Midi Pyrenees walking tours - Midi Pyrenees bike tours - Hiking in Occitania

Midi Pyrenees walking tours - Midi Pyrenees bike tours



Midi Pyrenees regional flag Midi Pyrenees Region - Occitania

 Midi  Pyrenees region





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The Midi-Pyrénées is one of the 26 regions of France and the largest region of metropolitan France by area. The region has no historical or geographical unity. It is one of the regions of France created artificially in the late 20th century to serve as a hinterland and zone of influence for its capital, Toulouse, one of a handful of so-called "balancing metropolises". The name chosen for the new region was decided by the French central government without reference to the historical provinces (too many of them inside the region) and based purely on geography: Midi (i.e. "southern France") - Pyrénées (Pyrénées mountains that serve as the region's southern boundary). Historically, Midi-Pyrénées is made up of several former French provinces : Gascony, Languedoc, Rouergue, Quercy, Foix, Couserans, Nébouzan, Quatre-Vallées and Bigorre. The historical makeup of Midi-Pyrénées is even more complex, as the provinces listed above are further subdivided into pays (literally "countries"), with each their peculiarities and particular identities.


 Quercy is a former province of France located in the Midi Pyrenees Region. Today, Quercy is divided between the departement of Lot and the northern half of the departement of Tarn-et-Garonne. The traditional capital of Quercy is Cahors. Like Périgord, the area is noted for its cuisine like the duck dishes, confit de canard and magret de canard and the dark red wines of Cahors.

The Pyrenees

 The Pyrenees is a range of mountains that forms a natural border between France and Spain. It separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain, with the tiny country of Andorra sandwiched in between. Catalonia and Navarre have historically extended on both sides of the mountain range, with small northern portions in France and much larger southern parts in Spain.

The French Pyrenees are also part of the following départements, from east to west : Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The highest summit is the Pic d'Aneto or Pic de Néthou at 3,404 metres (11,168 ft) in the Maladeta ridge. The principal languages spoken in the area are Spanish, French, Catalan (in Catalonia and Andorra), Basque, and Aragonese.

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