This section is designed to give you more information about the main tourism labelling schemes used in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
- Vignobles et Découvertes
Vignobles & Découvertes (Vineyards & Discoveries) is a national label that simplifies the process of organising a stay in our most beautiful vineyards. The result is a broad choice of high-quality experiences surrounded by some of the best vineyards in France: hotels, rentals, campsites, restaurants, wine estates and château cellar tours, visits to places of cultural and heritage interest, opportunities to explore nature, discover local artisanal expertise, etc. Every aspect of the world of wine, spirits and vine products is included in this scheme and specially selected to help visitors gain the full French vineyard experience.
Many destinations in Nouvelle-Aquitaine have Vignobles et Découvertes accreditation labelling:
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: Graves and Sauternes
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: Entre-deux-Mers
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: La Porte du Vignoble
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: Médoc
- The wine routes of Bordeaux: Blaye and Bourg
- The vineyard of Cognac
- The vineyard of the Ile d’Oléron
- Jurançon, Béarn Pyrenees
- Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant
The Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Enterprise) label spans the enormous range of French excellence in heritage skills and expertise. It is awarded to enterprises committed to designing and producing exceptional products in France. It is the mark of ‘Made in France’ creativity.
This body of highly developed expertise is broken down into a range of sectors, including tableware, decorations, fashion, cosmetics and food.
In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, tableware is a dominant skill, ranging from Limoges porcelain (Bernardaud, Haviland, etc.) to Nontron cutlery and Basque Country weaving. In decoration, Aubusson tapestry, listed by UNESCO as of Intangible Cultural Heritage status, is a powerful ambassador for French luxury goods.
- Grand Site de France
A Grand Site de France (Leading French Destination) focuses on celebrating France’s iconic landscape. It gives visitors the guarantee that the labelled natural environment is managed in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Grand Site de France landscapes are protected in ways that ensure a high-quality experience for visitors, and ensure that the essential spirit of these places is maintained in perpetuity.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine has one unmissable Grand Site de France: the Poitevin Marshes and their iconic heartland, the ‘wet marsh’ and the canals that have earned it the nickname of ‘The Green Venice’, at the gateway to Niort.
But Nouvelle-Aquitaine also has other Grands Sites de France network destinations:
- the Dune du Pilat on the Atlantic coast near Arcachon is the highest in Europe
- the Vézère Valley in Périgord Noir is a superb steep-sided valley of great importance to human history, since it is home to the Lascaux cave complex
- the Charente Estuary and the Rochefort Arsenal, where the River Charente meets the sea at the Pertuis Charentais (the inshore section of the Bay of Biscay). The estuary is distinctive for its exceptional coastal fortifications, which include the famous Fort Boyard.
- Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
The national Plus Beaux Villages de France labelling scheme encompasses particularly attractive villages that have successfully retained and promoted their heritage for the benefit of visitors. These are the must-visit villages of France!
Nouvelle-Aquitaine has many villages labelled by this scheme: in the Dordogne (Castelnaud, La Roque-Gageac, Monpazier, etc.), in Lot-et-Garonne (Villeréal, Monflanquin, Pujols, etc.), in Béarn and the Basque Country (Navarrenx, Saarland, etc.), in Corrèze (Turenne, Collonges-la-Rouge, etc.), in Haute-Vienne (Mortemart), in Vienne (Angles-sur-l’Anglin) and in Charentes (Aubeterre, Talmont-on-Gironde, Ars-in-Ré, etc.).
- Petites Cités de Caractère
This labelling scheme for small towns and villages of remarkable heritage was launched a few years ago in Brittany and Franche-Comté, and has now been joined by many destinations in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
These smaller towns undoubtedly have character, and they are becoming increasingly expert at promoting their living lifestyle and rich architectural and landscape heritage to attract more visitors. These are our favourite villages!
In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, must-visit villages include Coulon and Arçais in the Poitevin Marshes, Melle and Charroux in Poitou for their Romanesque art, Bénevent-l’Abbaye and Treignac in the Limousin and Brantôme in Perigord Vert.
- Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire
This label is intended to protect and perpetuate French heritage, both in its historic towns and in the landscapes of the French regions. This label recognises the special attention paid by these towns and regions to promoting every aspect of their heritage, whether iconic or more discreet. Particular features of this scheme include guided tours, exhibitions, and discovery routes for groups of experts or those simply keen on discovering the treasures of French heritage.
There are very many Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire in Nouvelle-Aquitaine: from Pau to Bayonne, from Villeneuve-sur-Lot to Bordeaux, from Saintes to Rochefort and Angoulême, from Poitiers to Parthenay and Thouars, from Limoges to Les Hautes Terres Corréziennes, and from Sarlat to Bergerac and Périgueux.
- EU Ecolabel
How do you reconcile successful holidays with environmental protection? The answer to that question is provided by the hotels, campsites, holiday rentals, guest houses and other accommodation providers accredited by the EU Ecolabel scheme.
Whether for a weekend, a holiday or a business trip, the EU Ecolabel endorses innovative eco-responsible services delivered in protected conservation regions.
These accommodation providers offer you a series of guarantees: the purchase and use of energy from renewable sources, protection of water resources, waste recycling and minimal wastage, the purchase of eco-responsible products, seasonal breakfasts prepared using regional produce, a policy of communicating and raising awareness of good environmental practices, and a responsible package of services for an alternative local experience.