Toulouse, with its sunny, cosmopolitan charms, is not only the main town in Western Languedoc but also a very accessible kick-off point for anywhere in the southwest of France. Of the places nearby, Albi, with its highly original cathedral and comprehensive collection of Toulouse-Lautrec paintings, is the number-one priority, and once you’ve made it that far, it’s worth the hop to the well-preserved medieval town of Cordes. West of Toulouse the land opens up into the broad plains of the Gers, a sleepy and rather dull expanse of wheat fields and rolling hills. Those in search of a solitary, little-visited France will enjoy its uncrowded monuments, especially any fond lover of rich terrines and Armagnac.

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Video: a 1 minute guide to France

Video: a 1 minute guide to France

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The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
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