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A rural idyll

If you hold in your dreams a picture of a French rural idyll, then Saint-Clar will fit the bill very well indeed. In fact, it is hard to see how this bastide town in south-west France, set in glorious open countryside with hills and fields rippling with ripe corn or huge golden sunflowers, with its two central squares, cobbled streets, covered market and oodles of pearly white garlic, could fail to fit anybody's bill! True, if you are seeking city high life, Saint-Clar's little shops, and excellent unpretentious restaurants may not answer your needs, but the town provides all basic amenities and every day needs, in a very pleasant rural style.

A square and a spare!

The town of Saint-Clar is in most respects a typical bastide town, and has the usual layout of a grid built around a central square… but in Saint-Clar's case there are two central squares. Built in 1289 by the English as part of the regeneration of the areas devastated by war, Saint-Clar is small but perfectly formed. The market square has a covered area with a beautiful canopy supported by carved wooden columns, and it is under this that the excellent market takes place each week. The market is dominated by the huge bulbs of gloriously tasty white garlic, for which the Gers is rightly famed, and you simply can't leave without buying some!

All needs catered for…

The little town, with its rural air and cobbled streets speaking of times past, is sufficiently rooted in modern life to supply all basic needs within itself. There are shops, bars and restaurants here, and indeed, the food served in the restaurants is an exceptional pleasure, and better than some you might find in the larger towns and cities. The Gers has a long and distinguished gastronomic tradition, and the local dishes such as Foie Gras and duck confits are a source of great pride.

An aromatic festival

Saint-Clar is the venue for a great festival… in celebration of garlic! It may sound a strange excuse for a party, but when you consider the difference that good garlic makes to the taste of food, and the fact that Saint-Clar lies right in the heart of the best garlic producing region of France, it doesn't seem so strange after all.

Water slides at the lake!

The gorgeous Gers countryside lends itself to many sporting activities, but if you are in Saint-Clar then you really should take advantage of the five hectare leisure lake on the edge of the town. A superb complex has been developed here, combining all the beauty of a natural environment with the fun and games of a sophisticated water park. This will really keep the kids out of your hair for a while, with its giant water slides and water sports, fishing, picnic areas, sandy beaches and Chez Claude's Café!

How to get there

Saint-Clar is best accessed by air from Toulouse, where you can arrive courtesy of easyJet (Gatwick and Bristol), BA (Gatwick), bmi (Manchester), bmibaby (Manchester), or flybe (Birmingham and Bristol). You could also fly to Pau or Rodez with Ryanair from Stansted or Dublin, or to Carcassonne with Ryanair from Stansted, Dublin, East Midlands or Liverpool. Those who like to travel by boat can take the ferry to Bilbao/Santander, and there is a rail travel option available via the TGV to Toulouse. Travelling by road you should take the A62 Bordeaux to Toulouse autoroute, leaving at junction eight. Take the D40 for around twenty kilometres, then after Auch take the RN21 until Fleurance. Finally, the D953 will get you to your destination after approximately eleven kilometres.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint-Clar

Property near to or in the main city of Auch can tend to be expensive, but little rural towns like Saint-Clar can provide a cheaper alternative. The Gers is a great region in which to find farmsteads and barns suitable for renovation, and the architecture of rural property in this region can be among the most stunning in France.

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Saint-Clar AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint-Clar?

Saint-Clar is situated in inland south-west France, in the east of the Gers department, very close to this department's border with Tarn-et-Garonne.

Saint-Clar Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GERS

Gers Guide

  Gers Map


Population: 868


Access: By air: Fly into Toulouse, Pau or Carcassonne with a variety of airlines. By rail: Take the TGV to Toulouse. By road: Accessed a little way from the A62. By boat: You can take the ferry to Bilbao/Santander.


Economy: The economy is agricultural, with production of white garlic the most important.


Interesting fact: The Bastides, of which Saint-Clar is one, were built as a sort of thirteenth century rural regeneration project in war devastated areas.

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