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My Gascony

The 'tour' starts in the bastide village of Miramont Sensacq. If you want a relaxed holiday in beautiful surroundings where the kids can wander free and discover nature - you've just found it!!

Come and see what makes this corner of South West France so special.

Gascony - part of Aquitaine - is home to "D'Artagnan" (he was a real person - Charles de Batz Castelmore - born in nearby Lubiac). Miramont itself was founded by Edward I of England. History is all around - churches (many dating from the 12th century), museums and roman mosaics. The pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostelo runs though the village.

FOOD AND DRINK

The Gascon passion. Pork and beef are of the highest quality but the duck is king - with its princely foie gras. You can buy all these at local markets, where they also sell fresh fruit, vegetables, home produced cheeses and honey. Restaurants abound - from the small family run place offering a 4 or 5 course menu (including wine) for about 13 euros, to the 3star Michelin restaurant at Eugenie les Bains (just 12 kms away) where the bill could be 20 times as much!

Maybe eating 'in' (especially for the children) is a more practical idea. Not a problem. Supermarkets - big and small - are within a few kilometres, and here you can buy a mouthwatering array of pre-prepared dishes ranging from suckling pig through shellfish to a bewildering choice of terrines and pates. For a real shopping experience go to Pau - not only is it a fascinating town - but it has a magical food market with additional space for local producers several days a week.

The wines here are arguably some of the best in France and certainly the cheapest - Madiran, Tursan, Jurancon (names to conjure with) and Armagnac without dissent the finest brandy in France and always served at Presidential dinners. There are many small Armagnac producers around who will be happy to give you a tasting - or you can visit their centre at La Bastide d'Armagnac - a delightful old fashioned walled village some 25kms away.

THE COAST

The Atlantic coast, with several beaches to choose from, is about 90kms away - reputedly boasting the best surfing in Europe. Further afield you will find the Basque country - with its great cities of Bayonne, Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz. A different world, a different language - then up into the mountains of Col d'Ibardin to find cheap wine, spirits, food and petrol (not to mention leather goods!)

SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES

After all the 'good' life - maybe you have a guilty conscience. Don't despair - help is at hand!

Swimming - in the pool at the house (this includes midnight!) Tennis - several courts nearby

Golf - a 9hole course 8km away, plus a variety of 'big-boy' places within 40kms

Cycling - bikes can be hired locally and the Tourist Office provides circuit maps

Walking - quiet rolling countryside nearby and for the more serious - the Pyrenees

Horse riding - three or four stables in the area from beginners upwards Water sports - canoeing on the Adour and water skiing on nearby lakes

Health and fitness - Eugenie les Bains for a total (not inexpensive) sybaritic experience, Dax for mud baths and other thermal treatments.

Kid's time - the nature reserve at Miramont Lake, wild life parks, aquariums, caves, a working 19th century farming commune, the famous little train into the peaks of the Pyrenees and donkey riding in Gavarnie (near Lourdes)

THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF GASCONY - WHY NOT COME AND DISCOVER FOR YOURSELVES???

Written by Susan McCarthy - Owner of Property 71354 in Miramont Sensacq, France

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                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Had a most enjoyable time ...

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      Despite unusually variable weather for early September, we had a wonderful couple of weeks with friends - visiting all our usual wine, eating and walking haunts in the region - which we love. The rather cool pool was regrettably only tempting to a few, but bravely taken on by one! Graham and Susan were most welcoming and excellent hosts and 'neighbours' - and the dogs and cats kept us amused, to say the least! Would not hesitate to recommend to others ...
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: Sep 21, 2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Sep 2017

                                                                                                      Family friendly farmhouse in peaceful location

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We stayed as a family of four (one and five year old children). The location was very peaceful, with lovely views of farmland across a valley (the valley also seemed to help generate a cooling breeze in the evenings). The children's facilities were very good, with all conceivable facilities (including plates, cups, cutlery, etc) provided as well as a selection of toys and games. The Wifi was reliable and surprisingly fast for such a rural location. The house was spacious and could have accommodated another family comfortably. The grounds are also extensive and offered great opportunities for the kids to explore. We used the pizza oven twice during our stay, using the wood provided. We all enjoyed making our pizzas and the results were pretty impressive! (You can you tube tips for pizza making) There is a winery 500m away which stocked us up for the week! Basic provisions can be covered in Viella, with larger supermarkets in Riscle and Aire. There are a few local attractions. We visited a bird of prey centre around 10 minutes away, which was a nice half-day attraction. We visited the coast on a day trip. Two of the local villages have swimming pools. The pool in Racile was good with a toddler splash area, kids pool and main pool - also clean and well kept. The owner and his man, James, were quick to respond to any questions. It was also good to know there was local, English speaking assistance if we needed it.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: Sep 03, 2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Aug 2017