Local Area Information
This page will give you a little information about the small village our properties are situated in, activities available in the area and also some information on surrounding towns and cities! We hope you find it useful! We've included information about Toulouse, Carcassonne, Lourdes, Biarritz and the Pyrenées but there are plenty more places to visit!
The view of Latoue from the D8
Our properties are situated in the small sleepy village of Latoue in the Haute-Garonne region of southern France. Latoue is ideally situated midway between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, and gives easy access to the historic cities of Toulouse, Carcassonne and Albi to the east, Lourdes, Pau and Biarritz to the west, the Pyrenées and Spain to the south and the wine regions of Gaillac and Fronton to the north.
The nearest airport, served by Easyjet, British Airways and Air France among others, is Toulouse which is less than an hours drive away. Pau and Carcassonne airport also serve the area, both being less than two hours drive away.
The village of Latoue is located on the D8, midway between the market towns of Aurignac and St Gaudens. It is approximately 12 miles from junction 21 of the A64 motorway.
Latoue is served by a mobile baker most days who has a good stock of bread, cakes, croissants, eggs, wine etc while all other daily requirements can be obtained in St Gaudens - a ten minute drive away, where you'll find a supermarket, butcher, baker, greengrocer, newsagent, pharmacy, banks, post office, hairdressers, bars and restaurants.
Latoue lake where fishing is permitted
Latoue has it's own lake where fishing with a permit is possible at certain times of the year or, if you are in search of the perfect angling holiday, then in collaboration with our sister company - Wold Farm Fisheries, we can guide you to local productive fishing areas and provide you with all the information for a successful fishing trip. (Please see our page on Fishing Holidays for more information.) If you are more adventurous, why not try your hand at horse riding, canoeing, white water rafting, cycling or skiing (depending on the season.) In winter, the ski stations, around an hours drive away, cater for all levels of ability, from beginner to expert, including cross country skiing.
The surrounding area is ideal for walking, whether you are looking to take a leisurely stroll and admire the scenery or go for a more energetic hike. There are many marked paths and maps and guidebooks are available. The climate is temperate, so is very well suited to outdoor pursuits. The winters tend to be dry, the summers hot, and spring and autumn are mild with no more than moderate rainfall.
The city at the Garonne river is located on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are of a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are also what gives Toulouse its nickname 'La ville rose' (The pink city).
The Garonne river through Toulouse Toulouse Toulouse Cathedral The glass wall in Toulouse
Toulouse has a compact historic centre, packed with architecture, museums, galleries, exhibitions, markets shops and restaurants. And as it is a very compact city centre, most attractions are reachable on foot. Not to be missed is a walk along the Canal du Midi or Canal des Deux Mers, which is a 240 km long canal in the south of France - le Midi. The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean. You can easily drive to Toulouse, park in one of the underground car parks and walk around the town. You can also reach Toulouse by train from nearby St Gaudens. There are organised tourist taxis and bus tours and boat tours on the Canal du Midi.
Pictures of the Canal du Midi
Restored and saved by Viollet-le-Duc, this beautifully walled city with its pointed towers and gleaming walls is reminiscent of medieval tales of knights in shining armour.
View of Carcassonne Carcassonne Castle
The historic fortress is built upon ruins predating Christianity. Carcassonne is an amazingly well preserved medieval fortress that was featured in the movie, Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. Ville de Carcassonne is a beautiful castle and is the centrepiece of the medieval Carcassonne.
Lourdes is a global centre of Marian pilgrimage, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Roman Catholics believe that Mary, the Mother of God, appeared 18 times at the Grotto to a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous. Originally a sleepy market town on the road to the spas of the Pyrenees, Lourdes has grown into the largest Marian pilgrimage centre in the world. The town has two sections: the international portion by the river, consisting of the spiritual area containing the Grotto and churches (known as the Domaine or the Sanctuaries), and the "French" portion, centred around the Marketplace & Hotel de Ville.
Lourdes from above Lourdes Basilica The Grotto of Lourdes
Lourdes is a pedestrian friendly city with several pedestrian only streets and it is very easy to get around the town centre. It really is worth walking and exploring. The town is also used to disabled visitors, help is also readily available. While in Lourdes you should visit the sacred sites including the Grotto where St Bernadette saw Mary. Mass is on offer in almost every language of the world somewhere in or around the holy sites. The Underground Basilica of St. Pius X, a church constructed entirely underground, is especially interesting architecturally.
Biarritz lies on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast. Biarritz is famous for its coast and the rocks in the sea. There are however other things to see such as the church of Sainte Eugenie - a Russian Orthodox church, the Museum of the Sea home to a lot of interesting animals such as different kinds of fish, anemones, sharks and seals in aquariums and other topics like fishing in the last centuries, birds, catching whales. There is also a Museum of Asian Art and a lighthouse. There are also several thalasso-therapy centres, with sea water, seaweed and related treatments.
Biarritz is very pedestrianised, and it is easy to get around the town centre, to the beaches, and to the best spots for surfing or shopping. This means whatever your holiday needs is a short and pleasant walking distance away. However, it can be quite hilly in places.
Church of St Charles, Biarritz Biarritz Beach Biarritz Beach
The beaches are excellent and this is a major surf resort. The main beach, Grand Plage can get crowded, but there is also a long surfers' beach on the Boulevard du Prince de Galles, called Cote de Basque, that has almost no sand at high tide, but is superb at low tide. The surf beaches at Anglet are easily accessible by bus, and surfboards that aren't too big are allowed on the local buses in the summer at least. There is a small beach by the Esplanade du Porte Vieux that is good for swimming when the surfer's beach is closed.
The Pyrenées are a range of mountains in southwest Europe that form a natural border between France and Spain. They separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extend for about 430 km (267 miles) 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. The Pyrenées are renowned for their winter sports and are popular for skiing and mountaineering. The ski slopes are less than an hours drive away from Latoue.
The Pyrenees Pyrenees in Autumn View of the mountains from Les (Spanish side)
We hope this page has been useful and that it has helped you to plan your holiday!