SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES OF GASCONY-GERS

The beautiful bastide village of Larressingle. Photom mazacars

The traditional name of Gascony nowadays refers to modern-day French departments of the Gers, the Landes and the Hautes Pyrénées.  To the west, it’s bordered by the Atlantic ocean and to the south by the Spanish border.  The name ‘Gascony’ conjures up a rich agricultural area, warmth, sunshine and a traditional rural way of life.  It’s one of the great gourmet regions of France and produces some of the country’s finest wines.  There are fortified villages, sections of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, and home to the story of d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers.

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EXPLORING MONTAUBAN, CAPITAL OF THE TARN-ET-GARONNE

Montauban, on the river Tarn. Photo, sebasnavarrete

Formerly part of the provinces of Quercy and Languedoc, this Occitanie region in the southwest of France is traversed by the Garonne and Tarn rivers from which it takes its name.  It’s one of the most picturesque agricultural départements of the country.  For the visitor, there are charming medieval villages and towns to explore, plus the great draw-card of outstanding gastronomic delights, including game and poultry, fine local wines, and in particular the local specialty, Armagnac.

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AIGUES-MORTES – FROM SALTY SWAMP TO MEDIEVAL FORTRESS

The fortified medieval town of Aigues-Mortes. Photo, reddit

Sitting on the flat marshes of the Camargue in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Provence, this fortified medieval town is regarded as the purest example of 13th century military architecture extant in France.  The rectilinear town is surrounded by high, crenellated ramparts, four corner towers and numerous fortified gates, all completely intact.

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DISCOVER SOME OF THE BEST FLEA MARKETS IN FRANCE

You can find anything at a French brocante! Photo, wikipedia

France is a great place to pick up bargain vintage wares.  If a visit to a flea market, rummaging through racks of vintage fashion, or just the thrill of the chase, hoping to find that diamond in the rough, is your idea of a great day out, then France has a wealth of unforgettable experiences waiting for you, right across the country.

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TRAVELS WITH YOUR NAVIGO – POISSY

The Villa Savoye, designed by Le Corbusier. Photo, Paris + Plus

Located 24 kms west of Paris on the River Seine and bordering the royal forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, lies the fortified town of Poissy.  An important religious centre in the Middle Ages, it was also a royal city and the birthplace of Kings Louis IX—later sanctified as Saint Louis—and Philippe III, and today known as the location of one of the landmark buildings of the 20th century, the World Heritage listed Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier.

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