Vineyard at St. Emilion - photo J Menichini
► Stay on a Bordeaux wine estate :
a select choice of some active wine estates in Aquitaine offering
cellar visits, wine tasting and hotel or b&b accommodation.
- Saint Estèphe, Medoc,: Classic Médoc château on a large estate. Ten bedrooms, fine dining, winery tours.
- Côtes de Bourg vineyard. Château winery with 3 ensuite b&b rooms and pool. Wine tasting and vineyard tours
- Near Bordeaux, beside the Dordogne: Small Bordeaux estate offering bed and breakfast. 3 rooms.
- Saint Emilion: Wine estate chateau amidst the vineyards: four en-suite guest rooms.
- Saint Emilion : Winery with restaurant and four guest rooms in a prestigious Saint Emilion vineyard
The Château at Beynac in the Dordogne
Hillside village of Belvès, in the Dordogne
The Basque coast, near Saint Jean de Luz
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- Garonne area:
- Bordeaux :
regional capital, a UNESCO world heritage site; remarkable 18th century
and earlier architecture, including the theatre, bridge over the
Garonne, and other buildings. Riverside, streets and markets. Bordeaux Art Gallery has a large collection,
particularly rich in 17th-19th century French and European art,
including works by Chardin, Greuze, Claude Lorrain, Poussin, Delacroix,
Renoir, Frans Hals, Van Dyck, Rubens, Ruysdael, plus a lesser but
interesting collection of French 19th and 20th century art.
The "Grand Théâtre" is one of the finest surviving
18th century theatres in Europe, and the only one in France to have
conserved its 18th century interior
Emilion: small wine-making city with narrow streets and
unique underground 'monolithic' church.
- The Aquitaine
chateaux of the Bordeaux, Médoc and St Emilion vineyards.
famous Bordeaux vineyards are situated northwest of Bordeaux, on the
south side of the Gironde estuary.
interesting art gallery housed in Renaissance buildings. A fine
collection of paintings including works by Goya, Tintoretto, Greuze,
Corot, Boudin, Sisley and others. The aqueduct carrying the Garonne
canal over the river, completed in 1843, is 550 metres long, and is the
second longest canal bridge in France.
- Bonaguil : fabulous mediaeval fortress chateau in the valley of the Lot, near Fumel. One of the finest castles in France.
- The Canal
- or at least the part known as the Canal latéral de la
Europe's oldest canal system, linking Atlantic and Mediterranean. Of
particular note is the 539 metre-long canal bridge at Agen, the second
longest canal aqueduct in France, carrying the canal over the river
- The Bastide towns
small mediaeval planned towns, dating from the time of the hundred
year's war between France and England. Three of the finest examples in
Aquitaine are Eymet in the Dordogne, Montpazier (built by the English),
and the hilltop bastide of Montflanquin.
east of the Garonne:
river valley , small villages and towns, prehistoric sites.
- Noteworthy sites: Château de Beynac, on a
clifftop overlooking the Dordogne valley. A remarkable castle in a
remarkable site. Also nearby the castle of Castelnaud and the riverside village of La Roque Gageac
UNESCO world heritage site : Remarkable
prehistoric caves with paintings. Reconstruction. The original cave is
closed to visitors, for conservation reasons.
near Lascaux, in the Vézère valley, national
museum of Prehistory, plus
historic sites and troglodyte houses built into the cliff faces. It was
in the Cro Magnon shelter at Les Eyzies that the earliest remains of
homo spaiens were discovered in 1868. The Font de Gaume cave is another
site with prehistoric cave paintings.
: famous château and vineyard, near Bergerac.
capital of gastronomy; old streets and buildings, including
St Front Cathedral, originally dating from the 12th century. While the
Byzantine-style tower is mediaeval, most of the actual cathedral is a
19th century rebuilding and embellishment of the original edifice.
one of the most attractive small towns in France. A fine small French
town that has preserved much of its historic centre, with houses dating
from medieval times and the renaissance. Market on Saturday morning. Nearby the Maison Forte de Reignac
is a fascinating 16th century troglodytic house built into a cliff; it
is remarkably well conserved, and furnished in period style. It is the
last surviving example of a substantial cliff dwelling in France.
► More on the Dordogne
west of the Garonne:
popular Atlantic coast resort, with marina and beaches.
coast: many long sandy beaches, stretching over 200 km
from Bayonne to the Gironde. This coast, flanking the Bay of Biscay, is
known as the Silver Coast, or "Côte d'Argent", and is popular with surfers.
- Basque country:
where the Pyrenees meet the Ocean - bracken covered hills, and villages
in the distinct Basque style.
Closed for renovation until at least 2014. Impressive collection of
European painting, with - among others - works by Goya, El Greco,
Ingres, David, Géricault, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Tiepolo,
Rubens, and even Constable and Turner .
Reopening keenly awaited.
Mediaeval cathedral and cloisters, boat
trips on the river Adour, Basque museum, beaches.
area in the foothills of the Pyrenees around Pau & Orthez
Saint Jean de Luz : popular seaside resorts near the
du Pilat, highest sand dune in Europe, near Arcachon.
- Laruns, in the Pyrenees south of Pau. Le Petit train d'Artouste.
Ten kilometer very scenic narrow gauge railway, running at an altitude
of between 1920 metres and 1940 metres (over 6300 ft) above sea
level. Access by cablecar from Artouste-Fabrèges.
Landes: largest forested area in Europe, pine forests and
heath. Hiking, natural environment, and a good network of cycle tracks.
elegant city near the Pyrenees. Impressive mediaeval castle, birthplace
of King Henri IV. The Musée des Beaux Arts is the second best
art gallery in Aquitaine, after Bordeaux, and has a substantial
collection including works by El Greco, Zurbaran, Rubens, Degas, Corot,
Marquet and many more.
du Midi d'Ossau, 2884m, highest point in western Pyrenees.
high mountains on the Spanish border, hiking, climbing, winter sports,
scenery - including the western half of the Pyrenees National Park.
- St Jean de Luz
: small fishing and pleasure port close to the Spanish border. The 17th
century St.John the Baptist church has a very fine ornate gilded
altarpiece in the Spanish style. In this church, King Louis XIV was
married to the Infanta of Spain in 1660