19 walks around Toulouse

Balades autour de Toulouse

Are you in Toulouse and looking to explore the region for a day? Here are a few ideas for outings around Toulouse!

As the capital of the Occitanie region, Toulouse is a popular destination. Sunny and jovial, the Ville Rose is a trip that (re)puts a smile on everyone’s face. The Toulouse region also offers some great day-trips, so there’s something for everyone. From an African reserve to the sacred city of Lourdes, from medieval towns to the wine route, it’s hard to beat the diversity! Here are the 19 walks around Toulouse that Generation Voyage has selected for you!

1. African Safari

Balades autour de Toulouse : African Safari

Photo credit: Facebook – Zoo African Safari

📍 22 kilometers

🚗 By car: 25 minutes

Located in Plaisance-du-Touch, this zoo is one of the best outings around Toulouse for children. And for good reason: it’s famous for its African reserve, where you can observe some twenty animals in semi-liberty from the comfort of your car!

2. Albi

Vue sur Albi et sa cathédrale

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Nata Shilo com

📍 78 kilometers

🚗 By car: 55 minutes

🚆 By train: 1h10 by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷Sightseeing / Activities: Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, Sainte-Cécile Cathedral and city center, walks along the Tarn River, gastronomy

With its red-brick facades, Albi is a sleeping beauty that we love to wake up on the day of our visit. Although little-known, the city is one of the most captivating in the region, thanks in no small part to Sainte-Cécile Cathedral. A true landmark!

The cobbled streets of old Albi, with their half-timbered houses, are ideal for strolling, lunching on terraces and sampling local specialties such as cassoulet or magret. At the end of the day, a stroll or bike ride along the Tarn river will further enhance your appreciation of the town’s beauty.

3. Bouconne forest

Balades autour de Toulouse : forêt de Bouconne

Photo credit: Instagram – optiqueman

📍 23 kilometers

🚗 By car: 35 minutes

📷 Things to see and do: hiking, leisure center, sports activities

The green lung of the Toulouse region offers a wide range of activities for young and old, thanks to its leisure park. And for children’s birthdays, you can even go on a treasure hunt!

There’s plenty of hiking on marked trails on this nature tour of Toulouse.

4. Rieux-Volvestre

Cité épiscopale de Rieux-Volvestre

Photo credit: Instagram – dbanon

📍 49 kilometers

🚗 By car: 45 minutes

📷Sightseeing / activities: the Gaulish Village, historic center, local produce tasting on Sunday mornings

Rieux-Volvestre is a must-see outing around Toulouse. With its cathedral, half-timbered and stone houses, this episcopal city has literally remained in the year 1500. Here, you’ll love walking through the narrow streets. And if you’re here on a Sunday morning, you’ll find that many of the local producers offer tastings of their products at the market!

Finally, to round off the day, enjoy a stroll along the Arize river. It’s a great vantage point from which to take in the village’s architecture.

Are you with children or an Asterix fan? Then head for Le Village Gaulois, the only one of its kind in Europe!

5. Vineyard walks around Fronton

Vignobles à Fronton

Photo credit: Facebook – Office de Tourisme du Vignoble de Fronton

📍 33 kilometers

🚗 By car: 40 minutes

📷 Things to see/do: hiking, vineyards and wine tasting

Wine lovers will love this visit near Toulouse! The village of Fronton is surrounded by numerous vineyards. You can hike from vineyard to vineyard. This is definitely the best way to see the sights and enjoy wine tasting after a long walk!

6. Gaillac wine route

Gaillac dans le Tarn

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Nika Art

📍 58 kilometers

🚗 By car: 45 minutes

📷 Things to see / to do: Lisle-sur-Tarn, Vineyards and wine tasting

The Gaillac wine route is the region’s most famous, and takes in some beautiful villages, including Lisle-sur-Tarn, where you can stop to visit the superb old town.

There are many vineyards around Gaillac, offering some of France’s finest red wine tastings. To your taste buds, in moderation of course!

