Expect dreamy driving - the roads are generally traffic- and horn-free. The A62, A64 motorways as well as the RN 124 main road allow pretty swift access to the Gers.
British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly to both Toulouse and Bordeaux-Mérignac airport.
The nearest station is Condom, 15km to the east (don't be surprised if sniggering thieves have plucked the road signs from their rightful resting place). High-speed trains connect Toulouse and Agen with the whole of France and with the Eurostar, and TGV trains connect the Gers to Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris (+44 (0)8705 848848; www.raileurope.com).
France: +33; south-west (0)5.
For a rip-roaring read, dip into The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas père. The character of D'Artagnan - friend and guard of Athos, Porthos and Aramis - is loosely based on a 17th-century Gascon local, Charles de Batz-Castelmore, the Comte d'Artagnan. Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo is another yarn ripe with intrigue, revenge and romance.
Do go / Don't Go
The region is famous for its fat poultry - ill-fated birds, many of them are destined for the local restaurants, as calorific foie gras, confit and magret de canard.
Taxis are reasonable, and easily flagged from town centres and the main transport hubs.
A standard 15 per cent service charge is added to restaurant bills; you'll make your waitress/concierge/taxi driver smile if you dish out a few extra euro.
Hip-slung trousers for gluttonous dining; a straw sunhat for picnicking like a painter's muse; plimsolls and a Breton top for roaming the fields in style; aspirin for the morning after the Armagnac before.
Admire Saint Mary's Cathedral in Auch, which has intricately carved choir stalls and dazzling stained-glass windows. Look out for the statue of Charles de Batz-Castelmore (aka D'Artagnan) in the main square. While you're in the area, follow in Nostradamus' footsteps and roam the Quartier du Caillou's jumble of winding streets. There are Roman ruins in Ordan-Larroque and a typical 17th-century castelnou (village built around a castle) in Lavardens.
Drink like a musketeer, with a pousse rapière (rapier thrust). This potent aperitif is made from champagne and orange-flavoured Armagnac. Floc, a blend of grape juice and brandy, is another distinctive tipple.
Peruse the abundant local markets for the freshest, tastiest picnic provisions. Try Castéra-Verduzan on Sunday morning, Fleurance on Tuesday, Condom or Valence-sur-Baïse on Wednesday, Eauze on Thursday (one of the best around) and Vic-Fezensac on Friday morning.
Head to the Pyrenees for dramatic vistas. Alternatively, wend your way down the River Baïse by boat and admire the lush scenery. Stop for lunch in Valence-sur-Baïse, a bastide village that dates back to the 13th century.
Head to one of the village squares at night and hear the bandas (brass bands) play. The music reveals the Gers' strong Spanish influence - if you want to impress the locals, dance an impromptu flamenco.
Early May Condom gets lively with its Bandas y Penas Festival, a weekend celebration of all things bandas (www.festival-de-bandas.com). June Bordeaux hosts a very festive Fête du Vin - taste the wine, visit the vineyards, meet the growers, and generally make merry (www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com). Late July Don your red dress and dancing shoes for the four-day Festival Tempo Latino in Vic-Fezensac (www.tempo-latino.com), which celebrates salsa, Afro-Cuban and Latin beats. August Marciac hosts the Jazz in Marciac festival (www.jazzinmarciac.com), which has drawn the likes of Ray Charles and Keith Jarrett. For two weeks, the town square is abuzz with free concerts, stalls and vendors selling street food; in the evening, musicians play under a under a giant marquee, known as the chapiteau. October-November Admire the rubber-limbed acrobats and prop-toting clowns at the 10 day Festival de Cirque Actuelle in Auch, which lures circus performers from all around the world (www.circuits-circa.com).