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Midi-Pyrenees property guide

Midi-Pyrenees forms a région in south-western France. It is bounded to the east by Languedoc-Roussillon , to the north by Auvergne and Limousin, to the west by Aquitaine and to the south by Spain.

The Midi-Pyrenees region consists of eight départements: the Ariege (département 09), the Aveyron (département 12), the Haute-Garonne (département 31), the Gers (département 32), the Lot (département 46),the Hautes-Pyrenees (département 65), the Tarn (département 81) and the Tarn-et-Garonne (département 82).
With 2,70 million unhabitants and a surface area of 45,350 km², Midi-Pyrénées is the largest région of France, larger than the Netherlands or Denmark.

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Town property guides

A heterogeneous région
Midi-Pyrénées is best known worldwide for three local “products” that have achieved world fame: Airbus aircrafts, Roquefort cheese, and the Catholic pilgrimage center of Lourdes. This goes a long way into unveiling the extreme contrasts and diversity that exist within the very heterogeneous région of Midi-Pyrénées.

Enjoy the mountains

In the summer time:

The activities are as varied as the region landscapes: canyoning, rafting, hydro speed, climbing, parapente, gliding, pedestrian and equestrian excursions, VTT…

In the winter time:
Traditional paradise for the snow addicts, Midi-Pyrénées proposes all the range of winter sports (downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding…) through its numerous skiing resorts and hundreds of slopes. You would enjoy St-Lary Soulan, famous for its international snowboard competitions,or Barèges and Mongie which represent the most important skiing area of the French Pyrenees.

Towns of art and museums
Many painters, artists and intellectuals marked the area of their passage between 17th and the 19th centuries: Champollion in Figeac, Ingres in Montauban, Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, etc. The museums devoted to these great names keep testimony today, and its masterpieces and collections have the right to be envy by the national museums.

Typical markets
The great number of typical markets contribute to the pleasure of discovering the area. Those of Figeac, Cahors, Revel, Villefranche-de-Rouergue, in which you’ll find traditional products, are as copious as famous.

A protected environment
Midi-Pyrenees has the privilege to propose a National natural reserve (Cauterets in the Hautes-Pyrenees) and three Regional Natural reserves (Labastide in Murat, St Pons de Thomieres in the Lot and Millau in the Herault). These rural territories with the natural, cultural and human inheritance are remarkable but fragile.

The thermal springs
17 institutes welcome each year nearly 75.000 people who choose to carry out their cure at a spa in the Midi-Pyrenees area.
Spas are entirely dedicated to the relaxation with the pleasure of thermal springs, like “Balnéa” in Génos-Loudenvielle, the “Eugenie Thermal baths” in Luz Saint Sauveur and ” Aquensis Cité des eaux ” in Bagnères de Bigorre.

Gastronomy

We can’t describe South West without talking about food and “art de vivre”. People of this region know what a good meal means. Let’s enjoy wines and digestifs, the foie gras of Gers or the cassoulet of Castelnaudary. Don’t expect to begin a diet in this land!

Try the local small restaurants and appreciate culinary specialities where the farm produce and the natural friendliness of the Midi-Pyrenees local people are expressed.
Gers is the stronghold of Pousse-Rapière, a sharp and merry cocktail going with a liquor of Armagnac or with a semi-sparkling wild white wine.
Le Floc de Gascogne, red or white, is combining fresh grape juices and young Armagnac from the same property; invented four centuries ago, it obeys the rules of the AOC.

In Ariège, people gather around a glass of Hypocras, 100% natural aperitif. With respect to its medieval origin, it is the fruit of a subtle maceration of plants and spices in an amber sweet wine.

Starters
One of the most famous, the foie gras of South-west is a must. Garbure is also very popular: energetic, this Pyrenean specialty is a delicious soup in which one you will find cabbage, potatoes, bean tarbais and dried ham.

Toulouse cassoulet
Tarbais beans or “cocos” of Lauragais melted with goose confit, shin of pig, sausage of pork, herbs, garlic and nutmeg: the true cassoulet requires a very long preparation before being served in a small terra cotta bowl.
In Aveyron, the aligot and the estofinado containing not salted dried cod are two specialities which impress the taste buds.

The cheese plate
With goat’s milks, cow or ewe cheeses, here are the small round and melting rollers of Rocamadour, prestigious Roquefort (since the 11th century) which lengthily matured like the Blue of Causses in deep cliffs carved by time, the tomme of the Pyrenees which take flavors from cheese-making cellars ariégeoises, or that of Laguiole worked out according to ancestral methods in Aubrac.

Desserts
It takes several hours to make a spit cake. The Gascon pastis, with its extreme smoothness, requires also a rare dexterity. Very appreciated for their sweetened and melting flesh, the melons of Quercy and the melons of Lectoure are gathered with full maturity and are savoured without moderation. Another greedy fruit: the Chasselas of Moissac, most known of the grapes of France and one of the rare fresh fruits to profit from an AOC.

Wines
This area has a great number of vineyards. From banks of the Dordogne to the valley of the Lot, from ground of Gascogne to the Tarn, you will find about fifteen labels of controlled origin and local wines which come to brighten our tables. You will find numerous renowned wines like Cahors, Gaillac, Pacherenc, and one of oldest brandies: Armagnac.

Some regional products

The Laguiole
Manufactured in Laguiole, the small knife with the hallmark in the shape of a fly was born 150 years ago. It was an instrument of work of the Aubrac shepherds before popularizing itself in the middle-class.
Arround 150 years ago, a craftsman of Laguiole had the idea to manufacture this small knife with the handle in the form of a leg, easier to transport than the old large knife, the capuchadou, carried in a sheath or sometimes tied up with the arm. The farmers ensured the success of this knife, as solid and edge as elegant.

The Hats of Caussade
Caussade cultivates its know-how since 1857 and has been famous for being the first French hatter center, with a very rich variety of products: panamas, montechristi, beach caps or capelines. Today, the 5th generation of hatters is in charge of this House and works the fashion very out of hats… Tissu, leather, deer, felt, fur, without forgetting the hats straw modes and the canotier, emblem of Caussade.

Piece of furniture and Marquetry in Revel
It is in Revel that one manufactures since more than one century the art furniture pieces of Revel, resulting from the rarest and noblest wood (wild cherry tree, oak, pink, lemon tree). In this country house of Haute-Garonne, numerous cabinetmakers, inlayers, lacquerers, tapestry makers work since the 19th century to copy the furniture of style Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI or Empire.

Useful information:

Tourism office in Midi-Pyrenees:
www.tourisme-midi-pyrenees.com

Maps of Midi-Pyrenees:
www.ign.fr
www.maps.google.fr

Travel from the UK
By air:
Easyjet flies from London Gatwick to Toulouse .
Ryanair flies from Dublin, Liverpool and East Midlands to Carcassonne, and from London Stansted to Rodez.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Midi-Pyrenees. We have a large network of partners in Midi-Pyrenees. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, villa, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Midi-Pyrenees matching your requirements. We offer properties in those area: Albi, Toulouse, Najac, Rodez, Villefranche de Rouergue, Mazamet, Castres, Foix, Mirepoix, Gaillac, Figeac, Espalion and Montauban. To find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Midi-Pyrenees do not hesitate to contact us.

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