12 Essential Visits in Gers in 2021

Auch, historic centre
Auch, historic centre © Gillian Thorton

Our choice of must-see towns, monuments and other places of interest in Gers.

Related article: Step Back in Time in Gers

Capital of Gascony and now an Art & History Town, Auch is listed by UNESCO as part of the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle routes in France. Don’t miss the hilltop cathedral of Saint Mary; pedestrianised old quarter; Saturday morning market; and riverside walks.

Flaran Abbey-
Flaran Abbey © Gillian Thorton

Cistercian abbey built between the 12th and18th centuries and now the most important cultural site in Gers. It is home to the Simonow Collection of fine art spanning the 16th to 21st centuries. Exhibition by contemporary artist Ken Paine until January 2022.

Larressingle © Gillian Thorton

The smallest fortified village in France, dubbed ‘la petite Carcassonne du Gers’, and with a keep that was once home to the bishops of Condom. Saved from certain ruin in the early 20th century by the Duke of Trévise and donations from Boston, USA.

Gothic cathedral of Saint-Pierre, the Armagnac Museum, and statue of the four Musketeers
Statue of the four Musketeers © shutterstock

Chief town of the Ténarèze, Condom’s 18th-century townhouses are witness to its importance as a river port and the Armagnac trade. Highlights include the Gothic cathedral of Saint-Pierre, the Armagnac Museum, and statue of the four Musketeers.

Lomagne © shutterstock

The closest part of Gers to the river Garonne, this enchanting area includes the small towns of Lectoure, Fleurance and La Romieu. Download themed driving routes and itineraries to discover cultural sites, outdoor activities and food producers.

Lectoure © Gillian Thorton

Dominated by Saint-Gervais cathedral, the historic wealth of this prosperous hilltop community is still evident in its fine buildings. Visit Bleu de Lectoure to discover the story of the ‘Blue Triangle’ that produced the rich blue dye reserved for clothing the nobility.

Villa Seviac cr.
Villa Seviac ©

Two archaeological sites and one museum combine to paint a vivid portrait of life in Gallo-Roman Elusa – Séviac villa near Montréal, and the Domus de Cieutat and Archaeological Museum at Eauze. Head to the Elusa Interpretation Centre first.

Lavardens castle
Lavardens castle © shutterstock

Home of the Counts of Armagnac and a classified Monument Historique, the village and château stand on a rocky outcrop surrounded by fields and low hills. Today it is one of Gascony’s leading art centres, mounting regular themed exhibitions.

La Romieu church
La Romieu church © shutterstock

Taking its name from the Gascon word for ‘pilgrimage’, La Romieu stands out in the Gascon countryside with the octagonal belltower of its collegiate church. Look out for stone cats, a reference to the local legend of 14th-century Angéline and her cats.

E 10. Tourisme Coeur Sud-Ouest Facebook
E 10. Tourisme Coeur Sud-Ouest © Facebook

Marciac and the vineyards of Madiran and Saint-Mont lie at the heart of this sun-kissed, tranquil corner bisected by the Adour river. Think hiking, biking and walking, wine tasting and tourism, in lush verdant valleys with views as far as the Pyrenees.

Herbie Hancock 2017 Jazz in Marciac Facebook
Herbie Hancock © Jazz in Marciac Facebook

Vineyard village famous for its annual Jazz in Marciac festival (JIM) that has brought internationally acclaimed musicians to south-west Gers since 1978. The 2020 festival went online but the 2021 live event took place July 23 to August 15.

Fources © Gillian Thorton

Tucked in a loop of the Auzoue river at the end of a bridge, Fourcès forms a circle around a central square shaded by plane trees. Unique in Gascony, it fell into English hands in 1279 and ten years later, was granted a bastide charter by Edward I.

From France Today magazine