So contrasting are the landscapes and so numerous the activities up for grabs here, including many for families, it's impossible to get bored in Tarn. Sunny and nonchalant, the Tarn valley lies in the heart of the so-called Midi Rose, the river nourishing the vineyards of Gaillac (don't look for the Gorges du Tarn here: they are in Lozère). To the east and south are the forests and lakes of the Black Mountains and Monts de Lacaune, foothills of the Massif Central. Albi, with fascinating, red-brick buildings, and Castres, with lovely corbelled houses practically overhanging the Agout River, are excellent starting points for excursions along the picturesque roads that wind from abbeys to medieval villages (Cordes-sur-Ciel, Monestiés, Sorèze). So bring both your swimsuit and your walking boots, and keep your energy up thanks to healthy peasant food that is heavy on the garlic and spices!