The days may be getting shorter and the nights longer, but there’s still plenty of things to do in Gascony in Autumn and Winter, there's no need to get the winter blues just yet – your perfect holiday in picturesque Gascony awaits…
With its fabulous food, unspoilt countryside and an unparalleled variety of things to see and do – Gascony is the perfect location for a break later in the year. You can beat the tourist rush of the summer months (although Gascony generally stays a lot quieter than other areas of France due to its relatively low-profile), and still enjoy excellent mild weather throughout the autumn months, as well as a jovial winter atmosphere, with markets, festive events and especially the option to ski in the beautiful Pyrenees later in the season.
Things to do in Gascony in the autumn and winter
Enjoy a spot of Gascon cuisine
Over many years, Gascony has developed quite a reputation for its distinctive cuisine and local produce. The flavours are generally rich and traditional, with hearty wines, its signature brandy Armagnac, gently-reared tender red meat, really tasty chicken, the famous Toulouse Sausage, ‘Cassoulet’, and a vast range of patés and ‘charcuterie’.However, beyond the icons of the region such as ‘foie gras’ and ‘magret de canard’, there’s plenty of other options to explore. Learn more about Gascony’s food scene here.
Our 2021 Gascon restaurant recommandations :
· Drôles d’Oiseaux in Plieux
Explore Gascony on foot or by bike
With its bountiful and bucolic landscapes, Gascony is filled with walking and cycle trails. You can either choose your own routes to explore the countryside or follow some of the more well-trodden paths! In the earlier autumn months, you can explore the Pyrenees before the snow sets in. What better way to spend the colder months than wrapped up warm and enjoying the underfoot crunching of leaves?
Another option for cycling holidays – while you can bring your own bikes with you on holiday to Gascony, perhaps an easier alternative would be to partner with our associates over at Gascogne Bike Hire – a great business which we highly recommend, and that can deliver its rental bikes to our beautiful Simply Gascony holiday homes, as well as offering a programme of fun and interesting tours and excursions, such as GBH’s Wine Tasting & Cycling Tours. Find out more here.
Discover Gascony’s wide variety of fascinating market towns
Thanks to its wonderful warm climate, rich history and cultural diversity, Gascony is home to many beautiful villages and towns, each with their own distinctive character and unique past. From Condom to Fleurance, Nerac to Lectoure – we’ve rounded up some of the best market towns in Gascony (many of them fascinating mediaeval ‘bastides’) that are must-sees when in this glorious area of South West France.
A special Christmas treat…
In December, you may be fortunate enough to see the Hailhe de Nadau, which is the pagan tradition of Chalosse, where fires were originally lit from hill to hill on Christmas Eve. It became customary in certain villages and neighbourhoods to build a fire as a ritual of protection, and there are many theories about its origins - the fire lit by the shepherds of Bethlehem to warm the infant Jesus, a reminder of the star heralding his birth or perhaps the pagan festival of the sun, celebrated during the winter solstice. Today the tradition continues in many Gascon towns throughout the month – but more for the festive joy of coming together around a bonfire in the warmth with a glass of mulled wine than as ritual of protection!
Travel to and from France is becoming easier month by month, but there may still be difficulties in 2022. For the future, we guarantee that if you have to cancel your booking because of official government travel restrictions, and if you subsequently rebook the same or a similar SG property, then no cancellation or other costs will be charged. You will find a copy of this Contract on our Rental Agreements page.