SMARTguide Nouvelle-Aquitaine

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SMARTGUIDE

NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

BREATHTAKING SITES,

EXCEPTIONAL ITINERARIES

An inspiring guide to “reference” tours –

Around and from the region

A SMARTguide

for travel and tourism professionals

Essential “not to miss” tours

Theme and speciality tours


INTRODUCTION

CONTENTS

Nouvelle-Aquitaine:

six world-famous

destinations

2020 opened with Nouvelle-Aquitaine

highlighting six of its world-famous

destinations: the Pyrenees, Biarritz-Pays

Basque, the Atlantic Coast, Bordeaux,

the Dordogne Valley and Cognac. It is

essential to understand that these six

destinations are geographically close to

one other, in this region which is as large

as Austria, with a population as small as

that of Denmark. Other world-renowned

destinations in the region include

Poitiers and Futuroscope (France’s

second-largest theme park), La Rochelle,

the Île de Ré, the “Green Venice” of Niort

Marais Poitevin, and Limoges. This is a

rich and diverse territory, which means

that visitors can spend their entire

holiday here!

Last year, Nouvelle-Aquitaine highlighted

its gastronomic and wine tourism (with

35% of wine tourism in France taking

place in our region), and this year

CONTACT

Michel Durrieu

General Director,

Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Tourism Board

we are highlighting our sports. This

includes cycling, with a choice among

more than 4,500 km of cycle trails.

Golf is also a mainstay of the region:

Nouvelle-Aquitaine has 88 golf courses,

including the oldest in Europe, located in

Pau. Nouvelle-Aquitaine has more golf

courses than any other region of France,

many of which are truly emblematic,

and it’s a sport that can be practiced

year-round. Surfing is another star sport

of the region; we have some of the

world’s top surfing spots, and the 2024

Olympic surfing events will take place

here. Rugby also has an enthusiastic fan

base here, for the sport but also for the

spirit of festivity and conviviality which

accompanies it.

Let this SMARTguide accompany you in

planning the very best itineraries around

and through our region!

Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Tourism Board

marches.prioritaires@na-tourisme.com

4. MAIN ROUTES

4. TOURING FROM MAJOR

EUROPEAN CITIES

5. FROM BORDEAUX VINEYARDS

TO THE FRENCH RIVIERA

6. THE ATLANTIC COAST – FROM

BILBAO TO MONT-ST-MICHEL

7. SOUTHWESTERN CULTURE

8. THE ESSENTIALS

OF NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

9. DISCOVERING

NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

9. STARTING FROM BORDEAUX

10. STARTING FROM SARLAT

11. STARTING FROM BIARRITZ

12. STARTING FROM

LA ROCHELLE

13. THEMED TOURS

13. SAVOIR-FAIRE

14. WORLD-FAMOUS VINEYARDS

15. THE SECRET VINEYARDS

16. ON THE ROAD TO THE MOST

BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN

FRANCE

18. ON THE WAY OF SAINT JAMES

19. IN THE HEART OF NATURE

20. ALL IN THE SADDLE FOR AN

ACTIVE HOLIDAY

21. THE CANAL OF THE TWO SEAS

BY BIKE OR BOAT

22. TERRA AVENTURA, THE

INCREDIBLE TREASURE HUNT

23. UNUSUAL AND PLAYFUL

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2 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


CONNECTIVITY

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 3


MAIN ROUTES

© Ducourret Gravereau - CRT NA

© JJ Brochard - CRT NA

Place Camille Julian, Bordeaux

Grande Plage, Biarritz

© F.Fatin

Welcome to Pauillac

OPTIONS

3 EXCLUSIVE STOPOVERS

• A night in the 5* Hotel du Palais

in Biarritz: former residence of the

Empress Eugénie and Napoleon III -

hotel-du-palais.com

• Dinner or tasting during a cruise

on the Garonne -

https://croisiere-bordeaux.com

• Create your own wine in a

personalised bottle -

www.b-winemaker.com

TOURING FROM MAJOR EUROPEAN CITIES

10 DAYS / 1,921 KM

DAYS 1 & 2

Lisbon, the city of 7 hills, is charismatic,

blending traditions, heritage and

modernism.

DAYS 3 & 4

Madrid the cosmopolitan, a festive city with

rich heritage.

DAY 5

Bilbao the creative, with the Guggenheim

Museum, is the gateway to the Basque

cultural universe.

DAY 6

Biarritz and the Basque villages

• Morning: Stroll in the city centre, then

walk along the coast, starting from the

lighthouse of Biarritz and going down to

the Côte des Basques beach. Lunch on the

old port.

• Afternoon: Head for the summit of the

Rhune with ascension by its small cog

train for a 360° view over the coast and

the Pyrenees. Then visit the village of

Sare, “Plus Beau Village de France”, or the

Basque Iraty mountain.

• Evening: Special night in Saint-Jean-de-Luz,

dinner in a Michelin-starred establishment

or in a traditional restaurant facing the bay

or next to the port.

DAY 7

Biarritz, for families and sports lovers

• Morning: Visit of the Cité de l’Océan or the

Aquarium of Biarritz, then detour to the halls

of Biarritz to taste various Basque products.

• Afternoon: Play on the golf greens of

Ilbarritz overlooking the ocean, take a

surfing course, or enjoy a moment of

relaxation in a spa facing the ocean.

• Evening in a tapas bar or dinner in Espelette

- celebrating the famed chili pepper.

DAY 8

Bordeaux, UNESCO-listed and

gateway to the vineyards

• Morning: Stroll in Bordeaux, voted “Best

Destination” by Lonely Planet in 2017, to

discover the different districts on foot, by

bicycle, on a Segway, or by Imperial Bus.

Lunch on the terrace of one of the city’s

squares, or brunch in a café.

• Afternoon: Visit of the Cité du Vin,

ending the visit at the Belvedere with its

panoramic views of the city, savouring a

glass of wine. Walk back to the city centre

along the Quays.

• Evening: in one of the many wine bars,

marrying the flavours of food and wine, or

in a restaurant of the Saint Pierre district

(Bordeaux has 1 restaurant for each 285

inhabitants; the choice is vast).

DAY 9

Bordeaux, between vines

and ocean

Choice of the day’s excursion:

• Discovery of one of 6 wine routes, with

on-site tasting, then cultural discovery

(Saint-Emilion, Citadel of Blaye,

Abbey of Sauve-Majeur...).

• Escape to the sea on the Arcachon Bay

and the Dune of Pilat, the highest sand

dune in Europe.

• Cognac for spirits lovers.

• End of the day: shopping (fashion,

design, antique shops, art galleries, local

specialties...).

• Evening: Show at the Grand Théâtre or

auditorium, then dinner in one of the city’s

five Michelin-starred restaurants.

DAY 10

Paris, an eternal and surprising city...

magical, sometimes secret! It is also

the capital of gastronomy, fashion and

shopping.

4 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


MAIN ROUTES

© Brigitte Bloch - CRT NA

© OT de Saint Emilion - CRT NA

Lascaux

Saint Emilion

© Brochard - CRT NA

Sarlat, Dordogne Valley

© Brochard - CRT NA

OPTIONS

3 EXCLUSIVE STOPOVERS

• Visit of Lascaux by night with a torch, like a

prehistoric man https://reserver.lascaux.fr

• A night in a vat or a cask

http://vignoblesjoelduffau.fr and

www.coup2foudres.com

• A cooking course in the colours of Périgord

with an English chef working in the

Dordogne www.cookerycoursedordogne.com

FROM BORDEAUX VINEYARDS TO THE FRENCH RIVIERA

10 DAYS / 1,024 KM

DAYS 1 & 2

Bordeaux and its vineyards

Day 1: Bordeaux, the city (see Itinerary page

9 for more details).

Day 2: Saint Emilion Vineyards

• Morning: Discovery of the UNESCO-listed

medieval city of Saint-Emilion. Not to miss:

the underground church and monolith,

the Roy Tower, the collegiate church and

its cloister, the great walls, the Cordeliers

cloister, or the market halls.

• Afternoon: Unusual discovery of the

vineyards by electric bike, Segway,

tuk-tuk, sidecar, or hot-air balloon.

OR create your own wine OR Escape Game

& initiation to oenology in Saint-Emilion.

• Dinner and overnight at the Hostellerie de

Plaisance 5* or equivalent.

DAYS 3 & 4

The Dordogne Valley

Day 3: Périgueux and Lascaux

• Morning: Arrival in Périgueux to dive into

the Gallo-Roman epoch, or for a bike ride

the length of the Isle, stopping by the

market to taste the local gastronomy.

Lunch in a typical restaurant near the Saint

Front Cathedral.

•Afternoon: Discovery of the Vézère Valley,

cradle of mankind with its 14 UNESCOlisted

prehistoric sites, visiting Lascaux’s

parietal art centre.

• Dinner and night: at Hôtel de Bouilhac 4*

in Montignac or Les Glycines 4* in Les

Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil or equivalent.

Day 4: Sarlat

• Morning: Discovery of Sarlat, city of

art and history, and tasting of local

products in one of the markets.

Lunch in the covered market of the

Sainte-Marie Church, renovated by Jean

Nouvel.

• Afternoon: discovery of one of the most

beautiful villages of France: Domme,

Beynac-et-Cazenac, La Roque Gageac or

Castelnaud la Chapelle.

• Dinner in town. Night at the Hotel Plaza

Madeleine 4* in Sarlat or equivalent.

DAY 5

Rocamadour, village perched on a cliff,

rich in heritage and visit to the Gouffre de

Padirac.

DAYS 6 & 7

Toulouse, “The Pink City”, owes its

nickname to the colour of the bricks that

adorn its buildings, giving warmth to the city.

DAY 8

Carcassonne, perched on a hill, is famous

for its medieval citadel, with its numerous

watchtowers and double walls.

DAYS 9 & 10

Côte d’Azur (Option Barcelona)

Discovery of the Côte d’Azur, the eastern

part of the French Mediterranean coast.

