Digital detox holidays for the whole family in the Tarn, South-West France
It has been estimated that children spend an average of thirty-two hours a week glued to their electronic screens*. Additionally 67% of parents admitted that technology is having a detrimental effect on their relationship with their child.
The Tarn department in South-West France offers the perfect backdrop for a ‘digital detox’ holiday, home to a dramatic landscape and a variety of activities designed to keep the whole family happy during the school holidays. From canyoning down the gorges of the Montagne Noire to exploring the mysterious stones of Sidobre by horseback, the Tarn offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits all set within beautiful unspoilt surroundings.
North of the Montagne Noire in the Haut Languedoc Regional Park lies a mysterious area called Sidobre, home to strange rock formations caused by a stream of molten magma three hundred years ago. Today Sidobre separates the valleys of the Rivers Agout and Thore and is the largest granite plateau in Europe. The area is a natural playground for children and adults alike with miles of clearly signposted trails, making it easy to roam through the forest, cascades and fascinating stones. Take photos hanging off the Peyro Clabado, a 780 ton rock of massive granite perfectly balanced on a rock of only 1 m² or marvel at the floating stones on Le Lac du Merle.
Horse riding in Sidobre – located in the heart of Sidobre, Les Ecuries de la Sabatarié offers equestrian weekends perfect for families. Staying in either a yurt or the farm gîte, families will explore the mysterious area of Sidobre over the course of two days with a certified equestrian tour guide. Prices start from £137 approx (€160) per person for the weekend, including accommodation in a yurt, meals and horse-riding (www.1gite-cheval-midi-pyrenees.fr ; +33 (0) 5 63 74 51 77).
The Montagne Noire
The Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) is an impressive mountain range spanning across almost 100km of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Park, separating the southern Tarn from northern Languedoc. Whilst small villages are scattered throughout the mountain, it is largely uninhabited and much of it is protected parkland, sheltering deer, wild boar, and countless birds. Home to forested peaks, deep canyons and impressive mountain lakes, this unspoilt area offers a range of outdoor pursuits.
Canyoning and climbing –Yannick, a certified climbing and canyon guide with 20 years of experience offers canyoning and rock climbing through the magnificent gorges of the Montagne Noire. Prices start from £30 approx (€35) per person for a morning of canyoning through the Gorges du Banquet lasting a total duration of two hours and 30 minutes. Canyoning tours are available from April to end of October and operate on a beginner’s level basis. A half day of rock climbing starts from £17 approx (€20) per person and a full day starts from £30 approx (€35) per person (www.axecime-canyon.com ; + 33 (0) 6 08 42 27 13).
Canoeing along the River Tarn
From the town of Trébas-les-Bains, the River Tarn meanders peacefully for 17.5km through some of the Tarn’s hidden treasures. A canoeing trip on the Tarn is the ideal family outing, with many delightful places to stop en route including the fairy-tale like town of Ambialet. Here, the river makes a three kilometre loop around the town, shaping the valley into an impressive rocky peninsula and creating the allusion that Ambialet is itself an island in the middle of the Tarn countryside.
Locanoë in Trebas-les-Bains offers canoe-kayak hire with qualified guides, starting from £12 approx (€14) per person for half a day (www.canoekayaktarn.com ; +33 (0) 5 63 55 25 44).
The nearest airport to the Tarn is Toulouse Blagnac.
- Flights with easyJet depart four times a day during the summer months and start from £104.44 for a return journey.
- Flights with British Airways depart four times a day during the summer months and start from £159 for a return journey.
For more information on family activities in the Tarn please visit Le Tarn Tourisme, www.tourisme-tarn.com/en/tarn/en
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*According to a report published by leading parenting website MyFamilyClub in June 2016.
Jenna Osborne, P1 Communications – Tel +44(0)20 8614 7505 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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