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The Ultimate Guide to Gascony in France

Scenic summer view of Lavardens village in Gascony, Occitanie region, southwestern France, showcasing traditional architecture and lush greenery.

Gascony France

Gascony is one of the celebrated gourmet regions in France that is considered the land of good food and wine. It is also home to fortified villages, towns, and it has an impressive cultural and architectural heritage that attracts many tourists throughout the world. There is a wide list of attractions and monuments that will make your visit to this region worthwhile.

Gascony is also home to the popular story of the d’Artagnan the three Musketeers. The name Gascony evokes sunlight and warmth, making it the perfect travel destination for those that enjoy a traditional and rural way of life.

Although Gascony does not have a clearly-defined territory in France, it lies more on the southwest of France and stretches to the Pyrenees and river Garonne. With so much to offer, Gascony is, without doubt, a pleasing travel destination.

D’Artagnan – The Musketeer from Gascony

The Musketeers were a military in French that was tasked with the responsibility of protecting the king. From 1611 to 1673, Charles de Batz Castelmore, who was also referred to as d’Artagnan served as captain for the Musketeers of the Guard for Louis XIV.

Born near Lupic in France, d’Artagnan was the son of Arnaud de Batz, the merchant who bought the castle of Castelmore. In the 1930s, d’Artagnan left his home in Gascony and left for Paris suing his mother’s name.

He became a Musketeer thanks to the support of his uncle. He then joined the guards in the 1630s and he was able to serve under Captain des Essarts.

Due to his faithful service, Louis XIV entrusted a lot of his secrets to D’Artagnan. Over the years, he was promoted to lieutenant and then to captain-lieutenant for the Musketeers. He was however killed in 1673 during the siege of Maastricht.

Scenic summer view of Lavardens village in Gascony, Occitanie region, southwestern France, showcasing traditional architecture and lush greenery.
Lavardens, France: A picturesque summer landscape in the historic province of Gascony.

Towns of Gascony Region

Here are some of the fortified towns in Gascony.


Auch is an ancient town and a departmental capital of the Gers. This town is known for its attractions such as the Renaissance Cathedral of Sainte-Marie which has beautiful stained-glass windows.

You can take a tour of this cathedral to have a closer look at these windows, which were dismantled during World War II and later returned. Just recently, the windows were restored with each window costing 110,000 euros.

Other top sites include the Tour D’Artagnan, which is a 14th-century prison. This historic capital also has a great heritage and offers stunning views of the Gers Valley.


Bordeaux is located on Garonne River banks and is renowned for its wine-related activities. This town has a long history and is home to popular attractions like the Museum of Aquitaine, Saint-Andrew Cathedral of Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, and many more.

You can as well take a stroll at Port of the Moon, which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. If you are tired from exploring the town, you can head on to the Parc de Majolan to relax. There is so much to see and do in this historic town.


Luchon is a town located in the Pyrenees mountain, and which is famous for its healing water that started during the Gallo-Roman times. This region became a popular spa town, thanks to the thermal baths.

Today, this town is a destination of choice for spa-goers, hikers, skiers, and bikers. As you stroll around the town, the vibe of thermalism is still evident. The town is also surrounded by beautiful, lush gardens, hotels, and picturesque Belle Epoque villas.

"Chambert hot spring in Bagnères-de-Luchon, nestled in the French Pyrenees, with steam rising from natural thermal waters.
Bagnères-de-Luchon: The tranquil Chambert hot spring in the heart of the Pyrenees.
A hiker ascending the path towards Hourgade Peak in L´Ourtiga, Luchon, amidst the majestic French Pyrenees.
Journey to Hourgade Peak: A hiker’s adventure in L´Ourtiga, Luchon, Pyrenees.


Located in the South West, Bayonne is a town in Gascony that is famous for its rich history, art, festivals, and gastronomy. It is also famed for the invention of the bayonet and for its chocolate.

Situated at the junction of Rivers Nive and Adour, this town is home to the 14th-century gothic Cathedral Sainte-Marie. There is also so much to learn in this town including the construction of the ramparts and fonts by the Vauban under Louis XIV.

Historic old houses lining the streets of Bayonne in the French Basque Country, showcasing traditional architecture.
Bayonne’s Heritage: Exploring the old houses in the Basque region of France.
Crowds dressed in traditional white and red celebrating the Summer Festival in Bayonne, France.Delpixel / Shutterstock.com
Festive Spirits: The vibrant crowd at Bayonne’s Summer Festival.
People enjoying aperitifs on the lively terraces of Bayonne market, France
Socializing in Bayonne: A snapshot of locals at the market terraces.


This town is renowned for pilgrimage and charms travelers with its stunning surroundings. Over the years, this town has developed into a place for Roman Catholic Pilgrimage and where miraculous healings take place.

Lourdes Frances Biggest Catholic Pilgrimage
Lourdes Frances Biggest Catholic Pilgrimage Site

Read more: All You Need to Know About Lourdes, France’s Biggest Catholic Pilgrimage Site


Considered the oldest bastide in Gascony or Gers, this town was first established in 1255 by the Count of Toulouse. It was constructed on a promontory using a traditional rigid plan. It is home to a Gothic church that was built in the 13the century.

