25: Travel

Because of the central location of Toulouse, there are many interesting and beautiful places to see in the area. We have listed a few of our favorites, to which you will be able to add your own discoveries. You can also try The Bookshop, rue Lakanal, for English-language books on the area. The tourist office in central Toulouse (behind la Place du Capitole) will give you, upon request, a free Midi-Pyrénées tourist map, complete with listings of most everything to see in this region. You can also contact:
Comité du Tourisme, 24, rue de l’Embouchure, 31000 Toulouse.
They will mail you free brochures and tourist maps, lists of hotels or B&Bs, and lists of places of interest.

Besides the obvious, skiing in the winter and beaches in the summer, the French tourist season revolves around all kinds of festivals, focused on everything from music and theater to folklore and food. Most take place in the summer months and the Southwest is host to quite a few that shouldn’t be missed.  Flash magazine lists all the regional festivals in its special summer issue that comes out in early July.  Telerama covers the major music and arts festivals throughout France in an issue published in June.

Some of the more interesting festivals in the area include the Gaillac Fête du vin, Wine Festival (August), the classical music festival in St. Bertrand de Comminges at the foot of the Pyrenees, the summer festival of music and dance in Carcassonne’s medieval amphitheater, the world class jazz festival at Marciac (Gers/Gascony region) in July and the world-renowned festival of Avignon.

Not to be forgotten is the nationwide Fête de la Musique held annually on June 21st. The streets of Toulouse come to life as everyone and anyone with a musical instrument shows the public what music is all about; having a good time!  An off-season street festival takes place in November when the Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released on the market.

To make travel and holiday arrangements, you have many options:
•    Airlines are listed under Transports Aérien in the Yellow Pages if you need to find a phone number
•    Travel Agencies are listed under Agences de Voyage in the Yellow Pages.
These agencies sell tickets for airlines as well as tickets for trains (France and Europe), coaches, boats or European ferries.
The following agencies have offices downtown and in Greater Toulouse:
FRAM Voyages, 1 rue Lapeyrouse, Toulouse, tel. 05 62 15 16 17
Nouvelles Frontières, 2 place Saint Sernin, Toulouse, tel. 05 61 21 74 14
Amplitudes, 20 rue du Rempart St. Etienne, Toulouse, tel. 05 62 30 17 77
•    Shopping centers like Leclerc or Carrefour also sell reduced-price tickets.
•    Tour operators:
They offer their own trips or packages, all presented in their catalogues.
FRAM Voyages, 1 rue Lapeyrouse, Toulouse, tel. 05 62 15 16 17
Nouvelles Frontières, 2 place Saint Sernin, Toulouse, tel. 05 61 21 74 14
Club Méditerranée, 1 bis rue des Lois, Toulouse, tel. 05 34 45 53 20


MIDI PYRENEES (South of Toulouse)

Andorra is a small principality, generally known as a tax haven, located in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. By car, count on a long day trip. The border with France, El Pas de la Casa, is mercantile;  and one probably shouldn’t stay there, unless you are only there to shop.  English, French and Spanish are spoken by employees in all shops. Electronics equipment and liquor are the best buys.  To truly discover this tiny country, drive into the mountains, towards Andorra La Vella, the capital.  Don’t hesitate to stay off of the main roads;  you’ll find beautiful scenery, Roman stone churches and unspoiled villages. Caldéa is a thermal aquatic center, lavishly decorated, with marble floors, Roman and Indian style pools, water cascades, fountains, jacuzzi.  Enjoy a stunning view of the Pyrenées through a glass dome while floating in warm water.  There’s also a fitness center, a solarium, health and beauty services. Relaxing!  The telephone number is: 00 376 800 999.

Foix is about 80 km southeast of Toulouse, in the Ariège region of the Pyrenees, on the route to Andorra. The town is dominated by an imposing château perched on a rock high above the old medieval town with narrow streets.  There is a medieval festival every summer, with shows Friday and Saturday nights in July and August.  Visit the web site www.ariege.com.

The nearby Rivière Souterraine de Labouiche is the longest underground river in Europe and offers an interesting boat tour of the caves.

Montségur is a Catharist ruin perched high on top of a steep rock (1,207 m) at the foot of the Pyrenees.  In 1244, after a ten-month siege, the castle was taken and two hundred heretics burned.  Stop in Mirepoix on the way to see its medieval arcade town square.  Books listing locations of many Catharist castles are available at most bookstores in Toulouse.

