France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Aquitaine, France Guide
This large and historic région of France stretches along the south Atlantic coast to the Pyrénées, and includes some of the world's finest wine-making areas.





Aquitaine is a historic region in southwestern France (map) that includes the famous wine-making regions of the Gironde département around the regional capital of Bordeaux, the rich winegrowing district of Médoc and Saint-Émilion, the Atlantic seaside resort town of Arcachon, the beautiful Dordogne region, the Atlantic Pyrénées département (France's Basque country), and more.

The first known occupants of Aquitaine were Cro-Magnon people 40,000 years ago in the caves of Lascaux and Les Eyzies. (Here's a novel about them.)

Later a Roman province, then part of a Visigothic kingdom, and after that a duchy, Aquitaine has had a colorful and sometimes violent history, including periods when it was controlled by the English crown.

Basque, Occitan, and several ancient dialects of French are still spoken in Aquitaine.


Starting in 2016, the region has been officially defined as Nouvelle-Aquitaine, comprised of the départements of Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It's a large région stretching along the Atlantic coast from Bordeaux and the Médoc in the north to Bayonne, Biarritz and St-Jean de Luz, inland along the Pyrénées to Pau and northwest to Brive-la-Gaillarde in the Dordogne.

Dordogne Valley

The valley of the river Dordogne is among the most delightful, picturesque and historic parts of France. Follow the meandering course of the river east of Bordeaux through legendary Périgordpast fertile fields, vineyards, castles and the towns of Saint-Émilion, Bergerac, Lalinde, Beynac-et-Cazenac, Domme, La Roque-Gageac, Sarlat-la-Canéda and Rocamadour.


To the north of Aquitaine is the région of Poitou-Charentes, with the historic cities of Poitiers, Angoulême and Saintes, wonderful Cognac, its important naval port of Rochefort, and the delightful resort islands of Île-de-Ré and Île d'Oléron. More...


Médoc Vineyards




Loire Valley


Where to Go in France


Serene - a novel of the Belle Epoque


Sailing ship, Bordeaux, France

Sailing ship moored in Bordeaux.

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