OR direction Barcelona, the cosmopolitan

capital of the Spanish region of Catalonia,

renowned for its art and architecture,

including the famed Sagrada Família.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 5


MAIN ROUTES

© S Pailloncy - CRT NA

© P Baudry - CRT NA

Cognac Otard

La Rochelle

© Brochard - CRT NA

Cathédrale St Pierre, Poitiers

OPTIONS

3 EXCLUSIVE STOPOVERS

• Stay at the Hotel 5* and spa Chais

Monnet www.chaismonnethotel.com

• Oxygenation cure at Côte Thalasso

de Ré www.cote-thalasso.fr/

ile-de-re/thalasso/les-cures/cureoxygenation.html

• Visit the majestuous Saint-Savin

Abbey and its painted walls

with a digital tablet

www.abbaye-saint-savin.fr/en

THE ATLANTIC COAST – FROM BILBAO TO MONT-ST-MICHEL

10 DAYS / 1,480 KM

DAY 1

Bilbao the creative, with the Guggenheim

Museum - the gateway to the Basque

cultural world.

Possibility to sleep over in Biarritz.

DAY 2

Biarritz Basque Country (Pau-Lourdes option)

• Morning: Stroll in Biarritz along the

waterfront, then lunch in the market hall

with products of Basque gastronomy

(see page 11 for more details).

• Afternoon: Guided tour of Pau, the

castle of Henri IV, promenade on the

Boulevard des Pyrénées with a view

of the mountains for a coffee... Or the

sportier visitor can play golf on the oldest

golf course in continental Europe, or go

kayaking in the whitewater stadium.

• Dinner and night in a guest house in the

vineyards of Jurançon.

Possible Option: Excursion to Lourdes

(50 mn from Pau).

DAY 3

Bordeaux, historic regional capital and

gateway to the vineyards.

Discover the UNESCO-listed city to admire

its historical heritage with an excursion in the

vineyards (see Itinerary page 9 for more details).

DAY 4

Cognac

• Morning: Discovery of the Cognac city

centre, where King Francis I was born.

• Afternoon: Visit and tasting of Cognac

in one of the grand houses of Cognac

(Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy-Martin,

Meukow), then embark onboard a

gabarre on the Charente river. OR ride

a bike along the river by following the

itinerary “Flow Vélo” OR discovering the

vineyards while driving a classic car.

• Late afternoon: Return to Cognac to

start your own Cognac collection.

• Evening: Go to the Martell rooftop bar for

a drink and to admire the old town.

DAY 5

La Rochelle-Ile de Ré-Marais Poitevin

• Morning: Discover La Rochelle, the old Port

and its three towers by foot or bicycle, then

visit the aquarium, one of Europe’s largest.

Lunchtime tasting of oysters and a seafood

platter.

• Afternoon: Discovery of the Île de Ré

by bicycle OR boat trip in the Marais

Poitevin, the “Green Venice”, to study the

fauna and flora.

• End of the day: After a busy day, relax in

one of the Thalasso / Spa centres.

DAY 6

Poitiers Futuroscope

• Morning: Guided tour of Poitiers’ historic

city, the city of 100 steeples, classified

City of Art and History.

• Afternoon: Head for Futuroscope to enjoy

France’s second-largest amusement

park… OR family visit to the Vallée

des Singes OR visit of Rochefort, the

Hermione and the Corderie Royale.

• Evening: Nearby Poitiers Futuroscope,

night in unusual accommodation at

DéfiPlanet’ OR in the heart of nature in the

Center Parc le Bois aux Daims.

OPTION 1 (3 DAYS)

Travel to Mont-St-Michel, high place of

pilgrimage.

OPTION 2 (3 DAYS)

Visit of the castles of the Loire, treasures

of French history.

DAY 10

Paris, an eternal and surprising city...

magical, sometimes secret! It is also

the capital of gastronomy, fashion and

shopping.

6 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


MAIN ROUTES

Market day in Périgueux

Truffles at the Brive market

© Laetis - CRT Limousin - CRT NA © Alban Gilbert, CRT NA

Basque child

© Brochard - CRT NA

OPTIONS

3 EXCLUSIVE STOPOVERS

• Prepare and enjoy an assortment of

“pintxos” at the Domaine de Bassilour,

3 * hotel.

www.domainedebassilour.com

• Visit the winery of Jurançon producers

www.cavedejurancon.com

• Soak up the culture of the South West

during local events featuring Basque

traditions, harvest fairs and oyster

festivals.

SOUTHWESTERN CULTURE

12 DAYS / 1,390 KM

DAYS 1 & 2

Bordeaux, regional capital and gateway

to vineyards

Tour the UNESCO-listed city centre, world

capital of wines. The “Cité du Vin“ takes

visitors into the world of wines before a visit

to the vineyards, or a cruise (see page 9).

DAY 3

Heritage and ocean on the Arcachon Bay

Visit an inland sea dominated by the Dune

of Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe;

typical cabins on stilts; and oyster farms in

this natural paradise.

Morning: in the early morning, visit the

fish auction in Arcachon, then visit the

Ville d’Hiver quarter with its 19th-Century

architecture.

Lunch: Oyster tasting in a traditional oyster

village (Gujan-Mestras, L’Herbe, Canon).

Afternoon: climb the Dune of Pilat, tour the

Arcachon Bay in a boat or by canoe, take the

shuttle from Arcachon to the tip of Cap Ferret

to visit the lighthouse with its panoramic

views, or get an introduction to surfing. For

sports fans, bike ride around the bay.

Evening: Night in the city centre of

Arcachon or at the Thalazur Spa of

Arguin 4* or equivalent.

DAY 4

Biarritz, the city at the edge of the ocean

Biarritz, from whale hunters and surfers to

Empress Eugénie and Napoleon III. Itinerary:

urban walk (guided tour, art deco town,

museums, shops), ocean (other seaside

resorts, well-being), sports (surfing course,

golf practice) plus excursions to Basque

villages or to Spain.

DAY 5

Pau - Pyrenees

Pau, Gateway to the Pyrenees: boulevard

of the Pyrenees, King Henry IV castle,

museum, shopping, the national horse stud,

festivities, water stadium on the Gave River.

Morning: Visit the city’s historic heart and

visit the birthplace of Henry IV with its large

collection of historical tapestries, walk along

the Boulevard des Pyrenees.

Lunch: in a typical Pau restaurant.

Afternoon: summer hiking in the Pyrenees

National Park with Ossau’s Pic du Midi,

scenic railway of Artouste, water stadium on

the Gave, the Jurançon Wine Route. Winter

sports in Pyrenees resorts, open days

in Jurançon, tasting regional specialties

(garbure soup, cheese).

Evening: in a restaurant accompanied

by Bearn or Basque songs, or dinner in a

restaurant of the city centre.

DAYS 6 & 7

Toulouse: Explore the so-called Pink City,

which takes its name from the colour of the

bricks used in its buildings.

DAY 8

Cathar country - Carcassonne: Discover

castles, abbeys, and medieval cities, including

the famous walled city of Carcassonne.

DAY 9

Albi: Visit the UNESCO-listed Episcopal City,

internationally famous for the Toulouse-

Lautrec museum located in the Bishops

Palace.

DAYS 10 & 11

Dordogne Valley:

A paradise for gourmets (truffles, ceps,

duck, foie gras, Périgord strawberries,

cheeses, nuts, markets, good restaurants,

cooking classes); 15 prehistoric UNESCO

sites, including Lascaux; magnificent

villages, including Collonges-la-Rouge and

Sarlat; plus many outdoor activities.

DAY 12

Saint-Emilion region

The only wine site entirely listed by UNESCO,

a monolithic church, and many activities

around wine (see page 14 for more details).

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 7


MAIN ROUTES

© B Chanet -CRT NA

© Brochard - CRT NA

© JM Decompte - CRT NA

OPTIONS

3 EXCLUSIVE STOPOVERS

• Discover the world of the sea alongside the

oysters and fishermen of the Arcachon Bay.

• Visit the Bernardaud workshops in Limoges,

and talk to the finest French porcelain

craftmen. www.bernardaud.com

Limoges

Cabins on stilts, Arcachon

Pau

• Stay at Villa Navarre, Hotel 5* overlooking

the Pyrenees mountains, in Pau.

www.villanavarre.fr

THE ESSENTIALS OF NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

8 TO 9 DAYS / 1,261 KM

DAY 1

Bordeaux, historic regional capital and

gateway to the vineyards. Discovery of the

UNESCO-listed city to admire its historical

heritage and excursion into the vineyards

(see Itinerary page 9).

DAY 2

The Arcachon Bay, between heritage and

ocean

• Morning: Visit of Arcachon, a lively city all

year round (Ville d’Hiver with its 19th-Century

villas, the port and its auction house).

Lunch on the waterfront or enjoy oysters in

an oyster village.

• Afternoon: Climb of the Dune of Pilat, the

highest dune in Europe, to admire the view

of the Atlantic Ocean, the Banc d’Arguin,

and the Pine Forest; OR embark aboard

a pinasse, a typical flat-bottomed boat, to

discover the “Tchanquées” huts and the

Isle of Birds. OR, for nature lovers, stop at

the Teich Ornithological Park to admire the

birds OR go canoeing on the Leyre.

• Evening: Night at the Hotel La Co(o)rniche,

designed by Philippe Starck, overlooking

the Dune of Pilat.

DAY 3

Biarritz, the internationally-renowned

Basque resort

Stroll in Biarritz along the waterfront, then

lunch in the market hall with products of

Basque gastronomy, then visit the aquarium

and the Cité de l’Océan OR excursion to the

Basque villages (see Itinerary page 11 for

more details).

DAY 4

Pau, City of Henri IV at the foot of the

Pyrenees

Guided tour of Pau and its heritage.

Jurançon wine tasting (see Itinerary page 7

for more details).

DAY 5

Dordogne Valley

From Périgord and its prehistoric heritage

to Brive or Collonges-la-Rouge and Turenne,

the most beautiful villages of France,

discover the Dordogne Valley and its many

treasures (see page 10 for more details).

DAY 6

Limoges – Aubusson, Land of know-how

• Morning: Discovery of Limoges, labelled

a UNESCO Creative City thanks to its

porcelain savoir-faire (National Museum

of Porcelain Adrien Dubouché, Museum

of Fine Arts of Limoges, porcelain works)

then lunch in the City, in Butchers’ street.

