Rendez-vous in Midi-Pyrénées
Millau Viaduct, the Cirque de Gavarnie, Rocamadour…: Midi-Pyrénées boasts more than 20 world-famous Great Tourist Sites of outstanding interest in a region that takes up much of Southwest France. Sun-kissed, endearing and a treat for foodies, the region’s way of life and beautiful countryside will bowl you over!
Essential, unmissable, must-sees! These are the words that come to mind when describing the Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées, starting with the region’s capital of Toulouse in all its red-brick finery, a city renowned for itsquality of life.
The Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées: a concentration of France’s wealth of interest
Here, you will also find great man-made structures unrivalled anywhere in the world (Millau Viaduct, Pic du Midi astronomical observatory), medieval gems (Cordes sur Ciel, Rocamadour, Saint Cirq-Lapopie), Unesco World Heritage Sites (Albi and its Cité Épiscopale, the Canal du Midi) and wonders of nature (Cirque de Gavarnie, Pont d’Espagne).
Together, the Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées make up a concentration of the wealth of interest France has to offer visitors.
An astounding and unspoilt heritage
All around the Great Sites, châteaux, gorgeous villages, ‘bastide’ towns, Templar cities, prehistoric painted caves, and fine churches, cathedrals and abbeys are just waiting to be discovered by the curious traveller: Midi-Pyrénées boasts a heritage of infinite diversity, unspoilt and cherished, dating chiefly from Prehistory, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Traversed by the three main routes of the St James's Way pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela, the region also bears the scars of the crusade against the Cathars, symbolised by the mighty Montségur Castle in Ariège.
An unspoilt destination for a holiday in the Great Outdoors
All around you stretches countryside of breathtaking beauty you won’t forget in a hurry. Midi-Pyrénées gives you four regional nature parks and the never-ending spectacle of beautiful landscapes: pastoral mountains, rolling countryside dotted with valleys, crystal-clear lakes and rivers, and extraordinary places such as the Tarn Gorge and the Dordogne Valley.
In the south, the region butts up against the Pyrenees, whose 3,000-metre peaks form a line along the border with Spain.
This is a destination where hiking, cycling, white-water sports and skiing (in winter, in the Pyrenees), are in their element. And with some of France’s finest canals and rivers, including the Canal du Midi, making up one of the largest networks of waterways in southern Europe, river tourism is becoming increasingly popular.
And Midi-Pyrénées is also France’s fourth biggest spa region. The 17 thermal-water spas here offer stunning surroundings in which to relax and soak up the pampering pleasures of thermal spa well-being. No surprise, then, that Midi-Pyrénées is home to Europe’s largest collection of recreation spas.
A host of festivals and museums
When it comes to culture and festivities, Midi-Pyrénées boasts almost 200 festivals a year, celebrating music, film, photography, astronomy and more… Jazz in Marciac, Tempo Latino in Vic-Fezensac, the Sylvanès Festival of Religious Music and the Rio Loco festival in Toulouse are just a few examples of the region's world-famous festivals.
You can also visit any of the 180 museums that play their part in Midi-Pyrénées' cultural reputation around the world. Some of them, such as the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, Musée Pierre Soulages à Rodez, Musée Ingres in Montauban, Musée Champollion in Figeac and the Abattoirs centre for modern and contemporary art in Toulouse, are members of the prestigious club of 'Grands Musées de France'.
Gastronomy and crafts: fruits of a distinctive terroir
It’s worth coming to Midi-Pyrénées for the food and wine alone. The region is the home of superior produce that has a reputation far beyond France, such as foie gras, Quercy black truffles, Roquefort, saffron, Gascon Noir pork and more…
Our reputation for gastronomy reaches its peak with the Michelin-starred chefs, from young, bold talents to outstanding figures distinguished with three stars, like Michel Bras in Laguiole.
Midi-Pyrénées produces top-quality wines from vineyards such as Cahors, Gaillac, Madiran, Marcillac and Fronton, and not forgetting the prestigious Armagnac produced in Gascony, the homeland of the musketeer D'Artagnan.
Our craft tradition stands out with unique hand-made goods such at Laguiole knives and Millau gloves, today in demand from the world’s top fashion houses.