Information and Tourism
Situated halfway between the golden beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the white sandy coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, the Midi-Pyrenees shares a little bit of both worlds. In between the two, magnificent mountains, fields of sunflowers, tumbling streams and meandering rivers all make up the landscape of this sizeable south-westerly French region.
In the Middle Ages, the counts of Toulouse ruled over much of what is now the Midi-Pyrenees. Today, the regional capital of Toulouse still takes centre stage. There is no denying that Toulouse is a vibrant city. Most notably, it attracts the young and the up and coming. It is an attractive city, with a plentiful supply of good shops, restaurants and museums. The city is also the home of many a high-tech business, including Airbus.
A quick car trip westwards, away from Toulouse, and the hustle and bustle of the city is soon left behind. Instead, it is replaced by lush green countryside and the rolling hills of Gascony. Winding narrow roads, a penchant for the locally produced drink of Armagnac and an easy going attitude all help to carry life along at a much slower pace.
The area outside of Toulouse was once described as a 'Midi-Pyrenean desert'. Nowadays, tourists are taking a somewhat different opinion, voting with their feet and their wallets. In particular, the department of Lot has become a popular choice for British second-home buyers, who are keen to snap up quaint houses in its ancient fortified villages.
The mountains of the Haute Garonne department rise to crescendo at the Peak of Perdiguère. Nestled among them is a smattering of low-key ski resorts that draw in winter sports enthusiasts in search of an alternative to traditional Alpine resorts.
Midi-Pyrenees Information and Fast Facts
- Country: France
- Main city or administrative centre: Toulouse
- Population: approximately 2.9 million
- Language: French
- Area: 17,510 square miles / 45,350 square kilometres
- Height of Mount Perdiguère: 3,222 metres /10,571 feet
Map of France