Close to Spain in the Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées region, there are many desirable day trips as Palaminy is well situated and within an hour drive to downtown Toulouse, Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage site), and Pyrenees mountain villages. Albi, Carcassonne, Lourdes, as well as Biarritz or the Mediterranean Coast are exciting day trips. Particularly in the summer season there are many well established and enchanting art and music festivals throughout the area to enjoy.
Cazères is a small town along the Garonne river, 1 1/2 km from Palaminy. Available : many shops (e.g. delicatessen, bakeries – ah ! The famous croissant ! -, pastry shops, fresh fruit and vegetable shops…) and services (banks , hairdressers, doctors, etc.). The XIV century church (currently being restored) stands in the old city center.
Famous for its earthenware artists , many working exactly in the style and manner of the eighteenth century . Roman remains can be seen inside the church . Nearby, the Chiragan marbles have been found.
A picturesque town , with a church whichwas once a cathedral ; and a fifteenth c. bridgewhose reflection is mirrored in a curve of the Arize river.
Photo by www.montbrun-bocage.com
This small village church is remarquable for its late middle-age wall paintings, and for its picturesque steeple. A feudal castle overlooks the ancient houses of the village.
Aurignacian period (30 000 to 20 000 B.C.) is named after this town where prehistoric remains were found nearby. A dungeon as well as a church tower dominate the hilltop city, where many old houses have been restored.
Photo by Mes voyages en France
The place of a Templars commandership , this village has a remarquable church with romanesque sculptures and wall paintings.
From the thirteenth century to 1789 Alan was the winter residence of the bishops of Comminges. Alan has an interesting church facing the former bishop’s residence. A gate leads to a tower adorned in late gothic style, with the famous “vache d’Alan” , a sculpture the inhabitants of Alan protected from a project of dismantlment and foreign acquisition.
A spectacular, historical monument cathedral in an ancient city, conquered by the Roman general Pompey in 72 BC, once called “Lugdunum Convenarum” and said to have been the place of exile of Herod, in 39 AD. Today, thanks to its famous music festival “Festival du Comminges”, an exceptionnal renaissance organ has been preserved inside the cathedral which dates back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. A romanesque cloister, similar to those presented in New York at The Cloisters, has an open side overlooking green hills… Remains of the Gallo-Roman city stand below. From the church Saint-Just of Valcabrère, 1 km further, one has a marvelous view of the site of Saint-Bertrand de Comminges. A few kilometers further, the Gargas Caves can be visited…
The city of Concorde and Airbus, Toulouse also hosts a Space Museum. Its charm comes from its streets, places, churches, its ancient townhouses, the color of its bricks, its City Hall “le Capitole”… Among important things to see :
By Benh LIEU SONG (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
An other of the”most beautiful villages of France”, overlooking the snow-covered peaks of the Pyrénées. The 11th century frescoes and a romanesque cloister are to be seen when entering the church. Also a 18th century pharmacy , a museum, a refined restaurant and the old streets are worth visiting.
A majestic landscape as the river enters the cliff alongside with the road, through a cave (height up to 65 meters). As a natural shelter (length 420 meters) it has been used by man in prehistoric ages. The neighbouring medieval village has a museum dedicated to prehistoric art and artefacts.
The famous “châteaux cathares”, sites of the troubled fight of the barons from the north of France against the local followers of the “cathar” dualist religion, are to be reached from Palaminy through beautiful and varied landscapes. Best known of all, the castle of Montségur appears atop a limestone peak overseeing the hills around Lavelanet, ( near Foix ) . It witnessed the last battles of the “Albigesian Crusades” (ca 1209 – 1244 AD). Puivert castle is spectacular (24 km further). A little further is Rennes-le-Château, now a pilgrimage for “The Da Vinci Code” fans. One of the best preserved feudal castles around is the dungeon of Arques.
Photo By Johan Simon
Two summits of the Pyrénées can be seen from Palaminy : the “Pic de Mont Valier” (2838 meters), and the “Pic du Midi de Bigorre” (2 876 meters). Driving upstream along the Garonne valley, the Spanish border and the “Val d’Aran” are easily reached. This Spanish valley, on the “French side” of the Pyrénées, with tiny villages scattered in the mountain and many romanesque churches is worth visiting. Bagnères-de-Luchon, a renowned spa (with hot swimming-pool, vaporarium caves…), is also a starting point for sightseeing trips or walks (Venasque pass, Cascade d’Enfer…).
Lourdes is 70 minutes away from Palaminy. Close by Gavarnie offers either mule ride or walk to the “Cirque de Gavarnie”, a five star landscape with the highest water falls in Europe.
Want to travel back in time ? Walking along the walls of the “cité” is unforgettable. The spectacular “Cité de Carcassonne”, fortified during the Roman times and the Middle Ages, is only one hour and 15 minutes drive from Palaminy. The Medieval Citadel is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On your way is the 18th century old Canal du Midi, a link between Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Hills and valleys of Gascony, with Auch (cathedral), Lectoure, the castles of the Gers ( such as Lavardens)
Enjoy also vineyard touring and wine tasting in one of the many wine areas of the region, such as : Fronton, Gaillac, Cahors, Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Jurançon, etc.
Photo By Tourisme-tarn.com
Local open air markets (in Cazères and other nearby villages) offer natural, home-grown products.
We will be happy to help you with information on what to see, where to go, willing to answer personnally to your own preferences; we speak English and Spanish and have a knowledge of German …
Here, you will enjoy a special gastronomy (lots of pleasant restaurants ! ) and its local products including wine and spirits ! Treats such as duck foie gras, “frais” or “mi-cuit”, with or without truffles. You will taste Armagnac that many connoisseurs appreciate more than Cognac , as well as the excellent wines of Cahors, Fronton, Gaillac, Limoux, Minervois, Cabardès, Corbières, Jurançon or Madiran ! All the wine-growing areas produce red, rosé, or white wines (dry or sweet) and in the case of Limoux, sparkling wine.