Southwest France Tourism & Visitor Guide
Welcome to Southwest France!
Southwest France sprawls outwards from Toulouse, the region's largest city, towards the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. At the foot of the Pyrenean range is the Roman Catholic pilgrimage of Lourdes, a site of apparent miraculous healings since 1858, when the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl. Celebrated artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was raised in Albi, where the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum is filled with his work. For a very different artistic experience, the Dordogne in the north of the region is home to a number of caves containing prehistoric wall paintings by early man. The caves of Lascaux and Rouffignac are among the best.
Close to Lourdes, Pau is home to the 16th-century Pau Castle (Chateau de Pau), the birthplace of King Henry IV. The town has been a tourist hotspot since holidaying Brits happened across it's mineral springs in the middle of the 19th century, bringing with them the game of Rugby Union which continues to be extremely popular; Pau, Toulouse and Castres all boast successful Rugby teams.