Aquitaine : the cradle of humanity
Bordered on its western side by 155 miles of ocean coastlines, Aquitaine shares a border with Spain via its mountains, the Atlantic Pyrenees. The third most extensive region in France, it possesses unsuspected riches. There are no less than 2,800 structures listed as historical monuments!
The diversity of the land
For 40,000 years, various populations have left their traces on this land, bearing testimony to the wealth of the region. It based its development on agriculture, fishing, viticulture and the metal industry. Today, its industrial dynamism is reflected in the aeronautics and spatial sectors.
A land of castles
Aquitaine contains a multitude of castles and fortified towns. These marvels bear testimony to the wealth and the architectural heritage of the region. They are most often found in gorgeous landscapes, such as Beynac in Dordogne.
The prehistoric site of the Valley of Vézère, in Dordogne, holds 147 sites and 25 decorated caves. The most beautiful remains from the Paleoltihic Age are concentrated here. Among the most prestigious, the caves of Lascaux.
Water and wall sports
Biarritz, the European capital of surfing, shouldn't make you forget Médoc and the Landes. A more traditional sport, pelota is practised against a wall with bare hands, with a chistera (a more or less large glove which looks like an extended basket) or with rackets.
Duck and wine
Foie gras, confit, or breast, duck is enjoyed prepared in numerous fashions. Other specialities like Bayonne ham, black truffles, poule au pot (boiled chicken), Agen dates and Gâteau Basque are served with a wine from Burgundy or Jurançon.
The Ferias (Fairs)
Every summer, from Mont-de-Marsan to Bayonne, the Basque and Landaise Feria follow one another, attracting “festayres” (partiers) dressed in red and white. Further down, in the Pyrenees, transhumance is celebrated with songs, dances and animated meals.