If you’d like to make the most of the sun and countryside there are a number of summer sports to keep you busy including cycling, mountain biking, hiking and canoeing.
The Tour de France
Every second year the Tour de France comes within an hour of Bernis which is exciting for spectators and amateur cyclists alike. Over the years, we have had cyclists visit to cycle the route in advance of the tour coming through.
And, we have enjoyed being spectators. There are places where spectators tend to group together to cheer on the cyclists, but we prefer to find a quieter area on a long straight so that you can see the approach and the cyclists heading off into the distance. They go by so quickly that this has proven a worthwhile strategy. We pack a picnic and some picnic blankets and make our way to the road verge. The routes are published well in advance so you can plan your chosen spot ahead of time.
First to come past is the caravan, a procession of sponsor vehicles tooting and playing music and with people dancing and throwing out treats. It feels a little like carnival. The children love it and try to collect as much crazy stuff as possible. I wouldn’t usually use the word “stuff”, but there is no better term for the weird and wonderful things they collect – peak hats and magnets in the shape of chickens on bicycles and pens and sweets – you name it.
Next along are the official support cars and then, accompanied by the sound of helicopters, the cyclists arrive and boy do they go past quickly. It is quite something to see. After the cyclists, there are a few more official vehicles and voila, you’ve seen the tour de France. Be sure to take along lots of water and sunscreen. It can be a long day in the sunshine.
There are also a number of mountain bike trails to explore that start in Simorre, about 15 minutes from Bernis. For more information, take a look at their site: http://www.tourisme-3cag-gers.com/A-voir-a-faire/Loisirs-de-pleine-nature/Parcours-cyclos-et-VTT
There are some lovely hikes locally and recently, the department has published these and enabled you to download the map to your phone; a neat solution until your battery goes! Even then, the hikes are generally well sign posted so you should find your way easily enough. You can take a look at the various hikes available here: https://www.valdegerstourisme.fr/randonnees
If a day out on the water takes your fancy, the Lac d”Astarac is not far away and offers a number of water activities to enjoy in the summer months: https://www.valdegerstourisme.fr/centre-nautique-astarac-du-gers