Mountains, artists and cassouletOne of France's classic dishes, cassoulet, originates from this area in the south west of France, separated from Spain by the Haute Pyrénées mountain range. Its capital, Toulouse, is France's fourth-largest town, but a lively student population and rich cultural scene makes it one of the most interesting cities in the country. Don't miss Callioure, the fishing village where Matisse and the Fauvists painted beautiful Meditteranean landscapes. Also worth visiting is Carcasonne, the fortified town that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Albi, the rooftop town where Toulouse-Lautrec was born. Besides the cities and towns, the area offers incredible hiking and cycling trails, as well as winter skiing and wine tours.