The Prehistoric Park in Tarascon is set in a beautiful environment and recreates life during Neolithic times.  There are regular demonstrations of how to cut weapons out of silex, or how to light a fire.  Try your hand at painting on a cave wall, or throwing spears.  You can admire reproductions of cave paintings from caves which are closed to the public.  Exit before Tarascon on N20, at the end of the dual carriage way.

The following are prehistoric caves open to the public:
•    Niaux is the second most impressive ornate prehistoric cave in France after Lascaux. Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling: 05 61 05 88 37.
•    The Mas d’Azil is also a prehistoric cave. For more information, call 05 61 69 97 22.
Recommended website about the various types of cave drawings : www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en to view spotlight drawings of the famous cave of Lascaux, near Montignac, now closed to the public.

Parc des Loups is a wolf park located in Orlu near Ax Les Thermes.

MIDI PYRENEES (South West of Toulouse)

Lourdes is approximately a one and a half hour drive southwest of Toulouse.  Early spring can be a beautiful time to see Lourdes.  You can visit the cave where it is claimed that Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary.  The most important pilgrimage takes place here annually, during the week of August 15th, when hundreds of ill people, from all over the world, come to Lourdes to experience what to them are sacred waters.  The Semaine Sainte is held for Easter.  The town and surrounding area are well worth a visit.  Websites :www.Lourdes-France.com or www.lourdes-france.org.

Martres Tolosane has specialized in the production of earthenware (faiences) since the 18th century;  workshops (faiencerie) are open to visitors.

Montmaurin is a Gallo-Roman villa, dating from the 2nd through the 4th century, with thermal baths, reception rooms, and gardens. The mosaics are exhibited in the nearby museum. For more information, you can call: 05 61 88 74 73

Saint Bertrand de Comminges boasts a basilica, perched on a rock over the valley, and an impressive cloister set in a peace, fun environment. Don’t miss the remarkable sculptures of the wooden banks (les stalles), carved in the 16th century.

Here are just a few of the many interesting places in the Central Pyrenees:

Bagnères de Bigorre is known for its trail walks.

Cirque de Gavarnie has trail walks, a stunning view and theatrical productions every summer.

Luchon is a thermal town, renown for its Fête des Fleurs in August. Created in 1888, this fête is a procession of flower-decked floats. Visit their web site: www.luchon.com.

The Observatoire du Pic du Midi near Tarbes opened in July 2000 to the public. Climb up to 2,877 meters in a cable car.  Tha panorama is spectacular with a unique view of the entire Pyrenees mountains range. The sun and its corona are daily monitored in the observatory.  The Discovery Center where you can learn about astronomy is open to the public.  Caution: due to the high altitude, don’t forget to bring warm clothes and sunglasses.  The site is not advisable for pregnant women, children under 3 and people subject to heart problems.  From La Mongie, cable cars depart every 15 minutes;  the visit takes about two hours. For more information, call 05 62 56 71 11 or visit www.picdumidi.com.

MIDI PYRENESS (West of Toulouse)

This area, known as the Gers, is beautiful, although not particularly spectacular, with its gentle hills rolling up to the Pyrenees.  Le Gers deserves to be discovered in all seasons: so close to Toulouse, and yet so different!   Don’t miss a day trip there in the summer with all the sunflower fields in bloom.  The food is just fantastic, as the area is home to Foie Gras.

Auch has one of the most recent cathedrals built in France: the Cathédrale Sainte Marie.  It is a Gothic building, with remarkable stained-glass windows and Renaissance decoration.  The old town is also worth a visit.

Condom is a medium-sized city about 140 km northwest of Toulouse in the Gers region (Gascony).  Condom offers an excellent hotel/restaurant called Les Cordeliers that is housed in an old abbey.  You can also visit the famous Armagnac cellars of Jeannot or go a bit out of town to the Armagnac cellars of the Château de Cassaigne, where they offer a slide show, in English, before the tasting session.  Don’t miss the other lively towns set in the rolling hills of Gascony: Fleurance, Mauvezin and Lectoure.  In Lectoure you can learn about the pastel trade and buy one of a kind souvenirs at L’Atelier (visit their website:  www.bleu-de-lectoure.com).