• Afternoon: Stop at the Cité Internationale

de la Tapisserie in Aubusson, the city

which has produced the finest French

tapestries since the 15th-Century OR visit

to the Ganteries of Saint-Junien, OR the

Vassivière lake, OR Oradour-sur-Glane, a

martyred village in WWII.

• Evening: Tasting of local specialties at

Petits Ventres, and night at the Best

Western, eco-labelled hotel.

DAY 7

Cognac, it’s not just a spirit

Discover the history of the city and the

Cognac houses (see itinerary page 6

for more details).

DAY 8

La Rochelle-Ile de Ré, maritime heritage

The bicycle: the best way to discover these two

territories (see Itinerary page 12 for more details).

DAY 9 (OPTION)

Poitiers - Futuroscope

Discover the historic center of Poitiers,

the beloved city of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Afternoon: visit of the Abbey of Saint-Savin

(UNESCO site) OR thrills in the Futuroscope

theme park (see page 23 for more details).

8 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


DISCOVERING NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

© Cécile Marlier

© Yann Texier

© Brochard - CRT NA

OPTIONS

3 TOP ACCOMODATION PICKS

• Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand

Hôtel - 5* (150 rooms, Michelin 2*

restaurant)

https://bordeaux.intercontinental.com

• Château Hôtel & Spa Grand Barrail 4*

(46 rooms) www.grand-barrail.com

Château La Tour Carnet

Cité du vin at sunset

Twilight view of the Miroir d’Eau,

Bordeaux

• Cabanes de la Romaningue,

sleep in the heart of a wine estate.

http://cabanes.laromaningue.fr

STARTING FROM BORDEAUX

2 TO 5 DAYS

Bordeaux, world-renowned for its wine,

voted “Best Destination” by Lonely Planet in

2017 and listed as a World Heritage Site by

UNESCO, is characterised by its remarkable

18th-Century architecture. Discover this

multifaceted city, which is also an ideal

starting point for full- or half-day excursions

into the vineyards or to the sea, along the

Arcachon Bay.

Two days in Bordeaux to discover the

historical centre:

DAY 1 - Morning: discover different districts

on foot, by bike, by Segway or imperial bus,

then lunch on the terrace of one of the city’s

squares or brunch in a café.

Afternoon: visit of the Cité du Vin and its

Belvedere with a panoramic view of the city

while enjoying a glass of wine. Walk back to

historical Bordeaux along the quays.

End with a shopping spree: fashion, design,

antique shops, art galleries, local specialities.

DAY 2 - Morning: visit of one of the city’s

museums to discover Bordeaux through the

arts and the history of humanity: Aquitaine

Museum, Customs Museum, Applied Arts

and Design Museum, CAPC, Fine Arts

Museum, Marine Sea Museum.

Afternoon: Bordeaux by the water with a

guided cruise on Aquitania or Burdigala.

EXCURSION 1 (half-day)

Saint-Emilion and its vineyards

Nicknamed the hill of 1,000 vintages,

and famous for its medieval village and

its vineyard listed as a UNESCO World

Heritage Site.

Don’t miss: the underground and

monolithic church, climb the Tour du Roy,

visit and taste Crément de Bordeaux at the

cloister of Les Cordeliers, visit the wine

estates.

Unique experiences: introductory tasting

course at the Maison du Vin, wine-blending

workshop at Château Cormeil-Figeac and

blind tasting at Château La Dominique.

EXCURSION 2 (half-day)

The Médoc Châteaux

Discover the most prestigious Grand Cru

Classified Bordeaux red wines, their castles

and their cellars with unusual architecture:

Chateaux Margaux, Cos d’Estournel,

Beychevelle, etc.

Don’t miss: the Route des Châteaux (D2),

Bages hamlet, Château d’Agassac, Pauillac,

the Nadalié cooperage...

Unique experiences: the “oenological

sign” workshop at La Winery, harvesting

experience and grape picker’s lunch at

Château Gruaud Larose, discovery day of

the “Best of Wine Tourism”.

EXCURSION 3 (full day or half-day)

Arcachon Bay

Every season, you can enjoy seafood

products, bike or boat rides. Breathtaking

landscapes.

Don’t miss: guided tour of Arcachon and its

Ville d’Hiver quarter, visit of the Cap Ferret

lighthouse, stroll in the oyster farming

villages and oyster tasting, tour of the bay by

boat or pinasse…

Unique experiences: climbing the Dune of

Pilat (110 metres high), visit of the Arcachon

Auction, discovery of the oyster beds (on

foot or by boat) with an oyster farmer....

EXCURSION 4 (full day)

Cognac and its famous houses

In Cognac, city and brandy are indivisible.

Immerse yourself in the the unique world of

Cognac, between history and modernity.

Don’t miss: visit of the old town of Cognac,

visit to Cognac Arts Museum, guided tour

and tasting at famed Cognac houses

(Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, Meukow).

Unique experiences: Cognac and Chocolate

workshop offered by the Maison Rémy

Martin, visit to a cooper’s workshop, tasting

course at the Maison Martell, boat trip on

the Charente river....

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 9


DISCOVERING NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

© Sarlat Tourisme

© Chanet - CRT NA

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

OPTIONS

3 TOP ACCOMODATION PICKS

• Le Vieux Logis – Relais & Chateaux - 4*

(24 rooms, Michelin-starred restaurant)

www.vieux-logis.com

• Hôtel de Bouilhac - 4*

(10 rooms, gastronomic restaurant)

www.hoteldebouilhac-montignaclascaux.fr

Sarlat market

International Centre

of Parietal Art

Beynac castle

• Guest room “Balcon en forêt” in Beynac

www.ladordogne.info

STARTING FROM SARLAT

2 TO 5 DAYS

This route includes the famous prehistoric

sites of the so-called Valley of Man, which

is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,

and which is famed for the cave art of

Lascaux, known as the “Sistine Chapel” of

prehistory. Visitors can also explore walled

towns, medieval churches and castles,

and picturesque villages, including Beynac,

La Roque Gageac, and Marqueyssac

with its remarkable gardens. The region’s

gastronomic pleasures are also to be

savoured, through its markets, restaurants

and cooking courses.

DAY 1 - Sarlat’s historic centre

Morning: Explore Sarlat, capital of the Black

Périgord, on foot. Visit the markets which

reveal the gastronomic specialities of

Périgord, including truffles, foie gras, walnut

oil, ceps, and duck.

Afternoon: Discover Sarlat’s art and culture

of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Highlights include the House of Boétie,

Lantern of the Dead, Cathedral Saint

Sacerdos, and the panoramic views from

the glass elevator of the Church Sainte-

Marie OR visit a goose farm OR visit the

Gouffre de Padirac.

Evening: Enjoy a walk or cycle ride in the Old

City with its natural gas lighting.

EXCURSION 1 (half-day or full day)

The Valley Of Man

Lascaux and The International Centre for Cave Art

Don’t miss: Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, the

picturesque village where cro-magnon

man was discovered; the Museum of

Prehistory and the International Pole

of Prehistory; the Font de Gaume cave,

Combarelles cave and Rouffignac cave to

see original and authentic engravings.

Unique experiences: Thot Park – an

introduction to cave art, flint cutting

workshop, and archaeological dig.

EXCURSION 2 (half-day or full day)

France’s most beautiful villages

The Dordogne is home to 10 villages ranked

as the most beautiful in France. These

include Beynac, one of the most grandiose

sites on the banks of the Dordogne, and La

Roque Gageac, from where it is possible

to take in many castles in one glance (see

page 16 for more details).

Don’t miss: Limeuil, which dominates the

confluence of the Dordogne and the Vézère.

Also Monpazier, Belvès, Cazenac, Domme,

and Castelnaud la Chapelle.

Unique experiences: Boat trips on the

Dordogne river, canoeing, pedestrian trails,

biking and hot-air balloon rides.

EXCURSION 3 (full day)

Medieval towns and castles

Discover some of the architectural treasures

of the region’s fortified medieval towns, in

spectacular hillside and riverbank settings.

Don’t miss: Villefranche-du-Périgord,

Monpazier, Villeréal, Monflanquin, Domme,

Eymet as well as the castles of Milandes,

Castelnaud la Chapelle, Hautefort, and Biron.

Unique experiences: Le Bastideum at

Monpazier.

EXCURSION 4 (full day)

Turenne and Collonges-la-Rouge

Two destinations which are classified as

“most beautiful villages of France”. Turenne

boasts a white fort with a limestone dungeon,

while Collonges-la-Rouge is a sandstone city

with medieval streets.

Don’t miss: In Collonges-la-Rouge, the visit

of the Maison de la Sirène (Renaissance),

the Chapelle des Pénitents and the castles

of Vassinhac and Maussac. In Turenne:

Renaissance mansions and the imposing

Caesar tower, a remnant of the 12th-Century

feudal castle. Also the castles of Linoire and

Lapérousse and the chapel of the Capucins.

Unique experiences: The pottery of the Grès

Rouges (Red sandstone).

10 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


DISCOVERING NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

Spicy facade at Espelette

OPTIONS

Côte des Basques, Biarritz

© B Chanet - CRT NA

© G Arrieta

St-Jean-de-Luz harbour

© Brochard - CRT NA

3 TOP ACCOMODATION PICKS

• Hôtel du Palais Palace 5* in Biarritz

(147 rooms, 33 suites)

www.hotel-du-palais.com

• Hôtel Park Beaumont 5* in Pau

(80 rooms)

www.hotel-parc-beaumont.com

• Le Château d’Urtubie

(4 guest rooms)

www.chateaudurtubie.net

STARTING FROM BIARRITZ

2 TO 4 DAYS

The history and culture of the Pays Basque

is rooted in its boldness and creativity. The

region draws its inspiration from its heritage

and its contrasts, between the ocean and the

mountains. France’s cradle of surfing, a meeting

place for golfers and players of Cesta Punta, the

destination shines from its seaside resorts to

its pretty villas and its colourful inland villages.

Biarritz is the ideal starting point to discover this

world-renowned paradise.

