Collect a rental car in Toulouse and enjoy the freedom of this French city that has breathtaking mountain views and superb ski facilities on its doorstep.
"The gateway to the Pyrenees, we're the most stylish and cosmopolitan city with the most beautiful historic centre.”
Toulouse is indeed a wonderful and beautiful city. Not only that, it's an aviation centre with a thriving hi-tech industry as well as a university town.
Buzzing with students from all over Europe, Toulouse has a vibrant atmosphere. The Toulousans are friendly and open - be nice and you might even get invited to join them in the lively nightlife of the city.
You’ll find the locals to be a friendly bunch. Seek them out in the bistros, enjoying the rugby at the nearby Stade Toulousain or shopping at the Vieille Ville.
While winters in the south of France tend to be pretty mild, the frosty conditions in the nearby Pyrenees are ideal for skiing, making Toulouse the perfect destination to enjoy an active winter break.
You simply can't go to Toulouse without sampling one of their famous sausages. Order one from a street seller and then pick some up at the supermarket to bring home.
Miss Van, a street artist of critical acclaim was born in Toulouse. Her work can be seen on street walls and in galleries.
Toulouse is known as the Ville Rose, which translates as the Pink City, because of the distinctive pink brickwork of its old town.
"Your stay in Toulouse will certainly be a time of great pleasure." - www.uk.toulouse-tourisme.com
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Packed with chic cafes and restaurants, Place du Capitole is the heart of the city's social life. With enormous brick buildings that are illuminated with a pink glow at sunset, it's home to an opera company, a symphony orchestra, and the city hall.
Park your hire car at the Capitole car park in Place du Capitole.
Built in 1080, this beautiful brick building has a light and airy atmosphere that inspires peaceful reflection. It's also home to a very impressive pipe organ.
Park your hire car at the Jeanne d'Arc underground car park.
There's a nice square here where you can unwind with a cafe au lait. Or just stare open-mouthed at the gigantic window on the facade.
You can park your hire car at the Carnot car park in Boulevard Carnot.
When trawling around the big city has finally destroyed your feet, you could do a lot worse than sitting lazily, examining this massive 91-locks canal.
Park at the Arnaud Bernard car park in Place Arnaud Bernaud.
This botanical garden may not be the most imaginitively named, but its array of gorgeous little plants and posies is inspiring. A great place for a quiet stroll away from the heat of the sun.
Park your hire car at the St-Michel car park in Allee Paul Feuga.
This ski resort was the setting for the pre-title sequence of the James Bond thriller Tomorrow Never Dies. You'll find 25 miles of downhill pistes catering for all levels at Peyragudes - and, thankfully, you're unlikely to be troubled by Russian spies.
It's a two-hour drive to the resort. Follow the A64/E80 and take exit 17 toward Montréjeau-centre. Merge onto the A645, and pick up the D825 heading towards Loures-Barousse/N125.
Just two hours from Toulouse, you'll find one of the largest ski resorts in the French Pyrenees, Saint-Lary-Soulan. Enjoy over 60 miles of award-winning downhill slopes and some superb apres-ski venues.
Pick up the A64/E09/E8 and take exit 16 toward Lannemezan/Arreau/Auch. Exit onto the D939 and take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto the D929/Route de Lannemezan. Continue to follow the D929 to Saint-Lary-Soulan.
This naturally sunny resort is part of one of the largest ski areas in the French Pyrenees and features countless acres of treeless runs and some spectacular scenery.
The drive will take approximately two hours, 15 minutes. Follow the A64/E09/E80 to exit 14. Continue onto the D20 and pick up the D938. Merge onto the D935 and exit for the D918, which will take you all the way to Bareges.
Take a break from the slopes and soak up some culture in Moissac. This town is famous for its artistic heritage - don't miss the Saint-Pierre abbey, complete with its Centre of Romanesque Art.
It takes under an hour to reach Moissac from Toulouse - just pick up the A62/E09/E72 towards Paris/Bordeaux and take exit 9-Castelsarrasin. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto D813/Route de Moissac heading to Moissac/N113/Agen.
" Toulouse is one of the largest French cities so you are going to need a hire car to get around. If you fancy ditching the car and getting some exercise while you see the city, you can rent a bike for about €3 a day. The streets in the city centre are quite narrow so take care to drive a little slower there. The best and cheapest place to park in the centre is at the Capitole car park. "