Cologne and Gimont are typical villages called “bastides”, with wooden or stone ‘halles’ hosting weekly farmers’ markets.
Fourcès, which is located further to the west, is a lovely village, circle-shaped, built around a square with old trees.
L’Isle Jourdain is where the Musée Art Campanaire is located which exhibits all sorts of bells.
Marciac is world renown for its Jazz festival for two weeks in August. For more information, contact the tourist office in Marciac at 05 62 08 26 60 or visit www.marciac.com. To make concert reservations, call 08 25 08 82 30.

MIDI PYRENEES (North of Toulouse)

Cahors is about a one hour drive from Toulouse.  Visit the city, home to the finest medieval bridge in the world, le Pont Valentré, and to the lovely old quarter, and explore the surrounding wine country.  Two wine châteaux you can visit are Château de Mercues (also a top-notch hotel/restaurant), and Château de Haute Serre.

Cloître de Moissac is one of the finest examples of a Roman cloister, built by the end of the 11th century.  A highlight of the cloister is the 76 marble columns, each capital adorned with a different sculpture, flower, or mythical animals; some recount Biblical stories.  The gate of the Eglise Saint Pierre is a wonder of Roman sculpture.

Figeac is a nice town, and home to the Musée Champollion, named after the scientist who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The Forêt de la Grésigne is an oak forest which is great for walks and bike rides.

The Gouffre de Padirac is an impressive cave, best discovered by taking the elevator all the way down the shaft, then riding in a boat along the underground river.

Medieval villages abound in the region.  For example, take the Montauban exit off the autoroute to discover a beautiful countryside and pretty villages. Visit the medieval town of Penne, perched high above the river, or Bruniquel and its art exhibitions, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val,Villefranche-de-Rouergue (visit the medieval town square). Montclar-du-Quercy and Castelnau-de-Montmirail are walled villages, built on top of cliffs in the 13th and 14th century; enjoy the view!  You can combine this trip with a trip to Cordes (see below).

Montauban is a nice brick city.  Visit the museum exhibiting drawings and paintings by Ingres.

Pech Merle has major a prehistoric cave. Don’t miss the Grey Horses fresco.

Rocamadour is a long day trip by car, being a few hours NW of Toulouse, and beyond Cahors, but well worth it.  The town, a center for religious pilgrims since the 12th century, is cut into a cliff side! It had as much religious importance as Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Jerusalem until the 13th century. Be forewarned that it has become very tourist-oriented today. The town also offers one of the largest cheese festivals in Southern France in May.

Saint Cirq-Lapopie is near Cahors, and is one of the prettiest villages in France.  It has lovely narrow streets, Gothic and Renaissance houses, artisans, and breathtaking views of the Lot River valley.

Walibi Park is an amusement park near Agen, between Toulouse and Bordeaux. There are water games and slides.

MIDI PYRENEES (North East of Toulouse)

Albi is located 80 km NE of Toulouse.  Nicknamed ‘Albi the Red’ because of its brick facades, Albi was once the focal point of the Catharist heretic movement and later a hotbed of working-class uprisings.  The old city, a veritable open-air museum on the banks of the Tarn, remains intact as a living landmark to this turbulent period in history.  Visit the impressive Cathédrale Sainte Cécile, built in the late 13th century, known for its fortress-like appearance, its flamboyant southern Gothic interior and its 16th-century Station Renaissance paintings.  The choir-stall is worth a visit.  The Palais de La Berbie houses a museum devoted to the work Albi’s most famous native son, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), with more than 600 works of art: paintings, drawings, lithographs, and posters.

Around Albi is the Albigeois, the region where the rugged Massif Central gives way to the rolling landscape of the Midi, and where slate gives way to brick.

Cordes-sur-Ciel is a must-see. This medieval walled city was created in 1222 on the top of a cliff, about 80 km NE of Toulouse, not far from Albi.  It has steep cobblestone streets, quiet passageways, and stone steps that are lined with old Gothic houses, many of which are currently home to art galleries and craft shops.  Cordes is also home to the renowned (but expensive) Grand Ecuyer restaurant.  On July 14th, Bastille Day, Cordes comes alive with a medieval festival complete with a costumed population, medieval crafts’ displays, jousting matches and, of course, plenty of food.  Visiting tourists get a discount if they are appropriately dressed.  It is strongly recommended to leave your car in the car parks outside the city.  Contact the Office du Tourisme at: 05 63 56 00 52.

