Marciac isn’t just about Jazz!
This village of 1,200 souls is host to one of France’s best known festivals, the Marciac Jazz festival, which runs during the first two weeks in August, and attracts jazz players from all over the world. During the festival about 120,000 visitors come to the town to take in the concerts, the street musicians, to enjoy the food and the many stalls and art galleries that pop up around the town square.
While the Jazz festival only occupies two weeks of the year, it has profoundly affected this small bastide town. How many other communities of this size do you know that boast several well known restaurants, a new boutique hotel, and a state of the art concert hall that organises events throughout the year?
For those contemplating moving to this part of France, the area offers many advantages. The countryside is gentle and rolling, there are a number of attractive small fortified towns, the weather is clement, and the food excellent. This is the home of foie gras, confit de canard, and all the iterations of duck you can imagine. Local vegetables and foods of all varieties are of an exceptionally high quality, and that includes the good local wines, Saint Mont, Madiran, Jurançon, to mention just a handful. This part of France is known for the long lives of its inhabitants, which is ascribed to the excellence of the quality of nutrition, they could just be right!
While the small towns are peaceful, this is not to say that you cannot enjoy the advantages of larger communities. Within reach of Marciac you have Tarbes, Auch, and Pau, all of which have a high standard of shopping, and the services of first rate hospitals and educational establishments. Le Parvis in Tarbes has a performance centre that offers concerts, cinemas and theatrical productions which come there from all over France.
Also within reach are the Pyrenees; for those who wish to hike, ski, or climb, the mountains are about an hour away, and Spain is also easily accessible.