Midi-Pyrénées is the largest region of Metropolitan France. Among the departments within Midi-Pyrénées include Ariège, Aveyron, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Lot, Hautes-Pyrénées, Tarn, and Tarn-et-Garonne. Midi-Pyrénées, just like Rhone-Alpes, is one of the regions of France created to serve as a hinterland and zone of influence for its capital, Toulouse; hence the region has no historical or geographical unity.
What to see & do
Places to visit within Midi-Pyrénées include the Basilica of St. Sernin, Musée des Augustins, Cirque de Gavarnie, Cite de l'Espace, Pont Valentré, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Col du Tourmalet, Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Albi Cathedral, Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux, Padirac Cave, Gavarnie Falls, La Brèche de Roland, Pech Merle, Cave of Niaux, Jardin Massey, Château de Montségur, and Théâtre du Capitole, to name a few. Paridac Cave has a chasm that measures around 99 metres or 325 feet around the rim, with a diameter of around 35 metres or 115 feet. When visiting the cave, tourists are able to descend 75 metres through the lift or staircase, prior to entering the actual cave system. With a depth of around 103 metres or 338 feet, the cave has a subterranean river that can be partially navigated by boat, and has been regarded as ‘one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the Massif Central.’ Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, most commonly known as the Domain, is a destination for pilgrimage, and refers to the area of ground that surrounds the Catholic shrine or Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes, within Lourdes, France. The Domain has the Grotto, the offices of the Lourdes Medical Bureau, along with other churches and basilicas within the 51 hectare area. Within the Domain are 22 separate places of worship, with the Sanctuary’s official languages including French, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and German.
How to get around Midi-Pyrénées
Within the Midi-Pyrénées’ capital Toulouse, transportation options include going by bus, tramway or metro, and taxi, among others. Toulouse bus, tramway, and metro are operated by Tisseo. These lines are available through the whole city, with bus tickets available from bus drivers, and tramway tickets available at vending machines located at every tramway stop. When purchasing tickets, it is recommended to always have enough cash at hand. Toulouse also has a free shuttle bus that goes around the historic centre of the city during the day, every day of the week, except Sundays. The free shuttle buses do not have a designated stop; these buses come in green and can be flagged down when spotted. Toulouse metro has two lines of A and B, going east to west and north to south, respectively. In addition, taxis within Toulouse are provided by Capitole Taxi, the only licenced taxi operated within the area. When in need of a ride after bus operating times, the taxis can be pre-booked albeit can take a while to pick up.
How to get there
Midi-Pyrénées is served by Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. The airport is located around 6.7 kilometres or 4.1 miles west-northwest of Toulouse, and partially in Blagnac. Toulouse-Blagnac Airport has flights to and from destinations such as Athens, Dublin, Algiers, Oran, Casablanca, Ajaccio, Lyon, Rome, Bremen, London, Brussels, Agadir, Birmingham, Hamburg, Nice, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Zürich, Lisbon, Istanbul, Tenerife, and Barcelona, to name a few, via Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aigle Azur, Air Algérie, Air Arabia Maroc, Air Corsica, Air France, Alitalia, BMI Regional, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Flybe, Germanwings, HOP!, KLM operated by KLM Cityhopper, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Portugal operated by Portugália, Turkish Airlines, Volotea, and Vueling, among others.