Encompassing a big swathe of south-western France, the Midi-Pyrénées is as varied as it is large.
In the north you’re in the craggy limestone foothills of the Massif Central, while to the south the Pyrenees and its foothills provide some of Western Europe’s most invigorating natural landscapes.
The revered Way of St. James courses through the region and has furnished it with pilgrimage sites cherished for more than a thousand years, while Lourdes also draws millions of people a year from around the world.
Go underground to see enormous chasms and prehistoric cave paintings, or journey high into the Pyrenees for skiing or to stare in wonder at Cirque de Gavarnie and Pic du Midi.
Lets explore the best things to do in Midi-Pyrénées:
1. Albi Cathedral
Few buildings have the potential to move people like Albi’s majestic brick gothic cathedral.
It’s a UNESCO-listed building and is incredible to behold both inside and out.
The stern external walls inspire fear in some for their high, cylindrical protrusions that could easily pass for ramparts.
This is no accident as the cathedral was designed to represent the power of the catholic church following the suppression of the Cathar sect in southwest France.
Inside, the decoration is far more delicate and colourful, and is mostly from the renaissance.
The paintings below the organ and on the vaulting make up the largest set of Italian renaissance paintings in France.