Located in the Occitanie region of southern France, the commune of Combefa is best known for the Chateau de Combefa, an Episcopal Summer Palace. The surrounding areas are rich in culture and history, you’ll find beautiful medieval villages and towns, remarkable gardens and locations which ooze natural beauty.
There are plenty of markets which take place in and near Combefa on a regular basis, one of which takes place on Saturday mornings in Cordes-sur-Ciel and is renowned for selling delicious meats and cheeses. There is also a market held every Friday morning in the local town of Carmaux which features about 150 traders and spans over three squares, as well as a market in St Antonin Noble Val which takes place every Sunday morning. It is wise to get there early as it is very popular.
The small village of Monestiés is another great place to visit. Just a five-minute drive from Combefa, Monestiés is officially listed as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’. Positioned alongside the Cérou River, this quaint village features shops, cafes and more, perfect for a lovely day trip out. Close by is a manmade lake, La Roucaire, where there are picnic and BBQ areas plus fitness tracks, swimming, boating and walking.
The nearby town of Carmaux has a rich history of coal mining and glass works with monuments throughout the town and the Musse D’Art du Vere has stunning exhibitions of glass at its very best. There is also the Musee of Mining where it is possible to go underground and experience what life must have been like.
Cordes-sur-Ciel is definitely worth visiting. This magnificent town is steeped in history and, within the upper town, there are some absolutely breathtaking medieval houses preserved through the ages as well as some lovely craft shops and artists’ galleries. Jardin de Paradis is a superbly scenic garden from which you can watch the world go by and enjoy light meals in the summer months.
If you’re looking to be amazed, head over to Albi, a town situated on the edge of the River Tarn. See the 285ft tower and huge walls of Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, the largest brick structure in the world when it was built in the 13th century. Just be wary when visiting, most restaurants, shops and museums are closed on Mondays.