DAY 1 - Biarritz, the most prominent seaside

resort on the Basque coast

Morning: Inspired by Empress Eugénie,

the resort has long attracted the European

aristocracy. Its aura of elegance is now being

challenged by the culture of surfing. Discover

the legendary Hôtel du Palais, the elegant Art-

Déco municipal casino and the famous Grande

Plage. Stroll along the coast and discover

the famous Belle Époque buildings. Visit the

Fishermen’s Port and the Rocher de la Vierge,

with its panoramic view of the Basque coast.

Afternoon: Visit Biarritz aquarium in front of the

famous Rocher de la Vierge. The Cité de l’Océan

is dedicated to the study of the sea.

Evening: to be spent in shops and art galleries,

then sunset on the terrace of a café to watch

the surfers.

EXCURSION 1 (half-day)

Bayonne - Anglet

The historic city of Bayonne, sheltered by

Vauban ramparts, is the heart of the living

Basque culture. Anglet, nicknamed “Little

California” with its bicycle path and numerous

beaches, is appreciated by nature lovers and

sports enthusiasts.

Don’t miss: In Bayonne: Saint André Cathedral,

the Basque culture and History of Bayonne

Museum, the Bonnat-Helleu Museum, the Atelier

du Chocolat, the Saint-Esprit district. Anglet is

popular with surfers, with its 11 beaches that

stretch over 4.5 km and the immense pine

forests of Chiberta and Lazaret.

Unique experiences: Taste the ham and

chocolate specialties in the city’s shops and,

every fourth Saturday of the month, listen to

Basque songs in the Bayonne halls. Great

moments of local culture: the trinquet Saint-

André, Bayonne feast.

EXCURSION 2 (half-day or full day)

Basque villages and mountains

This is the living heart of Basque traditions.

Green hills, red and green half-timbered houses,

pelota court. Discover one of the typical villages

of the Pays Basque, not far from the ocean and

the Pyrenees.

Don’t miss: Espelette, Aïnhoa, Sare, Ascain,

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Bidarray, Hasparren

Unique experiences: Climbing the Rhune in a

scenic train.

EXCURSION 3 (full day)

Pau - Jurançon

The capital of Béarn region, facing the

Pyrenees mountains. Birthplace of Henry IV,

the most beloved of the 16th-Century French

kings. A city with English charm.

Don’t miss: the castle of Henri IV, a walk along

the Boulevard des Pyrénées, the Hédas district,

the Fine Arts Museum, the Bernadotte Museum,

the Jurançon vineyard.

Unique experiences: Lovers of wild water sports

can go down the Oloron or Pau rivers by raft

or kayak. Le Petit train d’Artouste, the highest

railway in Europe, an unforgettable experience

2000m up in the Pyrenees National Park.

EXCURSION 4 (half-day)

Saint-Jean-de-Luz

The former pirate city boasts a beautiful

architectural heritage. A charming seaside town

that can be discovered on foot.

Don’t miss: With the Rhune as a backdrop, the

port, the neo-Basque villas on the waterfront

and the 17th-Century ship-owners’ houses. Visit

the Church of St. John the Baptist, the House of

the Infanta, and the House of Louis XIV.

Unique experiences: The Basque coast road,

sea cruises, canoeing, paddle-boarding, surfing,

golf, and thalassotherapy.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 11


DISCOVERING NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

© L de Santerre - CRT NA

© PNR MP Darri

OPTIONS

3 TOP ACCOMODATION PICKS

• La Grande Terrasse, an exceptional 4-star

hotel and spa near La Rochelle

www.la-grande-terrasse.com/

• Hôtel de Toiras 5*, a perfect mix of elegance

and luxury in Saint-Martin-de-Ré.

www.hotel-de-toiras.com

La Rochelle towers

Fire on the water, Marais Poitevin

Ile de Ré

• Hôtel Chais Monnet, a five-star luxury

resort in Cognac.

www.chaismonnethotel.com

STARTING FROM LA ROCHELLE

2 TO 5 DAYS

La Rochelle, the Atlantic city, boasts an

abundance of culture and heritage, with

the sea and nature as its backdrop. There

are unrivalled opportunities for sports,

leisure and gastronomy. From La Rochelle,

full- or half-day excursions can be made

to the islands of Aix or Oléron, or inland

to Rochefort, Cognac or Niort - Marais

Poitevin.

DAY 1 - La Rochelle

Morning: stroll along the old port and visit the

famous towers. After a coffee break on a café

terrace, head down the cobbled streets of the

town centre on foot or by bike, to the central

market to sample some of the local produce.

Lunch on the terrace on the quays.

Afternoon: visit the Maritime Museum, the old

bunker, and the aquarium, one of the largest in

Europe.

Evening: boat cruise at sunset to the legendary

Fort Boyard, a majestic stone fortification in the

middle of the sea.

EXCURSION 1 (full day)

Île de Ré

The Île de Ré is linked to La Rochelle by a 2.9 kmlong

bridge. The island is an 85-sq-km haven for

nature, and a cycling paradise, with 100km of bike

paths.

Don’t miss: the island’s charming small villages,

the salt marshes, the Vauban fortifications at

Saint-Martin-de-Ré, which are classified as a

UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the magnificent

bell tower of Ars-en-Ré.

Unique experience: climbing the whale

lighthouse, tasting oysters in an oyster farmer’s

cabin or one of the 77 flavours of the famous ice

cream maker “La Martinière” at Saint-Martin-de-

Ré.

EXCURSION 2 (half-day)

Rochefort

An essential stopover, Rochefort has preserved

its special maritime heritage.

Don’t miss: The Royal Cordery, the Navy

Museum and the frigate L’Hermione, the

discovery in 3D of the Pierre Loti house at the

Hèbre Museum.

Unique experience: venturing into the ropes of

the Accro-mâts.

EXCURSION 3 (full day)

Niort - Marais Poitevin

Known as a “Green Venice”, this protected natural

area in the Poitou Marsh has been classified as a

Grand Site de France and a regional nature park

since 2014. It’s a place to get closer to nature,

observe the fauna and flora, and relax in the

countryside.

Don’t miss: a boat trip or a bike ride along the

paths and canals. Visit the Ornithological Park

“Les Oiseaux du Marais Poitevin” and take a tour

of the Maison du Marais Poitevin, the ecomuseum

of the Marais Poitevin regional park. Also worth a

visit are the Halles and the Niort Dungeon.

Unique experience: Take a canoe trip into the

heart of the Marais, where a guide can show you

the secret of fire on the water.

EXCURSION 4 (full day)

Cognac and its famous houses

In Cognac, city and brandy are one.

This excursion immerses the visitor in the unique

world of Cognac, caught between history and

modernity.

Don’t miss: a visit of the old town of Cognac, a

visit of the Cognac Arts Museum, and a guided

tour and tasting in the great Cognac houses

(Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, and Meukow).

Unique experiences: a cognac and chocolate

workshop offered by the Maison Rémy Martin, a

visit to a cooper’s workshop, and a tasting course

at the Maison Martell. A relaxing boat trip on the

Charente river.

12 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

Limoges porcelain

© D Guillemain - CRT Limousin

© CDT 64

© S Pailloncy - CRT NA

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Tasting workshop at the Cité du Vin

in Bordeau. www.laciteduvin.com

• Courses in the workshops of crafts

professionals with the Experimental

Centre for Art Professions.

https://metiersdartperigord.fr

Espadrilles Don Quichosse

Otard cognac

• Family porcelain workshop

www.musee-adriendubouche.fr

SAVOIR-FAIRE

6 DAYS

Come and meet our craftsmen, for moments

of discovery, sharing and emotion. A plunge

into the world of the hand-made, where all

subjects are in the spotlight. These craftsmen

open their doors to you to share with you their

love of their profession.

DAY 1

Bordeaux wines, exceptional know-how!

For 2,000 years, the men and women of

Bordeaux have been making exceptional

wines. Throughout their history, they have

acquired and optimized unique know-how,

which they will be delighted to share. Discover

the secrets of the passionate winegrowers’

trade, learn about wine tasting, participate in

an assembly workshop. (See pages 9 and 14).

DAY 2

Biarritz - Pays Basque, a land of tradition

Discover the espadrilles made for 150 years in

Mauléon. Buy a beret in Oloron Sainte-Marie,

linen, canvases and tablecloths, an umbrella

from the Pyrenees in Pau or the Makhila,

a traditional Basque walking stick made in

Souraide or Larressore.

DAY 3

Dordogne Valley. The Nontron knife is the oldest

knife in France and is still made in Nontron. Visit

the workshops and the Experimental Centre for

Art Professions (PEMA), which stages thematic

exhibitions and workshops all year round. The

famous Repetto ballet shoes have been made

in Exideuil for over 70 years.

More than 40 art workshops invite you to cross

their thresholds during your journey along

the Dordogne’s “Route des Métiers d’Art de

Dordogne”.

DAY 4

Limoges, A cradle of the arts

Limoges is part of UNESCO’s network of

Creative Cities in the categories of Ceramic

Arts and Innovation (porcelain, enamel, stained

glass).

To visit: the porcelain factories (Bernardaud,

Haviland, Royal Limoge), the Adrien Dubouché

National Porcelain Museum, the Four des

Casseaux, the Musée des Beaux Arts for its

exceptional collection of medieval enamels. On

the leather side, take a detour to the Weston

factory outlet, luxury shoes made in Limoges

since 1891.

Nearby: Saint-Junien (30 mins): visit the

Agnelle glove factory, which makes gloves

worn by Madonna and Beyoncé. Aubusson

(1h30): visit the Cité Internationale de la

Tapisserie to discover the fascinating world of

tapestry art, registered as UNESCO Intangible

Cultural Heritage.

DAY 5

Cognac. Discover the cellars and the ageing

process, the “paradise” as well as the secrets

of distillation during a 1-hour guided tour, a

workshop or a tailor-made visit to one of the

Cognac houses. Do not miss the visit of the

Museum of Cognac Arts, in the centre of the

old town. (See pages 6 and 12).

DAY 6

The wonders of the French Atlantic Coast

Visit the salt marshes on the Île de Ré, which

produce salt and fleur de sel. During the summer,

the crystals are hand picked, dried and sieved to

harvest the fleur de sel. It is used as a “final touch”

in all recipes.

