© OT_Banyuls Banyuls sur mer dans les Pyrénées-Orientales vu de la mer
From the Pont du Gard to the Pyrenees, from the Dordogne valley, to the Mediterranean resorts, Occitanie region in the South of France is full of world-renowned sites such as Albi, Carcassonne, Canal du Midi and prestigious towns such as Toulouse, Montpellier, Rocamadour, Lourdes on the St James of Compostela Ways.
5 WAYS TO #FEELOCCITANIE
N°5 Wine Bar in Toulouse
Was awarded the title of world’s best wine bar by “The World of Fine Wine” international wine magazine. With over 20 years’ experience, this bar run by wine-buffs Thomas and Anne is renowned for its top-quality suggestions and its interesting culinary pairings.
Abbaye de Flaran
Admire the works of British painters including Joshua Reynolds and the largest collection of Ken Paine works in France. Forty works of art by Ken Paine, including twelve portraits, have joined the superb collection of the Cistercian abbey, one of the best preserved in Southwest France.
Breathe the purest air, from the brand new Hyper Belvédère of the Pic du Midi: a 10-metre long metal footbridge suspended above the void at almost 3000 m. The Pic du Midi houses an astronomic observatory and offers an outstanding dark sky which earned it the ‘International Dark Sky Reserve’ label.
The straw hat in Tarn-et-Garonne
Visit Caussade and pay a visit to one of the three last hat block makers in France and visit the new hat museum, donning an unusual boater-cum audio guide.
Celebrations of music in Gascony
25th anniversary of Tempo Latino Festival (26-29 July 2018), a Latin music festival, attracting 55000 visitors, at the amphitheatre of Vic-Fezensac
50th anniversary of the classical music festival Nuits Musicales in Armagnac (22 July-12 August 2018)
NEED TO KNOW
Numerous airlines offer direct flights from England and Scotland to various cities of Occitanie: Toulouse, Carcassonne, Rodez, Dordogne Valley. Lourdes as an entrance to the Pyrenees and for the Mediterranean; Montpellier, Perpignan and Béziers
A LOCAL’S NEWS FOR 2019
MuReNa (Regional Museum of Antique Narbonne). Founded in 118 BC, Narbonne used to be the capital of the biggest Roman colony outside Italy. The musuem, designed by Norman Foster, will house the Roman archaeological collections of the town, including 1000 ancient stone relief funerary blocks.
FOR THE DIARY
Opening of the Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes – in Nîmes, facing the 2000-year-old Roman arena: 7 000 exceptional archaeological works in one of the most ambitious contemporary architectural projects in France today. The town, famous for its Roman monuments, is also candidate for UNESCO in 2018 – 2 June https://www.ot-nimes.fr/index.php?id=824&L=1
Opening of La Piste des Géants – (‘The Giants’ Runway’) in Toulouse, for the 100th anniversary of the 1st flight of Aéropostale (Airmail), with a hall exhibiting 150 poetic mechanical machines from François Delaroziere and a museum dedicated to the pioneers of the first airlines – 25 December
Pyrenees Cycl’n Trip – Priority will be given to cyclists during this five-day event which takes places after the Tour de France. Every morning, anywhere between one and three passes will be vehicle-free, enabling you to ride at your own pace throughout the week, with a choice of 10 passes and a total of 100km of ascent reserved exclusively for cyclists. Accommodation, luggage transfer and activities for non-cycling travelling companion – 30 July – 3 August http://www.pyrenees-holiday.com
50th anniversary of La Grande-Motte – 2018 is the year of modern architecture with the 50th anniversary of La Grande-Motte. The city of pyramids, misunderstood and derided in 1968, is now recognized as a work of art and was declared a ‘20th century heritage’ site in 2010. Guided tours on the theme of La Grande Motte’s modern architecture are also the opportunity to visit the neighbouring Montpellier on the same theme – Throughout 2018 http://anglais.lagrandemotte.com
Biodiversarium – Ideal for families: a brand-new aquarium opened in Banyuls-sur-Mer. This site showcases the biodiversity, both on the land and in the sea, of the Pyrénées-Orientales. It is home to over 200 species of plants, marine invertebrates and fish from the area, displayed in around forty tanks. Arranged as if you were taking a stroll along the coast, the aquarium provides visitors with an insight into the wealth and diversity of the region’s marine species – 2018. www.biodiversarium.fr
Musée de la Romanité © Ville de Nîmes