Discover Coastal Charms Of Southwest France

Discover Coastal Charms Of Southwest France

In this blog post, we’ll discover coastal gems surrounding Bordeaux, inviting you to explore the wonders from Pays Basque, near the Spanish border, to the picturesque La Rochelle. Let the coastline of Southwest France inspire you to discover this beautiful part of France for your next vacation. Untouched nature and rich history surround this corner of the country.

Escape the Olympic fervor in Paris and set your sights on the idyllic Southwest France.
Visit Bordeaux, a 4-hour train journey from Paris. Explore this captivating city rich in history with cultural vibrancy for young and old. indulge in chocolate, wine, and food. Then head out of Bordeaux to explore more of what the coast of southwest France has to offer.

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2 Hours South Along The Coast Of Southwest France – Explore Pays Basque (Basque Country)

The Basque Country, situated in the western Pyrenees along the Bay of Biscay, spans the border between France and Spain. This region covers the northern Spanish coast and the western edge of the Pyrenees, reaching into southwest France. Inhabited by the Basque people, renowned for their distinctive language and culture, the Basque Country holds a unique position on the Bay of Biscay.

The popular towns along the coast of the French Basque Country include: Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Ainhoa, Bayonne, Sare, La Bastide-Clairence

Into The Heart Of Southwest France – Visit Montignac-Lascaux and view Prehistoric Art At Lascaux IV


Montignac-Lascaux, in the heart of southwest France, is a delightful town with roots dating back to the Palaeolithic period, running along the Vézère River. The town boasts medieval charm with narrow streets, stilted houses, timber-framed structures, and historic landmarks like washhouses and fountains.

Situated upstream in the Vézère valley, Montignac-Lascaux serves as an ideal starting point for a memorable journey, offering opportunities for a canoe descent on the Vézère, with a challenging 44km route leading to the village of Limeuil for the more adventurous.

Adding to its allure, Montignac-Lascaux is rich in religious heritage, showcasing convents and a monastery.

At the heart of Montignac-Lascaux lies the renowned Lascaux cave, a masterpiece of cave art.

Visitors can explore the facsimile known as “Lascaux II,” just 200 meters from the original, or experience the more comprehensive and original replica, Lascaux IV-International Centre of Cave Art, which recounts the cave’s discovery and opened in December 2016.

Bordeaux – Dune du Pilat, Lacanau Beach, And Gascony’s Regional Nature Park

Dune du Pilat, Europe’s Largest Sand Dune

The Dune du Pilat, a prominent part of the Aquitaine coast, is a natural wonder with an alluring and majestic presence. Standing over 103 meters tall, 600 meters wide, and 3 kilometers long, it is the tallest dune in Europe. This remarkable dune creates a captivating contrast between the forest, sand, and ocean. Interestingly, the Dune du Pilat is always changing – constantly moving 1 to 5 meters toward the forest under the influence of the wind. Scientists closely study its evolution.

Lacanau Beach, Aquitaine

Possibly one of the most popular beaches in southwest France, known for its great surf and beautiful surroundings.

How To Get To Lacanau Beach From Bordeaux: By Train, By Bus.

Southwest France

Escape to Lacanau Beach, a stunning 15-kilometer stretch of sandy coastline, 50 km from Bordeaux. Nestled in the charming town of Lacanau, a tourist hub since the 18th century. Experience the timeless charm with beautiful beach villas from the past, set against a backdrop of 13,000 hectares of protected pine forest. Discover a perfect blend of history, nature, and coastal beauty at Lacanau Beach.

How To Get To Lacanau Beach From Bordeaux: By Train, By Bus.

Gascony’s Regional Nature Park (Parc Naturel Regional de Gascogne)

Southwest France

Just outside of Bordeaux is Gascony’s Regional Nature Park where you can enjoy a peaceful haven of natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Explore the wonders of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park. Immerse yourself in eco-tourism values while enjoying walks, sports, art, and relaxation.

The area has numerous lakes like Lac de Lamothe in Hostens. Offering activities like canoeing and paddleboarding and lifeguards in the summer months.

Discover the Lagunes du Gât Mort in Louchats, a nature reserve with lakes, lagoons, and pines. Take a guided tour to spot local flora and fauna, including the chance encounter with otters.

