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Postcard from Gascony (aka Gers)
Gers or Gascony, is based in the south west of France and in its official definition takes in an enormous expanse of land stretching from Bordeaux and Bayonne in the west, across to Toulouse in the east. With cities such as Mont-de-Marsan, Dax, Pau, Tarbes and Auch included in its remit, it is an area of varied and interesting landscapes as well as mountains and sea.
Taking in the regions of Nouvelle Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees , this part of France really does have something to offer everyone. However, while the term Gascony is used officially to cover this broad expanse of land, the term has been used of late to describe and in particular to market the department known as the Gers, which is located at the heart of Gascony. Often referred to as the land of d’Artagnan and his 3 Musketeers, the Gers is a truly unspoilt corner of France that in its own right has a broad array of landscapes and experiences to offer anyone who fancies visiting this region or indeed living there.
As evidence of the attractiveness of the Gers, the Telegraph newspaper recently published a report entitled “The World’s top 20 places for the good life” and listed in second place was Gascony, or what they were referring to as The Gers. Rejecting the over-visited and often over-hyped Provence, the broadsheet hailed The Gers as the new jewel in the French crown. Stating quite clearly that this corner of France has always been loved by the French, they revealed that it’s only of late that Brits have started to really appreciate the quality of life that this corner of the globe offers.
A quietly cultural spot, but cultural in the true sense of the word and without any pomp and circumstance, the Gers is made up of local food and drink lovers and is often claimed to boast the longest living population in Europe. This might be surprising bearing in mind the amount of foie gras and red wine that is consumed in this area, but in fact, it might in fact be because of these factors, rather than in spite of them that people live so long.
Now commonly referred to as the Wine Diet, the findings of Professor Roger Corder showed that although the people in this area eat a high fat diet and drink more red wine than most, they live longer. Apparently it’s down to the Tannat in the red Madiran wines that are found in this area. These Tannats are responsible for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. So, in the Gers, not only can you enjoy the good life here; the good life you enjoy is actually good for you. That’s what we call win : win.
A truly unspoilt region, you can expect rolling hills, cold, dry winters and hot summers. This, alongside men in berets and the host of culinary specialties surrounding the duck is what make this neck of the woods the heaven that justifies its second place in this prestigious list. The other good news is that properties in this region are still highly affordable, normally sizeable and have something that’s likely to appeal to everyone.
When it comes to getting there, there is a whole host of flight options from the UK, with Bordeaux and Toulouse international airports not far away, as well as Lourdes Tarbes, Pau and Biarritz within easy driving distance. If you're looking for a property in this wonderful area, sometime referred to as the France's own little Tuscany, then take a look at our houses for sale in Gascony (or Gers).