French Connections

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  • Gers is great for a sunny, laid back holiday

    Long, hot summer days; great walking and cycling; sleepy villages and bastide towns set in rolling countryside; gourmet delights and Armagnac brandy – and all this set against the glorious backdrop of the Pyrenees Mountains. No wonder Gers, in the Midi Pyrenees, is our region of the month.

    The Gers is the perfect destination for a leisurely, laid-back holiday. With a small population, no motorways and countryside where life and farming adhere to time-honoured tradition, you simply can’t avoid slowing down. But if you do decide to take in a little leisurely walking or cycling, then you’ll find numerous marked routes and many useful guide books. 

  • 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.

  • Introducing Glynis, MD of French Connections - My love affair with France

    Ask anyone what they love about France and a few themes would crop up over and over. Weather, Food, Culture being up there in the first few no doubt. There is pretty much ‘something for everyone’ just a short hop across the channel from the UK.

  • La Couvertoirade - an old Knights Templar village - Photo Friday 5 November 2010

    La Couvertoirade is an attractive old village situated about 20km north of Lodève, in the Aveyron in SW France.

  • La Forteresse Royale in Najac - Photo Friday - 8 January 2010

    The climb to reach La Forteresse Royale built in 1253 in Najac in the Aveyron, is well worth it for the magnificent views.

  • Lalbenque Truffle Market

    The area around Lalbenque in the Lot Valley is famous for its black Truffles.

  • Lourdes - the largest pilgrimage site in the world. Photo Friday 28 May 2010

    Lourdes in SW France has 5 million visitors per year from the sick, the devout & the just plain curious.

  • Our owners star in C4’s A Place in the Sun magazine

    In the Spring issue of the famous TV programme’s mag, the owners of La Chouette in Tarn, a gorgeous FC holiday rental, tell their story – and it’s out just in time for this weekend’s A Place in the Sun Live exhibition at Olympia, 12th-14th April. So you can buy the magazine, read the story and get two free tickets for the show!

    For the three page feature that starts on page 56 of the magazine, Angela Bennison told me the story of how she and partner Simon Crundall came across La Chouette, a winemaker’s smallholding near the village of Puybegon. They fell in love on the spot and proceeded to spend no less than twenty years renovating the beautiful old stone house with wooden shutters, rising to some stiff challenges along the way, not least renewing the massive tiled roof.

    Now the couple are living their dream, having made the farmhouse and its neighbouring barn both their home and a successful holiday property available to rent all through the year.

    Angela and Simon are also well established as members of the community in their French village, fully appreciating the way of life and fantastic fresh local produce. Planning to visit or dreaming of doing the same? At the end of the feature are some top tips for embracing French life that just might come in useful!

     See more about La Chouette ID 157201 and A Place in the Sun Liveexhibition

  • Rocamadour, France's second most visited place - Photo Friday 19 November 2010

    The exquisite natural setting and beautiful buildings have made Rocamadour France's second-most visited site after Mount St. Michael in Normandy.

  • St. Cirq Lapopie in the Lot - Photo Friday - 18 Dec 2009

    Standing majestic and overlooking the Lot River near Cahors, is the perched village St. Cirq Lapopie.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="A restaurant in St-Cirq-La-Poppie (click for larger image)"]St-Cirq-La-Poppie[/caption] Standing majestic and overlooking the Lot River near Cahors, is the perched village St. Cirq Lapopie. In this little village full of narrow, intriguing lanes, you are spoilt for choice with restaurants and artisan shops. Here is just one restaurant where I have spent many a happy hour enjoying good food and wine of the region, Porc aux Pruneaux for example and full bodied Cahors wines. Then rounding off the meal with local Walnut liquor. Parfait!