The third largest region in France, Aquitaine is sure to meet all your vacation needs: from the Basque Coast to the Périgord-Limousin Natural Regional Park, discover its beaches, cities steeped in history, many picturesque villages, medieval fortified towns and also its mountains, vineyards and the Landes Forest.
The first spa region in France
From Hendaye on the Basque Coast to Verdon-sur-Mer in Gironde, Aquitaine offers 250 kilometres of fine sandy beachs, sailing marinas and seaside resorts. The joys of surfing are yours for the taking in Biarritz or Biscarrosse, as are the benefits of thalasso therapy, the pleasures of lazing on the beach and swimming in the sea, or perhaps you would prefer to climb the famous Dune of Pyla in Arcachon? The most important spa region in France, Aquitaine boasts no less than 30 spa towns, including Dax, France’s top spa town.
Stories to tell which are over a thousand years old
Aquitaine has stories to tell which are over a thousand years old: visit the Lascaux caves listed by Unesco and the Pierrefitte Menhir which unveils fragments of prehistoric civilisations in the heart of the Dordogne one so called « Valley of Mankind ». The National Museum of the Château de Pau, the Château de Bonaguil, among others, bear witness to the rich history of the Aquitaine region. The Cathedral of Saint-Sacerdos in Sarlat-la-Canéda and the Cathedral of Saint-Front in Périgueux reveal the importance of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Aquitaine’s cities are steeped in History: visit Bordeaux as well as Biarritz, Bayonne, Pau, Périgueux…In 2007 Unesco listed almost half of Bordeaux (around the Port de la Lune and the Pont de Pierre) as an “exceptional urban and architectural ensemble”, built in the age of Enlightenment. Take a stroll around the area, admire the reflections in the Miroir d'eau or contemplate the collections at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art.
Aquitaine, a delight for the food-lover
Aquitaine is also a delight for the food-lover, with around twenty Michelin starred restaurants. In the Landes and the Périgord, you will find duck breasts, gizzards and foie gras are the specialities. The Basque country treats you to Bayonne ham, sheep’s cheeses and espelette chili.
But the gastronomic trump card in Aquitaine is to be found in its vineyards. From Unesco-listed Saint-Emilion to the House of the Wines of Jurançon, through Planète Bordeaux or the House of Wines in Bergerac, you can sample the finest vintages from the Aquitaine region.
A mountain for any season
The Pyrenees stretch for more than 110kms from the Rhune (west of the Basque Country) up to the Col du Pourtalet (at the foot of Pic d’Ossau opening up to l’Aragon). As for valleys to discover, don’t miss those in the Basque Country and the 3 valleys of Béarn (Barretous, Ossau, and Aspe at the gateway of the National Park of the Pyrenees)
Go out in Aquitaine
Every season, Aquitaine invites you to come and celebrate: from the Feria de Dax to the Fêtes de Bayonne, via the Grand Pruneau Show in Agen. Aquitaine also shares its passion for culture through various major event: Mimos, the International Mime Festival in Périgueux, the Jeu du theatre Festival in Sarlat, or Cadences, the Dance Festival in Arcachon.
Places such as Walibi Sud-Ouest or the Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo make Aquitaine an ideal destination for family holidays.
Sun, History, exotism, dynamism, with gastronomic highlights : emotions guaranteed for tailor-made holiday!