Itineraires Artistiques-
Follow an art trail on an e-bike around L’Isle-Jourdain© ITINERAIRES ARTISTIQUES

From bike tours to walking routes to sailing along the river, there are many ways to discover Gers.

Related article: Step Back in Time in Gers

GREAT OUTDOORS

Float over Gers in a balloon with Montgolfières de Gascogne, departing from Lectoure. Trips last around three hours and include a flight of at least one hour.

BIKES AND HORSES

The newly completed Véloroute de la Vallée de la Baïse crosses Gers from north to south, passing through Condom and Mirande, and linking to other cycle routes. Also new is a loop for horse riders as part of the Route Européenne d’Artagnan that links his birthplace in Lupiac, Gers, with Maastricht, where he lost his life. Hire an e-bike to follow themed routes – Itinéraires Artistiques – around L’Isle-Jourdain through eastern Gers to visit outdoor contemporary artworks, architectural gems, and eight new murals by internationally renowned artists. A new website enables visitors to create their own artistic itineraries.: www.paysportesdegascogne.com/culture/les-itineraires-artistiques.

Taking a balloon flight gives a whole new perspective on this beautiful part of France ©  GILLIAN THORNTON

EXPLORE ON FOOT

Two of the main routes to Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pass through Gers, the Via Podiensis (GR65) and the Via Tolosana (GR653). Key features on the way are Auch Cathedral, Lartigue Bridge, and the Collégiale of La Romieu. Special events were held along both routes on July 25 this year, when St James’s Day fell on a Sunday. As well as the major trails, Gers has 251 shorter walking circuits, as well as routes for cycles, electric bikes, mountain bikes and horse riders. New for 2021 is the 11km Sentier de la Baïse between Valence-sur-Baïse and Condom, passing Flaran Abbey and the double lock at Graziac.

RIVER TOURISM

Boating holidays on the Baïse depart from Le Mas d’Agenais with Le Boat. Hire a small self-drive motor boat or take a cruise excursion from Condom with D’Artagnan Echappée Gasconne.

Tourisme fluvial cr Le d'Artagnan Echappées Gasconnes
Cruise control: Enjoy a gentle boat trip along the river from Condom with Le d’Artagnan Echappées Gasconnes © LE D’ARTAGNAN ECHAPPÉES GASCONNES

WINE TOURISM

Everything you need to know about visits and activities in Armagnac country is available on a new website: www.pays-armagnac.fr. A new app will also enable visitors to make reservations, plan their route, and discover local attractions. Also new from tourist offices in the Pays d’Armagnac is a free guide to 20 natural sites, ‘Un grand vert d’Armagnac’, that personify biodiversity.

Bleu de Lectoure woad shop
Bleu de Lectoure’s woad shop is a fantastic place to find gifts to bring home © BLEU DE LECTOURE

FAMILY VISITS

Two prehistoric skeletons are newly on display at the Paleolithic site at Sansan where, in 1834, Gersois lawyer Édouard Lartet, discovered a deposit rich in fossils. Follow the 3km trail dotted with information panels; free access and parking; open daily. Discover the wonder of woad at www.bleu-de-lectoure.com and the art of bellmaking at Musée européen d’art campanaire in L’Isle-Jourdain.

From France Today magazine

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