Going green in Toulouse!

Better known as the pink city, Toulouse is also a green city! The city is dotted with parks, gardens and promenades. Seen from the sky, the pink and green of the architectural wonders and natural spaces blend together to create a pretty picture.

So make the most of your stay in Toulouse to stroll along the greenways, footpaths, parks and gardens that are waiting to be discovered on foot, by bike or even by boat, on the canal du Midi for example. Let's go on a little tour of nature in the city!

The Canal du Midi, an escape to nature in Toulouse

The Canal du Midi, an escape to nature in Toulouse

- © Yuryev Pavel / Shutterstock
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A breath of fresh air in Toulouse's parks and gardens

The Grand Rond district is a veritable green lung in the city. It is made up of large parks designed in the 18th century: the Jardin des Plantes, the Jardin du Grand-Rond and the Jardin Royal. These three gardens form a vast ensemble and are a favourite meeting place for the locals whenever the sun comes out. We love going over the road on the footbridges that link these gardens together!

Aerial view of the Jardin du Grand Rond

Aerial view of the Jardin du Grand Rond

- © Altitude Drone / Shutterstock

Located right next to the Natural History Museum, the Jardin des Plantes is the oldest in Toulouse, dating back to 1730! It also includes the Botanical Garden, so you can discover a wealth of trees and plant species. It also houses the remains of a castle! Today, it's above all a family-friendly place, with lots of activities for children, including a playground, merry-go-rounds, a miniature train and pony rides.

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The Jardin du Grand-Rond is now recognised as a "remarkable garden"! It's particularly popular for its trees, planted like a crown around the fountain, its pretty flowerbeds, its statues and its bandstand. And while you're there, why not join in a game of pétanque?

The main attraction of the Jardin Royal is its ancient exotic trees and beautiful statues by Fabre. It has also been awarded the "Remarkable Garden" label. This pretty English-style garden, with its duck pond and small bridge, is a delight to stroll around.

Jardin Royal

Jardin Royal

- © csp / Shutterstock

Opposite the Jardin des Plantes, you'll also find the little garden of the Musée Georges Labit, which is freely accessible. This garden is an invitation to travel, allowing you to discover the exotic world of the museum in a different way. The atmosphere changes according to Georges Labit's travels to the four corners of the world: for a moment you'll think you're in the Mediterranean, then the Orient, Australia or Asia. A change of scenery guaranteed!

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Finally, how can we talk about Toulouse's superb gardens without mentioning the Compans-Caffarelli garden and its famous Japanese garden? This is undoubtedly the most zen of all, with all the elements for a Japanese immersion: the torii (traditional gate), water lilies, cherry trees and bamboo, a small red bridge crossing over the carp pond, and much more! It's the perfect backdrop for a relaxing break with a change of scenery!

Japanese garden

Japanese garden

- © Romas_Photo / Shutterstock

Slow tourism along the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is a superb tree-lined canal running through the Occitanie region, linking Toulouse to Sète. It is part of the "canal des deux-mers", which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean. This historic river route winds its way through the south of France, passing through lush green hills, sun-drenched vineyards and villages with narrow streets!

Stroll along the Canal du Midi

Stroll along the Canal du Midi

- © thieury / Shutterstock

Starting in Toulouse, the Voie Verte along the Canal du Midi is very popular with Toulousans, as it is the longest and most beautiful in the region. For a few hours or a whole day, you can explore this route on foot, by bike or on rollerblades, to reconnect with nature in the city! This walk is 40 km long in total, and you should allow around 3h30 to 4 hours to cover it by bike. Of course, you're free to do just part of it!

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This Voie Verte is in fact the first section of a long walk to Sète! Always in the shade of tall plane trees, this walk allows you to discover the canal, of course, but also its structures (locks, canal bridges, spillways, etc.) and some charming villages. There are several service stops along the way.

Barge on the Canal du Midi

Barge on the Canal du Midi

- © David McMeakin / Shutterstock

And why not discover the canal by boat? You can opt for a guided cruise or hire your own boat or barge. It's a great way to discover the Canal du Midi and its biodiversity at your leisure!

At the start of your trip, take the opportunity to stop off at the Maison de la Violette, near Matabiau. This pretty barge is a boutique offering a range of creations based around violets. You'll of course find the famous violet sweets, a local speciality, as well as other sweet and savoury gourmet products, cosmetics and home fragrances. A great idea for souvenirs or gifts to bring back from your stay in Toulouse!

Violet House

Violet House

- © Semmick Photo / Shutterstock

A green address not to be missed!

Right in the centre of Toulouse, on the banks of the Canal du Midi, lies the Monplaisir garden. This private garden is open to the public and hosts cultural and artistic events throughout the year. Every Saturday morning, from 8am to 1pm, you'll find a market of local and organic producers in a guinguette atmosphere. The stalls sell a wide range of seasonal produce, and even handicrafts. There's also a refreshment bar and a convivial food court. We really invite you to discover this little corner of the countryside right in the centre of town!

by Jude JONES
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