In December the snow arrives to the highest peaks and the ski
season begins, with down-hill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and many other
snow based activities available, both for the novice and the expert, for an unforgettable skiing holiday.
Yet as the temperature rises in the springtime the snow melts and the rivers swell
providing perfect conditions for canoeing, kayaking and rafting.
As the summer approaches the walking season for hikers and ramblers begins. The
Midi-Pyrenees region offers varied walks from high altitude mountain hikes to river and
town walks and caters for all abilities. The season runs right through until the
late autumn when the snow starts to arrive again.
The Pyrenees mountain range, which is 400km long by 70km wide, runs along the border
between France and Spain, with the small country of Andorra nestling in the middle.
And although the Alps attract millions of tourists each winter season for the skiing and
snowboarding, the Pyrenees tend to be less crowded and less expensive than some of the
"premier" French resorts. But in total, the region hosts 38 ski resorts
and 1,000km of marked piste.
The Pyrenees also offer a range of adventure
holidays with climbing opportunities for those with basic skill right up to expert
climbing skills with challenging faces.
Toulouse is France's capital of the Midi-Pyrenees and boasts an incredible architectural
wealth. During the Renaissance period colossal fortunes were made, as you will be
able to see by the beautiful town houses that still stand today.
But the development of airmail at the beginning of the 20th century and with the first
flights of Daurat, Mermoz, and St-Exupery leaving their mark, it seems obvious that
Toulouse would become the capital of the European aeronautical industry of which Airbus is
one of the key figures, so do try and take the time to visit the "Cite de
The Canal du Midi was built under in the reign of King Louis the XIVth and is the oldest
European canal still in use and the canal covers 238km between l'etang de Thau near Sete
and Toulouse, drawing its water from the lake of St-Ferréol, which is a retaining
reservoir used as the canal's main feeding tank.
Pierre-Paul Riquet built the retaining barrier during the 17th century and it is the
oldest construction of its type in France. Extended by the Canal de Garonne the
Canal du Midi connects Bordeaux to Sete, hence forming a
waterway link-up between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Straight away, the Cirque of Gavarnie in the Hautes-Pyrenees surprises all by its colossal
size and its cascade, which is the highest in Europe, and will not fail to impress.
Clinging to a cliff-side in the Lot, Rocamadour, with its 12th century Black Madonna, its
13th century frescoes and its 14th century ramparts, is one of the most amazing sites in
The famous construction of the Millau Viaduct is the tallest traffic bridge in the world,
and since its opening in 2004 it has become a major tourist attraction in the Tarn
valley. The viaduct is situated in the Parc Naturel du Grands Causses and also
provides a great venue for adventure holidays in France.
However, taking a trip in a glider can provide the most awe inspiring birds eye view.