Gaillac is the home of local wines.

Giroussens sponsors a pottery and ceramic exhibition at the end of April with around 50 exhibitors.  Take highway direction Albi, exit #7. For more information, contact the tourist office at: 05 63 79 03 10.

The Jardin des Martels, Giroussens is a beautiful garden that boasts a tropical aquatic greenhouse which is great for kids. For more information, call: 05 63 41 61 42. Take the highway direction Albi, then exit #7.

Conques has an abbey which is a halt for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostelle. Concerts are organized in the summer.

MIDI PYRENEES (East of Toulouse)

Castres is a small, lovely city with a river running through the middle of town. Castres is located about 70 kilometers east of Toulouse. It boasts a small, but interesting Goya Museum, exhibiting paintings by Spanish artists, including: Franciso Goya, Velasquez, Murillo. For more information, call: 05 63 71 59 30.

Lac de St Féréol is where you want to go in the hot summer months.  There are lots of nautical activities only one half hour from Toulouse.  What looks like a lake is in fact a dam, created in 1666, to act as a water reservoir for the Canal du Midi.

The Parc National du Sidobre isa black forest host to granite rocks with funny shapes, in equilibrium, defying gravity. Great for walks with kids. Start your tour from the villages of Burlats, Lacrouzette, Ferrières, Guior-le-Bez or Saint-Savy-de-la-Balme.

Theme parks for children:

•    Walibi: water park, slides and water games
•    African Zoo, Plaisance du Touch
•    Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse
•    Prehistoric Parc, Tarascon sur Ariège
•    Labyrinthus, Cordes
•    Monkey Forest, Rocamadour
•    Wolf Park, Orlu, Ariège


Two hours away from Toulouse, the nearest beaches on the Mediterranean are:  Gruissan, Leucate, Port Barcarès, Canet Plage and St Cyprien. The coast is flat, with wide beaches of sand or pebbles, no tides, and few waves!

Cap d’Agde/Grande Motte are both popular beaches.

Carcassonne is a must see for all visitors.  Located about one hour’s drive southeast of Toulouse, Carcassonne is a remarkably preserved medieval fortified city (la Cité Médiévale) unique in Europe.  The 52 towers, 2 concentric walls, and 3 kilometers of ramparts envelop an inhabited city.  There are shops, restaurants and hotels as well as a great deal of history.  There are guided tours in French all year-round and in English during the tourist season. Carcassonne boasts magnificent fireworks on the 14th of July (Bastille Day).  Check for times with the Office du Tourisme at: 04 68 10 24 30 or visit their website:  www.carcassone.org..

The Catharist castles circuit on road D117 will introduce you to fortified castles built in the 13th and 14th centuries.  Don’t miss Puivert, Lapradelle-Puilaurens, Quéribus and the stunning Peyrepertuse.  They are nicknamed ‘les citadelles du vertige’.  See for yourself!

Collioure is located on the Mediterranean coast to the south of Perpignan. A quaint fishing port with a fortress that was the summer home of the Kings of Majorca during their 13th and 14th century reign over French Catalonia. It is lively in the tourist season with many little shops and restaurants.  Drive a bit further down the coast to Banyuls to taste the town’s famous naturally sweet wine.  The town offers beautiful firework displays on July 14th.

Narbonne has a beautiful cathedral, old town, and Palais des Archevêques (11th century), all worth the visit!

The Oppidum d’Ensérune is an unusual Roman site.

The Sigean African Reserve is located off of highway A9, near Narbonne.  The reserve offers a fun day for the whole family watching lions, rhinos and ostriches. 160 animal species live in an environment similar to their home habitats.  www.reserveafricainsigean.fr or 04 68 48 20 20.

Sète is located on the Mediterranean coast between Narbonne and Montpellier. A picturesque fishing village laced with a network of canals and bridges that make it an important hub of maritime life.  Try the seafood in one of the seaside restaurants while watching the jousting matches on the water between teams of sailors on narrow boats, a 300-year-old tradition.

Tautavel is home to an important prehistory museum.  Its most famous native son, the skull of the 450,000-year old “Tautavel Man” has recently been returned to the site.  Visit www.tautavel.com or call 04 68 29 07 76.


PROVENCE REGION (East of Toulouse)

Anduze has a bamboo forest which can be visited.

