When it came to the natural lottery, the Gers won the biggest prize: a tapestry of colour-rich fields, shimmering shores, lush forests and fertile vineyards.
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’.