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Local Attractions

Local Town – St. Girons

Local town St Girons is a fifteen minute drive from Tourné. St Girons is famous for its Saturday morning market. There you will find a mix of old and new. Individual growers selling vegetables, fruit or mushrooms collected from local woods. At the same time there are countless stalls with hand made goods from the world over. Notable items are specialty teas, fine quality Cretan Olive oil and products made from local asses milk.
The town itself has many fine examples of period architecture-it’s bridges, weirs, churches and grand old houses and hotels. There are many restaurants in St. Girons offering a variety of regional dishes as well as more distant culinary cultures.
The town of St Girons is in the center of the Couserans, a Gascon county with 18 valleys. Saint-Girons has retained the imprint of a rich past: Gallo-Roman remains, Romanesque chapels, folklore and more.
Below the citadel of Saint-Lizier, the town of Saint-Girons remains strongly linked to the history of this close neighbor. Indeed, this Gallo-Roman oppidum founded in 70 BC, the citadel of the country of the Consorani and capital of the Couserans region, then bishopric in the 5th century, absorbed for a long time the importance of the city of Saint-Girons, The pivot of the Couserans.
Saint-Girons is a saint of Vandal origin who, died on the banks of the Adour, was buried on the site of the eponymous church.
See here for the official town of St Girons website.

Lacazas 12th Century Church

Lacazas is a small hamlet that can be accessed on foot from the gardens at Tourné. The path leading to Lacazas is ancient and has been walked for hundreds of years. Along the way you will see ancient mine shafts where semi precious metals were mined and brought down the footpath to Tourné. at the Hamlet of Lacazas can be seen a fine example of a twelfth century church and a chateau after which the village of Castelnau Durban was named-the new castle at Durban. From Lacazas the walk continues to the village of Castlenau Durban,  by bridge that crosses the Artilac river, the same river that passes through Tourné. from the village one can return to Tourné using the Artillac valley. This is a very pleasant walk, in all a comfortable seventy five minutes. Along the way you will see mountain views to the south and the views to the north offer rolling hills of the Couserans.

Lac de Mondely

The lac de Mondely is a twenty five minute drive across rolling hills that give fine views of the Pyrenees mountains. It is a swimming lake of 50 hectares. During July and August there is a supervised swimming area but even in the height of the summer, the lake never has a feel of being busy. A vast expanse of water nesting in a high valley at about 600 metres, it offers excellent walking as well as swimming and canoeing. During the season there is fishing and there are as many as eleven different species of fish in the lake.
There is a sandy beach area and the 8 kilometre circumference of the lake offers many areas of grassy and shady areas where you can feel completely alone.
During the summer water temperatures can rise up to 24 degrees centigrade. Depending on prevailing weather the lake is warm enough to swim between April and late October.
it is truly a delightful swimming experience, safe for children, comfortable for casual swimming and challenging enough for those who wish to swim longer distances.
During the summer months there is a cafe that serves full lunches as well as snacks and drinks.

The Cap de Carmil

This is a relatively easy walk for most people. Certainly, it will serve as a training walk to test your fitness for other more strenuous walks. The walk begins at the Col des Marrous. There are several ways to arrive at the Col des Marrous-either from Foix or from the Col de Port or directly from Tourné. From Tourné there are at least two direct routes to the start point of the walk, both take about 45 minutes leisurely drive along forest lined isolated roads. The drive itself is very agreeable.
The Walk needs little direction: just start at the Col des Marrous, pick up the signpost and follow the path through forest ad then open rolling hills where you can see wonderful 360 degree views. A truly wonderful place to picnic. It will take you about two hours to get to the top and maybe a further hour to get down. Reckon on a three to three and a half hour round walk.

Local village – Castelnau Durban

Castelnau Durban is a twenty five minute walk form Tourné-almost exactly two kilometres by road along the Artillac valley. it can also be reached by footpath via Lacazas, see below for details.
The village has a bakery and general store where most essentials can be bought. it also has a tabac, a bar and the locally famous Chez Victor cafe and restaurant. This restaurant is nearly always full at lunch times so reservation is recommended. The food is highly regarded by locals for being simple and nourishing. in addition to the daily menu of 11 euros there is a full a la carte menu of more elaborate dishes. a family run restaurant for three generations, nearly everyone who lives between St. Girons and Foix knows of it!
Tuesday is market day in the village. On market day you will find a full range of fresh vegetables, a fine organic epicure, a bakery, a butcher. these are the regular stalls, there may be surprises at any time. the market services the local community and although it is small, it is one of the main focal points of the week in Castlenau Durban. There is a post office in the village.
Between May and September there is a local crafts and artisans shop selling craft products as well as a wide variety of local food such as goats cheese, preserves, oils and spices, paté. It is an excellent place to shop for gifts of high quality crafts and well presented food stuffs as well as local wines and beers.