Here are 3 top weekend ideas to enjoy right now...
Poitiers, the Romanesque capital
Poitiers is ideally located between Paris, Bordeaux the Loire Châteaux and the Atlantic Ocean. With a history dating back more than 2,000 years, this city also has the largest student population in France. Stroll as you explore the picturesque streets, rich heritage, urban nature and fine dining on offer in this eminently walkable city. Two days are certainly not too long for enjoying the city of Poitiers.
Things to do:
- Marvel at the Church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande and the statuary of its famous west front
- Count its (nearly) one hundred bell towers. Poitiers is often referred to as the City of 100 Bell Towers because of the many churches hidden within its urban fabric
- Visit the Palace of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine. It’s one of the most remarkable examples of Middle Ages architecture anywhere in France
- Discover the city’s new Le Confort Moderne arts centre. Enjoy a concert, exhibition or lunch in this performance and creativity space which occupies a former electrical appliances warehouse
- Live the Futuroscope experience just a few minutes from Poitiers
Find a flight to Poitiers
For a new perspective on Poitiers, test out the Viking 2.0 escape game.
Bayonne, the Basque city
At the foot of the Pyrenees, just 30 minutes from the border with Spain and a few kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, Bayonne is the capital of the French Basque Country, and a city to be discovered and enjoyed at any time of year. In the autumn, the feel here is more calm and elegant; a world of soft lighting and ochre-coloured landscapes. It’s the perfect time to get away Basque-style.
Things to do:
- Stroll along the River Nive on the Quai Jauréguiberry, whose stone buildings and authentic atmosphere reflect the essence of Basque identity
- Grab a free bike to explore this City of Art and History
- Dive into the culture and values of the Basque Country at the Basque Museum, the only ethnographic centre devoted to the identity of this region
- Discover the mysteries of chocolate making at Le Chocolat de Bayonne
- Eat at the Market Bar; a Grand Bayonne institution. Everything here is local and homemade.
Find a flight to Biarritz-Bayonne
Insider tip: don’t forget to book your Citypass to make your stay in Bayonne even more relaxing.
Périgueux, the city of fine dining
The capital of the Périgord region is a city devoted to fine dining. Its foie gras markets have underpinned its reputation ever since the Middle Ages. Fine dining Périgueux is also a city of culture and heritage, which is proud to share its Gallo-Roman past.
Things to do:
- Explore the Cathedral dedicated to Saint-Front, which was restored in the 19th century by architect Paul Abadie, and is instantly recognisable for its five distinctive domes
- Admire the Maison des Consuls and Maison Lambert on the River Isle quayside, and the Maison du Pâtissier in the Rue de l’Eguillerie
- Climb the ancient network of alleyways little changed since the Middle Ages
- Walk the green way along the banks of the River Isle
- Visit the super-contemporary Musée Vesuna designed by Jean Nouvel and dedicated to telling the story of Gallo-Roman Périgueux at the foot of the Tour de Vésone.
Find a flight to Bergerac-Périgueux.
Insider tip: Call in at Le Chai Bordin for a most excellent glass of wine. Right in the city centre, this wine cellar offers more than 700 wines from all over France and around the world, and becomes a wine bar every evening.