FRANCE  |  Midi-Pyrénées, France Travel Guide
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Midi-Pyrénées , France


The Midi-Pyrénées region is a tiny universe of contrasts. It is a world of fertile farmland and rural outposts, sprinkled generously with chic and happening cities. It is a land of mountains and valleys, including some of Europe’s highest peaks. It is a place for sinfully divine cuisine, inexpensive meals that last for three hours with five courses. There are some of France’s most historically significant sites here, alongside a thriving aerospace industry. The region’s borders touch both Spain and the principality of Andorra.

To spend time in the Midi-Pyrénées is to discover endless riches. The region includes 27 towns with the prestigious and sought-after Most Beautiful French Villages designation, and for good reason. While the capital city of Toulouse is packed with museums, attractions and people, there are several charming smaller towns that are alluring. Rodez has a remarkable cathedral, with an expansive produce market in its shadows. Its medieval streets are lined with boutiques and cafés. Cahors is a hub of wine-making, and it features a dramatic medieval bridge with three towers. Tarbes is no Paris, to be sure, but its location at the foot of the Pyrenees allows for great daytrips and striking views of snowcapped peaks.

One of the world’s most significant religious pilgrimage destinations, Lourdes, draws thousands daily to the cave where a young girl claimed to have visions of the Virgin Mary. There are wonderful thermal spa villages, such as Argèles-Gazost and Ax-les-Thermes, allowing for mountain discoveries combined with relaxing treatments.


Destinations in Midi-Pyrénées (5)

  • Cahors, France

    Cahors is a delightful medieval city in the heart of wine country. It is actually tucked into a bend of the Lot River, almost entirely surrounded by water. And fittingly, its most memorable landmark is the Valentré bridge,...

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  • Foix, France

    Foix is a small city, practically a village, yet important as the capital of France's picturesque, albeit sparsely populated, Ariège department. It is also, in many ways, the gateway to the Pyrénées, situated smack in the midst...

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  • Rodez, France

    Rodez is a veritable surprise, situated smack in the middle of the mountains. It is a tiny city, yet unexpectedly urban, with superb shopping and dinning. Its centerpiece is its stunning cathedral that features a 250-foot-high...

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  • Tarbes, France

    One would be hard-pressed to find a better base than Tarbes for exploring the Pyrenees. While the city itself is drab and uninspiring, it is right at the foot of the mountain range. The second-largest city in the region, it is a short distance...

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  • Toulouse, France

    Toulouse’s Place du Capitole serves as a hub for this diverse city. Not simply a government center, the square out front of the capitol building hosts an enormous market. Hotels, shops and cafés are situated along the rim of the...

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