Nestled in a vista of gentle rolling hills and radiant landscapes, in the heart of Gascony, the Gers invites to a world of peaceful discovery. Situated between Toulouse and Bordeaux in the South West of France, this wonderful experience offers delight to the senses, from renowned gastronomy, ancient history and vernacular heritage, to the routes of Santiago de Compostela. Not forgetting a multitude of leisure activities and a healthy orientation towards expressions of contemporary culture, the Gers represents a perfect tasting ground for the most discerning palates.
The sheer diversity of sites, museums and visual gems surrounding the Castelnau des Fieumarcon is often said to be quite compelling, and what follows could only be described as a little exercise in temptation – there is so much more waiting to be discovered.
… with the warmest of welcomes!
SPA | The town of Lectoure (10mn away) has natural hot thermal springs which have been turned into a charming spa centre. Treatments available by booking only.
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE | Balloon rides are a perfect way to relax and enjoy a moment of freedom as you soar over the
landscape around the Castelnau, and see our fortified village from a bird’s eye view. | www.montgolfieres-gascogne.fr
L’Etrier Condomois (Condom) | www.etrier-condomois.com
Beaucaire Canoë (Beaucaire) | www.canoesdebeaucaire.com
Gascogne Navigation (Condom) | www.gascogne-navigation.com
Golf de Fleurance – 9 holes | www.golf-fleurance.com (Squash available on site)
VISITS & CULTURE
Musée des Jacobins (Auch) | Exhibitions on archaeology, paintings, sculptures and more. However the city of Auch itself is worth the visit !
Bleu de Pastel (Lectoure) | There are several interesting museums in Lectoure, but a favourite is undoubtedly the museum
“Atelier Bleus de Pastel” that tells the history of 18th century woad colouring. Group visits can be arranged; very interactive !
Abbaye de Flaran (Valence-sur-Baïse) | The beautiful Cistercian Abbey of Flaran has become the most visited public site in the Gers. The fine arts exhibited in situ are part of the private collection of the renowned philanthropist Mr Michael Simonow.
Musée d’Art Naïf (Beraut) | One of the largest Naïve Art museum in the world displaying over 800 paintings.
Musée de l’Armagnac (Condom) | Attractive museum relating the powerful nectar of Gascony, Armagnac !
Centre d’Artagnan (Lupiac) | Discover the life of the famous musketeer d’Artagnan, did you know that he was a real living person and not just a character created by Alexandre Dumas ?
Musée de Séviac (Montréal du Gers) | Surrounded by nature, the museum of Seviac is a Gallo-Roman Villa and a rich archaeological site with noteworthy mosaics from the 4th and 5th century.
Musée des Beaux Arts (Mirande) | Fine art museum exhibiting paintings from the 15th to 19th century.
Festival “Eclat de voix” – Auch – (late May, early June) | This renowned festival is dedicated to voice expression and thrives by its diversity ranging from flamenco to gospel, folk, opera and more.
Festival du Ciel et de l’Espace – Fleurance – (first 2 weeks of August) | A particularity of the night sky in Gers is its clarity due to lack of light pollution. Through a variety of conferences and observations the festival of Fleurance has allowed, for more than 20 years, scientists and the general public to exchange about astronomy.
L’été photographique – Lectoure (late July, August) | Within an abundance of styles, the photographic festival of Lectoure has built over the years a solid reputation amongst this fine art aficionados.
Jazz in Marciac – Marciac (first 2 weeks of August) | One of Europe’s major music festivals, Jazz in Marciac is a must for any Jazz lover. Some of the most celebrated singers and musicians have played in the lively Marciac, including artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Diana Krall. The warm and exciting atmosphere of the festival is an experience not to be missed.
Festival de Country music – Mirande (mid-July) | For a few days every summer the wild wild west comes to the south of France. The Country and Folk festival of Mirande proposes around 50 concerts over a 4 days period.
Tempo Latino – Vic Fezansac (late July) | Vic-Fezansac is a picturesque small town situated in the heart of Armagnac that for 4 days in summer adopts a different tempo. Created in 1993, Tempo Latino is a festival addressing afro-Cuban and Latino music. With over 70 000 visitors every year, it is one of the largest such festivals in Europe.
En route ! Camera in hand, the Gers represents unspoiled France at its best with gorgeous rolling countryside, fields of wheat and sunflowers, peaceful attractive villages and traditional market towns. It is an ideal destination for anyone with a healthy sense of curiosity. You will be rewarded for example by numerous bastide towns such as Saint-Clar, Gimont or Bassoues, some intriguing castles like Lavardens, Cassaigne or Saint-Puy (Monluc) and you might just be awestruck by the medieval masterpiece Larresingle. The gardens of Coursiana in La Romieu are also worth a stop during your peregrinations !
The French live longer, especially in Gers! It is a particularity that some doctors have named the “French Paradox”. The quality of poultry and food in general, the wines and spirits should, one would probably assume, impair such good results but rich nourishment combined with high standards and variety seems effectively to contribute to good health. While staying in the Gers, a visit to local producers is essential. You will discover the subtle blend of modern and traditional techniques that contribute to the famous “savoir faire” of French gastronomy. If you’re looking for a perfect place to taste magrets, confits, duck or goose Foie Gras, the choice is literally limitless, from the tiny Auberge (or Inn) to the upper Michelin starred restaurant. Also, while in Gers, a must see are the farmer’s markets – the perfect opportunity to meet directly a wide variety of producers and merchants proposing all kind of exquisite food products.
Some noticeable markets: Lectoure on Fridays, Saturdays in Miradoux, Tuesdays in Fleurance and Thursdays in St Clar.
L’Auberge des Bouviers | www.auberge-des-bouviers.com
Le Bastard | www.hotel-de-bastard.com
Au Vieux Pressoir | www.auvieuxpressoir.com
La Table des Cordeliers | www.latabledescordeliers.com
Also recommended “Le Moulin du Petit Gascon”
MONTREAL DU GERS
La Bombance | www.labombance.com
Also recommended “Bernard Daubin, Chez Simone”
Chez Vous | www.linternaute.com/restaurant/
L’Auberge de Bardigues | www.aubergedebardigues.com
ASTAFFORT & AGEN
The celebrated cuisine of Chef Fabrice Biasiolo !
UNE AUBERGE EN CASCOGNE, COCHON, CANARD & CIE,
and IMAGINE | www.uneaubergeengascogne.com
More inspirations ? www.restaurants-sud-ouest.com
ARMAGNAC & WINES
Source of pride and delight, wines and spirits from the south-west of France are the result of secular traditions and limitless passion. From the famed Armagnac to the round and fruity wines of the Côtes de Gascogne, Côtes de Saint-Mont and Buzet to the more powerful Madiran, the whites of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, and also Armagnac-based aperitifs like Pousse Rapière and Floc de Gascogne, all illustrating the wealth of treasures to be found in Gers.
Some recommended domains : Domaine d’Arton, Domaine de Mirail, Château de Pellehaut, Château du Busca-Maniban, Domaine Chiroulet, Château de Laubade, Domaine d’Uby, Domaine de Joy, Château Tariquet, Armagnacs Laberdolive, Armagnacs Darroze.