The Midi-Pyrénées region is a wealth of cultural, historical and natural heritage. As the name implies, it’s a mountain region in the Pyrenees, where at every step you can see the “bastides” – these are medieval villages with defensive fortifications, you can ride on quiet local roads on a mountain bike, ride fields on a horse, walk mountain trails on tourist routes. Basque traditions are strong in the Midi-Pyrénées region, giving a special charm to the wild and uniquely beautiful landscape. The tranquility of Gascony, the river valleys Lot attract lovers of outdoor recreation to this province. There are many rivers here – the Garonne, the Baize, the Lot, the many lakes and canals that connect the rivers – these are kilometers of water routes for lovers of water sports.
The road is also known as the Road Saint-Jacques de Compostela, the pilgrims and pilgrims road passing through France and Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostella. As a rule, it is indicated on all regional tourist maps; up to half a million people go through it every year. It passes through the departments of Aveyrne, Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne and Gers (Gers formerly called Gascogne).
Tourists will surely notice that the cuisine of the region varies depending on the locality, but despite this variety, even a small restaurant will serve you the famous goose liver pate “foie gras”, “cassoulet” stew with stuffed plums (pruneaux fourres). And if you are curious, you can even listen to the hymn written about the kassul. The Midi-Pyrénées is also famous for its smoked meats and sausages, Kersey lamb, Roquefort cheese and the famous truffle mushrooms, which are harvested using specially trained pigs. All local dishes are perfectly matched with a velvety wine with bright n “Bastida” Cahors wine, better known as Cahors, although we use this name to denote dessert wine, which is used in church ceremonies. In fact, the real Cahors is dry red wine. No less famous is the strong drink Armagnac (Armagnac) – a kind of brandy from the region of the same name with the historical name Armagnac.
Toulouse (Toulouse) – is the heart of the province of Midi-Pyrénées, it is located on the Garonne River and Canal du Midi (South Channel). It is a modern city, the capital of French aeronautics and the birthplace of French “airbuses”. The historic old center of Toulouse is called the “pink city” because of the slightly pinkish color of its buildings. This is a place of concentration of historical monuments. Take a look at the Basilica of Saint Serinin, an 11th-century Benedictine abbey that served as shelter for pilgrims on their way to Spain. E Statue of Saint Cecilische one of Toulouse’s attractions is the Dominican Church of the Jacobins, where the piano festival is held annually in the second and third weeks of September.
In addition to churches, in Toulouse you can get acquainted with sculpture and religious painting in the Museum of Augustine, and in the Bamberg Foundation (Fondation Bemberg) you will find an amazing collection of paintings by Degas, Dufy, Matisse and Bonnard.
Travelers walk along the Garonne promenade and around Place du Capitole, where the Hotel de Ville, built in the 18th century, is located, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes for tourists.
The wine road to Gaiac, which produces white dessert wines that blend perfectly with foie gras goose liver paste, leads you northeast to Albi, a city with red brick buildings that houses the Cathedral of St. Cecilia (St. Cecile), built in the 13th century and considered a model of French architecture of the time and the famous fresco depicting the Last Judgment.
Next to the Palace de la Berbie is the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum with a rich collection of paintings. Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Toulouse. Famous for his hooligan behavior, he enjoyed the fact that his paintings, which contained rather spicy plots, were exhibited in the former bishop’s palace. Read more about Toulouse-Lautrec on the website of the Gallery “Master”.
Albi is surrounded by “bastids” – Puycelsi (Puycelsi) and Bruniquel (Bruniquel) Wine cellars, built on top of the mountains, overlooking the Cord (Cordes). The best-preserved of the “bastide” Cord, built in the 13th century, is located on a hilltop. Ancient houses and guest houses, small cozy restaurants and souvenir shops are waiting for their tourists.
Drive a little further north, to Cahors, visit the Saturday market at Place Chapou opposite Saint Etienne Cathedral. You are at the very heart of the province’s wine production. Nearby you can see the village of Conques, climbed to the top of the hill and located on the old pilgrim road in Santiago de Compostello. Here is the Sainte Foy Abbey (Sainte Foy), where summer shows for tourists, and on the second Sunday of October you can see the procession of pilgrims.