The Midi Pyrènèes is now a part of the new region of France called Occitanie –
still an excellent area for camping holidays though. Midi-Pyrènèes, region of France encompassing the southwestern
dèpartements of Lot, Aveyron, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Gers, Hautes-Pyrènèes, Haute-Garonne, and Ariëge
In 2016, “Midi Pyrenees” was merged into a new super-region called “Occitanie” – a historical reference to the part of France where until the nineteenth century most people spoke varieties of Occitanian French, not the standard French of northern France.
We and other camping companies will continue to call this department the Midi Pyrenees until the general public has caught on to the change, and we think this may take a while.
Unlike many regions of France Midi-Pyrènèes is not a historic province as it is actually a 20th century invention, created as a result of the “regionalisation” process that took place in the 1970s. Like the Pays de la Loire region further north, Midi-Pyrénées was established in order to create a region around a regional metropolis, in this case the city of Toulouse.
The modern Midi-Pyrénées region encompasses all or a large part of different historic areas, including parts of the large former provinces of Guyenne, Gascony, and Languedoc, and smaller areas, within these larger areas, such as Rouergue and Quercy, the Albigeois, and the county of Foix.
The Midi Pyrenees has now become largest region in France: in terms of surface area, and equal largest in terms of the number of departments covered. It incorporates eight departments, which are Ariëge (09), Aveyron (12), Haute-Garonne (31), Gers (32), Lot (46), Hautes-Pyrènèes (65), Tarn (81) and Tarn-et-Garonne (82). The region covers a total surface area of 45,348 km≤, making it larger than either Belgium or Switzerland; and stretching some 400 kilometres from north-east to south-west, it is not surprisingly a region that somehow lacks any strong regional identity.
Within this region, towns and traditions tend to identify themselves more with the historic provinces to which they once belonged, than to the modern-day region.