Francescas - Condom : 14 miles
Postcode : 32100
Region : Midi-Pyrénées
Department : Gers (32)
Population : 7478 inhabitants
Leisure activity: Festival of Bandas, fluvial activity, green tourism
Economic activity: tourism, viticulture, production of regional products.
Website (in french): http://www.condom.org/Here you may find some hotels, restaurants and gite in the region
Condom’s actual name is Condom-en-Armagnac, recalling that the town is part of an area deeply rooted in tradition. The town is the sub-prefecture of the Gers department and accounts for 7,200 inhabitants called the Condomois. The town spreads over a land of 97.37 km², a very large surface for a commune of this size. Condom benefits from excellent road links such as the main roads (routes nationales) 113, 21 and 124. It is thus very well connected with Francescas, Agen, Tarbes and Mont de Marsan.
Condom has lost many inhabitants for the last decades but the growing interest for rural preserved areas means that many people are willing to settle.
The town was famous in the past for being a shelter for pilgrims walking on the way to Santiago de Compostela, the famous Spanish town. As Auch, its development was much upheld during the Middle-Ages by this fact and many buildings were constructed in the Gersoise town (convents, churches, abbey, cathedral).
This romantic town in south-west France is perhaps one of France’s most idyllic places. Those who are seeking the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the big city will not wish to settle here, but for the many who come to France to find a rural idyll then Condom is ideal. That is not to say that it is boring, for the little market town has a lively atmosphere and plenty to do, but the pleasures here are gentle and rural rather than urban and frenetic.
It is still a lovely Gascon town made famous by the French film “Le Bonheur est dans le pré” (“Happiness is in the Field”) and known long before as a way station on the pilgrimage road to Compostella in Spain.
Condom is pleasing to the eye, as its buildings are gracefully designed and constructed in a soft bronze stone which gleams gently in the sun which frequently blesses the town. There are delightful winding narrow streets to discover, and a beautiful cathedral which adds an elegant presence to the ambience. Condom is such a quintessentially ‘good life’ town that it features in the film ‘Le Bonheur est dans le Pré’, or ‘Happiness in the Field’!
French market town with excellent restaurants
The market is a popular one, and here you can browse the many little stalls for the best of local produce, the Armagnac and the Foie Gras, and much else besides! You will find too that Condom is well supplied with excellent restaurants. The Gascon gastronomy is justifiably praised throughout France.
Music and Chess Festivals
The town of Condom also hosts an international music festival every year, and this proves very popular with the local people and visitors alike. Chess fans will be delighted to know that Condom is the venue for not just an international festival of the game, but also hosts a chess marathon!
River cruises and lovely countryside
The town is built on the River Baïse, and at one time was considered almost a port, with boats carrying grain and other produce to and from the town. Today you can enjoy the river by hiring a boat and cruising along it, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful countryside of the Gers. Believed by many to be one of France’s loveliest regions, the Gers is even more delightful when viewed in this manner. You can gaze out onto fields of golden sunflowers, vineyards, woodland and pastureland, and sip your Armagnac as you go.
For the more energetic
For those who prefer more physical pursuits, tennis, horse-riding, swimming, fishing and golf are all available nearby. There are also some wonderful walks along the Pilgrim Route to Compstela, and you might meet some interesting pilgrims along the way, as this route is still widely used for this purpose.
For a daytrip to Condom you can choose between many options: visits to the Armagnac museum as well as to the Cathedral St. Pierre are almost mandatory. But a stroll over the weekly market (on wednesdays) is also a great delight for all senses. The sports centre offers a wide choice of more sporting activities such as tennis or swimming. Or book a boattrip on the river and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings along the river. And on the way back to the campsite you are warmly invited to stop by any of the wine and Armagnac Domaineswith the charming chateaux and manors.
Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy or eau de vie which has been produced in the Armagnac region for 700 years, in Gascony, South-West France.
It is distilled from wine (usually made of a blend of grapes including Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Baco) and it uses column stills rather than pot stills used in the production of Cognac.
The Armagnac region was among the first areas to distil spirits in France. The produced brandies are less famous than Cognac, however real connoisseurs often admit to preferring Armagnac spirit.
In addition, Armagnac spirits are mainly made and sold by small producers, whereas Cognac production is dominated by big reputable brands.
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