Sightseeing, events & visits


Some popular visits are listed below. However, such is the area, it can be just as interesting driving around and taking pot luck. You'll come across remote villages high up in the mountains, thundering waterfalls and tranquil spots for a picnic.


Markets

Markets take place throughout the area on various days. These range from smaller affairs selling fresh local produce, cheeses and charcuterie to larger events including antiques, clothing, crafts and almost anything. Guests will receive a list of what's on where. Most are held in the morning but Luchon has a night market too in July and August.

 

Events

Luchon Film & TV Festival. Held annually in February Link here

 

Luchon Flower Festival (float procession). Annually in August. Link here

 

Regional mountain bike championship. Annually, normally in June or July. Link here

 

Tour de France

One of the most important sporting events in France takes place annually. Le Tour normally has a stage nearby. The precise stages for the 2012 event will be announced in the Autumn. The race itself can be watched from the roadside along the route. Link here

 

Jazz Festival

Held annually in end May/early June. Live concerts in Saint Gaudens. Tickets and more info here

 

Saint Beat Marble festival

Saint Béat, just a couple of minutes from Géry, has a history of marble production since Roman times. During July each year, a festival is held which involves around 25 sculptors coming to the town, creating individual pieces of varying size and style. They can be seen at work in the street.

 

Food producers in the area

 

Chocolate. Artisan made chocolate at Chocolaterie Dardenne in Luchon, established 1897. Mostly organic and fair trade sourced ingredients. On the D125 road to Luchon. Link here

Fois Gras. You'll find locally produced fois gras pretty much everywhere locally. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but there's a farm about an hour's drive away which can be visited (best to call first). Link here

Yogurts and cheese. The Ferme de Prouzic is in Valentine, about 25 minutes drive. The farmer makes yogurt from his own herd as well as raw milk cheeses. Tel: 05 61 89 49 44.

Blueberries (Myrtilles). Le Jardin des Myrtilles farm is near Luchon. Traditionally made blueberry (and raspberry) jams, vinegar and honey. Link here

Mountain Lamb and Beef. Naturally reared veal, beef and lamb can be bought direct from the farm in Melles. La Ferme du plan de Mont is about 15 minutes drive away, near the border with Spain. They also deliver. Link here

Honey/Beekeeping. They may show you around and will certainly sell you some honey! About 45 min drive. Link here


Visits

 

Gargas Caves

The underground caves in Gargas were used 27,000 years ago by stone-age hunters. About 25 minutes drive. Link here


Gallo-Roman Villa of Montmaurin

The Gallo-Roman Villa of Montmaurin was discovered in 1946 by Georges Fouet. It was built in the middle of the First Century, and continued to develop until about 350, with modifications in the 3rd and 4th Centuries. It is one of the largest Roman villas discovered in France; its buildings extended to over 19 hectares. Link here


Saint-Just de Valcabrere

The 12th Century basilica of Saint-Just de Valacabrere is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the Pyrenees. 20 Mins drive. Link here


Saint Bertrand de Comminges

Roman settlement (Pompey 72 BC) at the base of the hill. The (former) cathedral dates from 12th century and is well worth a visit. 20 mins drive. Regular concerts and recitals held. Link here


Saint Béat Chateau

The local village of Saint Béat has a 12th century chateau overlooking the river Garonne and the inhabitants below. It can be visited at most times of the year.


Pau Vintage Car Grand Prix

About 90 mins drive from Géry. Every two years, beautiful vintage cars race around this historic track though some meetings are held at other times of the year. Link here


Clogs

Well, we said there is a wide range of things to see! Les Sabots d'Isa, in the medieval village of Saint Bertrand de Comminges makes and sells handmade clogs, some all in wood, some with leather. Link here


Pottery

Martres Tolosane is famed for its pottery. Jodra is one of a number in the town which is about a one hour drive. Link Here Another is here


Lourdes

Lourdes is an extraordinary place and a religious shrine for over 5 million visitors every year. Once just a small village, since the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1858, the place has expanded enormously to cope with the huge number of, year round pilgrimages. Reviews will inevitably depend on personal beliefs. Lourdes can be reached in about an hour by car. Link here


St Julien sur Garonne

St Julien sur Garonne is the location of a reconstructed Gallic village from the period 450 -52 BC. There are demonstrations of ancient crafts and what life was like over 2000 years ago. Link here


Bear country

The brown bear population of the Pyrenees has slowly been increased from around just six bears to now 20 or so. Standing more than 2 metres high, the bear looks fearsome but is usually shy and avoids human contact. It is unlikely visitors would spot one (although one did stray down to Géry a couple of years ago!). There is an information centre in St Lary Soulan, about 45 mins drive


Spain

The border with Spain is just 8kms away. It's well worth a trip for its restaurants, bars and shops (and much cheaper fuel!). There are some pleasant places to visit, not too far away.


Rugby

 Rugby is big in SW France. During the season, Toulouse stadium hosts several matches, though there's another in Tarbes too. Link to Toulouse stadium here