The Gers – Deep France | EUROtoday

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The Gers is a small division in southwest France. It's a rural space and, simply 60 miles large, peppered with completely preserved and pristine medieval cities and bridging with stunning villages together with 6 Plus Beaux Villages de France.

As the birthplace of D'Artagnan, Alexandre Dumas' hero from The Three Musketeers – and France's oldest brandy, Armagnac, Gers, additionally recognized by its historical title of Gascony, is steeped in historical past. The area is residence to a spectacular array of gorgeous landscapes, out of doors actions, castles, historic websites and essentially the most scrumptious gastronomy – that is the genuine France you dream of

The greatest city is the capital, Gers however you couldn't name it crowded with a inhabitants of round 22,000. The complete area has lower than 200,000 inhabitants.

The Gers is wealthy in agriculture, fruit and walnut manufacturing and cattle farming, particularly the large creamy Blonde d’Aquitaine cows. Most owners have a 'potager', vegetable backyard, it's a super place for eager gardeners. Nicknamed “God's larder” by the locals, day by day markets space a lifestyle and gastronomy is a vital ingredient of 'art-de-vivre' within the area. Look out for Ferme auberges that produce practically all that they serve on the desk.

The hillsides are smothered in vines and the world is known for Armagnac. Less well-known, glorious wine can also be produced right here.

The Pyrenees are simply two hours by automobile, nice for snowboarding in winter and mountaineering in summer season. The west coast seashores, Basque nation, Spain and the Côte d'Azur are on the doorstep. Toulouse metropolis may be reached in round 1.5 hours by prepare from Auch. The seasons are distinct with winters tending to be chilly and moist in January and February. Generally the climate is clement year-round – spring sees an explosion of flowers, fauna and birdlife. The summer season is lengthy, fields of sunflowers are in all places, and the great climate typically lasts nicely into September and mellows in October, and it's commonplace to have the ability to eat exterior within the solar in December.

Once common with retirees, increasingly younger individuals and households are selecting the Gers for its laid-back lifestyle plus glorious web service for home-working – this division was one of many first in France to deploy excessive pace broadband and fiber optic networks.

There's a various fashion of property accessible together with trendy, timber-frame and conventional limestone homes that are all the time common. The common value for a completely renovated small village home is round €150,000 – €200,000 (2024). And you possibly can nonetheless purchase properties to renovate ranging from lower than €30,000 for a village home (2024). Large nation mansions begin from €350,000 (2024), and farmhouses, plus properties with a lot of land, appropriate for horse house owners are common. There's additionally the chance to purchase land on this low-population division.

The Armagnac-producing Tenarèze space is called the 'Golden Triangle and consists of the gorgeous city of Lectoure, Condom, Castera Verduzan, Saint Puy, and the prefecture capital of Auch. Historically, this space was the wealthiest due to the Armagnac commerce and the beautiful honey coloured limestone homes right here mirror the funding in property. Vic-Fezensac and Eauze are enticing cities, with many stone buildings. As you go bit additional south in the direction of the steeper hillsides surrounding Marciac the place the annual and famend jazz competition is held, properties are typically extra timber-framed fashion.

The distances between villages and providers imply {that a} automobile is important as public transport shouldn’t be broadly accessible.

In the Gers, it's simple to really feel such as you've stepped again in time to a gentler place. You gained't come throughout coach a great deal of vacationers. And you gained't discover visitors jams. What you will see that are roads which take you thru sweeping panoramas, undulating fields of sunflowers, corn and rapeseed. Vineyards laze beneath the solar alongside lush grazing pastures dotted with wildflowers. Hedgerows which can be full of hawthorn, broom and honeysuckle hug fields and forests. And the cafés and bars are stuffed with pleasant people, completely satisfied to share their little nook of paradise.

Despite being very rural, The Gers is accessible with Toulouse or Bordeaux airports in simple driving distance and TGV excessive pace trains can pace you from Agen to Paris in 5 hours.

If you lengthy to flee the rat race, then this idyllic off-the-beaten observe, unspoiled area could be simply what you're in search of.

Janine Marsh is the creator of a number of internationally best-selling books about France. Her newest guide How to be French – a celebration of the French way of life and Art of dwelling, is out now – a have a look at the French lifestyle. Find all books on her web site

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The Gers – la France Profonde