The Gers department in south west France is at the heart of historic Gascony. A land of valleys and vineyards, forests and fields of sunflowers, medieval villages and exquisite hamlets.
If you yearn to visit an authentic part of France where the food and wine are second to none, the people are friendly and the wide open spaces of glorious countryside leave you feeling refreshed and tranquil – then the Gers is for you…
Discover the stunningly beautiful, pinch-yourself-it’s-so-pretty area where Armagnac is made. In the Gers department, the locals make Armagnac, a world famous brandy. But this is not just any brandy. It’s the oldest French eau-de-vie.
A craft brandy, it’s not produced in industrial quantities but lovingly made by family-run wine growers, small producers and artisans. Many of them are open to the public for tastings and to buy direct. Don’t miss out on the chance to but Armagnac orange liqueur while you’re there, it’s hard to get outside of the area and utterly delicious.
You’ll find plenty of wine and Armagnac tasting opportunities en route – the perfect opportunity to try and buy.
Tip: Chateau Millet Winerie and Armagnac distillery in Eauze is sensational.
Gers is not highly populated with around 200,000 people in the whole department. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of small towns, villages and hamlets. They are dotted along the river, around lakes, hidden in forests, perched on hills, overlooking vineyards and laid out around cobbled squares.
The people are famous for their friendliness, hospitality – and love of good food! There are markets galore and seasonal dishes are de rigeur. Gascon wines, Floc de Gascogne (wine fortified with Armagnac) and Armagnac feature on every menu alongside local favourites. Duck, foie gras, Melons from Lectoure, garlic from Lomagne, Gascon apple pie. The food here is generous and the love of gastronomy celebrated.
There are officially six of the prettiest villages in France in the Gers department, jewels amongst a treasure trove of pretty villages. Larressingle, the smallest fortified town in France, and Montrèal-du-Gers, a medieval gem. Lavardens with its beautiful castle, Sarrant, La Romieu and Fourcés, with the only “round” square in France! But the fun of visiting this area is the discoveries you make for yourself.
Tip: The market at Samatan is the oldest and biggest in the area. Held on a Monday morning, it’s superb.
Auch, the capital
The small city of Auch is the capital of the area and like everywhere, it’s not highly populated. Famous for its incredible Cathedral (don’t miss the carved wooden seating area – it’s exquisite) which has a treasure museum of more than 200 objects of religious art. You can’t fail to spot the statue of Gascony’s famous musketeer d’Artagnan which keeps a watchful eye over the Grand staircase which connect lower Auch to the upper part of the city.
A warren of streets filled with great restaurants, friendly bars, boutiques and bookstores will keep you entertained.
Tip: Don’t miss La Table d'Oste restaurant, 7 rue Lamartine, right by the Cathedral. You’ll enjoy home-cooked Gascon food and a very warm welcome.
A place to get in tune with nature, enjoy the most delicious food and wine, discover the most beautiful countryside, historic towns and much much more
See our holiday home selection in the area here: https://www.frenchconnections.co.uk/accommodation/gers