Interesting, ruins were uncovered in the town in 1959, making it an ideal for archaeology enthusiasts to visit. The ruins date back from the 2nd to the 5th century and they revealed thermal pools and baths and an underground heating system.

View of Montreal, a charming commune in the Gers department of France, featuring traditional French architecture.
Montreal, Gers: Discovering the quaint charm of this French commune.
View of Montreal, a charming commune in the Gers department of France, featuring traditional French architecture.
Montreal, Gers: Discovering the quaint charm of this French commune.


Although Eauze is a small town, archaeology lovers will find a great place to visit. This town features pieces of Ger’s ancient history. It is also the birthplace of Domaine Tariquet, a family-owned winery that dates back to 100 years.

Wine lovers can stop by this winery to taste the two roses, 10 white wines, and Armagnacs that are stored in the ancient cellars.

The cobblestone main square of Éauze, France, on May 22, 2021, showcasing medieval buildings and ivy-covered facades.Pernelle Voyage / Shutterstock.com
Éauze’s Timeless Beauty: The medieval main square on May 22, 2021.
A medieval half-timbered house in the small town of Eauze, France, photographed on May 22, 2021.Pernelle Voyage / Shutterstock.com
Eauze’s Architectural Heritage: A medieval half-timbered house, captured in 2021.


Pau France is an attractive town and the capital of Western Pyrenees. If you want to explore the Pyrenees, Pau would be a good place to start. Besides, there is so much to explore in this town including a castle and the Musee des Beaux-Arts gallery.

Art lovers will have the chance to explore works of different artists such as El Greco, Boudin, Rubens, Marquet, Corot, Ribera and Vuillard.

Panoramic view of the city of Pau, capital of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, showcasing urban landscape against the backdrop of the Pyrenees.
Pau Panorama: Capturing the essence of this Nouvelle Aquitaine city.
Evening view of the historic Pau Castle in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France, under a twilight sky.
Twilight at Pau Castle: An evening glimpse of Aquitaine’s historical landmark.
Lush vineyards of Jurancon wine stretching across the French Pyrenees near Pau city, under a clear sky.
Jurancon Vineyards: The verdant wine-producing fields near Pau in the French Pyrenees.

Reasons to Visit Gascony France

Wondering why Gascony is a good travel destination? Here are reasons why you should plan a visit to this part of France.

Magnificent Medieval Villages of Gascony

A top reason why you should not hesitate to plan a visit to Gascony is that it is home to some of the most stunning villages in the region. Most of these villages acted as medieval homes in the past and have a rich history that will get any tourist excited.

As you plan a visit to Gascony, you should definitely visit the villages like Montreal, Condom, Agen, Auch, and Larressingle.  Some of these villages were first used as rest stops that were used by the pilgrims. These villages still preserve their history from medieval times until today.


Gascony Armagnac is the local brandy produced in Gascony. It is France’s most traditional and oldest brandy and is a common ingredient for most Gascony’s cuisines today.

Additionally, this brandy is Gascony’s biggest export and a huge competitor for Cognac.

Gascony’s Rich Cuisine

When it comes to cuisine, Gascony offers some of the best poultry in the France regions. It is also noted for other dishes like the duck pate de foie gras and other pates. You can also expect to find croustade in most restaurants, which usually includes meat, apple pie, or meat and vegetable.

Being a rural place, tourists have an easy time venturing from one joint to another as they work up their appetite.

One restaurant that promotes Gascony cuisine is the Hotel de France located in Auch. Andre Daguin, who is the most famous chef in Gascony once worked in this hotel and brought the best of Gascony cooking to the public. Today, this hotel offers delicious Gascony dishes like the Foie gras, roasted magret, and many more.

Wine Making Paradise

Having been in the business of making wine for almost 2000 years now, Gascony is, without doubt, a winemaking paradise that receives wine tourists throughout the year. Gascon wine is symbolic and the locals love to include wine in their cuisine. Different types of wine complement the region’s dishes, making them an important ingredient.

For instance, white wine complements Foie gras while red wines are usually served with hearty dishes like duck cassoulet and garbure. If you enjoy the Armagnac, you will probably want to serve it with desserts like the Pastis Gascon.

You can also take advantage of your trip to Gascony and visit the numerous wineries and vineyards in the region. You can take different wine routes to experience the rich history of winemaking in this region.

One such route is the Route des Vins et des Vallons du Pays, which is based around Condom town. Taking these routes will let you see the oldest vineyards in Gascon.

For Architecture Lovers

Architecture lovers have so much to explore in this beautiful region. Towns in this region have outstanding pieces that tell a story of the area and its rich culture.


If you are looking for a travel destination where you will enjoy good food and learn more about the 3 Musketeers, Gascony is the ideal destination for you. You will enjoy its slow pace of life, good food and wine, and gentle landscapes. Don’t hesitate to add this beautiful place to your travel bucket list.

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