The coast, a small oyster paradise: you can visit its

parks and enjoy them on the Île de Ré, Île d’Oléron, in

the Arcachon Bay, and the Hossegor marine lake. Don’t

forget the oysters flavoured with ginger, shallot, muscat

or raspberries in Marennes, made by the company

So’ooh.

New look surf clothes: The Bascoland coast, the cradle

of surfing in Europe, is home to French-brand surf

products and clothing. The pioneers of surfwear and

snowboard clothing are Oxbow in Bordeaux, the most

important in the sector, and Sooruz, in La Rochelle.

Did you know? Aigle-brand boots, worn by

sailors, are produced in Nouvelle-Aquitaine at

Ingrandes-sur-Vienne, and are handmade.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 13


THEMED TOURS

© Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux

© Francoi - CRT NAJPEG

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Bottled at home at Courvoisier

www.courvoisier.com

• Test your knowledge of wine with an escape

game designed by Oenanim

www.oenanim.fr

Grape harvest

Cité du vin

The Hennessy docks

• Become a winegrower for a day by

participating in the harvest alongside a

winegrower. www.bordeauxwinetrip.fr

WORLD-FAMOUS VINEYARDS

5 DAYS

All around Bordeaux and Cognac, grapevines

stretch as far as the eye can see, changing

colours and smells with the rhythm of the

seasons. Visiting the vineyards is like entering

into the secret of the cellars, and allows

you to meet passionate winegrowers, taste

exceptional vintages, and enjoy gourmet meals.

In short, rediscover your senses!

DAY 1

Cognac is not just a spirit

Discover the history of the city and the great

houses of Cognac, and end your day on the

Martell rooftop to have a drink and admire the

old town (see pages 6 and 12 for more details).

DAY 2

Côtes de Blaye and Bourg

Morning: walk in the “old village” of Bourg-sur-

Gironde with its port, its washhouse, its citadel

and its craftsmen. Then head to Blaye by

following the “route de la corniche”, discovering

villages with troglodyte houses and fishermen’s

huts and enjoying a magnificent view of the

largest estuary in Europe.

Picnic lunch on the edge of the estuary OR at

the Maison des Côtes de Bourg and its wine

bar.

Afternoon: take a guided tour of the Blaye

citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

Vauban’s masterpiece overlooking the Gironde

estuary. OR seek out an introduction to tasting

at the Maison du Vin de Blaye Côtes de

Bordeaux. OR take a cruise on the Garonne

with the companies of Deux Rives or Cœur

d’Estuaire.

Dinner and overnight: at the 3* hotel-restaurant

Citadelle or equivalent.

DAY 3

The Médoc Châteaux

Morning: go to the Blaye pier for a ferry crossing

to reach Lamarque in the Médoc. Then follow

the Route des Châteaux du Médoc through the

most famous wine villages (Margaux, Pauillac,

Saint-Julien, etc.). Visits and tastings at the

large estates or in more intimate castles.

Lunch in the village of Bages.

Afternoon: assembly workshop in one of the

wine houses or along the Route des Châteaux.

OR to La Winery in Arsac for thematic tastings

led by winegrowers. OR discover the secrets of

cooperage from Nadalié, an expert cooper.

Dinner and overnight: at the Relais de Margaux

Hotel and Spa 4* or charming guest room at

the Château de l’Isle.

DAY 4 (or more)

Bordeaux

Historic regional capital and gateway to the

vineyards, discovery of the UNESCO city to

admire its historical heritage. Allow 2-3 hours

to visit the Cité du Vin (see page 9 for more

details).

DAY 5

Saint-Emilion and its vineyards

Morning: discovery of the medieval city of

Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Don’t miss: the underground and monolithic

church, the Tour du Roy, the collegiate church

and its cloister, the washhouses or the

cloister of the cordeliers, the Petit train of the

winegrower.

Lunch in a wine château with a winegrower.

Afternoon: explore the vineyard by electric bike,

segway, tuk-tuk, sidecar, or hot-air balloon.

OR create your own wine in a winery with

B-winemaker. OR take a green tour to Château

de La Dauphine, an organic vineyard certified

since 2015.

Dinner and overnight: at the Auberge de la

Commanderie OR in another accommodation

in the heart of the vineyards.

Did you know? The “Best of Wine Tourism”

is a prize awarded for remarkable

winegrowing properties, for their

architecture, their gardens and their ecoresponsible

approach, or the originality of

their visits. Think about including “best of”

discovery days in your tours.

14 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

A tasting in the trees at Château Rayne Vigneau

© D Guillemain - CRT Limousin

Monbazillac castle

© B Dupuy - CRT NA

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Assembly workshop at the Domaine du

Bout du Monde in the Bergerac vineyards

www.domaineduboutdumonde.com

Jurançon vineyards

© Pau Pyrenees Tourisme - D Guilhamasse - CRT NA

• Become the Sherlock Holmes

of the Jurançon vineyard

www.coeurdebearn.com

• A tasting in the trees

at Château Rayne Vigneau

www.raynevigneau.fr

THE SECRET VINEYARDS

6 DAYS

Wines in Nouvelle-Aquitaine are not just

restricted to the well-known areas of Bordeaux

and Cognac. Go off the beaten track to unlock

the secrets of passionate winegrowers.

DAY 1

Bordeaux, regional capital and gateway to

the vineyards (see page 9).

The world capital of wine, with its UNESCOlisted

city centre. Dive into the world of wine

at the Cité du Vin before going on excursions

to the vineyards or on cruises.

DAY 2

Bergerac and its surroundings

Morning: visit Bergerac, city of art and history

with a maze of alleys, pretty squares and

17th-Century facades. Stop at the Maison

des Vins et du tourisme, located in the

Cloître des Récollets (guided tour and tasting

session).

Lunch at the Maison des Vins et du tourisme.

Afternoon: explore the vineyard, visit a

property (900 winegrowers), OR visit the

castle of Monbazillac, built in 1550 in the

heart of the famous vineyard. OR discover

the vineyard of Duras and visit its impressive

castle OR taste the caviar of Neuvic.

Dinner and overnight: at the 4* Château des

Vigiers, golf and country club, a château B&B,

or a luxury hotel.

DAY 3

Buzet vineyards

The valleys of the Lot and Garonne boast 2000

ha of vineyards on the banks of the Baïse,

producing wines with a Gascon character.

Morning: Buzet winegrowers’ cooperative

in Buzet-sur-Baïse with wine tasting.

Lunch in Nérac, the home of Jeanne d’Albret,

mother of Henri IV.

Afternoon: Visit the old town of Nérac

on the Baïse: Sully’s house, the Garenne

gardens, Henri IV castle, the Pont Vieux.

Rent a boat or cruise from Buzet or Nérac.

Dinner: at Albret Golf Club, then overnight in

one of the hotels in Nérac or Agen OR rent a

boat to sleep in Buzet-sur-Baïse.

DAY 4

Jurançon vineyards

The Jurançon wine route offers a beautiful

journey along the sunny slopes of the Béarn.

Visit and tasting at the Maison des vins des

vignerons du Jurançon in Lacommande.

Continue with a visit to Pau (see page 7).

DAY 5

Irouléguy vineyards

One of the smallest vineyards in Europe,

cultivated on steep slopes of up to 80%

grade, on terraces and trellises. A true

Basque product, powerful and generous, to

be enjoyed with Ossau-Iraty cheese.

Morning: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, one of

the most beautiful villages in France, at

the crossroads of the Way of Saint James

routes (see page 18).

Lunch at a restaurant or inn in Saint-Jean-

Pied-de-Port.

Afternoon: tour the five senses in an Irouléguy

cellar. From the village of Irouléguy, possibility

of hiking with donkeys in the surrounding

mountains.

DAY 6

Sauternes and Entre-Deux-Mers vineyards

Morning: the Bordeaux wine route in Graves

and Sauternes. It is here that the first

Bordeaux vines were planted, more than

2,000 years ago. The unmissable Château

Smith Haut Lafitte, Château de la Brède

(birthplace of Montesquieu), Château de

Mongenan.

Lunch at the Sources de Caudalie or at the

Chapelle de Guiraud.

Afternoon: the Entre-deux-Mers wine route,

the Tuscany of Bordeaux. Visit and tasting

at a château (Château Malromé, where

Toulouse-Lautrec lived; Camarsac, in a

medieval fortress...), then heritage discovery

(Abbey Sainte-Majeure, a UNESCO World

Heritage Site; Cadillac castle, classified

as a historical monument) OR tasting and

activities at Planète Bordeaux.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 15


THEMED TOURS

Marqueyssac gardens

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

Boat ride, Castelnaud

© Gabares Norbert - CRT NA

Collonges-la-Rouge

© C Ducourret Gravereau - CRTNA

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Discover the Dordogne valley and its castles

by air. www.airchateaux.com

• The hanging gardens of Marqueyssac

offer an exceptional panoramic view

of the meandering Dordogne.

http://marqueyssac.com

• Cooking course at “Chez Sylvie” with

morning at the Lot-et-Garonne markets

www.france-cookery-course.com

ON THE ROAD TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES

3 TO 4 DAYS

The “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most beautiful villages in France) label recognizes villages of

great architectural quality, with a protected and enhanced heritage. These sites share with their visitors

their way of life, their charm and their authenticity. There are 31 of them in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, beautiful

gateways to our great region.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES

OF THE DORDOGNE VALLEY

The Dordogne Valley is distinguished by the

beauty of its villages, 13 of which are classified

as “Plus Beaux Villages de France”.

DAY 1

Beynac-et-Cazenac - La Roque-Gageac

Morning: 10 km southwest of Sarlat, on the

banks of the Dordogne, Beynac-et-Cazenac is

home to a thousand-year-old castle and fortress

from the 12th-Century. Visit of the Beynac

Archaeological Park, at the foot of the castle.

Afternoon: Visit La Roque-Gageac, village on

a cliff with houses featuring semi-troglodyte

lauze roofs. Climb to the village to visit an exotic

garden. From the port, explore the Dordogne

from a gabarre (traditional boat), or a canoe.