The park is home to the impressive Doucs de Cazalis dunes towering over pine trees.

Walk through the Contemporary Art Forest. A unique trail blending nature and art in Saint-Symphorien, Bourideys, and Captieux. Hike or bike through the Saint-Symphorien circuit, tracing the footsteps of François Mauriac, and enjoy shaded paths amid the pine trees of Gascony.

For a delightful family or friends’ bike ride, follow the Mios-Bazas green trail through the Landes de Gascogne forest. Pause for a picnic at Hostens Leisure Park or experience Gascony hospitality in Bazas, Saint-Symphorien, or Uzeste.

Southwest France

Discover local traditions in Sabres. The Marquèze Eco-Museum offers a historical train ride to the recreated 1890 district of Marquèze. Treat yourself to traditional pastries, learn a Gascon dance, and explore the history of Gascony through exhibitions at the Pavillon de Marquèze. Engage in treasure hunts and children’s activities during weekends and school holidays.

The Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park awaits, promising a diverse and enriching experience for all.

How To Get To Parc Naturel Regional de Gascogne.

Along The Coast Of Southwest France – North Of Bordeaux For the Most Brilliant Scenery And History In France

From Bordeaux follow the coastline of southwest France to discover hidden gems of towns and villages. Here are a few of the most beautiful towns, beaches, and attractions in the region.


Beautiful beaches with views of Fort Boyard
Southwest France
Phare de Chassiron

Saint-Georges-d’Oléron is a charming village located on the island of Oléron, off the southwest coast of France. It offers a blend of beautiful architecture, island life, and unique attractions, including Fort Boyard, Phare de Chassiron (Chassiron Lighthouse), La Cite D’huitre (Oyster City), and beautiful beaches.

Explore the island of Oléron and visit this unique area filled with history and beautiful scenery.

Fort Boyard

Fort Boyard, between Île-d’Aix and Île d’Oléron, is a historic fortress that gives visitors a unique glimpse into France’s military history. Although not accessible to the public. Visitors can partake in guided boat tours around the fort, providing unparalleled views and insights into its history.

This makes it an enriching experience suitable for families and adults, offering a unique and educational outing for all. Additionally, Fort Boyard has gained international recognition as the setting for the popular TV game show “Les clés de Fort Boyard.”

The Phare de Chassiron

The Phare de Chassiron is a historic lighthouse in Saint-Denis-d’Oléron, that has been standing since 1685. The climb to the top of the lighthouse is about 200 steps, however, you are rewarded with an amazing 360 view of the surroundings, including la Balise d’Antioche (the Antioche beacon) and its shipwrecks, l’île de Ré with its salt marshes and gorgeous beaches, La Rochelle, and to the north ‘île d’Oléron.

This makes it a wonderful activity for people visiting the area, as it provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the region’s coastal beauty and learn about the lighthouse’s significance. The Phare de Chassiron is a must-visit for those interested in history and for families and adults looking for a memorable and educational experience.

Le Marais Poitevin (and the Aiguillon Bay)

Known as ‘The Green Venice,’ is a series of enchanting canals and waterways. Discover by boat, offering glimpses of graceful grey herons. Covering over 85,000 hectares across the la Vendée and Charente-Maritime departments, Le Marais Poitevin is a majestic wetland doused in history—the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, boasting lush green landscapes.

Aiguillon Bay

The Aiguillon Bay is designated as a National Nature Reserve. This bay is a haven for diverse plant and animal species, making it a crucial habitat for black-tailed godwits—one of France’s limited breeding grounds.

Additionally, Aiguillon Bay is home to the threatened Terek sandpiper, adding to the area’s ecological significance. Plan your visit to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity that characterize this unique destination.

The Île de Ré

Southwest France

Île de Ré is a picturesque island off the Atlantic coast near La Rochelle, filled with unique charm. Connected to the mainland by a 3 km bridge, this island has a beautiful climate and a variety of activities for visitors.

