Family Holidays in Gascony: Things to see and do
Grandparents, parents and children will all really enjoy a holiday in Gascony, this beautiful, welcoming and unspoilt part of South West France. From a family point of view (and we have children and grandchildren so we know!) Gascony offers fun, interest, relaxation and exercise. And Gascony is famous for that special magical quality called 'Bien-Etre' ('Well Being') which means that after a holiday in Gascony you and your family will return home restored, refreshed, and reinvigorated!
WHAT MAKES GASCONY SO SPECIAL?
Firstly, Gascony is very easy to reach from the UK: there are regular, cheap flights (1.5 hours) to Toulouse or Bordeaux, fast trains from London, or have an enjoyable drive across France...
There's very little traffic, so no traffic jams! We have perhaps the lowest air, light and noise pollution in Europe, so there are brilliant, starry night skies and a wonderful clear light by day - and it's usually warm from June to September...
The countryside is beautiful. Rolling hills, old oak woods and farmland. Cypress trees and vineyards. Sunflowers and garlic. And the majestic Pyrenees mountains in the background...
There aren't many people living here and the Gascons are very courteous and welcoming - and delighted if you can manage a few words in French when you go shopping in the abundant fresh food markets found in every local town: you can taste the difference!
Gascony is rich in history. This is the land of Eleanor of Aquitaine and mediaeval troubadours, of The 100 Years War and The Black Prince, of D'Artagnan and The Three Musketeers, of ancient castles, churches and 'bastide' villages, of the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela...
There is real pleasure in going into the village to buy fresh-baked baguettes or croissants from the Boulangerie or to have a leisurely glass of local vin rosé in the café - time seems to move slowly and there is a deep sense of tranquillity; relax in the warm sunshine and watch the world go gently by...
But if you want to be more energetic, there's lots to do for all ages, for example:
Your Simply Gascony house will typically have a very good swimming pool. Also, there are lots of artificial lakes (base de loisirs) - with swimming, water slides, children's pools, sandy beaches, canoeing, pedal boating, playgrounds, lifeguards and picnic areas. And the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast are about 2.5 hours' drive from Auch...
WALKING, HIKING, CYCLING.
3000kms of special paths, including parts of the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela. www.tourisme-gers.com
Some of our properties have tennis courts and practically every village in Gascony has an excellent public court.
There are riding centres all over Gascony. www.fermedesgravelines.fr
FOOD, WINE, ARMAGNAC AND MARKETS.
Gascony is famous for all of these and there is lots to taste and see; really fresh food from artisan producers and authentic country wines, with the noble Armagnac as the jewel in the crown. www.vins.tourisme-gers.com
FESTIVALS AND VILLAGE FETES.
Practically every village in Gascony hosts its own events during the summer. www.festival.tourisme-gers.com
TREE TOP WALKING.
Tree top walking on ropes and bridges near Auch. www.levertenlair.com
Fishing on rivers and lakes. www.gers-peche.com
Water Sports, such as sailing, canoeing, and rafting. www.gascogne-navigation.com
Boating on the rivers or on the great 'Canal des Deux Mers' which connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. www.canaldumidi.com
HOT AIR BALLONING.
Experience a balloon flight over the countryside of Gascony. www.montgolfieres-gascogne.fr
There are golf courses to suit all standards. www.golf-auch-embats.com
SPAS AND THERMAL RESORTS.
Spas and Thermal Resorts. www.thermes.tourisme-gers.com
And some fascinating places to visit, for example:
A fascinating medieval walled village in excellent condition with nearby a display of weapons used in that period - trebuchets, battering rams, siege towers, all set up like a 13th century camp. See fascinating re-creations and demonstrations of these medieval weapons, as well as other crafts - blacksmith, stone masons, rope makers, carpenters. www.larressingle.free.fr
A mediaeval village on one of the pilgrim routes, with a beautiful church and very fine cloisters, plus the famous statues of 'Angeline's Cats' all around the village square... www.la-romieu.com
A 'bastide' village full of wonderful buildings, a 'recreated' primary school from the 1900s with goose feather pens and bottles of ink, and an annual garlic festival... www.mairie-st-clar.com
The ancient (and modern) capital of Gascony, situated in the centre of the department of 'Le Gers', has a famous cathedral and an enormous statue of D'Artagnan, and narrow winding mediaeval streets full of cafés, bars, restaurants and shops... www.auch-tourisme.com
The majestic Pyrenees are about a 2.5 hours' drive to the South of most of our Simply Gascony properties - a fantastic day out!
For another great day out, visit Toulouse or Bordeaux - the 'Gateways to Gascony' - two of the most civilized cities in Europe and both within about 1-2 hours' drive from Auch.
Book a holiday to remember with Simply Gascony:
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