The Gers, a “rural” department, has a lot to offer in terms of slow-food, slow-tourism, a slow way of life ... But what is a rural department? It doesn't mean dirt floors and a backward way of life. A rural territory is predominantly a farming community. It has a low population density, and is made up of many small towns and villages that are spread out, and where, nowadays, agriculture is mechanised and modern. The inhabitants are not exclusively tied to the land. Industry has developed and jobs providing services, especially to tourists!
Lavardens, the countryside in the Gers
Rural tourism or slow-tourism, is an alternative type of tourism, far from the usual mass tourism.
Visitors can be in contact with the local people; farmers, winemakers, craftsmen (who open their houses to the public) or using accommodation opportunities, such as gites or bed and breakfasts. This gives the tourist a chance to experience the daily life of the local people. The Gascons know how to appreciate life while keeping their heads on their shoulders by finding harmony between their traditions, heritage and agricultural activities.
Slow-tourism is the new buzz word, which means that you can explore the area at your own pace. You will be able to enjoy eating well and taking the time to stroll randomly, without a specific destination. The excessive use of transport is limited, so you can enjoy the countryside at your leisure.
Cycling on the quiet roads of the Gers
Rural tourism, or slow-tourism, is perfect for family holidays. You can be rushing around all year between work and family so a laid-back holiday could be ideal. Visit the Gers to have a BREAK. Perfect!
Here, there are leisure activity centres, lakes with giant waterslides in many of the villages (or less than 10 minutes away from your location...). The picnic areas are safe in the middle of the woods with educational trails. Here, tourism professionals have prepared guides for fun visits to the towns and villages. Booklets, cool museums, fairs all year. . . Here, you can always find quality and affordable accommodation. The roads are beautiful, they undulate between hills. You can stop whenever you wish to visit a small producer; take a break in a play park or in a welcoming café. Here, the restaurants are used to families and children. There is always a menu suitable for children and it is a chance for the youngsters to taste foie-gras! The Gers really is a family destination!
The Gers is a sustainable tourism destination, mainly due to the quality of the surrounding countryside. You can enjoy the sumptuous landscapes, small characterful villages and abundance of culture.
Sustainable tourism respects the local environment and resources. It also helps the local population employment opportunities when they can welcome holidaymakers, while minimising the negative impact this could have.
It takes advantage of the existing infrastructure. The local people provide tourists with quality produce made from sustainable farming. This is how the Gers has chosen to welcome tourists! Here, you will not find a 3,000 bedroom hotel spoiling the landscape, but many types of small accommodation in the heart of the villages. There are no big local produce shops, but many local producers to meet. It provides quality rather than quantity and can be protected as such with your stay in the Gers.
A quiet café under the arcades of Montréal-du-Gers