Arles is a Roman capital and was a religious center during the Middle Ages.  It also has a functioning Roman arena (capacity 26,000), amphitheater and les Alyscamps, the Roman cemetery and bridge which were subjects of two of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

Avignon is a city, with a population of ninety thousand, that is approximately 300 km from Toulouse.  It is an old city with considerable history.  Visit the medieval Palace of the Popes, home to five Popes during the time when the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church were here and to two Popes during the Great Schism.  This should be the highlight of your visit to this city of art and culture spread out regally along the banks of the Rhône River. Don’t miss the Place de l’Horloge (main square) and the many outdoor shops and restaurants.

Bories is an uninhabited village near Gordes, about one half of an hour east of Avignon. The houses, including the roofs, are build completely of stone. The village dates from the 14th century.

La Camargue is a vast, unspoiled area at the delta of the Rhône River, preserved as a botanical and zoological nature reserve, just beyond Montpellier. This is another site not to be missed.  It is home to wild horses and countless pink flamingos.  Visit the Gypsy village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and the walled town of Aigues-Mortes, built by Louis IX in the 13th century to ensure a Mediterranean port for his crusaders.  The town is still inhabited today, and its ramparts, towers and dungeons convey the importance of the Egyptian crusade which departed through its gates in 1248.

Gorges de l’Hérault,  St Guilhem le Désert both provide a spectacular view!

The Grotte des Demoiselles boasts beautiful concretions and stalactites.

Le Pont du Gard is an awe-inspiring relic of the Roman colonization of France.  It is a three-tiered, 150-foot high, two thousand year-old bridge along the most grandiose stretch of a 50 kilometer-long aqueduct that supplied the inhabitants of the city of Nîmes with fresh water.

Les Baux on the route of les Alpilles des Baux is lined with windmills and sun-baked landscapes that have attracted artists throughout the centuries.

Nîmes is also known as the ‘French Rome’ due to its wealth of monuments and buildings dating from Roman times.  Its amphitheater is a virtual mini-Coliseum.  The stone temple of the Maison Carrée and the crumbling Temple of Diana will plunge you into the world of antiquity.  Nîmes is also known for the springtime bullfighting Feria.

Orange is where Provence really starts. It was an ancient center of Roman trade.  Don’t miss out on the summer music festival in the well-preserved amphitheater.

Les Gorges du Tarn are about a three-hour drive northeast of Toulouse beyond Millau.  You can kayak and canoe to your heart’s content in the narrow canyon of the Tarn River.  While you are there, and if you are a Roquefort cheese lover, visit the town from which the cheese got its name,Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.  You can tour the fromagerie (cheese factory) Société.


Approximately two and a half hours north of Toulouse, the Dordogne is a region of picturesque towns perched on cliffs above the Dordogne River.  The region is home to some of France’s most beautiful villages and to great regional cooking.  There is too much to see for one weekend, thus it is better seen in several trips.  If possible, plan your visit in the spring or autumn. Here are some favorites:  Hautefort, La Roche Gageac, St. Céré, andDome.

Rocamadour is a long day trip, being a few hours NW of Toulouse, and beyond Cahors, but well worth it. The town, a center for religious pilgrims since the 12th century, is cut into a cliff side!  It had as much religious importance as Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Jerusalem until the 13th century.  Be forewarned, however, that it has become very tourist-oriented today.

Sarlat is a medieval town where one can find excellent food.  Several châteaux offer bed and breakfast.

Prehistoric caves:
The Caves at Lascaux is the most important prehistoric discovery in Europe.  The original cave is closed to the public, although one can visit a reproduction.  Buy tickets in the nearby town of Montignac early in the morning for the same day.

The Caves of Rouffignac are well worth the trip. The prehistoric paintings being far from the “modern” entrance, you ride a train in the cave. Kids love it! There are beautiful drawings of mammoths.

The Caves of Font de Gaume have beautiful prehistoric paintings. Reservations are requested during the summer.


Bordeaux is approximately 240 km NW of Toulouse. I t is a chief port of the French south Atlantic coast and one of the worlds wine capitals.  It is also a beautiful city with many places of interest.  Taste the wine and visit the countryside in nearby St. Emilion, where there is a very interesting château with a dungeon, a monolithic church and catacombs. Also visit Sauternes and Pessac-Leognan.