7. Carcassonne

Balades autour de Toulouse : Carcassonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – marlys grisson

📍 93 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h10

🚆 By train: 42 minutes by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷Sightseeing: Comtal city and château, Pont Vieux bridge, gastronomy

The Cité de Carcassonne is one of the region’s most famous landmarks. The fortifications are very old, dating back to Gallo-Roman times. You can feel the weight of history as you wander through the bowels of this beautiful city. Although restored in the 19th century, the town retains its original authenticity.

The château comtal, a pillar of Carcassonne’s defense, and the Pont vieux, are two fine testimonies to history that you can visit without moderation. After long walks, you’ll be tempted to sample the local gastronomy, such as Carcassonne cassoulet or fougasse aux Fritons. There’s no better way to round off a wonderful stroll around Toulouse!

8. Montolieu and the four castles of Lastours

Châteaux de Lastours

Photo credit: Shutterstock – G.J. Jurjens

📍 88 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h15 (The castles are half an hour’s drive from Montolieu)

📷Sightseeing / Activities: town center, Châteaux de Lastours

This charming medieval village is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Its narrow, winding streets are the perfect place to explore old houses, the church, local stores and restaurants.

After Montolieu, you can visit the four castles of Lastours, some twenty kilometers away. These are the finest examples of the Cathar castles, a Christian heresy eradicated by the Albigensian crusade between 1209 and 1229.

9. Auch

Auch et sa cathédrale vue du ciel

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Iakov Filimonov

📍 78 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h15

🚆 By train: 1h45 by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷Sightseeing: cathedral and historic center, monumental staircase, museums

This visit around Toulouse is a pleasant surprise in the South-West. The prefecture of the Gers, with its imposing Sainte-Marie cathedral, is a wonderful place to discover. Its historic center is packed with treasures, including half-timbered houses and the monumental 374-step staircase! A good lunch on the terrace is a welcome relief after so much effort.

Auch is home to a number of museums, as diverse as one dedicated to the French Resistance and another to the Americas. Enough to enliven those in search of culture.

Medieval cities

10. Foix

Foix, Ariège

Photo credit: Shutterstock – RobArt Photo

📍 85 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h05

🚆 By train: 1h30 by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷 Things to see and do: castle, old town, Ariège museum, Labouiche underground river

Situated in the heart of the Ariège region, Foix is a beautiful medieval city, of which the château is the finest testimony. A refuge for the persecuted Cathars, it is the symbol of the town and a visit not to be missed. The old town is full of beautiful streets and houses, which can be enjoyed over lunch on the terrace of one of the many local restaurants in the center.

For those who want to get to know the region a little better, visit the Musée de l’Ariège. Finally, to make your visit around Toulouse even more original, take a trip to the Labouiche underground river, 6 kilometers from Foix, an exceptional prehistoric site!

11. Montségur

Château de Montségur

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Colibri Vision

📍 116 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h30

📷 Things to see and do: Cathar castle, village, Saint-Barthélemy massif

Although it’s possible to visit both Foix and Montségur on the same day, we’ve chosen to make this village a walk around Toulouse in its own right. Montségur is the capital of Catharism, well represented by its imposing castle, which is a real trek to visit.

Don’t miss the Saint-Barthélémy massif nature reserve, offering fabulous mountain scenery, including a lake. Finally, you can discover this charming little village in the Ariège region by meeting the locals.

The Canal du Midi

12. Canal du Midi source villages

Village de Revel en Haute Garonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Simon Bigar

📍 58 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h05

📷 Things to see and do: Sorèze village, Revel and Saint-Félix-Lauragais, Bassin de Saint-Ferréol

The Canal du Midi is the work of Pierre-Paul Riquet, to whom we owe the genius of its construction. He devised an ingenious system for diverting the Alzeau stream, located near the source villages, to supply the canal with water via the Saint-Ferréol basin.

The reason why Sorèze, Revel and Saint-Félix-Lauragais are called villages sources du canal is because they border the basin. These three villages are typical of the region, and their old centers are absolutely magnificent. You’ll love getting lost in the maze of winding streets. You can also enjoy fine weather at the basin, with swimming and sporting activities.

