Venture to the land of d’Artagnan for picturesque medieval villages, glorious rolling countryside and an abundance of arts, crafts and festivals, not to mention heavenly food, wines and Armagnac.
1. Scenic Relaxation
Soak up the hills and vales of Gers– Gascony’s beautiful countryside, stretching from ‘the Tuscany of France’ in the north to the edge of the Pyrenees in the south. These dreamy landscapes offer the perfect setting for a spot of relaxation and reinvigoration.
2. Musketeer Magic
Follow in the footsteps of the legendary d’Artagnan, the most famous Gascon of them all, thanks largely to the books by Alexandre Dumas. A French Musketeer who served under Louis XIV, Charles de Batz de Castelmore d’Artagnan is commemorated with statues, a festival in his honour and a museum in his native village of Lupiac.
3. Time Travel
Travel in time to the heart of some stunning medieval villages, including six of the Plus Beaux Villages de France: Fourcès, La Romieu, Larressingle, Lavardens, Montréal-du-Gers and Sarrant… not to mention one of the Plus Beaux Détours de France: Lectoure.
4. Historic Haven
Discover a rich history through Gers-Gascony’s castles, abbeys, Gallo-Roman villas, and explore its religious heritage through sites such as Sainte-Marie d’Auch Cathedral and the collegiate church of La Romieu, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is part of the path of Santiago de Compostela.
5. Outdoor Adventures
Fill your lungs with all that fresh air while enjoying a whole host of outdoor activities, including fishing, golf, hiking, e-bike riding, canoeing, swimming, wakeboarding, sailing, horse riding, hot air ballooning… There is something guaranteed to entertain every type of adventure-seeker!
6. A Warm Welcome
Meet the locals and discover a lively, authentic culture in a land very much focused on well-being. Gascons love their corner of France passionately and are only too delighted to share it with visitors.
7. Festival Fever
Soak up the party atmosphere that reigns throughout the year! Gers-Gascony is home to internationally renowned festivals such as Jazz in Marciac and other popular events such as Cuivro Foliz in Fleurance. There are also village festivals, night-markets, meals in cellars and much, much more… you certainly won’t be short of things to do.
8. Art At Its Heart
Discover a countryside alive with art in all its various forms. You will find an abundance of crafts, street art, modern art, circuses, photography, cinema… the list goes on! Be sure to set aside time for a visit to the the Petit Louvre in Flaran’s Cistercian abbey, where you will find masterpieces by the likes of Dalí, Picasso, Monet, Renoir and Courbet, as well as an exhibition dedicated to the works of contemporary British artist Ken Paine.
9. Gastronomic Delights
Indulge your inner gourmand and savour the local produce, whether at the table of a Michelin-starred restaurant, relaxing in a homely inn, down on the farm or at one of the area’s many vibrant markets. Duck, Bigorre black pork, Lomagne white garlic, Lectoure melon, croustade (apple and Armagnac pie)… and other delicacies are sure to tempt you!
10. Raise a Glass
Explore the diversity of Gascony’s wines and brandies, from aperitif to digestif. Floc de Gascogne aperitifs, wines such as Saint Mont, Madiran, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Côtes de Gascogne, and glorious amber Armagnacs will make sure your meals are even more special.
From France Today magazine