For a friendly English-speaking B&B, call La Tuilerie in Noaillac, near La Réole, at 05 56 71 05 51, or e-mail them at: claire.laborde@libertysurf.fr.

The Atlantic Ocean offers tides, waves, and wide, white sand beaches. Some places are renowned for surfing.

Les Landes is known for its gorgeous pinewood forest, starting south of Bordeaux all the way down to the Basque country.  It offers a 300 km-long biking path along the sea, in the sand dunes, from Lacanau to Biarritz.

Bassin d’Arcachon has an oyster park.  Bird Island is a National Reserve accessible by boat from Arcachon. There are 5-6 departures per day, and the trip lasts about 2 hours. Make sure to check tide timetables.  Dune du Pilat is the highest sand dune in Europe, overlooking the ocean.

Main beach resorts:
Hourtin Plage
Lacanau: surfing paradise
Hossegor: World Cup surf contest in August
Vieux Boucau
Cap Breton

Biarritz/Bayonne are lovely twin seaside cities 300 km SW of Toulouse.  Visit the historic forts and cathedrals and the Bayonne casino; enjoy the clean beaches. English is spoken by the employees of most hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments. It is a pretty drive along RN 117 to the autoroute (toll highway).

The road from Biarritz to St Jean de Luz is very scenic.
St Jean de Luz is a lovely historic harbor.  It had the privilege of hosting the wedding of the Sun King, Louis XIV, with the Spanish infanta in the 17th century.
La Rhune offers the chance for a great trip in the Pyrenees.  Take the small train to Ascain and discover a splendid overview of the Atlantic coast.
Eugénie Les Bains, near Aire sur Adour, hosts the restaurant ‘Chez Daquin’ rated three stars in the Michelin gastronomic guide.

La Rochelle is an historic fortified port dominated by two towers, each six centuries old, and located about a three and a half hour drive northwest of Toulouse on the Atlantic coast.  During the summer months, the 15th century homes, covered wooden sidewalks, and arched passageways are the background to lively street entertainment and outdoor restaurants.  The city is also home to a major aquarium.


Costa Brava can be reached by autoroute, but the coastal drive along the cliffs is absolutely breathtaking, as long as you don’t mind hairpin curves and heights.  Here are just a few of the many beautiful seaside towns.

Cadaques is an adorable whitewashed fishing village clinging to the hills.  Cadaques became the haunt of artists and intellectuals thanks to its resident star, Salvador Dali, it boasts picture postcard charm with narrow lanes and staircases serving as a substitute for streets.  Dali’s villa is just down the road in the tiny resort of Port Lligat, but can be visited by reservation only.

Rosas is a large beach resort, rather built up, but lively.  Go to Aqualand when it gets too hot!

Tossa de Mar is a beach resort graced with an old city surrounded by ramparts.  Beautiful.


Barcelona is the capital of Catalogne, and is sophisticated and modern in spirit, yet exuding tradition and history in its every nook and cranny.  The Gothic center and the fantasy inspired houses are just a few of the many attractions.  Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia, the cathedral designed by the Catalan architect Gaudi.  Check your map and watch street names carefully as you enter Barcelona.  A good 50% of tourists take the wrong freeway (the coast road) instead of the direct one when exiting Barcelona to return to France.

Figueras is the birthplace of Dali, and home to his strange and remarkable museum set in a former theater.  It is a temple of surrealism just 2 hours from Toulouse by toll highway.  Arrive early to avoid the crowd in the summer. .

Gerona is an old town where it feels as though one is taking a walk through medieval Spain.  It had an important Jewish population during the Middle Ages.  Go to the tourist office for a walking tour guide.

La Bisbal is known as a pottery village.

Pubol is the modest castle Salvador Dali offered to his wife Gala.  Don’t miss it!  It has a great location in the hills, and the decoration reflects the master’s peculiar genius.

Pamplona is located 380 km SW of Toulouse.  During the 1st week in July the Fiesta of San Fermin is celebrated with the ‘running of the bulls’!  Every morning at 08:00 during the festival, the people watch as the brave run through the barricaded streets with bulls chasing them to the bullring.  There is a lot of excitement, activities, and delicious Spanish food.

San Sebastian is a beautiful mid-sized Spanish city approximately a 5-hour drive SW of Toulouse.  It is nestled into an Atlantic coast bay with a rocky coast to the north and sandy beaches to the south.