If you’ve been thinking about visiting the Midi-Pyrénées for your next break, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s a ton of fun stuff for groups and couples to enjoy over there. Whether you’re looking for a top-class relaxation spa day, a gentle river cruise or something to literally take you to the heights of adventure, the beautiful countryside and landscape of the Midi-Pyrénées will have something to suit. Haven’t got time to do a load of research? No problem, we’ve gathered all the best things to do in Midi-Pyrénées for grown-ups on this list (and if you’re taking the kids you can get our top tips here).
1. Rest your limbs at Les Bains Couloubret
After a day’s hiking up the Pyrenees peaks or a late night of wine and chats, these thermal baths will be a great tonic for weary, aching limbs. Sink neck-deep into the bubbling waters and feel your muscles loosen and tension melt away. With indoor and outdoor mountain-view pools, hydro-massage jets and a steam room, two hours in these baths (which is what an entrance ticket gets you) will simply fly by. To make your experience a full spa day, consider booking in for a massage or treatment too.
Location: Promenade Paul Salette, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes, France
2. Make jewellery with La Vidalerie
For a group activity that will get the creative juices flowing, arrange for a jewellery making workshop for you and your friends in Aveyron. The class can be tailored to your individual preferences, but you’ll get the most out of it if you focus on one particular jewellery-making skill. Perhaps you’ll learn how to make a beautiful Byzantine chainmail-style copper bracelet or you could get to grips with the art of fold farming (a metalworking technique used to produce 3D forms). Or, particularly useful for any wedding parties, you might be able to make a silver band ring or two.
Location: 12470 Prades-d’Aubrac, France
Book: Call +33 6 30 74 20 35
3. See the scenery from on high with Atmosph’Air Montgolfières
Want to impress your friends? Give them the gift of flight with a hot-air balloon ride. Float over the vineyards and sunflower fields, and let the wind carry you over the hilltop town of Cordes-sur-Ciel and the historic centre of Albi. There is no more peaceful way to see this corner of France than looking down at it from on high. Back on terra firma, you’ll commemorate the memorable flight with a tradition long-practised by balloon pilots returning to land: the balloonist’s toast. With a limit of four or five passengers per balloon basket, you might all be able to pile into the one, but travelling as a flotilla will be just as magical.
Location: 87 Chemin de Caynac, 81000 Albi, France
4. Hit the saddle at Les Crinières Noires
This Pyrenees-based equestrian centre caters for all abilities, whether you’re a dab hand with the reins or it’s your first time sitting on a horse. And you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands, not just with an experienced instructor but also with your steed. You’ll get to ride a warmblood Mérens pony, a gentle and sure-footed horse that is more than capable of safely navigating the rocky and uneven mountain paths. The cinematic Pyrenees mountains – whose precipitous and cragged rock peaks form a constant backdrop to your riding adventure – are enough to stir the soul of even the most stoic riders among your group.
Location: Centre de tourisme équestre, Etangs de la Pisciculture, 09310 Les Cabannes, France
Book: Tel : +33 (0)6 95 41 37 52 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Float down the Baïse River with Gascogne Navigation
Take your crew on a cruise through this languid river, which cuts through the heartland of Gascony. Boat trips sail from the port at the snigger-inducingly named town of Condom. Don’t worry, the laughter will soon subside as the cruise departs and you get caught up in the views of this quiet, tree-lined waterway. This river is less busy than the Dordogne, and you’re much more likely to spy families of ducks swimming casually by than other tourists. If a short hour-long journey isn’t long enough, opt for a two-hour excursion instead, which will include a tasty lunch on board.
Location: 3 Avenue d’Aquitaine, 32100 Condom, France
6. Make the cut at Coutellerie de Laguiole Honoré Durand
As the great Chef Anthony Bourdain once said, “Don’t touch my knife”. Well, truth be told, what he said was a little ruder than that, but we’ll leave out the colourful language… It’s a sentiment that the knife-obsessed can relate to. And anyone that does feel attached to their own particular steel implement will be impressed with a visit to the Laguiole workshops, to see where the crème de la crème of knives are made. A Laguiole specialist will take you on a guided tour of the workshop, explain the stages of knife production and answer any questions you may have about their blades. If you want to make a purchase while you’re here, consider the Laguiole corkscrew – these handmade artisan tools are sported by exacting sommeliers and wine-lovers all over the globe.
Location: ZA La Poujade, Route de l’Aubrac, 12210 Laguiole, France
7. Tour La Ville Rose with Toulouse Walking Tours
Toulouse, known as the Pink City, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. But it packs plenty of charm with its pink-hued architecture, vibrant cultural scene and lively, student-driven vibe. In fact, it would be a shame to visit the Midi-Pyrénées without exploring this underrated city. Let an expert from Toulouse Walking Tours show you and your group around. Not only will the guide point you towards the important, historical sights but they’ll also show you the things tourists don’t usually get to see and tell you the kind of interesting and surprising information that you’ll want to share with your friends and colleagues back home. The tour takes just a little over two hours and you’ll come out armed with recommendations for top dining spots in Toulouse too.
Location: Place Capitol Metro Station, Toulouse, France
Book: Online here or call +33 6 77 28 39 60
Are you feeling more and more excited for a break in the Midi-Pyrénées? Here at Oliver’s Travels, we can help find you the perfect place for you and your friends to stay! Either browse our selection of Midi-Pyrénees villas or tell our concierge team what you’re looking for and they’ll find you a property to match. If you’ve already decided on a base for your adventure then they can help you with booking too.