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, which has 11 rooms according to the periods from the 16th to the 20th century as well as temporary exhibitions. We strongly advise you to visit it: the museum building is impressive, the collection of paintings is interesting and the museum is completely free.

We hope that this road trip in a van will have made you want to go on an adventure! Need more info? Don't hesitate to call us on (0)9 51 38 88 15 or contact us by email: contact@blacksheep-van.com, our team will be happy to help!

Are you interested in another destination? France is full of beautiful landscapes that you have surely not yet discovered! Don't hesitate to see our other road-trip ideas!

Merville

Day 1: Château de Merville and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val

We start this road trip in Occitanie from our agency Blacksheep Van de Toulouse. Once the vehicle is in your hands, head to your first destination: Merville Castle. Built in the 18th century, it testifies to the architectural know-how of the time. This castle is known for its park which is nearly 30 hectares. Composed of boxwood and oak aisles, you will find in the center a surprising ballroom. The peculiarity of the park is often the delight of children: a journey within the maze that deals with the Great Inventions mixing puzzles and secret codes will immerse your children in the evolution of science. Of course, you can also visit this largest maze of boxwood in Europe as well as the castle through a more "classic" guided tour.

St Antonin

In the afternoon, continue your road trip from Toulouse and head for Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, a small medieval town. His story is based on the life of Saint Antonin: who had gone to preach the Gospel in his native country. Unfortunately, he was not accepted and he ended up on death row. His remains, abandoned on a boat, were recovered at the confluence of the Aveyron and the Bonnette. Found by a wealthy lord, he built an abbey to protect the relics: St. Antonin Abbey. Continue your tour as you stroll through the city to discover the old town hall as well as the Romane House. For a cool break, you can visit the Bosc cave. A guide will introduce you to the impact of water on the walls, geological features, as well as some remains of animal bones.

It's time to find a nice little place to spend the night and cook your first meal aboard the van. Lots of nice places with views of the surrounding area! Don't forget the Park4Night app or the Blacksheepapp.
For your first shower, do not hesitate to read our article on hygiene in van,it can guide you if you are a little lost on the different options.

Strings on Sky

Day 2: Strings on Sky and Albi

The second day of your trip to the South-West of France, you are offered a walk in one of the Bastides Albigeoises, ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Stop at Cordes sur Ciel, a medieval village rich in history. You can walk through the cobbled streets and admire the facades of buildings inspired by Gothic art. Don't hesitate to stop by the small artisan shops or art galleries throughout the city. The main monuments to see are:

- The well and the hall where all the commodity negotiations took place,
- The Church of St. Michael, which punctuates the life of the village with its bell tower,
- The Museum of The Arts of Sugar and Chocolate: opened by Yves Thuriès, twice the best worker in France. Discover impressive works made of sugar and chocolate, before ending with a tasting.
- The Cajarc Mill: treat yourself to a peaceful break with the sound of water flowing from the house, and let yourself be seduced by the view you have of Cordes sur Ciel.

Albi

Finish the second day of road trip from Toulouse to Albi. Take the time to discover this episcopal city that testifies to a spiritual richness with the presence of a bishop in medieval times.

Take a tour of the city and discover the rich heritage:

- St Cecilia's Cathedral: an imposing monument that can be seen from all over the city. It is a symbol of the power of the Catholic Church. Let yourself be surprised by its architecture, its mural but also its organ.
- Toulouse-Lautrec Museum: this museum is special because it is located inside the Berbie Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can find many works by the painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in the various imposing dungeons that make up the palace. Finish in the garden and on the terrace which shows a panoramic view of the surroundings.
- Cloister of the Collegiate Saint Salvy: built in the 11th century, it mixes Romanesque and Gothic architecture with white and red stones.
- Old bridge, dating from the 11th century, this medieval bridge allows the union between the two banks of the Tarn and is marked by the development of the city. In its early days, it was used to prevent access to the city with raised bridges and then to become a real crossroads of trade.

Gaillac

Day 3: Gaillac and the Martels Gardens

For this third day of road trip from Toulouse,head to Gaillac, famous for having one of the oldest vineyards in France. Labeled a "City of Art and History", it has a rich cultural and historical heritage and has Gallo-Roman remains.

Start with a visit to St. Michael's Abbey in Gaillac, located on the banks of the Tarn, you can admire the view of the river. Built in the 10th century, it was damaged during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion before being rebuilt in the 17th century. Today, the Abbey buildings house the Vine and Wine Museum, while the former abbey church has become the Church of St. Michael, which is open to visitors.

Near the abbey, you can go to the Château de Foucaud, where the Museum of Fine Arts is located. Classified as a Historic Monument, you can also admire the architecture as well as the gardens accessible to visitors. It is also in this park that the Lantern Festival takes place (organized from December to the end of January) where you will discover a real light show.

Take a stroll through the city centre and explore the small squares, charming alleyways and old buildings.

Finish visiting Gaillac and your morning with a visit to the vineyards (find the different estates here) and take the opportunity to make a tasting and discover the know-how of the winemakers who make the reputation of the city.

Garden of the Martels

In the afternoon, head to the gardens of the Martels for a flowery break. This project was born out of a passion for nature and flowers. These gardens, which were originally a simple hobby, have become a must-see for flower lovers. Be surprised by the diversity of plants present throughout the floral park, the exotic greenhouse and the mini-farm. Plus: the flowers in the park are available for sale at the garden centre.

Carcassonne

Day 4: Carcassonne and Saissac

Second stop of the day: the medieval city of Carcassonne. This is a must-see stop on this road trip in a van from Toulouse! This city is full of riches and charm: it established itself as a royal fortress during the reign of Louis IX, before being abandoned in the 17th century. It was not until the 19th century that the city was saved and rebuilt.

