The Haute-Garonne is located in the southwest of France and is named after the Garonne River that follows the Aran Valley northwards into France flowing via the capital city of Toulouse. Part of the former Midi-Pyrenées region now called Occitanie
, Haute-Garonne is surrounded by several other French departments as well as bordering Spain. Feel the warmth of the sun and enjoy colourful markets full of aromatic local produce, you will be welcomed in song as the natives invite you to discover their land that is rich in contrasting landscapes. Lose yourself amongst the beautiful red brick architecture of Toulouse and the dramatic scenery of the Pyrenees, here some mountain peaks reach more than 3,000 meters high. Glance back down to the foothills where there is so much more to discover.
Prepare to be lost in the city of Toulouse as it’s crisscrossed by the Garonne River splitting up its exceptional heritage and providing you with some wonderful surprises. The Haute-Garonne is proud of Toulouse and its abundance of distinctive landmarks such as the Augustins Museum, the Saint-Sernin Basilica and the Les Jacobins Monastery.
Due to Toulouse’s unique architecture, made of pinkish terracotta bricks it is fondly referred to as the Ville Rose (Pink City), as you travel through its streets the history and charm brings its heritage to life. Take advantage of this vibrant overlooked southern city, although it is France’s fourth biggest metropolis Toulouse actually receives just a fraction of the visitors compared to the more well-known cities of Nice, Bordeaux and Lyon.
Heading back down to the foothills of the Pyrenées you will find the town of Luchon, aptly named 'the Queen of the Pyrenées', offering it’s visitors the opportunity to attempt multiple outdoor activities such as hiking, canyoneering as well as rafting and kayaking.
Look around you to the neighbouring valleys of Aspet and Saint-Béat, and you will see that their nature has been cherished, preserving its wildlife providing you with picturesque views. Four different ski resorts open their slopes every winter: Le Mourtis, Peyragudes, Luchon-Superbagnères and Bourg d'Oueil. Each resort comes with their own charms and you’ll have to choose for yourself where you prefer to ski, hike or just explore.
When the sun goes down and the skiers flee the slopes, head back to Luchon where you will be allured by its health and wellness spa and relax at their cinemas, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
For those of you who prefer the water to the slopes you can step aboard one of the several boats that travel along the famous Le Canal du Midi. Floating in laid-back luxury these tours take you from the bustling city of Toulouse, past stunning French vineyards, down to the golden sands of the Mediterranean Sea. Fed by the waters of the Saint Ferreol Lake in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, the canal is inscribed as a UNESCO’s world heritage site. It crosses through colourful countryside and parades past the local towns, bastides and churches that are typical to this areas.