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Traditionally, a capital town

Traditionally, St Gaudens, which is found in south-west France, was the capital city of the Haute-Garonne department. This is, of course, no longer the case, as the much larger Toulouse has sprung to prominence and as France's fourth largest city has laid claim to that title. However, St Gaudens remains important in a variety of ways. A pretty town, large enough to offer all amenities, St Gaudens lies in beautiful countryside in the Garonne River valley, facing the Pyrenean Mountains.

At the foot of the Pyrénées

St Gaudens lies right at the base of the Pyrenean Mountains, which gives it a truly spectacular setting. On a clear day you can see the peaks, snow clad in winter, soaring into the sky above you, and many properties in the town benefit from this view.

Ancient, fortified town

St Gaudens is an ancient fortified town, whose mediaeval walls impart a sense of history to all who look on them. Built in the 11th century, and extended in the 14th century, the fortifications were modified when the internal walls were demolished in the 16th century. This created the beautiful, and architecturally interesting Street of the Pits, and the Street of the Ramparts which remain today.

Quaint cobbled streets

St Gaudens has many lovely old cobbled streets and fascinating corners to explore. It also has a useful modern side to it, and as a sizeable town it can offer pretty much everything you may need for a comfortable modern existence. There are a number of shops and large supermarkets, doctors, dentists, schools and banks. These don't detract from the overall appearance of the town, however, and many of the houses sport fancy carved eaves and balconies which give a pretty "frilled" effect.

Dining Out

There are plenty of good restaurants in which you can soak up the atmosphere of the town, enjoy a glass or two of wine and try the local gastronomic specialities. All tastes and pockets are catered for, but you would be well advised to try some of the local dishes that feature on the menus of establishments such as Le Cork Pub. Here you can eat fillet steak with a delicious apricot sauce, echoing the marriage of sweet and savoury flavours so often found in southern France and northern Spain.

Fantastic for sports

The town is well placed for sports enthusiasts, as it offers easy access to the mountains and all the wonderful sporting opportunities found there. Ski, snowboard and snowshoe in winter, and in summer you can hike, mountain bike, horse-ride and much, much more.

Days out

There are many interesting places to visit from a base in St Gaudens. Spain is near enough for a day trip, as is the tiny tax free shopping haven of Andorra. Many of the nearby mediaeval villages are also lovely, and one such village worth visiting is St Bertrand de Comminges. Toulouse, Foix and Tarbes are all within reach, and there is also the mountain spa town of Luchon to enjoy.

How to get there

There are no less than four airports within easy reach of St Gaudens. Toulouse (British Airways, bmibaby, flybe, bmi, and easyJet), Pau and Carcassonne (Ryanair) and Perpignan (Ryanair, bmibaby and flybe) are all near enough to use, and offer direct flights to and from various airports around the UK. Toulouse also has TGV station, so those who find rail travel agreeable and effective can choose this as an option.

Property prices in and around St Gaudens

Property in St Gaudens is less expensive than property in nearby Toulouse, but it is still a desirable area and prices have risen in recent years. It is, however, very reasonably priced in comparison with similar areas in the south-east of France, where property with access to skiing and a major city will cost considerably more.

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St Gaudens AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS St Gaudens?

St Gaudens is located in south-west France, on the Garonne River. It lies in the south-east of its department, the Haute-Garonne.

St Gaudens Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Haute-Garonne Guide

  Haute-Garonne Map

Population: 10,837

Access: By air: The town is well placed for air travel, as the airports of Toulouse, Carcassonne, Pau and Perpignan are all within reasonable reach. By rail: The TGV stops at Toulouse, making rail travel straightforward.

Economy: The economy is varied, with many enterprises registered at the prefecture. Local gastronomic products also feature.

Interesting fact: The town is archaeologically important, as the oldest Gallo Roman villa to be found in this part of France was exhumed here. Archaeologists have also uncovered evidence of human life here which dates back some 30,000 years.

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