An hour’s drive west of Toulouse, the outline of Auch makes a proud statement. You have arrived in Gers, in the heart of Gascony. This legendary land, home of D’Artagnan, will be your companion as you enjoy a delightful stay in the most pleasant countryside.Land of the musketeers where the memory of D’Artagnan still burns bright, Gers will take you on a journey through its bright, undulating landscapes, from châteaux to fortifi ed towns; from vineyards to small villages. Gers will also help you to appreciate its philosophy of time, its natural appetite for the good things in life and, in a nutshell, its Gascon character.Your exploration of Gers will begin with its capital, Auch. This town of 22,800 inhabitants embodies the Gascon art of living with great flair.With its 370 steps connecting the top and bottom of the town, the Escalier Monumental d’Auch (Monumental Staircase of Auch) is decorated with the statue of D’Artagnan. The legendary captain of the musketeers has become the symbol of Gascony. He was born in about 1610 in the Château de Castelmore, 35 km south-west of Auch.Right next to the monumental staircase are the Insolites Pousterles. These narrow, stepped alleyways winding down the slope were formerly used by residents to fetch water from the river.Towering above the town, you cannot help but admire the majestic collection of buildings consisting of the Tour d’Armagnac (Tower of Armagnac), the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie and the Prefecture (former archiepiscopal palace). The cathedral is listed on the World Heritage register as an important stoppingoff point on the Way of Saint James.Then we plunge into the bustling Place de la Libération and the adjacent medieval alleyways. Attractive shops, restaurants and café terraces stand side by side, offering a blend of tastes and smells that will make you want to get to know Gers better. It is a land of gourmet pleasures, where you can sample foie gras, confits, melons and croustades, not forgetting the prestigious Armagnac, the aperitif Floc de Gascogne, and the wines Côtes de Gascogne, Saint-Mont, Madiran and Pacherenc.Another characteristic of Auch is its obvious talent for appreciation of the arts. Circus arts with CIRCA, the international contemporary circus festival held in October. Cinematographic art with the festival Ciné 32 Indépendance(s) et Création, also in October. The art of singing, with the renowned singing festival ‘Eclats de Voix’, which is held in June.Auch is a reminder that Gers is a land where we can experience wonderful musical adventures, particularly Jazz in Marciac, one of the leading jazz festivals in Europe.