Visit Gers, France
The historical region of Gascony (now the Gers department) is one of rolling countryside, of low-key agriculture and fields of sunflowers, of quiet roads and peaceful moments. It is an ideal destination for enjoying unspoiled countryside and for relaxing away from the tourist crowds, with its fair share of castles, attractive villages and unspoiled market towns to visit
Selected places to visit in Gers
Gascony sights and places to visit
The Gers department of France is located in the heart of the Midi-Pyrenees region, south of the Lot-et-Garonne (Aquitaine) and north of Haute-Garonne and the Hautes-Pyrenees.
The name Gascony was officially abandoned following the Revolution, but the Gers department has used the name Gascony for for tourism purposes - so for this travel guide the names Gers and Gascony are treated as the same thing although this is not strictly correct.
The population density in the Gers is very low and the quality of life very high - in part, the locals will tell you, due to the high standard and reputation of the local produce, including foie gras and local cheeses.
The largest towns in the department include Auch, centrally located and the 'capital' of the Gers department, and Condom and Fleurance both north of Auch. The name of the town Condom causes such amusement to overseas visitors that the town has opened a museum celebrating contraception, although there is no real historical link with the town!
Also in northern Gascony: visit the party town of Vic-Fezensac and Lectoure the lively market town. The cluster of classified most beautiful villages that includes Montreal-du-Gers - see the Roman Villa-de-Seviac while visiting - also Fources and Larressingle (a mini version of Carcassonne) makes for one of the highlights of a visit to Gascony, and nearby Lavardens is an attractive village and castle on a hilltop.
Larressingle / Flaran Abbey
Among the other places to visit are:
- Marciac (south-west) is home to a famous annual jazz festival
- the bastide towns of Saint-Clar, Gimont, Bassoues, Masseube, Mirande, Miélan, Plaisance, Valence each have their own attractions
- the church at the village of Mont d'Astarac (southern Gers) has impressive medieval murals
- pretty village at Simorre (south-east) and its fortified church
- Sarrant (on the eastern border of Gascony), is a listed 'most beautiful village in France'
- the walled town of La Romieu (north)
- The Flaran abbey and cloisters (north-east) at Valence-sur-Baise.
- Eauze (west), the 'capital of Armagnac' has a historical centre
- the village of Castelnau d'Auzan (west) is in a very picturesque setting
- castles at Cassaigne, Avezan and Cazaux-Savès, Miramont-Latour, Plieux, Saint-Puy (Monluc); Busca-Maniban...
In many places in the department you will come across mention of the pilgrim paths to Santiago de Compostela - keep an eye out for carved stone shells above doorways in particular, which marks the medieval routes.
See a list of all Gers communes
Map of Gers
French version: Gers (Francais)