You have been listed the main places to visit in Carcassonne:

- The Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, built in the 12th century, blends Gothic and Romanesque art harmoniously.
- The Comtal Castle, a must-see monument of the city, you can admire a view of the city from the ramparts.
- The Narbonnaise gate, its name comes from its orientation towards Narbonne, it is composed of two towers and previously allowed access to the city.
- The Theatre of the Medieval City, renamed the Theatre of Jean-Deschamps to pay tribute to the actor and director. Every summer, it becomes a very lively place with the presence of many concerts.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, which has 11 rooms according to the periods from the 16th to the 20th century as well as temporary exhibitions. We strongly advise you to visit it: the museum building is impressive, the collection of paintings is interesting and the museum is completely free.

Knowac

Located in the heart of the Black Mountain, the landscape of the fortified village of Saissac can be likened to a postcard. Perched at the top of the Audoise plain, you will have a stunning view of the Pyrenees Mountains. This is one of the most beautiful views you can admire during your road trip to Occitanie.

Start with a visit to the Cathar Castle, one of the oldest in the Black Mountain. Perched at an altitude of 450 m, it hid a treasure trove of more than 2000 copper and silver coins: it is still the largest discovery of coins in Languedoc today.

Then, do not hesitate to stroll through the city and be surprised by the various monuments, memories of past eras. As a fortified village, the charm of Saissac rests in part on the various towers (such as the Big Tower, the Square Tower or the Roussignole Tower...) but also the old gates that allowed access to the center (the Autan Gate, the Gate of Cers and Echaugettes...).

The village is home to other places that bear witness to ancient life such as the washhouses, the Church, the Soldano House or the Hotel des Saptes.

Mountain Lakes Route1

Day 5: High Mountain Lakes Road

For this fifth day of road trip in Occitanie,take a big breath of fresh air with the road of high mountain lakes. Explore the Neouvielle Nature Reserve and discover natural and wild landscapes. Let yourself be seduced by this unique road that will guide you through the reserve to meet the lakes of azure blue color.

You can park your van in the parking lot of Lake Oreddon and go for a hike to discover the different lakes. The first you can admire is Oreddon, it will give you a taste of your hike that mixes lakes, laquettes, pines, and rocks. Then continue to the lakes of Aumar and Aubert and finish at the Cape de Long dam. This easily accessible hike will allow you to take a soothing break from nature. Take the opportunity to make a picnic at the edge of one of the lakes!

If you still have energy to spare, end the day at the lake of Oule, accessible from the artigusse car park. You can then stroll through the pine forest, go around the lake and stop at the refuge to admire the panoramic view.

We think you won't have too much trouble finding a great spot around the lakes to rest in the evening! And cook a good little dish with as a bonus, a view of the water!
In the evening, when you are comfortably settled and you will look at the sublime photos you have taken in the last two days... Don't hesitate to tag us on social networks(Facebook or Instagram)! The Blacksheep team will be delighted to follow your adventures aboard their campervan!

Lake Oô

Day 6: Lake Oô and the Gavarnie Circus

The penultimate day of your road trip from Toulouse, we continue on our path of lakes with Lake Oô. This dam lake is a pleasant ride to start the day on the right foot! Accessible to all, you will reach it after about an hour and a third of walking from the Granges d'Astau where you can park the campervan. As they say so well "after the effort, the comfort": once you arrive, you can enjoy the impressive waterfall of 275m high, it is the perfect opportunity to cool off. For fishing enthusiasts you can take advantage of the calm of the morning to try to catch trout.

Gavarnie Circus

Then continue on the road to another exceptional environment: the Gavarnie Circus. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was dug by glacial erosion millions of years ago. It is a haven for mountain and nature lovers! Imagine yourself surrounded by majestic mountains more than 1500 m high and waterfalls by the hundreds. A hiking in the heart of the Gavarnie circus will offer you beautiful landscapes and leave you speechless. It is also a site rich in history with a party organized every year by mountain guides in tribute to the people who left their lives in the ascent. Very good natural amphitheatre, it is a good place to organize musical events like the Gavarnie festival.

Col du Tourmalet

Day 7: Col du Tourmalet and Lourdes

For this last day of road trip from Toulouse,we propose to finish with a must-see stage of the Tour de France: the Tourmalet pass. Guarded by the Pic du Midi, you can admire the Pyrenees mountains with an impressive panorama of the surrounding area. Whether it's a bike or a converted van, the ascent promises thrills with a big reward! Along the pass, you will face mythical landscapes experienced by the biggest names of cyclists. You can admire a view of two valleys: Haut Adour and the Barèges valley.

Heavy

Last step before making your campervan... Heavy! One suspects that you have already heard of it but in case: it is a city known worldwide for being a site of Catholic pilgrimage since the 19th century. In addition to its extremely rich religious culture, the city is full of surprises. Enjoy your last hours with your van arranged to make a tour of Lourdes.

Discover the city's key landmarks:

- The castle: located in the heart of the city, it will take you back in time through its architecture but also its museum. From above, you will have a panorama of the Pyrenees.
- The media library: for book lovers or for the curious, go for a walk. Sheltered in the halls, the metallic architecture makes the place quite atypical.
- The Lourdes Museum, which traces the history of the city with period reconstructions.
- Places of pilgrimage if you are interested: the shrine of Our Lady, with the cave of apparitions, the Crypt, the Basilicas Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Rosary or Saint Pius X, the torchlight procession...

We hope that this road trip in a van will have made you want to go on an adventure! Need more info? Don't hesitate to call us on (0)9 51 38 88 15 or contact us by email: contact@blacksheep-van.com, our team will be happy to help!

Are you interested in another destination? France is full of beautiful landscapes that you have surely not yet discovered! Don't hesitate to see our other road-trip ideas!