Gers Holiday Activities in SW France

 

Things to do in the Gers

Markets
You can go to a different market every day of the week and buy everything from berets to beetroot, cheeses to chickens.  
The department of the Hautes Pyrenées is only a few miles away, with more excellent markets in Tarbes, Vic-en-Bigorre and Trie-sur Baïse.
 
Eating out
As everywhere in France, there are plenty of local restaurants serving food from simple to exotic, usually at very reasonable prices.  The Gers is famous for ducks, which will appear on most menus, and you can finish the meal with a snifter of Armagnac, the Cognac of the South West.
 
Festivals
During the summer, there are festivals, ‘vide greniers’ (the French version of car boot sales) and village fêtes galore.
Marciac Jazz Festival, held during the first two weeks of August, is an internationally-renowned festival, where some of the world’s best jazz musicians come to play.  The streets are lined with stalls selling a huge variety of things, and thronged with people, all in a calm and friendly atmosphere.

In July there is Tempo Latino in Vic Fezenzac, where you can dance for three days and nights to wonderful Latin American music.  
If line-dancing is your thing, there is a Country Music festival in Mirande, where everyone dresses up as cowboys and enthusiasts show off their fantastic vintage cars and customised motor bikes.

The county town of Auch hosts an impressive, week-long circus festival in October and almost every village holds a weekly market and a yearly fête.

Activities
Within half an hour's drive of Marciac are lakes with beaches and cafes, at Aignan and Lupiac, a beautiful crazy golf course at Plaisance, horse-riding, river fishing, tennis courts and Pallanne Golf Course. There is a gym in the nearby village of Tourdun and a health and fitness centre in Marciac itself.
 

At Prechac there is La Maison des Chameaux - a great day out for families, where children can groom and ride the camels, make bracelets out of llama wool and meet Carla the Pig.  
 
The magnificent Pyrenees are about 50 miles away and provide a spectacular backdrop to the gently rolling Gers countryside. They are a wonderland for walkers, climbers, riders, skiers, very fit cyclists and bird-watchers.

The Pilgrims' Way of Saint James passes near Marciac, going all the way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, which provides excellent walking even for non-pilgrims.

 
Wine-tasting
As Gascony is a great wine-producing area and home to Armagnac, there are chateaux offering wine-tastings all year round -  rich Madiran reds, fresh whites and rosés and and the delicious sweet Pacherenc.