With its eight departements (Ariege, Aveyron, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Lot, Hautes-Pyrenees, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne), Midi-Pyrenees is the largest region of France. Midi Pyrenees covers 8.3% of France. Its area of 45 300 km2 has a very varied landscape consisting of plains, hills and mountains of differing heights. Toulouse is the region's capital. Notable for the red brick that gives the city its rosy hue, "The Pink City" straddles the Garonne River.
The Mountains are a major draw and are loved by medium and high altitude climbers/hikers during summers and during winters they turn into one of the best Skiing resorts. The Midi-Pyrenees does not have a coastline; however the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean are hardly a couple of hours drive away. The region is a land of enclosed seas which means that many water sports are available on specially equipped stretches of water: swimming, windsurfing, rowing, water skiing and dinghy sailing, etc. The magnificent scenery of the southeastern part of Midi-Pyrenees, which features the Western Pyrenees National Park and the gorges of the Tarn River, draws visitors interested in outdoor endeavours. Lourdes, one of the world's most visited pilgrimage sites, attracts several million visitors per year. Rocamadour is another famous pilgrimage centre with plenty of underground caves nearby. The magnificent Millau Bridge (opened 2004), the world's tallest road bridge (1,125 feet [343 metres]) is not far off either.
Few of the major tourist destinations in the Midi Pyrenees region are shown in the image here.
Midi Pyrenees Tourism Websites
English version - French Version - Grand Sites of Midi Pyrenees website
It is easy to make a day trip to most places using
The Train TER Midi-Pyrenees
You can also make a Carte Loisirs for 20 euros per year to avail a 50% discount on weekends. (Upto 4 people can travel with discount on one card). There are also touristic trains from the TER network to the skiing stations in winter and the mediterranean beaches in summer.
The bus Arc-en-Ciel(More suited to travel around Toulouse)
You can search for the different options for travel in Haute-garonne and Midi Pyrenees region available here.
A small beautiful town about 80 km from Toulouse. Its easily accessible by train. A beautiful village along the river Tarn.
The village of festivity. Must to visit on 14 July to witness the breathtaking fireworks on the backdrop of the medieval castle. Don't miss to taste "Cassoulet de Canard" the famous dish of this place. There are frequent trains from Toulouse to Carcassonne and even a very late night train at 0015hrs to return to Toulouse. Do check SNCF timetable.
TIP: If you plan to visit Carcassonne by cycle trip I will recommend the book Le canal du Midi à vélo by Philippe Calas with detailed maps, places to visit around and lodging facilities , etc. Contact Yogesh PARTE if you need maps.
A small but beautiful beach along the Mediterranean sea, a favorite tourist spot of the summer just 2 hours by train from Toulouse. One can enjoy a boat ride in Mediterranean sea, walking trails along the Spanish border through wine fields and off course a old castle just next to the sea shore and the ancient eglise de "Notre Dam". A picturesque beach and jubilant crowd on Sunday. A perfect place to spend a summer weekend.
village situated in the valley of Pyrenees mountain range close to
Spain, Andora and just one hour by train from Toulouse. Nice place to go
on mountain biking, cannoying in river Arieage and treking along GR10
path. The place is also known for longest underground river of the
Europe "La Bouiche" and medivial castle.
( Cycle trip along Canal du Midi): The beautiful village of maize and sunflower fields. One must cycle along the Canal du Midi to see this beautiful village. Its just 35km from Toulouse and if you start in the morning (say at 0800hr) will reach this village by afternoon. There is old Chateau and very old church. At pont Lauragis one can enjoy the lunch or cafe. There is a good cafeteria/restaurant where one can get the full course lunch (about 11 euros) or sandwiches and bugette. A place must explore!!
TIP: If you plan to visit Lauragais by cycle trip I will recommend the book Le canal du Midi à vélo by Philippe Calas with detailed maps, places to visit around and lodging facilities , etc. Contact Yogesh PARTE if you need maps.
Another town famous for pilgrimage..but if you are ready to explore can go further for trekking or hiking in Pyrenees. You will get more information at Tourist office.
Just 25km from Carcassonne, 50 km from Toulouse, and surrounded by Pyrenees mountain range,
this wine growing country land is must to visit for wine lovers. This
picturesque town is not to be missed especially in harvest season. This
is the birth place of sparkling wine. World famous Crémant
de Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux are produced here. With prior
arrangement tourists can visit these wine yards and also enjoy wine
foot of the Pyrenees mountain range, the village of hot streams with
medicinal properties...A place loved by sportsmen as it allows multiple
sporting activities..right from mountain biking, hiking to para gliding
and skiing. I just felled in love with this place. For more adventure
one can venture into small trek to Lac d'Oô or Lac d'espingo.
The highest astronomical observatory in the Pyrenees. Must to visit in the winter to witness snow clad Pyrenees mountain range. And if you know skiing..then its a great place for winter sports.
Not in the midi-pyrenees region but close to Anglet/Biaritz alog the Atlantic cost. It nice place for trekking. There is also a small yellow train to take you up and down the mountains.
A village famous for Christian pilgrimage and off course the Rocamadour cheese. Don't miss to visit the biggest limestone cave "Gouffre de Padirac". The World famous annual event of hot balloon festival "MONTGOLFIADES of ROCAMADOUR" takes place in the last week of September or first week of October. Don't miss the chance to witness only of its kind hot air balloon festival against the backdrop of mystic Rocamadour cliffs. Further details about local attraction are available on tourist office website: http://www.rocamadour.com/en