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The small but interesting town of Auch lies 64kms west of Toulouse and is comprised of two parts. The older part is situated on the upper level and contains a labyrinth of pleasant streets affording a view of the Pyrenees, while the lower part, separated from the upper part by 232 steps, stretches down to the Le Gers River.
Cathédrale Ste-Marie, on place de la Cathédrale, was constructed between the 15th and 17th centuries. This great edifice boasts 113 Renaissance choir stalls, as well as some ornate stained-glass windows. Adjacent to the cathedral stands the 18th century archbishop's palace, which is home to the Tour d'Armagnac, a 14th century bell tower that was at one time a ghastly prison.
Along rue Dessoles and avenue Alsace are an abundance of boutiques and shops selling everything from chocolate to handmade clothes. At the Caves de l'Hôtel de France, rue d'Etigny, you can try a nip of Armagnac. Over 100 distilleries are represented in the area.
For superlative cuisine, head to Café and Caute, where you may be overwhelmed by the ambience as well as the food. Set in an 18th century house, it’s home to a fine collection of paintings and photographs; the upper level houses the main dining room and has splendid décor. The food is typically French and of consummate standard.
Driving around the province of Languedoc is an experience you won’t quickly forget. It is home to great wine producing areas and historical sites. The coast of Languedoc is a place of ancient cities and never-ending beaches that stretch from the Rhône to the Pyrénées.
If you're driving to Auch, take N124 west from Toulouse. Alternatively, nine high-speed TGV trains per day arrive from Paris; there are also 14 a day from Bordeaux and 11 from Marseille. You can also take one of the many daily SNCF buses which run between Toulouse and Auch. Between 6 and 13 SNCF buses arrive in Auch daily from Agen. To get to Auch by air, you will first have to fly into Toulouse. Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport is situated 11kms from the town centre, and receives about 25 flights a day from Paris and two per day from London.