Saturday, June 11, 2011

Midi-Pyrénées - Visit France

Located in south-west France, halfway
between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean,
Midi-Pyrénées is the largest French region. The
region extends from the majestic Pyrénées to
the wooded hills of the Dordogne and from
Gascony to the Gorges du Tarn.

5 reasons to visit Midi-Pyrénées & Toulouse

>A stunning mixture of landscapes
The region boasts four Regional Nature Parks, the Pyrenees National Park with the Cirque de Gavarnie as the star attraction.
>Strokes of genius
The Millau Viaduct, the longest and highest bridge in the world, the Observatory of the Pic du Midi, the highest scientific observatory open to the public in Europe, the Airbus industry in Toulouse with the A380 as the largest civil aircraft, and the Canal du Midi built in the 17th century.
>A region full of history
The prehistoric Niaux caves and the mysterious Templar villages; Famous pilgrimage destinations including Lourdes, the villages of Conques and Moissac.
>A rich cultural heritage
Toulouse, land of history, including a unique pastel trade architecture; Albi, the hometown of Toulouse-Lautrec; Figeac and its Champollion Museum dedicated to the history of writing; the Valentré bridge in Cahors; the artists in St Cirq Lapopie; the famous ‘Jazz in Marciac’ festival…
>A great feast for food
Besides foie gras and truffles, world renowned in their own right, the regional gastronomy is based on local products, most of them labelled “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” (a guarantee of the origin) such as Roquefort cheese, Quercy lamb, Lautrec garlic, Toulouse sausage.

The Great Sites in the Midi-Pyrénées: nature in all its beauty
Ready for a journey to the heart of the Great Sites? If you have artistic leanings, you will succumb to the charm of Marciac, Cordes sur Ciel and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. These three historic villages are peopled with painters, sculptors and even jazzmen. No less welcoming, try the gentle lifestyle in the towns of Toulouse, Albi, Cahors and Auch. It is indeed fairly common to see the city-dwellers strolling in the sun between two city appointments. If it's nature you're looking for, you can fill up with fresh air in the Pyrénées National Park. On the programme: pine forests, waterfalls, high prairies and lakes at high altitude between cirque de Gavarnie and Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne. A breath of fresh, pure air that you will also find in Sorèze, Revel and St-Ferréol, at the sources of the Canal du Midi.

But if it's emotions you want, head for the Pic du Midi and the Millau Viaduct. Their size is enough to make you giddy: the first is not far off 3000 metres in altitude and the second stretches 343 metres above the Tarn. Conques and Moissac are also record breakers: this time for longevity. For over 1000 years now, walkers have stopped here on the road to Santiago de Compostela. This pilgrimage combines in the region with that of Lourdes and Rocamadour. The two towns are well known for their spiritual yet cosmopolitan atmosphere. Finally, be prepared to be taken back in time: the Ariège Collection will transport you from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, while Figeac and its hieroglyphics will take you back to the age of the Pharaohs. A journey through space and time!

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