Dune du Pilat

10 countries to discover without leaving Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Explore all four corners of the world from Nouvelle-Aquitaine with our list of 10 countries to discover, travel without leaving the Region!

1. The Moroccan desert on Pilat Dune

Dune du Pilat

A great must-see on the Atlantic Coast: Pilat Dune ! Currently standing at 102.5 metres high, Europe’s highest dune obviously makes us think of the Sahara Desert. Yet, from the top of this exceptional natural monument, there are no camels on the horizon but a breathtaking vista over Arcachon Bay and the Landes Forest.

More about the Dune du Pilat

2. South Beach in Soorts-Hossegor

Plage d'Hossegor

Hossegor, a little surfing village is known around the world as it offers wave aficionados some of the most wonderful beach breaks on the planet. California in Landes-Armagnac, check it out! Don’t forget to visit Pédebert the commercial zone in Soorts Hossegor, where you’ll find all leading Surfwear brands like: Billabong, Oxbow, Rip Curl, Quiksilver etc.

And, a must-not-miss at the start of October, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, major events in the World Surf League Championship.

Find out more about surfing spots in the Landes

3. Yosemite National Park at Ayous Lakes

Lacs d'Ayous

Ayous Lakes, real picture postcards, are inseparable from the silhouette of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau which is naturally reflected on the water. No need to head off to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California to feel the beauty of the mountains. It’s in the Pyrénées Atlantiques that the scenescapes of the Ossau Valley lakes will enchant novice and seasoned hikers alike.

More about the lakes of Ayous

4. Arnarstapi’s rocky coastline in Hendaye

Côte rocheuse Hendaye

The Basque coastal trail, last preserved natural area of the French coast before entering Spain offers breathtaking scenescapes high above the Atlantic Ocean and along the foot of the Pyrénées. No need to head off to Island to admire Arnarstapi’s rocky landscapes. The site is characterized by sheer cliffs, creeks and two famous rocks called the “Jumeaux” (The Twins) which are incredibly photogenic.

Walking on the Corniche Basque

5. Golden Gate Bridge in Bordeaux

Pont d'Aquitaine à Bordeaux

Last bridge over the Garonne before its estuary, the Pont d’Aquitaine is France’s second longest suspension bridge (after Tancarville) with a main span of almost 394 metres. With its pylons stretching up to 103 m high and its red deck, it reminds us of its big brother, the Golden Gate in San Francisco! A traffic bridge leading onto Bordeaux’s Ringroad, it can be used by cyclists who will delight in the exceptional panorama over the city and the river. To take photos of it from the best angle possible, head over to the slopes on the right bank and in particular to the Ermitage Park in Lormont. You can also enjoy a cruise along the river on one of the boats which propose a tour of Bordeaux and its famous Port de la Lune, a UNESCO-listed world heritage site!

More about the Pont d'Aquitaine

6. Northern Bohemia in Corrèze

Orgues de Bort

You’ll be enthralled by the incredible geological formations of the Orgues de Bort. No need to head off to the Czech Republic to admire a natural spectacle! These enormous rocks, shaped like giant organ pipes, sculpted over the centuries, offer an outstanding belvedere for contemplating the scenescapes of Limousin, Corrèze and even the Auvergne Mountains. Waymarked trails, panoramas. Free access.

More about the Orgues de Bort

7. Comic-strip Brussels in the streets of Angoulême

La fille des remparts, Angoulême

In Angoulême just like in Brussels, comic strips are everywhere on the walls. Angoulême, city of history, offers walkers and hikers breathtaking panoramas and rich architectural heritage from its rocky promontory dominating the Charente and Anguienne Valleys. To discover all this in a fun-filled way, follow the painted wall itinerary. 26 works of art imagined by prestigious artists await you.

More about the painted walls of Angoulême

8. Canada’s Great Lakes in Vassivière

Lac de Vassivière

Vassivière Lake is often compared to Canada: forest scenescapes, islands, peninsulas, colours changing as seasons change… Located at the very heart of the Plateau de Millevaches Regional Nature Park, this “inland sea” invites to discover a bucolic, preserved landscape.
Enjoy over 1,000 hectares of pure water and total change of scenery on foot, on a bike, sailing, boating, canoeing and even on horseback.

More about Lake Vassivière

9. Fortresses like in Austria on the banks of the Dordogne

Château de Beynac

Did you know that Périgord has the most castles in France? Here, there are no mountains like the Tyrol, but a host of castles standing proud over the majestic Dordogne Valley: Beynac, Les Millandes, Fénelon, Castelnaud, La Roque-Gageac… Here, history blends together with fabulous, natural scenescapes.
Discover the wealth of incredible historical heritage on-board a gabarre (traditional flat-bottomed boat), in a hot air balloon, or even on foot with a guide.

Find out more about the heritage of the Périgord
Discover the castles of the Dordogne valley

10. Kerala Backwaters in the Marais Poitevin

Canaux du Marais Poitevin

No, you’re not dreaming! You glide gently along the water through the entanglement of 8,200 km of channels and hydraulic works of Green Venice. Of course you won’t find the coconut palms of Kerala in the Marais Poitevin. But, you’ll definitely be charmed by the gentle rippling of the willow trees above the water, the harmony of dragonflies hovering away, the elegance of angelica and the light as dusk sets in. We recommend a fresh, soothing boat trip, but you can also discover the Marais Poitevin Nature Park by bike, on foot or even on a donkey. The whole family will be thrilled!

More about walks in the Marais Poitevin

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