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On the road

Haute-Garonne department

Prefecture : Toulouse
Sub-prefectures
: Saint-Gaudens, Muret
Population
: 1,203,000
Website
: www.haute-garonne.fr

With Toulouse as its prefecture, the Haute-Garonne department is by far the biggest in the Midi-Pyrenees region with1.13 million inhabitants. The Garonne rivers runs through it over 200 kilometres. Urban in Toulouse, authentic in the surrounding countryside, it is also a mountainous department with four ski resorts (Luchon-Superbagneres, Peyragudes, le Mourtis and Bourg d’Oueil) and high summits at the Spanish border. This explains why tourism is such an important activity, employing more than 10,000 people. Foie gras, magret and of course cassoulet, with its Toulouse sausage, are the best known local specialities. The air and space industry is the department’s main employer.

Tarn-et-Garonne department

Logo du département français du Tarn-et-GaronneCrédit : Conseil général de Tarn-et-Garonne

Prefecture : Montauban
Sub-prefecture
: Castelsarrasin

The department was created in 1808 by Napoleon I in reply to a request by the people of Montauban, which was then but a sub-prefecture of the Lot. Tarn-et-Garonne was formed from parts of the neighbouring departments. In spite of its small surface, it has a great variety of landscapes. The lowlands, between Tarn, Garonne and in the Aveyron valley, contrast sharply with the hills in Lomagne and in the North of the department.  The East is a limestone plateau dedicated to sheep breeding. The gorges of Aveyron in the area of St Antonin attract many tourists both for the beauty of the site and for the many sporting activities in the area. Tarn-et-Garonne is an essentially agricultural department, producing 80 pc of the fruit in the Midi-Pyrenees region. 

Lot department

Logo du département du LotCrédit : département du Lot

Prefecture : Cahors
Subprefectures : Figeac, Gourdon
Population : 173,000
Website : www.tourisme-lot.com

Created in 1790 from the province of Quercy, Lot was at the time much larger than it is today, including the town of Montauban, but it lost a quarter of his surface when the Tarn-et-Garonne department was created in 1808. On its territory, known for its exquisite farm production, taste is a common value. Jam brands (Andros, Boin) are national leaders and export more and more. After the wine-growers and their Cahors appellation, sheep and beef breeders also see their efforts rewarded by quality labels as well as producers of hazelnut.

Industrial activity in the Lot focuses on four sectors: electric construction (Cahors), aeronautics, mechanics (Figeac, St Cere) and food processing. Craft industry is particularly developed but tourism is a major asset with sites like Rocamadour and the Padirac caves.

Km 0.5 : Seilh

Percin castle

The Percin castle dates from the 14thcentury when it belonged to the Guizot family. In 1509, it was sold to Piette de Buisson, who donated it to the St Jacques Hospital in Toulouse on condition that it looks after the village population. It is now a private school.

Région Midi-Pyrénées

Préfecture : Toulouse
Sites Web
: www.midipyrenees.fr www.tourisme-midi-pyrenees.com  http://grandsites.midipyrenees.fr/

Avec huit départements et 45.000 km² de superficie, Midi-Pyrénées est la région la plus étendue de France (avec la Guyane), plus vaste que le Danemark, la Belgique ou la Suisse. Cet immense espace coincé entre les Pyrénées au sud et le Massif central au nord-est est évidemment d'une grande disparité même si l'ensoleillement, l'amour de la gastronomie, du rugby et le sens de l'accueil sont des valeurs communes à tous ses départements.

L'économie de la région est dominée par la vitalité de Toulouse, capitale de région, dont l'activité conditionne celle des autres grandes villes proches, Pau ou Carcassonne. Troisième ville étudiante de France, la ville rose est également la capitale française de l'aéronautique.

Dans le reste de la région, l'armement (Tarbes) ou l'industrie pharmaceutique (Castres, Agen) sont des activités importantes, mais l'agriculture domine et fait de Midi-Pyrénées le deuxième pôle agricole du pays.

Le tourisme est, comme ailleurs en plein essor, et les nombreuses stations de sport d'hiver des Pyrénées attirent les amateurs de glisse et de nature.

En 2009 la création du label Grands Sites a permis la mise en valeur de différents patrimoines régional, naturel ou culturel, technologique ou historique.

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20

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