DAY 2

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle - Domme

Morning: Castelnaud Castle offers a panoramic

view of the villages of Beynac-et-Cazenac and

La Roque-Gageac. It houses the Museum of

War in the Middle Ages and an eco-museum to

learn about the Périgord walnut.

Afternoon: Perched on a 110-meter-high cliff,

the royal bastide overlooks the Dordogne

Valley. Guided tour. Curiosity: the concretions

of the natural caves of Domme.

DAY 3

Saint-Amand-de-Coly - Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

Morning: The village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly

is located a stone’s throw from the Lascaux

cave in the Dordogne and 20 km from Sarlat.

The site includes typical Périgord houses and

dovecotes, and a very beautiful fortified church.

Discover the city on foot, smartphone in hand,

accompanied by an audio guide with the free

application, “Villes et Villages du Périgord”.

Afternoon: Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère has the

charm and authenticity of the medieval villages

of the Périgord, with its golden stones, its roofs,

its maze of narrow streets and the presence

of the river. Visit the Conquil Park. Mountain

biking and hiking.

DAY 4

Turenne and Collonges-la-Rouge

with Curemonte extension

Visit three of the most beautiful villages in the

heart of the Dordogne Valley (see page 10 for

more details).

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES

OF THE LOT & GARONNE VALLEYS

DAY 1

Monflanquin

Morning: a guided tour of the medieval

bastide with its grid of original streets and

half-timbered houses, Place du Marché with

arcades, beautiful church of Saint-André

from the 13th-Century, and a visit to the the

Bastides museum. Traditional market on

Thursday mornings all year round.

Afternoon: 7.8 km (2h10) walk with beautiful

views of the perched bastide of Monflanquin,

the valley of La Lède and the surrounding

castles.

DAY 2

Pujols-le-Haut

Morning: The medieval city of Pujols-le-Haut

offers a magnificent view of the Lot Valley. A

village of character, with a medieval heritage

thanks to its 16th-Century half-timbered

houses, and the Saint Nicolas and Sainte-

Foy churches. Pujols lies close to the Via

Podiensis, the most famous of the routes of

the Way of Saint James.

Afternoon: 1h15 boat trip on the Lot river in

Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

DAY 3

Villeréal

Morning: Villeréal is located between

Bergerac and Agen. Visit the church, a 13th-

Century fortress, the half-timbered houses

and old enclosed gardens. Don’t miss the

traditional Saturday morning market.

Afternoon: Cycle tour of the royal bastide

(74 km) in a landscape of foie gras farms,

plum and hazelnut orchards, gourmet

stops at farms, Romanesque churches, and

castles.

16 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

Saint Radegonde Church at Talmont sur Gironde

Walk in the streets of Sare

© P Baudry - CRT NA

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

La Bastide Clairence

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Enter the intimacy of a 17th-Century

Basque labourdine house in Sare.

www.ortillopitz.com

• Visit to a Basque linen weaving workshop.

http://onatiss.fr/

• Visit the eco-museum of the salt marshes,

explore the history of salt production on

the Île de Ré as well as its flora and fauna.

www.marais-salant.com

IN FRANCE

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BASQUE

VILLAGES

Discover the interior of the Biarritz - Pays

Basque destination, and immerse yourself in

a world of traditions, culture and conviviality:

Basque folk song, dance and gastronomy.

DAY 1

Sare and Aïnhoa

Morning: walk in Sare and its 17th- and 18th-

Century houses, its square and pediment.

Visit the caves of Sare with a sound and light

show, then savour the delights of the Basque

cake museum.

Lunch in a venta, a typical restaurant on the

Spanish border.

Afternoon: Visit Aïnhoa and its red and green halftimbered

houses with their flowered balconies.

Glass blowers, wood carvers and other

craftsmen animate the village all year round.

Late evening: Visit Espelette and discover its

famed chilli at the Ramuntxo workshop.

DAY 2

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Morning: stopover city for pilgrims, visit of the

fortified city by a country storyteller.

Afternoon: outdoor activity of your choice:

hiking in the footsteps of pilgrims, cycling in

the Aldudes valley, rafting-canyoning on the

Nive, and fishing.

DAY 3

Navarrenx

Morning: explore the preserved

treasures of the medieval bastide and

the military stronghold with a tour guide.

Afternoon: discover the secrets of Navarrenx

cigar making (EPV label), with a cigar-rolling

workshop, plus a tasting of local charcuterie.

DAY 4

La Bastide-Clairence

Morning: stroll in the medieval bastide, which

has preserved its original architecture and

maintains its traditional crafts, with sculptors,

glassmakers, potters, and weavers.

Afternoon: hike on foot, or on donkeys, from

Bastide-Clairence or follow the cheese route to

meet a producer from Ossau-Iraty.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES

ON THE ATLANTIC COAST

DAY 1

La Flotte and Ars-en-Ré (Ile de Ré)

Morning: visit La Flotte, formerly a fishing

village, and stroll along the port and meet at the

market dating from the Middle Ages to taste

local products (fish, shellfish and crustaceans).

Afternoon: visit Ars-en-Ré, with its small white

houses with green shutters, its alleys paved

with flowers of hollyhocks. The church is

remarkable for its black and white bell tower,

used as a landmark by sailors.

DAY 2

Mornac-sur-Seudre

Morning: visit Mornac-sur-Seudre in the heart

of the marshes. Charming medieval halls,

Romanesque church, traditional houses

painted in white and multicoloured huts.

Afternoon: From the port of Mornac, you can

take a kayak, paddleboard or river cruise along

the channels to discover the Seudre estuary,

the marshes and the surrounding fauna and

flora. Spend the evening around an éclade de

moules, a special method for cooking mussels

under a fire made of pine needles.

DAY 3

Talmont-sur-Gironde

Morning: on the banks of the Gironde estuary,

nestled on its promontory, walk through the

cobbled streets of Talmont-sur-Gironde, a

typical village full of charm. Lose yourself in

the flower-filled alleys.

Afternoon: to Royan, the seaside resort with

its 1950s architecture.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 17


THEMED TOURS

© Mon Nuage - CRT NA4

© ATV

© CDT64

OPTIONS

3 TOP ACCOMODATION PICKS

• Best western Le Grand Hotel 4*

in Poitiers.

http://grandhotelpoitiers.fr

• Radisson Blu Hotel 4* in Bordeaux.

www.radissonblu.com

Saint-Front Cathedral, Périgueux

The Abbey of Saint Savin

Pilgrims walking through

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

• Hôtel les Pyrénées 4* in

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

www.hotel-les-pyrenees.com

ON THE WAY OF SAINT JAMES

5 DAYS

Since the 9th-Century, Nouvelle-Aquitaine has been

traversed by pilgrims on their way to Santiago

de Compostela in Spain, on the most famous

pilgrimage route in Europe. Six major Jacobean

routes converge in the region, crossing preserved

landscapes and historic monuments, 26 of which

are classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

On foot, by bike, on horseback, in a motorhome, you

will meet believers but also the curious, art or sport

lovers and friends of nature.

THE TOURS ROUTE

DAY 1

Poitiers, city of a hundred bell towers, with its

must-visit Notre-Dame-la-Grande, a masterpiece

of Romanesque art; including the Saint-Hilaire

church, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saint-Pierre cathedral, the Saint-Jean baptistery

(dating from Merovingian times). Next to

Poitiers, stopover at the Abbey of Saint-Savin,

another UNESCO heritage site featuring the

largest collection of mural paintings in Europe

from the 11th and 12th-Centuries.

DAY 2

Saintes: Abbaye aux Dames, former

Benedictine abbey created in 1047, the first

women’s abbey in Saintonge. Today, music is

at the heart of the abbey with a festival, and

concerts. Then, head to Pons and its Pilgrims’

Hospital (on UNESCO World Heritage List).

DAY 3

Bordeaux: a city with three Jacobean

churches, registered on the UNESCO World

Heritage List: the Basilica of Saint-Seurin,

famous for its crypt containing 5th-Century

remains, is a major place of antiquity; Saint-

André Cathedral, the most beautiful religious

monument in Bordeaux; The Basilica of

Saint-Michel and its imposing bell tower.

DAY 3

Dax: The cathedral, in the classical

“neo-Greek” style, was built between the

middle of the 17th-Century and the end of

the 19th-Century. Gallo-Roman walls, and

hot a hotspring dating back to antiquity.

Stopover to the Benedictine Abbey in Sordel’Abbaye

with three remarkable architectural

features: the abbey church built at the end of

the 11th-Century, the monastery buildings,

and the villa of the Abbots.

DAY 4

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port: the Notre-Dame

church, built on the ramparts, has a 13th-Century

foundation and is one of the most important

Basque Gothic buildings. The Santiago Gate has

UNESCO World Heritage status.

THE VEZELAY ROUTE

DAY 1

Poitiers and the Abbey of Saint-Savin

DAY 2

Limoges: Crypt of Saint-Martial, the crypt was

located under the former Benedictine abbey

of Saint-Martial, founded in the 11th-Century

and was destroyed in 1792. It contains the last

remains of the important necropolis where

Saint-Martial was buried.

DAY 3

Périgueux: Saint-Front Cathedral, classified

as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Romano-

Byzantine style, it recalls Saint Mark’s Basilica

in Venice, and was built in the 12th-Century.

Mont-de-Marsan: Don’t forget to visit the

Church of the Madeleine, followed by the

“Notre-Dame-du-Rugby” chapel.

DAY 4

Departure from the Abbey, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-

Port. Lourdes, one of the world’s most important

places of Catholic pilgrimage, is also nearby.

DAY 5

Santiago de Compostela: Place of arrival

for the Way of Saint James to receive the

compostela (kind of diploma proving that the

pilgrimage has been carried out) and this is

also where the Apostle Saint James lies buried.

