The Midi-Pyrenees, France is the largest region in the country, and borders Spain to the south. It is a land-locked region, but has a wealth of landscapes, encouraging participation in a huge wealth of activities, and with holiday homes, villas and rental properties to suit all holiday makers. Midi-Pyrenees is situated at the end of the Pyrenean chain, and the peaks of Vigenemale and Pic du Balaitous are both over 10,000 feet.
These regions of Haute-Pyrenees and Haute-Garonne are of course a prime holiday destination for ski and snowsports. A holiday home in the Midi-Pyrenees gives you access to great downhill skiing at Bagneres and La Mongie, 45 miles of cross-country skiing on the Plateau de Beille, and international standard snowboarding facilities at St Lary Soulan.
During the summer, the Midi-Pyrenees, France, turns into a haven for walking, mountain biking, climbing, cycle touring, canyoning, kayaking, paragliding, horse riding and almost every other adventure sport imaginable. Taking a holiday home or Midi-Pyrenees rental villa provides the flexibility and privacy to enjoy a huge range of activities at for all experience levels and at a pace which suits you.
The area has undoubted natural beauty, and such variety of flora and fauna, that there are a number of important national parks to enjoy, especially the parks at Neouvielle, Haute-Languedoc and Causses du Quercy. UNESCO has placed the Cirque de Gavarnie on the World Heritage List, and there are fabulous trails up to it for both walkers and mountain bikers alike. Although Midi-Pyrenees has no coastline, the lakes and rivers provide ample opportunities for swimming, windsurfing, rowing, water skiing and sailing, all provided by specially equipped centres.
The thermal waters of the area have given rise to 17 spas in Midi-Pyrenees. Spa holidays have become quite popular amongst the jet set, especially in the Midi-Pyrenees where you can also engage in active sports. It is an idyllic spot for lovers of health and fitness, with ample sporting facilities and relaxing, therapeutic spas to rest weary limbs, and fully recuperate whilst on your Midi-Pyrenees holiday.
Ariege is described by most travel writers as wild but accessible. This is a good description. Walkers on the 3000 foot peaks can occasionally encounter bears, and there is top class trout fishing, kayaking and walking in the area. Also, for those interested in cycling, there is a stage of the Tour de France starting in Areige.
The Aveyron and Tarn valleys can also offer fabulous fishing, cycling, skiing, potholing and golf, but Aveyron is most noted for the pre-historic ruins especially at Najac, and fortified chateaus, as well as the world's tallest bridge, the Millau viaduct. Also not to be missed on any Midi-Pyrenees holiday are the Roquefort Caves, or the gothic Ste-Cecile Cathedral at Albi.
For gastronomic delicacies or culture, Lot villas and the surrounding valleys are the place to find truffles, goose, duck and dark Cahar wines to finish a feast prepared from a self-catering holiday cottage. The traditional fairs and music festivals in Gers are vibrant and fun for individuals, couples or families.
The Midi-Pyrenees bask in 2000 hours of sunshine a year. Summer temperatures resemble those of the Mediterranean, and are over 25°C for 60-80 days a year and temperatures do not drop below 20°C until October.
There are many small airports in the region, Lourdes, Albi, Ariege and many others. Flights are not direct from the UK, but these smaller airports receive flights from Toulouse, Bordeaux and Barcelona. Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, BMI and other airlines all provide the one stop-over flights to the region from most all UK airports.