13. Canal cruise

Balades autour de Toulouse : Castelnaudary

Photo credit: Shutterstock – cynoclub

📍 43 kilometers (Port-Lauragais) / 60 kilometers (Castelnaudary)

🚗 By car: 34 minutes (Port-Lauragais) / 48 minutes (Castelnaudary)

The best way to admire the canal’s surroundings is to take a cruise. There are plenty of departure points, even in Toulouse. However, we recommend cruises from Port-Lauragais and Castelnaudary.

In any case, choose a cruise that takes you over a canal bridge, because you won’t be doing it again anytime soon!

14. Green cycling route

Voie verte

Photo credit: Shutterstock – BrunoK1

An original way to cycle around Toulouse is to take the Canal du Midi greenway. You can rent bicycles in Toulouse and follow the canal all the way to Sète, its end point. If you’ve already made it as far as Port-Lauragais or Castelnaudary, you’ve done some pedaling!

15. Canoeing the Aveyron gorges at Saint-Antonin Noble-Val

Les Gorges de l'Aveyron

Photo credit: Instagram – caussesetgorgesdelaveyron

📍 94 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h20

📷 Things to see and do: historic center, canoeing, hiking

Located in the heart of the Aveyron Gorges, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val is a magnificent medieval village dating back thirteen centuries. Its cobbled streets are a joy to visit and its location along the Aveyron makes it a most charming village.

For those with time on their hands, the Aveyron Gorges are a great place for hiking. However, the city’s main sporting activity is canoeing, for all levels. A real moment of escape for this visit around Toulouse!

16. Ax-les-Thermes

Ax-les-Thermes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Martin Silva Cosentino

📍 130 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h40

🚆 By train: 2h10 by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷 Things to see and do: thermal baths and spas, Vierge rock, hiking, casino

This tour around Toulouse is designed above all for those who love thermal baths and spas. Ax-les-Thermes is renowned for its hot springs and numerous wellness centers where you can easily spend the day.

The Rocher de la Vierge, a hilltop dungeon accessible after a hike, offers a beautiful view of the town.

Sacred places

All three are on the route to Santiago de Compostela.

17. Moissac

Abbaye Saint-Pierre, Moissac

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Anibal Trejo

📍 71 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h

🚆 By train: 1h by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷Sightseeing: Saint-Pierre abbey, canal bridge, chasselas tasting

The small village of Moissac owes its renown to pilgrims and the Abbey of Saint-Pierre. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela, it is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved abbeys in France. Not to be missed.

After a stroll through the pretty town center and a tasting of chasselas, the local grape, in bunches or in wine, you can admire the superb canal bridge. A bridge built exclusively to carry boats across the Garonne! A technical feat for its time, the bridge dates back to 1845.

18. Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

Photo credit: Shutterstock – milosk50

📍 113 kilometers

🚗 By car: 1h20

📷 Things to see and do: cathedral, Gargas caves

Its immense bell tower can be seen in the distance. The cathedral of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges is an imposing sight, eclipsing the rest of the village in beauty, size and sacredness. This stopover on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela is an opportunity to discover one of the region’s masterpieces of religious architecture. Those with time to spare can visit the Gargas caves, close to the village.

19. Lourdes

Lourdes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Oscity

📍 174 kilometers

🚗 By car: 2h

🚆 By train: 2h by TER from Toulouse Matabiau

📷 Things to see and do: Massabelle sanctuary and grotto, old town, Pic de Jer funicular railway

Our selection concludes with a city that’s a long way off, but which is the most sacred of Toulouse’s visits. Legend has it that it was in Lourdes that Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary in 1858 in the Massabelle grotto. Since then, Lourdes and the grotto have become places of pilgrimage where the infirm go in search of miracles.

But Lourdes also boasts a beautiful old town and a sublime cathedral that can be visited without moderation. Another original feature of the town is the funicular railway that takes you to the summit of the Pic du Jer. A guaranteed change of scenery and a magnificent view from the top!