About Midi-Pyrenees - Midi-Pyrenees
With great hot weather from April to October, the Midi-Pyrenees lies in the south west of France, between Aquitaine to the west and Languedoc-Roussillon to the east. It is a large region with a diverse and changing landscape from Aveyron’s villages and farmhouses built of local rock, to the scenic valleys and mountain areas of the Pyrenees in the south. A variety of tours and activities are available including thematic tours such as the “creator's tour” which retraces the footsteps of André Breton, Champollion and Toulouse-Lautrec. Or try the “most beautiful villages tour” which will take you from Rocamadour to St-Cirq-Lapopie and Cordes-sur-Ciel. For golf enthusiasts, try the Golf du Grand Rodez course offering exceptional views over the town of Rodez, or the 9 hole golfing centre at Golf des Roucous with its technical, hilly, tree-covered course.
Probably the best known city in the region is Toulouse, sitting geographically central in the region and surrounded by other notable towns and cities such as Albi, Rodez, Cahors, Montauban, Tarbes and Foix (the main ski resort via motorway A64). The Midi-Pyrenees of today finds itself divided between high-tech Toulouse with its aerospace industry among others, and the historic countryside with its traditional agricultural products.
The smaller but as interesting city of Albi is located on the River Tarn and home to the nearby 13th-century Palace of the Archbishop, now a museum containing a wonderful collection of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec who was born in the town. Neighboring the ever popular area of the Dordogne, the department of Lot has also established itself as a popular area for foreign buyers. Just south of Lot, the better kept secret of the department of Tarn is also an area with a diversity of landscape and culture, highly recommended for the savy investor. This less known region of France is named after one of the country's longest rivers, the Tarn, which rises in the high Cévennes and flows over 200 miles west.
Life in this part of south west France is generally more affordable than the south east and is as renowned for its wines and wonderful gastronomy. Local food specialties include many duck products such as foie gras, magret de canard and cassoulet. Wines include Bordeaux, Cahors and of course Gaillac. Many of the local vignerons (wine-growers) also take pride in their organic crop that has established itself as an equally good alternative to traditional French wines.
HOW TO GET THERE
By Air - The Midi-Pyrenees has four airports and Carcassone provides additional accessibility to the south east of the region. Toulouse-Blagnac Airport is just 6 miles from the centre of Toulouse. It is serviced by:
- British Air and Easy Jet from London Gatwick,
- FLYBE from Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton,
- BMI Baby from Cardiff or the East Midlands,
- BMI from Manchester, and
- Aer Lingus from Dublin.
- Rodez / Marcillac Airport is serviced by Ryanair from London Stansted
- Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées and Castres/Mazamet Airports are serviced daily by Air France connecting from Paris Orly Airport.
- Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport is located halfway between Lourdes and Tarbes, and just 45 minutes from the Hautes-Pyrénées ski resorts
- Brittany Ferries provides connections between Plymouth and Roscoff or Santander, Poole and Cherbourg, Portsmouth and Caen, Cherbourg or St. Malo.
- The HOVERSPEED provides service between Dover and Calais, Newhaven and Dieppe.
- P&O Ferries provides connection between Dover and Calais, Portsmouth and Caen or Bilbao, and Cherbourg and Le Havre.
- Travel by EUROSTAR from London Waterloo or Ashford, to Paris or Lille. Change for the French SNCF network (including the high speed TGV) to Toulouse and other towns in the Midi-Pyrenees.
- Many trains go daily to the Midi-Pyrénées. Two routes which are serviced by the TGV go from Paris to Toulouse, and Paris to Tarbes.