Rendez vous in Aquitaine

Rendez vous in Aquitaine aquitaine fr

A land of plenty...

A generous land exuding French charm and diversity: gently rolling hills, deep river valleys, France’s largest forest and wild sandy beaches open to the Atlantic. Bordeaux vineyards,  the Basque country with its beautiful golf courses and the limestone plateaux of Périgord.A visit to Aquitaine inevitably inspires interest in its past. With an abundance of prehistoric sites and a fascinating variety of artifacts, it is no wonder the region is referred to as the “cradle of the arts”. The outstanding finds at Lascaux, La Madeleine and Rouffignac, the abbeys, fortresses and châteaux straight out of medieval turbulences will delight those interested in architecture and archaeology.

Romantics will be fascinated by the region’s history, namely the Duchy ruled over by Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 12th century. Married first to Louis VII of France, and later to Henry II of England, Eleanor bore ten children, including Richard the Lion-Hearted. One of the earlier feminists, Eleanor encouraged the floweringbof the troubadour tradition and the blossoming of the concept of romantic love.A wine-growing region of worldwide reputation, the vineyards of Bordeaux produce such delights as Margaux, Médoc, Sauterne and Saint-Emilion wines. Aquitaine offers time-honoured recipes as well as new cuisine, with local specialties like truffles and foie gras. Enough to whet any gourmet’s appetite. Who could ask for more ?

Not to be missed:

- The Arcachon basin
- The Great Dune of Pyla: an extraordinary 2700 m long “accident” of geology.
- Bordeaux and its museums, Sainte-Catherine street and the Chartrons district.
- The Aquitaine coastline: 250 km of fine sandy beaches.
- Périgord and its painted caves, including 18000 years old Lascaux.
- Biarritz and the Basque coast.
- Saint-Emilion and surrounding area, a famous wine-growing region.
- The Pyrenees national park.

 

  • Unusual: the Pyla sand dune

A mere 60 km from  south of the Arcachon basin,  one gets the opportunity to visit and climb Europe’s highest sand dune. Some 2 km long, it reaches a height of 107 m. From the top, the view is quite simply  grandiose. It encompasses the coastline, the entrance channels to the Arcachon basin, the Landes pine forest and, on a clear day, the distant Pyrenees. This dune is made of very fine sand and is located in the town of La Teste de Buch, in the Gironde department.,

 

  • A city of choice: Bordeaux – a UNESCO World Heritage City .

Bordeaux has been officially included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as of 27 June, 2007. This distinction recognizes the beauty and unity of style of the city’s architectural heritage, which has developed harmoniously over the centuries and remained extremely well-preserved. The area concerned is the largest urban entity to be thus honoured. It covers 1 810 ha, or half of the city, from the outer boulevards to the banks of the Garonne. Indeed, with the exception of Paris, Bordeaux is the French city boasting the largest number of protected buildings. The city exudes 18th century elegance with its neoclassical architecture, wide avenues and attractive public squares and parks.Victor Hugo once described Bordeaux as a curious, original and quite unique town. Founded in the 3rd century BC, it is famous for wine. The 1000 sq km wine-growing area around the city is France’s most important producer of top-quality wines. Signs of the city’s connection with wine are visible everywhere.

The 18th century saw the building of the customs palace and the stock exchange. Later on in the 19th century, wealthy traders’ mansions and houses proudly displayed on their façades ornamental bunches of grapes and representations of Bacchus.For a great selection of cafés and restaurants, head for Place de la Victoire, the place du Parlement  or rue Sainte Catherine. Sample some of Bordeaux’s lively hightlife and recover the next day in a sunny open air café along the Garonne

 

Web :   : www.tourisme-aquitaine.info

On your way from Aquitaine to Languedoc Roussillon, do not forget to discover Toulouse, the pink city, in Midi-Pyrénées.

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