The land of Cyrano de Bergerac (and his famously large nose), of foie gras and truffles, and - perhaps above all - of fabulous wine, Aquitaine is full of personality.
Located in the south west corner of the hexagon which is France, Aquitaine includes the French part of the Basque country.
If you’re after some peace and quiet, the wide sandy beaches of Aquitaine are a haven of tranquillity. The Atlantic coast is also very popular with surfers, and you'll find some of the best surfing in Europe there for the taking in Biarritz for example.
As well as surfing, if you’re into outdoor activities, the region is ideal for sailing, hiking, cycling, horse-riding and walking, not to mention the myriad of winter sports which are available in the ski resorts of the Pyrenees.
You’ll also find plenty of natural and architectural wonders in this region, which is known for its ancient winemaking tradition. The Juridiction of Saint-Emilion comprises the ancient villages and vineyards in the Saint-Emilion area. And if you’re into history, amongst the many chateaux and fortresses of the region, don’t miss the 17th century Fortifications of Vauban, or, going further back in time, explore the prehistoric sites and decorated caves of the Vézère Valley.The small market town of Lourdes in the foothills of the Pyrenees is famous for its healing waters, and welcomes around 5 million Catholic pilgrims every year to the site where Our Lady of Lourdes is said to have appeared. Aquitaine was also important to pilgrims of the Middle Ages, who would have travelled through the region on the route to Saint Iago de Compostela. Bordeaux, the capital of the region, is not just about the wine. You’ll find that it’s a city with a magnificent cultural and architectural heritage: around half of the city is listed as a Unesco world heritage site, including the Port of the Moon, which sits on the crescent shaped bend in the Garonne river.
De gare à gare