Immerse yourself in its beautiful beaches, delve into historic sites, and soak in the scenic landscapes. Île de Ré is perfect for a relaxing day trip or an extended stay, offering opportunities for swimming, water sports, exploration of salt fields, and a visit to the iconic Phare de Chassiron lighthouse. With its manageable size, the island is easily accessible, making it an ideal destination for a single day. Ile de Re is one of France’s summer secrets.

La Flotte

Situated on the Île de Ré, this village is known for its charming harbor and traditional whitewashed buildings.

La Flotte, recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France, exudes coastal charm with its rich traditions and remarkable architecture. Its medieval streets are covered in flowers with quaint shops.

In the Middle Ages, the town thrived on wine production from l’Abbaye des Châteliers. The historic port, established in 1765, welcomes both old and new boats, including traditional fishing vessels. The port area boasts local shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and cozy bistros.

Start your morning will a trip to the Market Square (9.00 am – 1.00 pm), built in 1804 the square was heavily influenced by medieval architecture. The beautifully paved courtyard features stalls covered by wooden awnings, with a central well from the past. Local producers offer a variety of delights, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, shellfish, cheeses, and regional products, creating a culinary haven for visitors.

La Conche des Baleines

Southwest France

The Conche des Baleines beach on Ile de Ré stretches from the renowned Phare des Baleine to Portes en Ré, this vast expanse of fine sandy beach offers an ideal spot for swimming. Maintaining its wild and authentic charm, it extends alongside the Lizay forest, providing shade on a hot summer day.

Despite being a popular destination in July and August, there is ample space for visitors. With lifeguard supervision during these months, it is suitable for various activities, including board sports, fishing, and swimming even during low tide. The beach also features beautiful dunes and an intriguing lighthouse (Phare De Baleines), making it a must-visit destination on Ile de Ré.


Nestled along the coast between Bordeaux and La Rochelle, Mornac-sur-Seudre is a charming village. With a well-preserved Romanesque church and captivating landscapes, it is an ideal stop for tourists seeking tranquility and history. Explore the village, go on a guided tour, or follow a marked trail along the pedestrian cliffs.

Southwest France

For a unique perspective, walk along the Seudre River, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings. With its rich history and serene ambiance, Mornac-sur-Seudre is the perfect retreat for tourists to pause, stretch their legs, and immerse themselves in the allure of this historic French village.


Perched above the Gironde estuary, this village offers stunning views and well-preserved medieval architecture.

Southwest France

Talmont-sur-Gironde, a small village along the coast just after Mornac-sur-Seudre, is a hidden gem overlooking the Gironde estuary.

The village, located on a rocky bluff, offers a picturesque setting with well-preserved houses and gardens, making it one of France’s most beautiful villages. Tourists visiting Talmont-sur-Gironde can explore its charming streets, visit the historic church of Sainte-Radegonde, and enjoy stunning views of the estuary. The village’s unique atmosphere and scenic beauty make it a perfect stop for tourists traveling in the region, offering a peaceful and authentic French experience.

La Rochelle

Old Port & Towers

La Rochelle, 2 hours from Bordeaux in Nouvelle-Aquitaine is an intriguing and beautiful coastal city renowned for its rich architectural heritage and lively ambiance.

The city boasts a myriad of attractions, from the historic Vieux Port (Old Port) and the impressive Towers of La Rochelle to the acclaimed Aquarium La Rochelle and the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum). Strolling through the charming cobblestone streets of the old town, engaging in outdoor activities like biking and sailing, and embarking on a leisurely day trip to the nearby Island of Ré are among the many experiences awaiting visitors.

With its captivating harbor, cultural offerings, and natural splendor, La Rochelle emerges as an ideal destination for tourists seeking a diverse and memorable experience.

Musée d’Histoire Naturelle
(Natural History Museum)

A museum that offers an in-depth look at the natural world, including local flora and fauna.

Southwest France

Musée Maritime de La Rochelle

A museum dedicated to the maritime history of the region, featuring boat displays and interactive exhibits

Aquarium La Rochelle

One of the largest private aquariums in Europe, showcasing a diverse range of marine life.

Vieux Port (Old Port)

A historic and lively area with picturesque harbor views, seafood restaurants, and street entertainment.

Southwest France

Towers of La Rochelle

visitors can climb the medieval towers for panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

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