As the largest region in France, the Midi-Pyrenees has a population of over 2.5 million and attracts many hundreds of visitors each year. Situated between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, the region enjoys a warm climate and is a popular summer holiday destination among French and European tourists.
The Departments of Midi-Pyrenees Eight departments make up the Midi-Pyrénées: Tarn, Aveyron, Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Gers and Hautes-Pyrénées. Midi-Pyrenees is largely rural and the countryside is dotted with charming gites de France which fill up with holidaymakers during the summer months. Getting to the Midi-Pyrenees tends to be easiest by car or by flying into Toulouse-Blagnac airport. A Nature-lover's Paradise The Midi-Pyrenees region is popular with nature-lovers and the Pyrenees National Park is a must-see for most of them. Covering around 45,000 hectares, this huge park is protected and is a haven for all kinds of wildlife. Walking is a popular pastime among visitors to this part of France and the region is cross-crossed by trails suitable for all levels of ability and fitness. The countryside is dotted with stunning picnic spots, many easily accessible for families. The Massif Central mountain range attracts their fair share of visitors, too. The Causses and Aubrac mountains are well worth a visit. Geologists will want to pay a visit to the Pdirac caves of the Lot department as these magnificent formations are widely considered one of France's best geological curiosities.
If you like to kick back and relax on holiday, many of the region's lakes are perfect for swimmers. The more developed lakesides will have changing facilities, cafes, shops and activities, making them perfect for families. There are also untouched lakes, ideal for those who like to get away from it all. Activities Galore If you prefer to keep active on holiday rather than laze around the pool of your gites de France property, the Midi-Pyrenees is perfect for you. Fishing, swimming and hiking are all popular in the region and you'll find horse-riding stables located all over the countryside too, if horse-riding is your thing.
During the summer, the paths and roads of the rural areas fill up with cyclists. All abilities are catered for here, with easy trails for beginners or those with children, to challenging mountain cycle routes for experienced bikers. If you're visiting outside of the summer months, the Pyrenees are a winter sports enthusiast's dream come true. Over 20 winter sports resorts are located in the region and you can try your hand at everything from skiing and snowboarding to snowshore hiking.