Hidden Gems of the Gers, Episode 475

Categories: Day -Trips from Toulouse, Toulouse Area

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

On today's episode of the Podcast, Annie Sargent and Elyse Rivin discus hidden gems of Gers that they visited on a day-trip from Toulouse. This is definitely off the beaten track in France, but we think many of our listeners would love to explore the beauty and gastronomy of the Gers department.

Hidden Gems of the Gers: Flaran Abbey, Montréal, Fourcès, Séviac, and Larressingle

Our day trip to the Gers began at the Abbaye de Flaran, a Cistercian abbey chosen for its seclusion. It's still remote today, giving visitors a sense of its 900-year history. Now, the abbey serves as an art museum, housing beautiful pieces.

Many sites in the Gers aren't open year-round. It's best to visit between March and early November, and to check opening dates as some places open during school vacations even in winter.

Next, we visited Montréal du Gers, a bastide town with a little over 1,100 inhabitants. We considered having lunch there but instead continued to Fourcès, a circular village. The only restaurant was closed for the week, but we found a bakery where the baker kindly made us sandwiches and served croustade, a local specialty. Both Montréal and Fourcès attract visitors for their scenery.

When visiting these villages, especially during the shoulder and low seasons, it's important to plan for meals as options can be limited. Montréal would be a good choice for a meal and a short visit.

A highlight of the day was visiting the Roman site of Séviac, known for its mosaics. We didn't have time to visit the museum in Eauze, which houses objects found at Séviac.

Our final stop was the village of Larressingle. Small and picturesque, it resembles a miniature Carcassonne with well-preserved ramparts and a medieval town and church. In high season, it hosts shops, cafés, and restaurants. The restoration of Larressingle was significantly funded by donors from Boston, highlighting the impact of American contributions to preserving French heritage. The French government is now encouraging local donations for historical preservation.

The Gers, a stop on the Camino, is rich in history and gastronomy. Known for its duck and wines like Madiran and Jurançon, the region has many restaurants that focus on local cuisine. Condom is a key location for Armagnac trade. A few days in the Gers can include countryside visits, bike rides, and enjoying the local gastronomy.

More episodes about going off the beaten track in France

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Discussed in this Episode

  • Flaran Abbey
  • Montréal
  • Fourcès
  • Séviac
  • Larressingle
  • Gimont
  • Auch
  • Condom
  • Gers Department
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Annie and Elyse in front of the walled village of Larressingle.
Annie and Elyse in front of the walled village of Larressingle.
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Categories: Day -Trips from Toulouse, Toulouse Area