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Rurality and nature in Le Gers

The Gers is a rural departement, most of the towns and villages have less than 2,000 inhabitants and the economy is mainly geared to agriculture. The small density of population means a good quality of life and a great welcome for tourists. 

The Gers is also a region where nature is at the centre of everything. Nature gives the Gers most of its assets and its attractions: calming and beautiful landscapes with the Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop. This is a rich area whose products are used to great culinary success. The Gers inhabitants quickly understood that the development of cultural and tourist policies went hand in hand with the development of natural heritage and respect for the environment

Vive le Gers!

The Gers, a department 100% natural and full of heritage!

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THE 10 AdVANTAGES OF A RURAL region

The Gers is a generous land, where agriculture has thrived for a long time due to the favourable climate. During your trip to the Gers, you can enjoy all the advantages of a rural region by following our top ten recommendations:


1-) TASTE FARMers' PRODUCTS

You will find lovely fresh foie-gras and duck specialities, made in animal welfare-friendly small breeding farms. Enjoy fresh vegetables just out of the fields. Did you know that in the Gers, you can also find saffron? The land of white garlic is in around Saint-Clar. There are delicious melons around Lectoure. There are orchards providing good juicy fruit thanks to the sun and rich soil, there are nuts...


2-) VISIT WINERIES, BREWERIES AND wine making cooperatives 

The Gers is also a land of vines! The large wine making territories are everywhere but mostly in the north and north-west. What is available to drink? Armagnac, obviously, but also look for Côte de Gascogne, Côtes du Condomois, Saint-Mont, Madiran, Floc de Gascogne wines...There are also breweries, around Gimont.


3-) TRAVELLING WITHOUT TRAFFIC JAMS, ALL YEAR, EVEN IN THE HIGH SEASON. 

The Gers roads are beautiful and uncluttered. Even close to the bigger towns, the traffic flows freely. From hills to small valleys, explore beautiful bell towers and see the entire 180° view of the Pyrenees mountains! Besides, when you want to stop, you can always get parked easily and most parking is free…


4-) picniCS in magical places 

There are many leisure activity centres in the Gers. Discover the flora and faunawhile trekking along the many nature trails. There are also playgrounds for children and picnic areas. There are many campervan stopovers, with all the expected amenities. Even in the heart of Auch, you can find a park in which to relax. 


5-) TALK WITH THE LOCALS

The Gasconsare very friendly and like to talk! Passing a museum door or shop, at the terrace of a cafe, or at an isolated producer, you will always find this friendly spirit around. Discover the Gascons and get familiarised with local customs...



6-) WANDER IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MARKETS OF THE REGION 

Visit the exceptional “marchés au gras” (duck and goose markets) of Samatan and Gimont. Going to the farmers' markets during the summer gives you an opportunity to meet the locals and taste their specialities. To fill your basket, check our market calendar and fill your day with colour and taste.


7-) SEE ANIMALS: COWS, GEESE, DUCKS, DONKEYS, PIGS, HORSES ... 

Most of the time the animals live freely and happily in the fields. There are educational farms where you can pet and cuddle animals, and learn how to care for them. There are also stables and Equestrian centres for horse riding. Finally, there are farms where the animals are bred for food. This gives you the opportunity to see how things are made on farms where the welfare of the animals is important. You will also be able to buy the products produced.


8-) ENJOY PARKS, GARDENS AND NATURAL SANCTUARIES 

There are lakes and rivers to cool your feet, paths through woods and forests for walking or hiking...In the Gers you will find unspoiled countryside, full of wild life and paths. It is an important area in the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. Apart from this Saint's walk, there are many things for tourists to do. (Check with the Tourist Offices)


9-) FIND INDEPENDANT ACCOMMODATION CLOSE TO THE LOCALS 

Far from the huge hotel chains and holiday villages, the charm of the Gers can be found in its small Occitane houses which are available to holidaymakers. There are charming, characterful houses, stone-cut gites built with bricks from Toulouse, in the heart of the “pousterles” (narrow, steep medieval streets) of Auch. 


10-) ALWAYS READY TO PARTY

A rural destination is synonymous with parties! There are many events which take place in the Gers. There are gastronomic fairs, the 'courses landaises' (an ancient form of bullfighting that involves no bloodshed), feasts of patron saints and music concerts. Enjoy the festive spirit. Party non-stop in the Gers!


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ECO-TOURISM is important in the GERS

For a long time the Gers has placed importance on fair, ethical and sustainable tourism development. This means that the preservation of the natural heritage goes hand in hand with economic expansion. Sustainable tourism means giving tourists all the tools they need to explore the area in the best interests of the preservation of the countryside

  • Explore the 15 towns and villages labelled “Station Verts” 
  • Walk round the Natura 2000 sites, (the largest network of protected areas in the world. It offers a haven to Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.)
  • Choose unusual accommodation; look for a campsite labeled “Clef Verte”, “Accueil Paysan”, “Gîte Panda” or “Ecolabel”.
  • Buy your food on organic farms and in organic shops, pick your own fruit and vegetables on the farms!
  • For your leisure, there are lots of activities with animals, or sporting activities in the heart of the countryside

Orientation Table of Valence-sur-Baïse