French Connections

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  • Get to know the gorgeous Haute-Garonne

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    Our region of the month is a little known area of France that’s well worth discovering. Not only does it boast plenty of sunshine, lakes, mountains and a rich abundance of both culture and colourful produce, this is also a great place for food, history and outdoor activities all the year round.

    Haute-Garonne lies in the south west corner of France in the Midi-Pyrénées. In the north is the buzzing city of Toulouse, often called the pink city after the rose coloured stone of its buildings, and in the south are the beautiful lakes, forests and valleys of the Pyrénées mountains. Also in the south is the border with Spain.

    There is plenty of opportunity to relax by or on the water here as both the river Garonne and the famous Canal du Midi run for miles through the region. And lovers of history and landscape will not be disappointed by the prehistoric shelter of Aurignac, the Gallo-Roman villa of Montmaurin, the Lespugue Gorge and Bonnefont Abbey.

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    For anyone who loves the great outdoors, Haute-Garonne is a paradise. In summer enjoy walking through stunning natural areas of conservation or cycling, canoeing and kayaking. In winter there are great opportunites for skiing on slopes as beautiful as the Alps but less crowded.

    Travel is easy, either through Toulouse airport with a good choice of flights, or an eight to nine hour drive from Calais. For accommodation in Haute-Garonne, check out our beautiful gites, farmhouses and villas or stay in one of several stunning chateaux.

  • Outdoor activity holidays in France

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    Now is the perfect time for an activity holiday in France, especially if you enjoy walking, cycling, riding or just being in the great outdoors. The weather is warming up, the countryside is fresh and beautiful and the evenings are long.

    France has wonderfully varied landscapes and scenery and most regions offer opportunities for just about any sport or activity you can imagine. Activity holidays have become very popular among visitors to France, not least because many take several breaks a year and are looking for a new experience each time.

    Some of our favourite activities and regions are:

    •    Walking in the Ardennes forest, Massif Central, the Dordogne and all the National Parks

    •    Horse riding in Normandy, the Gironde estuary, the Camargue and the Limousin, which is great for all outdoor pursuits.

    •    Cycling long distance routes in Burgundy and the Loire Valley

    •    Hang-gliding and paragliding in the Pyrenees, Corsica and the Hautes-Alpes of Provence

    •    Canoeing on the Dordogne, Vézère, Lot and Tarn rivers and canal-boating in the Loire, Burgundy and the Canal du Midi.

    •    Windsurfing on the beaches of Normandy, the Nord-Pas de Calais and the Mediterranean

    An activity holiday is so easy at a gite or self-catering house, where all members of the group can mix and match the way they spend their days with flexibility. Many of our accommodation owners have a desire to pass on their own passion or hobby.

    Owners really know the region and are often happy to go the extra mile to book activities, lend cycles, maps and other equipment and generally help you make the most of your holiday time. When you browse holiday rentals, look out for special mention of activities in the area and ways in which owners can help. Also scroll down the right hand side of our Accommodation home page to find Search options for regions, properties and facilities.