Do you feel like escaping city life for a short while? Toulouse is the capital of the Occitanie region and its geographical location make it ideal for escapades to explore an area that boasts countless exceptional sites.
Albi, Carcassonne, but also the Pyrenees... the treasures of history and architecture are all yours, as well as some breathtaking natural landscapes.
A day among the vineyards: Fronton
Toulouse boasts an extensive array of terroirs and is fiercely proud of its title as Capital of Wine of the South-West. Most notably, Fronton lies just thirty kilometres from the Ville Rose. Its AOP (protected appellation of origin) vineyards cultivate a grape variety that is unique in the world: the Négrette.
Imagine spending a day there, amongst the vines, the forests and the fields, encountering passionate people who will introduce you to wines with the unique and elegant flavours of black fruits, liquorice and violet...
Albi and the medieval village of Cordes-sur-Ciel
Here you have two beautiful towns whose history is linked to the Crusades against the Cathar heretics.
Rendezvous in Albi to explore an episcopal town listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Don’t miss Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, a unique church built from brick that has the allure of a military fortress, as well as the Palais de la Berbie that currently displays the works of the famous Toulouse-Lautrec and whose gardens overlook the waters of the River Tarn.
As for Cordes-sur-Ciel, this is a hilltop village with steep, cobbled streets, sculpted Gothic façades, artisan art boutiques and, at its summit, an unrivalled view across the valley below.
The town of Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a unique fortified ensemble of medieval buildings, listed as World heritage by UNESCO. The history and legends of the town (do you know about Dame Carcas?) awaken the imagination of every visitor and offer them a journey back to a time of knights or to the saga of the Cathars.
With its imposing walls, watchtowers and château, the setting is also an inspiration for artists. Carcassonne lends itself perfectly to cinema and novels, but generating its true emotion when experienced live, notably in summer when a number of open-air concerts are held.
Lourdes and Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
Set out along an itinerary that is decidedly sacred, with the Pyrenees as its backdrop. Firstly to Lourdes, whose sanctuary has welcomed millions of visitors for 160 years. It all started in 1858, when a fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous recounted her visions of the Virgin Mary. The grotto has ever since been a pilgrimage site of global significance...
Finally, we switch eras at Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges and explore the vestiges of a Gaulish church, the Romanesque basilica of Saint-Just-de-Valcabrère, or even the Romano-Gothic Sainte-Marie Cathedral.
Top shopping at Pas-de-la-Case
Pas-de-la-Case lies in the principality of Andorra, just across the French border. The whole town is one big open-air shopping centre: prêt-à-porter, perfumery, cosmetics, jewellery, home decor, tobacco, spirits and so much more…With its lower taxes and hundreds of boutiques, you can treat yourself to a shopping spree without breaking the budget.
Situated in the Pyrenees at an altitude of two thousand metres, it is also a resort that forms part of the Grandvalira ski area. So be sure to pack your skis in winter and your walking boots in summer!
The Occitanie Region - Pyrenees - Mediterranean
The Occitanie region boasts a rich natural and cultural heritage. With its coastline, stretching from the Catalan coast to the Camargue, and its Pyrenees mountain range, the region provides a land of discovery in winter as well as in summer. It also stands out due to the presence of two major cities that are youthful and dynamic: Toulouse and Montpellier.