Your stay in Midi-Pyrénées, from Conques, the Benedictine abbey watching over the Aveyron, to Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the imposing cathedral nesting at the foot of the Pyrenees, will be your chance to tour a region bathed in softness and serenity.
Majestic Rodez cathedral carves its outline between the blue of the sky and that of the mountains. The impressive Pic du Midi, the forward stronghold of the Pyrenean mountain range, contemplates the lowlands beneath. In the old Tarn village of Puylaurens, one can see the ridge that stretches from the Catalan Canigou Mountain to the Béarn Mountains.
Your stay in Midi-Pyrénées will be an opportunity to abandon yourself to emotion... at the sight of a simple sheepfold in the dark Aubrac Mountains, or in the old Quercy province, when a summer night may bring Henri Plantagenêt to life as he rides towards Rocamadour.
You will sense the breath of history everywhere: across the valleys where walled villages like Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, a citadel in the Lot, are perched upon the slopes; in the Aveyron, where nature is still pristine; around the Albi Cathedral as it keeps watch over Cathar country; in the Ariège, where Gaston Phoebus turned Foix into the most feared city in Southern France; in Bigourdan country, a land of proud, rebellious mountain folk; in the Gascogne, once coveted by a King of England who ultimately was a lot more Gascon than his French “cousin”.
Built upon the misfortune of a Count of Toulouse, upon the plundering of the Black Prince and the horrors of the Wars of Religion, the Land of Oc has now wiped its tears. It has succeeded in keeping itself intact, open to the Autan Wind, a breeze of madness that disturbs men’s souls.
Hereabouts, when someone says “I am Gascon", or "Ariégeois", "Aveyronnais", or "Toulousain", it is no mere chauvinism, but the actual assertion of a profound identity, an aesthetic preconception. There are startling proofs of this: Gascon strongholds, chateaux, cathedrals, etc.
It sometimes happens that this taste for refinement may be tinted with mysticism. In Rocamadour, thousands of the faithful used to come in the past seeking to be healed or be granted indulgences... Nowadays, Lourdes welcomes those who expect a miracle from the Virgin Mary.
Your stay in Midi-Pyrénées will lead you to Toulouse, faithful to its past, languorously resting by “its very own” Garonne River, reassured by the millennial steeple of Saint-Sernin, the largest Romanesque basilica in the Western World. Yet Toulouse is also a genuine capital city, modern, technological, on the leading edge of the aerospace industry.
In the Middle Ages, a certain lifestyle, a way of thinking and creating made the city and its region into Europe’s cultural Mecca. The civilisation became wealthy through profitable trading, which is why it was known as the “Land of Plenty”. Nowadays, one can still enjoy its love of parties.
In Foix, the entire population gets mobilised to organise “Medieval Days”, one of the summer’s major shows. In Cordes, they hold the “Great Falconer” festivals. In Marciac, in the Gers, it’s one of the most renowned jazz festivals worldwide. In Toulouse, the "Musique d'Eté" Festival, held in the Cloître des Jacobins, has become a tradition. You can also have fun attending those endless rugby third halves...
And above all, make sure you don’t let yourself starve: Orthez ham, rare Navarrenx salmon, Béarnaise garbure soup, stuffed chicken casserole from the Ariège, and those great ewe cheeses...
Don’t delay and book your accommodation at the Logis hotel restaurants selected for their comfort and reception quality.