It’s unclear whether Charles de Batz-Castelmore (the real-life D’Artagnan) and his musketeers ever roared, ‘All for one and one for all’, but the Gers native definitely loved a spot of Armagnac and was a dab hand in a sword fight. The musketeers’ fighting spirit lives on, thanks to the region’s fiery liquors and Spanish influence; the swoop and showmanship of bullfights enliven the village squares, soundtracked by the clash and clatter of the bandas bands. Jazz is also part of the Gers’ cultural tapestry; Marciac’s festival is one of the world’s greatest. The département’s hotspots – Auch, Condom, Fleurance and Eauze, to name just a few – vie with each other for the title of ‘most scenic city’.
Areas in Gers
PlanesBritish Airways (www.britishairways.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly to both Toulouse and Bordeaux-Mérignac airport.
TrainsThe nearest station is Condom, 15km to the east (don’t be surprised if sniggering thieves have plucked the road signs from their rightful resting place). High-speed trains connect Toulouse and Agen with the whole of France and with the Eurostar, and TGV trains connect the Gers to Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris (+44 (0)8705 848848; www.raileurope.com).
AutomobilesExpect dreamy driving – the roads are generally traffic- and horn-free. The A62 | A64 motorways as well as the RN 124 main road allow pretty swift access to the Gers.
TaxisTaxis are reasonable, and easily flagged from town centres and the main transport hubs.