The outdoor nature of this part of the Tarn in the west of France means there’s no end to the activities on offer just beyond the gates of La Durantie. Our Concierge team are also on hand to help you find activities that you might be interested in, and also help you make any bookings. Below is a list of the sorts of activities on offer:
Shop for fresh produce and delicious deli foods at weekly markets in surrounding villages, and take the family to the huge Christmas markets in Toulouse and other large towns, or the spring ‘Mardi Gras’ carnivals and fun fairs. Let your hair down at countless fêtes that celebrate everything from the wine harvest to sausages and chestnuts. There’s no end of fun and cultural gatherings throughout the year.
As one of France’s top culinary regions, the south west of France is alive with food culture. Market stalls are piled high with the freshest of vegetables and fruit, cheeses and exotic meats. And there are many fêtes devoted to food - such as the Labenque Truffle Market. For those with a passion for cooking, why not sign up for one of the many cooking courses and culinary tours - organised by the Concierge at Durantie.
Gaillac is one of France’s première wine regions, offering an endless array of wine tasting opportunities. If you prefer not to venture out on your own, the Concierge can organise guided tours of the surrounding domains. In fact, the château's own vineyards will soon be springing back to life, and owners will be invited to lease and then enjoy the wine from their own row of vines.
Even in the remotest parts of France, you’ll find a healthy funding for, and interest in, the arts. Local concerts in pretty churches and ‘vernissages’ (gallery openings) for local artists occur all year round, in even the smallest villages. Further afield, you’ll find world-class music, galleries and museums in Toulouse and Albi, as well as all sorts of fascinating tours of towns, villages and historic buildings.
You’ll never run out of great ways to keep the kids occupied (and exhausted!) - from ‘adventure parks’ full of jungle tightropes and climbing nets, to paint balling, water-parks, bike trails, go-karting and child-friendly (and very interactive) aquariums and zoos. That’s on top of the basic stable of activities such as river canoeing, swimming in lakes, walking and biking, horse riding, skiing and tennis.
Tennis is well catered for at the château itself, and a number of superb golf courses are not far from La Durantie. But the dominant sport in the south west of France has to be rugby, with Toulouse providing one of the nation’s top teams, playing host to world-class rugby at the famous ‘Stade Toulousain’ - which is an easy train ride away or 50 minutes by car.
There’s nothing quite like canoeing down one of the region’s crystal-clear rivers to truly feel connected to nature. Canoeing down the Gorges du Tarn is particularly spectacular. Relatively gentle rapids make this something the whole family can enjoy, and you can combine it with lunch in a riverside village. Head for one of the regions lakes (such as Lac de Pareloup) and you’ll find sailing, wind-surfing and water-skiing.
The gorgeous patchwork of fields, vines and woods is best appreciated from the air. To that end, we can help you organise a trip over the area in a small plane from a local airstrip - on a clear day, you can see the snow-capped Pyrénées. For a slightly more tranquil ride, why not try a hot air balloon? And for the adventurous, paragliding and parachuting are only a few hours’ drive away.
For those looking for a motorised adrenaline rush, you’ll find quad biking, motor biking and even go-kart racing all within easy reach of Durantie. Empty mountain roads and miles of forest and fields make this the perfect place to truly escape. The go-karting tracks close by are also great fun - get a group together on a warm summer evening and combine a few races with a pizza.
There’s something about the landscape surrounding the château that impels you to just get out there and experience it. Miles of walking, jogging and biking trails mean it’s easy to do just that - spend an hour, a morning or a whole day exploring the area and taking in the magnificent views. There is also excellent mountain biking and rock climbing on offer or, for the more sedate, superb bird watching.
The Pyrénées are only a few hours’ drive away and offer terrific skiing and snowboarding slopes for all levels of ability. The resorts, on both the French and Spanish sides of the border, also offer hot springs (a Pyrénéan speciality). Our Concierge can help you find the right accommodation for you, and help you book your ski passes. Should you be drawn to the Alps, they’re only half-a-day’s drive away.
There are three riding clubs within a 10km radius of La Durantie, and this area is perfect for horse riding - with mile upon mile of forest paths, traffic-free roads and open fields. Should you want to keep your own horse, there are privately-run stables just 500m from the château, offering stabling with a sand school and lunging ring. For all horse enthusiasts, there are regular riding competitions held throughout this area.
The south west of France is an angler’s paradise, with scores of rivers and lakes brimming with a wide variety of fish. Pick up a picnic from the Bistro at the château, and spend the day in the dappled shade of one of the many tree-lined rivers. Our Concierge can also put you in touch with one of the local fishing clubs - should you want to combine fishing with a little socialising.