18 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

Fly fishing in the gave dAspe

© Lionel Armand

Monbazillac castle

© Laetis - CRT Limousin

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Nature hikes in the Pyrenees

www.e-natura.com

© M Turin - CRT NA

• Fishing masterclass in Vassivière

www.pecheur-de-sensations.com

• Accompanied hiking trip to discover the

Regional Natural Park of Millevaches

www.appaat-millevaches.com

Hiking in the Regional Natural Park of Millevaches

Canoe on Lake Vassivière

IN THE HEART OF NATURE

Nouvelle-Aquitaine, with its vast natural spaces,

is one big playground for the active holidaymaker,

summer or winter. With its protected landscapes

and heritage, four Regional Natural Parks

(Millevaches, Landes de Gascogne, Périgord-

Limousin, and Marais Poitevin), the Pyrenees

National Park and spectacular sites such as

dunes, marshes, and caves, the region is a source

of constant surprises and delights.

For a “zero carbon” holiday, it is the ideal

destination to indulge in the joys of nature through

outdoor activities (hiking, cycling, horse riding,

fishing, trail, white water, paragliding...). Many

eco-labelled accommodations, from camping to

hotels: 92 accommodations with the European

eco-label in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Three ideas for a relaxing stay in the countryside.

THE GR10, THE GREAT CROSSING OF THE PYRENEES

The famous GR10 hiking trail is made for those

who love the great outdoors. It travels the length

of the Pyrenees from Hendaye to Banyuls and

takes two months to complete. For the Nouvelle-

Aquitaine section (270 km), you will need about

ten days, passing through Aïnhoa (one of the

most beautiful villages in France) or the Maison

de l’Ours in Etsaut. Crossing Basque villages with

white and red facades and green valleys, the Col

de La Pierre Saint-Martin and high altitude lakes to

enter the heart of the Pyrenees National Park. You

stop in gites, hotels, guest rooms or refuges. You

can even camp under the stars.

• From Hendaye to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Beginning at Hendaye on the edge of the Atlantic

Ocean, then crossing the first summit of the

Rhune and the Basque villages of Sare, Aïnhoa,

Bidarray. Irouléguy vineyard in sight, crossing

Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry before arriving in Saint-

Jean-Pied-de-Port.

• From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to

La Pierre-Saint-Martin

from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to the summer

pastures of Cize and Soule. Passage to Iraty.

• From La Pierre-Saint-Martin to Arrens

Crossing the limestone plateau of La-Pierre-Saint-

Martin before entering the Pyrenees National Park

to discover the emblematic Pic du Midi d’Ossau.

To be planned: make the stopover Bidarray - Saint-

Jean-Pied-de-Port then return by the train that

winds through the Nive valley at the foot of the

Basque mountains. Departure from Bayonne.

LAKE VASSIVIÈRE, THE OTHER CANADA

With its 1,000 ha, it is one of the largest lakes in

the region, an extraordinary place for holidays

and discoveries. Its forest landscapes, islands

and peninsulas give the appearance of a small

Scandinavian or Canadian landscape.

Don’t miss: The International Centre for Art and

Landscape, dedicated to contemporary creation;

the island of Vassivière; the beaches of Broussas

or Auphelle...

To be planned: discovery of the lake by taxi boat,

hiking along the shoreline path, outdoor activity

(sailing, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, trail...),

storytelling around the lake.

THE REGIONAL NATURAL PARK OF MILLEVACHES

Located in the northeast of Nouvelle-Aquitaine,

and the source of many rivers (Vézère, Vienne,

Taurion), it is made up of remarkable natural

environments where peat bogs, moors, forests

and meadows alternate. An ideal landscape to

recharge your batteries.

Whatever the season, the park has a lot to offer

nature lovers: sites and trails for discovery,

numerous activities such as hiking, cycling,

horseback riding, donkey riding, water sports

and Nordic activities. It is home to fragile animal

species, such as otters, and is a stopover for

migratory birds.

Don’t miss: Lake Vassivière, the Longeyroux peat

bog, the communes of Meymac, Felletin, Eymoutiers

and Treignac, the four entry points to the park.

To be planned: cross-country skiing on the

Domaine de Gentioux-Pigerolles, mountain

biking from the Chamberet, or Eygurande bases,

fishing in this place, which is the source of many

rivers (Vézère, Vienne, Taurion...). The travel

journal “Voyage(s) en Millevaches” lists the sites

and interpretation trails to be discovered and is

available in all tourist offices.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 19


THEMED TOURS

© Riblanc

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• The “Accueil vélo” label, a range of services

adapted to cyclists (accommodation, tour

sites, rental companies and repairers).

www.francevelotourisme.com

• Visit of La Chapelle des cyclistes, the cycling

sanctuary in Labastide d’Armagnac.

www.tourisme-landesdarmagnac.fr

Bike ride in the vineyards

Surfers in Anglet

Cyclists’ chapel

• Stopover on a bike tour, at the eco surf

camp, with surf lessons in Seignosse.

www.naturalsurflodge.com

ALL IN THE SADDLE FOR AN ACTIVE HOLIDAY

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a surfing destination and a paradise for cycling enthusiasts. It boasts 4,200

km of cycle paths and greenways, 3,300 km of national roads and 1,500 km of EuroVélo roads.

Beautiful rides can be found along the cycle paths, forest paths, towpaths and other greenways,

not to mention the major European routes such as the Flow vélo; the Canal des 2 Mers; the

Vélodyssée, which runs along the coast and the best surf spots, or the Scandibérique on the Way

of Saint James. From the pine forests of the Landes to the vineyards of Bordeaux and Cognac,

from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the hills of Gascony, Nouvelle-Aquitaine offers a diversity of

landscapes, terroirs and cultural and sporting activities ideal for exploration on two wheels.

VÉLODYSSÉE, THE ATLANTIC

IN FREEWHEEL MODE

A classic route from Brittany to the French Pays

Basque, the section in Nouvelle-Aquitaine extends

550 km from La Rochelle to Hendaye. Along the

way there is no shortage of activities: swimming

or water sports, discovering oyster beds and small

fishing villages, going down the Huchet stream,

visiting the major seaside resorts of La Rochelle,

Arcachon, Biscarrosse, Biarritz. From Lacanau to

Hossegor, from Biarritz to Guéthary, it is packed

with must-visit destinations. There is time along

the way to stow your bike and take a surfing

lesson.

ROUTE 1: La Rochelle - Royan (132 km)

From the port of La Rochelle, the route leads to

Châtelaillon-Plage and the royal city of Rochefort,

home port of the Hermione. After a few charming

detours, cross the Seudre marshes and then the

Marennes oyster beds and arrive in Royan through

the pine forests.

ROUTE 2: Royan - Lacanau (82 km)

Take the bicycles on board the ferry

for the Royan - Le Verdon crossing.

Discover the most beautiful seaside resorts

of the Médoc Atlantique: Soulac-sur-Mer

with its 1900s architecture, the naturist

resort of Montalivet-les-Bains, and Hourtin

and Carcans with their freshwater lakes

ideal for family swimming. In the pine forest,

cycle paths linking welcome stops lead to

Lacanau, a surfer’s paradise.

ROUTE 3: Lacanau - Arcachon (79 km)

From the Porge forest to the salt meadows,

crossing the villages and oyster ports of the

Arcachon Bay with their brightly coloured

fishermen’s huts and narrow alleys. The itinerary

goes around the basin to reach Arcachon from

Cap Ferret. Sunset on the Dune of Pilat.

ROUTE 4: Arcachon - Capbreton (162 km)

Between lakes and forests, ride along the most

beautiful beaches, resorts and surf spots of the

Côte d’Argent: Biscarrosse, Mimizan, Seignosse

and Hossegor, to reach the lively port of

Capbreton.

ROUTE 5: Capbreton - Hendaye (80 km)

An itinerary in the heart of the Pays Basque, from

Bayonne, the proud capital, to Biarritz, following

the Corniche road to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and

Hendaye on the Spanish border.

THE SCANDIBÉRIQUE

ALONG THE WAY OF SAINT-JAMES

This is the French part of EuroVelo 3, the

Scandibérique, a European cycle route linking

Norway to Santiago de Compostela. In Nouvelle-

Aquitaine, it crosses the Charentes, the Bordeaux

vineyards, the Landes forest and ends in the

Pays Basque at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port,

on the Way of Saint-James. Between plains

and hills, historic cities and protected natural

areas, the Scandibérique is an invitation to travel.

Two sample routes:

ROUTE 1: Angoulême - Libourne (150 km)

Leave Angoulême, city of the Comic Strip and

the Image, then make a gourmet stopover in the

village of Barbezieux and ride by the Touvérac

ponds. Continue through the countryside and

stop for a tasting in the Cognac houses. The next

day, explore the vineyards around Saint-Emilion, a

medieval jewel whose wine-growing landscape is

classed by UNESCO. End the day in Libourne.

ROUTE 2: Agen - Mont-de-Marsan (120 km)

A trip to the heart of the Lot and Garonne Valleys,

to discover the villages of Barbaste, Nérac and

Poudénas. Continue to the Landes - Armagnac

forest with a visit to Labastide d’Armagnac for

a tasting and gourmet break in Villeneuve-de-

Marsan. End the day in Mont-de-Marsan, the city

of three rivers known for its fairs and its historical

heritage.

20 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

Oenological cruise

on the Gironde estuary

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

OPTIONS

BECOME AN EXPERT

• Visit one of the lock houses: the inn and

guest rooms at La Poule à vélo (Saint-Jeande-Thurac).

www.lapouleavelo.fr

River walk

© Alban Gilbert - CRT NA

Bicycle ride

• Gens de Garonne, a scenovision to

discover the locals’ life

www.gens-de-garonne.com

• Bordeaux celebrates the river every

2 years in June

www.bordeaux-tourisme.com

THE CANAL DES 2 MERS BY BIKE OR BOAT

The Canal des 2 Mers by bike is more than 800 km long, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the

Mediterranean Sea along the Gironde estuary, the Garonne Canal and the Canal du Midi (classed by

UNESCO). An outstanding example of “slow tourism” with plenty of cultural and gastronomic stops,

it can be done on two wheels or on the water.

THE GIRONDE ESTUARY

The largest estuary in Europe, the Gironde

estuary is a reservoir of biodiversity with

extraordinary landscapes, including islands, cliffs

and cave dwellings, castles and wine estates.

BY BIKE: Royan - Bordeaux (153 km)

Leave from the seaside resort of Royan to

reach Bordeaux by crossing the river via the

Blaye-Lamarque ferry.

