Throughout the year, there are many organised events, as the local people are particularly hospitable and friendly and love to share their traditions, foods and ways of life whether you live here or are just a passer by on holiday. Every day of the week there is a market somewhere... set in a local village square or under the ancient arcades. Here you can sense the special atmosphere of friendliness and good humour, everyone is happy and there is almost a family-like feeling.
Local produce is in abundance, from foie gras, confit of duck, goose, armagnac, and wine, to honey, grapes, melons, garlic. There are also markets specialising in fresh foie gras only, and of course night-time markets and gourmet evenings.
Most villages organise summer fetes, craft fairs and festivals where everyone is welcome to join in the celebrations... any excuse for a party! There are events all year round, including motor racing at Nogaro, bull fighting at Vic-Fezensac and numerous wine and flower festivals.
The Gers has several excellent golf courses with the Pyrénées as a fabulous backdrop. South-west France is famous for its world-class rugby, check the fixtures list to visit a match. The Pyrénées (two and a half hours from the villa) : Europe’s longest mountain range offer skiing as well as walking, hiking and rafting. The Baïse river, navigable since the time of Henry IV offers a 65 km stretch for cruising along its twisted waterways through an historical landscape. Then 2 hous away to the west there is the beautiful coastal town of Biarritz, with its stunning beaches and coastal front, historical port and town centre.
It is a land for nature lovers, cycling or riding. There are many wonderful walks around, including the famous walk of the ancient pilgrims to Compostella which skirts the gardens of the villa. There is a bewildering variety of wild flowers and orchids. The bird life is extremely rich, particularly with birds of prey and owls... Barn owls locally known as “Dames Blanches” are in abundance. Roe deer, badgers, fat dormice and genets make regular appearances.
At the villa, in mid Summer the nightingales sing to each other in the surrounding woods, sometimes all night, in unison to the chanting of the tree frogs... all under a bright starry night sky.