Cordes-sur-Ciel, France – Day 4

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel

Saturday 22nd April 2017 –  ‘Day 4‘ of our travels.

A bit of background on  Cordes-sur-Ciel:

Cordes-sur-Ciel is located in the Tarn department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France.  It’s approximately 1 hour 15 minutes north-east of Toulouse and 30 minutes north-west of Albi.

If you’re in the region, Cordes is an absolute must, just be prepared that it’s very steep and can be very busy in high season.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Day four and we were on the move again to our next location but not without wringing every drop of sightseeing that we could in the process.  Painfully aware that not only was it a Saturday and so market-day but also a blissfully sunny day, we headed into the small hilltop town of Cordes-sur-Ciel expecting to be crushed in our first French crowds.  Instead, though it was undeniably busy, it was cordially so and we were easily able to drive to the very pinnacle and admire the once again glorious views before exploring the town itself.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

I honestly feel that our fleeting visit did not do Cordes-sur-Ciel justice.  More ‘touristy’ than the places we had seen so far, this was nonetheless very tastefully done with a greater emphasis on local crafts and artisanry than the usual grockle bait.*

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Amazingly well-preserved, it was one of the larger bastide’s we were to visit and consequently there much to see and many narrow roads to explore.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Established in the early 13th century, Cordes quickly became prosperous on the back of its cloth, silk and leather trades and the stunning architecture reflects the success of its merchants. Gothic arches abound and almost everywhere you turn there are beautiful sculptural touches to the buildings in an array of differing styles.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Much of the towns surrounding walls are also intact and we would often turn a corner to see a grand and imposing gateway framing a picture-perfect view of the skies and valley beyond.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel is a must see in the region and we were very lucky to see it in such glorious sunshine and relatively calm. It is noted for its crowds once the season starts in earnest.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

*Grockle bait. A phrase is taken from the south of England where ‘grockle’ refers to the migratory tourists that flood into the more popular coastal towns of Devon and Cornwall the minute the sun so much as peeps out from behind a cloud. ‘Grockle bait’ therefore refers to those products and/or stores which cater almost exclusively to said, tourists. Usually overpriced, under-appointed and thoroughly scowled upon by the natives. We saw the same brand of pâtés de Foie gras being marketed as produced locally in just about every town and village we visited…

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn Department, Midi-Pyrénées, France.

Special thanks to Amanda for her wonderful photographs and words for this post.

Château Labistoul (Our Accommodation) – Day 2

Château Labistoul – View as we approached our accommodation.

After collecting the hire car from Enterprise in Carcassonne we set off for the next leg of our trip.  We were heading two hours north to Campes close to Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn department, southern France.

Amanda was the first to try driving here and did a brilliant job.  We were lucky enough to be given a car with an inbuilt sat nav.  It also helped that we’d paid extra for an automatic car as it gave us one less thing to be worrying about..gears.

The journey from Carcassonne to Cordes-sure-Ciel was lovely, as was the weather.   We pulled over on the way to eat a quick sandwich overlooking vineyards and the dwindling view of the breathtaking Pyrenees we’d left behind.

We arrived at our accommodation around 5 pm and were met by one of our Dutch hosts, Marjo.  Marjo was really attentive, helping us with our luggage and getting us settled into our extremely spacious accommodation set in an 11th-century property.

Prior to arriving we’d booked to have dinner on the evening of our arrival, so while we were waiting we took the opportunity to walk around the property and take a few photos.

Dinner was delicious, unfortunately, the photos I’d taken were all blurred so I couldn’t add them.  At dinner, we also got to meet Jacques, Marjos’ husband who was equally attentive and great company. They’re a really lovely couple and helped make our stay a truly wonderful experience.

We spend two nights in this magical property and hope to return for longer as there’s so much to see in this beautiful area. I’ll be writing further posts about the other wonderful places we visited in this area sometime soon.

We paid €196 + taxes for the two of us for two nights, breakfast was included in that price. We paid an additional €25 each for our three-course meal that we had on the evening of our arrival.

Château Labistoul – Front View / Parking / Entrance

View of the separate rentable Gite situated next to Château Labistoul.

Château Labistoul – Side of building after coming through the main gates.

Wonderful Château Labistoul and the beautiful grounds surrounding the property.

Château Labistoul – View looking back to the side of the property & the gated entrance.

Château Labistoul – View of the entrances to both our private Living Room (door to the right) & Bedroom (left). Plus private Outdoor Seating Area.

Château Labistoul – Private Living Room with sofa bed and coffee & tea making facilities.

Château Labistoul – Bedroom With double doors leading out to the private outdoor Seating Area.

Château Labistoul – Same Bedroom but looking towards the Hall.

Château Labistoul – Private Bathroom leading onto Hall / Stairs / Bedroom & private Living Room.

Château Labistoul – The sink area in the Bathroom with slit window to the left of the sink.

Château Labistoul – Bathroom window is a small slit in the thick, stone wall.

Château Labistoul – Hall & Stairs from our rooms.
You go via the Hall to get to the Bedroom, private Living Room, private Bathroom & shared upstairs Dining Room.

Château Labistoul – Upstairs shared Dining Room.

Château Labistoul – Upstairs Dining Room with old loom, set right above our rooms. We weren’t disturbed by any noise during our stay.

Château Labistoul – Antique sideboard in the Dining Room.

Château Labistoul – Hall leading to Bedroom, private Living Room, private Bathroom, Stairs & double doors leading out to the back of the property.

Château Labistoul – Back view of the property. Double doors leading out from the Hall.

Château Labistoul – The beautiful grounds surrounding the property.

Château Labistoul – Beautiful Outdoor Seating / Dining Area / Courtyard.

Château Labistoul – The beautiful grounds surrounding the property.

Château Labistoul – Wall enclosing the outdoor Seating / Dining Area.

We booked via booking.com, see the following link.

https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/chateau-labistoul.en-gb.html?aid=311076;label=chateau-labistoul

This is the owners’ website:

http://www.chateaulabistoul.fr/new/index.php/en/

All photos are either the property of Amanda or moi.  I hope you enjoyed them.