Don’t miss: the Cordouan Lighthouse,

Talmont-sur-Gironde, the Vauban Lock and the

Blaye Citadel, the Gallo-Roman villa of Plassac,

and Bordeaux, the world wine capital.

BY BOAT: the estuary extends more than

100 km inland. It can be explored by taxi boat,

restaurant boat, promenade boat, and top-ofthe-range

cruise boat. Themed visits include

wine, heritage, and nature via companies such

as Bordeaux River Cruise, CroisiEurope, and

Viking River Cruises, to name a few.

THE GARONNE CANAL

Inscribed as a UNESCO site, it links the

Garonne River and the Canal du Midi to the

Mediterranean Sea. It begins in Castets-en-

Dorthe and ends in Saint-Romain-le-Noble.

Either by bike or on the water.

BY BIKE: in two main stages

• Bordeaux - Agen (153 km)

Discover Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage

Site, the vineyards of Entre-Deux-Mers, then

stop at the walled city of Sauveterre-de-

Guyenne, La Réole, and finally take the green

path along the canal in the shade of centuriesold

plane trees to Agen.

Don’t miss: Abbey of la Sauve-Majeure, Le Mas

d’Agenais, Damazan, Agen and the canal bridge.

• Agen - Toulouse (113 km)

On green roads (without cars), discover

landscapes with an air of Tuscany. From Agen

to Moissac and Montauban, “Cities of art and

history” to Toulouse, the Pink City.

Don’t miss: Agen and the canal bridge,

the archaeological site of Villascopia in

Castelculier, Moissac and its abbey, Gens de

Garonne in Couthures-sur-Garonne (boat trips,

dioramas, treasure hunt in the village, cinema

show where the inhabitants tell their story and

share their experiences and anecdotes around

the river).

BY BOAT: More than 104 km - 22 locks

For a few hours, a day, or much more, become

the captain of a boat without a licence for an

unforgettable river trip! Their speed is limited

to 8km/h and a “pleasure card” for the entire

cruise will be given to you when you leave.

Don’t miss: Buzet-sur-Baïse, cruise in the heart

of the vineyard – Sérignac-sur-Garonne, pretty

medieval country house – Agen, a historical

and gourmet stopover – Valence d’Agen, a

charming medieval village.

Nearby: Moissac, Romanesque art and

crossing the canal bridge – Castelsarrasin,

charming city on the banks of the Garonne

canal – Montech, discover the water slope with

your boat. Possible extension on the Baïse or

the Lot.

From the Canal des 2 Mers, join the Canal du

Midi for an extension towards Carcassonne to

Sète.

Gliding along the Canal de Garonne

Licence-free habitable boats, small

power boats, rowboats, canoeing, stand

up paddle... The Canal de Garonne is

discovered in many ways. Admire its

shores bordered by beautiful plane trees,

its hauling path and its picturesque

bridges. For a weekend or a week, the

Canal de Garonne offers a network of

193 km of inland waterways, with

restored banks, modernised locks and

well-managed jetties and piers.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 21


THEMED TOURS

© Malika Turin - CRT NA

© Malika Turin - CRT NA

© Malika Turin - CRT NA

OPTIONS

TERRA AVENTURA:

HOW TO PLAY

• Download the application for free on a

smartphone via Google Play or App Store.

• Choose your route according to its theme,

duration, difficulty or proximity

• Click on “Start” then enter the answers to

the riddles until the GPS coordinates of the

final cache are displayed! All you have to

do is let yourself be guided to the treasure!

TERRA AVENTURA, THE INCREDIBLE TREASURE HUNT

Do you love to walk around and discover the secret corners of a territory in an unusual way? Then

you’ll love playing Terra Aventura, the world’s largest touristic treasure hunt. The game combines

an outdoor stroll with the discovery of the region’s heritage and natural resources. It is a 100% free

activity, based on geocaching, and requires a smartphone or GPS. It is available in five languages,

all year round, and plunges you into an extraordinary imaginary world.

MORE THAN 400 FASCINATING COURSES

THROUGHOUT NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE

Wherever you go in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, there

is a Terra Aventura course nearby. The routes,

from 3 to 14 kms, are designed to be fun for

the whole family.

Once you have selected your route on the

map, according to your position, or the

theme of the walk, let yourself be guided on

the application. At each stage of the journey,

answer a question related to where you are,

carefully observing the clues around you.

These puzzles, often full of surprises and

humour, are a fun way to learn about the

area’s history and culture. Terra Aventura

routes are also a treasure, with clues leading

to a hidden bottle containing a logbook and a

guest-book where players can leave their own

messages.

Don’t forget to look out for The Poïz! These are

small characters to be collected in the form of

badges. These little imaginary beings indicate

the theme of the walk: Zéfaim for gastronomy,

Zouti for know-how, Zarthus for nature,

Zabeth for historical heritage, Zalambic for

wines and spirits. Once you have “adopted”

one, you will want to catch them all. There are

35 Terra Aventura themes in total.

THREE MUST-SEE COURSES

At the towers of La Rochelle

Poïz’ Zisséo

(Thematic Maritime Heritage)

3 km / 1h30

Facing the ocean, close to the Île de Ré and Île

d’Oléron, La Rochelle is a dynamic city with a

prestigious heritage. The city’s two towers are

a starting point to discover the city through

its different ports. But it is a secret city that

Zisséo will reveal to you through streets lined

with arcades and an exciting history around

aristocratic houses and mansions.

Montignac, a history of bridges

Poïz’ Zéchopp

(Thematic Theory of Trade History)

2 km / 1h

Located in the heart of the Dordogne Valley

and the gateway to the Vézère Valley (known

as the Prehistory Valley), Montignac has

preserved all its medieval charm through its

narrow streets and its varied heritage. The

International Centre of Parietal Art attracts all

history lovers, but it is another Montignac that

Zéchopp wants you to discover through the

splendour of this village and its various shops.

Everyone is looking for their own style - Bayonne

Poïz’ Zegraff

(Thematic Street Art)

5 km / 2h

Bayonne, the gateway to the Pays Basque,

enjoys a privileged geographical location: 10

minutes from the ocean, 30 minutes from

Spain and 40 minutes from the foothills of

the Pyrenees. A stroll through the alleys of

the Petit and Grand Bayonne is pleasant, but

it is the unusual side of the city that Zegraff

wants you to discover through street art. You

will be surprised to see how much the streets

themselves have to say in Bayonne.

Terra Aventura application is available in

five languages: English, French, German,

Dutch and Spanish.

22 SMART GUIDE ROUTES www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com


THEMED TOURS

© Laetis - CRTNA

OPTIONS

3 UNUSUAL PLACES TO STAY

The wolves of Chabrières

DéfiPlanet’ accomodations

Futuroscope

• DéfiPlanet’, national leader in unusual stays.

Sleep in a perched cabin, a yurt, a caravan, or

a snail house. www.defiplanet.com/sejoursinsolites/hebergements/

• Les Lodges du Reynou near Limoges.

Stay at the heart of the wildlife.

http://lodgesdureynou.fr

• The yurt of the South West in the Lot and

Garonne Valleys. www.labellarocoma.com

UNUSUAL AND PLAYFUL

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a life-size amusement park. With more than forty flagship sites on a national

or even international scale, welcoming more than 100,000 visitors per year, the recreational

possibilities are endless. Amusement parks, animal parks, museums, aquariums - there is

something for everyone.

FROM POITIERS

Futuroscope I 20 mn: one of the most

popular amusement parks in France.

Exciting adventures, extreme sensations, live

shows, amazing trips, magical night shows,

captivating attractions. There is so much for all

tastes and ages!

DéfiPlanet’ I 30 mn: this unusual holiday

village is ideal for enjoying a family stay only

30 minutes from Futuroscope, featuring

unusual accommodation (i.e. perched huts,

snail house, hen house, caravans, yurts, etc.),

an animal park and fun activities for all ages

(i.e. horseback riding, zipline, mini-golf, treasure

hunting, etc.).

The Vallée des Singes I 50 mn: discover the

Vallée de Singes and the fascinating world of

primates. More than 450 monkeys of different

species live in the heart of a wooded park, free

on islands, without cages or barriers.

Center Parcs du Domaine du Bois

aux Daims I 1h15: in the town of Trois-

Moutiers offers a huge water world with eight

impressive slides, an animal park and unusual

tree-house accommodation.

Aquarium de la Rochelle I 1h15: In the heart of

the city, let yourself be surprised by the marine

biodiversity! A unique journey to explore and

understand the sea.

Mysterra at Montendre I 1h50: six labyrinths

designed by the forest and sculpted by

landscape designers where you can play, stroll,

meditate, get lost and discover contemporary

artists.

FROM PÉRIGUEUX

Lascaux I 45mn: Between heritage and new

technologies, discover the International Centre

of Parietal Art of Montignac-Lascaux and

immerse yourself in a sensory journey as close

as possible to our ancestors, more than 20,000

years ago.

FROM THE LANDES COAST (MIMIZAN)

The Marquèze Ecomuseum in Sabres I 40 mn:

immerses you in the culture and history of the

Landes de Gascogne in the 19th-Century in a

real Landes setting with a sheepfold, miller’s

house, and mansion. Traditional activities and

storytelling tours are offered all year round.

Access to the site by a steam train from Sabres

station.

FROM LIMOGES

The Reynou Animal Park I 15mn: more than

600 animals (130 species) living in semiliberty

on 45 hectares, as well as a landscaped

park, classified as a historical monument,

surrounding a pretty 18th-Century castle.

The wolves of Chabrières I 1h: near Guéret,

safely observe the largest predator in Europe.

Enter the heart of the forest to experience an

exciting encounter (feeding of wolves in the

afternoon). On site, visit the museum dedicated

to wolves and their legends.

FROM AGEN

Walibi Park in Roquefort I 10mn: thrill

seekers, little adventurers and nature lovers,

can discover its 25 attractions and shows for

the whole family! The Aqualand park in Agen

offers a wave pool, paddling pools, a huge

shaded beach and 18 slides, including two

unique in France.

www.nouvelle-aquitaine-tourisme.com

SMART GUIDE ROUTES 23


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