This region stretches up the west coast of France from its border with Spain up to the mouth of the Bordeaux river. It has a long coastline but also sweeps inland a long way and include part of the Pyrenees mountain range.
In the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was allied with the Plantagenet kings of England, so the region has many historic connections with the United Kingdom, most notably through the wine trade. You will recognise a lot of the town names from the wine bottles on your local supermarket shelves like Saint-Emilion, Bergerac and Bordeaux.
Pau is the departmental capital and it is an elegant city, one of our favourites, that was very popular with the British in the nineteenth century as a thermal spa resort, it even boasted at one time a full on English hunt, complete with hounds and redcoats but that may have been banned by now I guess?
The Aquitaine region consists of 5 departments:
By train: TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse, or from Lille; train from Toulouse or Marseille.
By car : motorway from the Channel ports via Rouen and Tours, or from Paris.
By air : to airports at Bordeaux, Bergerac, Pau and Biarritz - or (peripheral) Toulouse.
Aquitaine is famous for many regional products such as Perigord Truffles and Bayonne Ham, also many mouth watering dishes known of the world over like Foie Gras and Duck Confit. The Aquitaine gastronomy is appreciated for a combination of fine French produce and recipes handed down over the years, these of course all go to complement the outstanding Bordeaux wine and together they produce a fantastic dining experience.
Coastal Aquitaine can offer fishing trips, relaxation, spa therapy centres, cycling tracks and golf courses usually in the shade of pine trees.
Inland Aquitaine also has rolling fairways, walks, horse rides or bike rides, and canoeing.
Pyrenean Aquitaine is ideal for fishing, white-water canoeing, visiting spa towns and hiking through stunning scenery.
Don't forget theme parks and Zoos.
Aquitaine houses tend to be larger and more elegant than the standard farmhouse of neighbouring regions and are often called a Mas. normally square or rectangular in shape, the houses often have almost flat roofs and walls made of stone and covered with render or whitewashed.
The "Bastides stlye" tend to have really well thought out and practical layout, like traditional Maisons de Maitre. The name "bastide" itself originates from the name given to a fortified mediaeval town built in the 13th and 14th centuries in south west France.
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