By foot on the Ways of St James or with nature hikes, by bicycle or by boat on the waterways, there are different ways to tour Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
The Tours route, a picturesque route through vineyards; the Coastal route; the Vezelay route, already famous in the Middle Ages; the Le Puy route including a 22 km portion registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List; the Arles route, the oldest Way of St James and the “Piemont Pyrénéen” route enable visitors to admire the splendid Nouvelle-Aquitaine. And Lourdes is not too far away.
With its multiple and lavish landscapes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine offers majestic, mysterious and enchanting horizons. The Pyrenees Atlantiques area, from Pays Basque to Bearn, offers footpaths for hikers of all levels, including the famous GR10 which crosses the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. With an ever-surprising wilderness, the Limoges area offers nature lovers many hiking possibilities, notably in the Millevaches Park (one of the 4 Regional Nature Parks in Nouvelle-Aquitaine).
Explore Périgord Vert’s forests, the Atlantic Coast, the Garonne canal, the Pyrenees passes, and vineyards of Cognac and Bordeaux! Among Europe’s great cycling routes, Velodyssee goes from Brittany to Hendaye in the Pays Basque via the Pays de la Loire and the Gironde Estuary. This marked, Exclusive Right of Way path, is a terrific way to discover the area. Another cycling route, Flow Vélo, connects the Atlantic Ocean to Périgord. Half of the route runs along waterways, namely the slow and peaceful Charente river. Flow Vélo is a prestigious route which stops over in the Cognac area.
There is nothing quite like a boat ride to change your perspective!
There are many possibilities all over the area, from the Gironde estuary to the north, to the Bidassoa crossing, a natural border between France and Spain. The Garonne canal, the Lot area and Baïse offer visitors a network of200 navigable waterways. Onboard traditional wooden, flat-bottomed boats called “gabarres”, in Bergerac or La Roque Gageac in Perigord, or in a “galupe”, on the Huchet current in the Landes area, discover the charms of Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s riverside villages and sites.
At the Vassivière lake, a variety of signposted hilly trails allow one to hike along the shores of lakes, streams, moors and forests or on the vast expanse of the Millevaches plateau. On foot, on horseback, by mountain bike, around the Rives track, on 250 km of signposted trails but also on the water, exceptional natural environments can be discovered.
This is a fun concoction combining a corner of paradise – the Basque coast and its waves – with a surfboard and a mega-style comfort cruiser electric bike. Itinerary highlights: the Cavaliers Beach at Anglet, La Côte des Basques beach in Biarritz, Parlementia beach in Guéthary or the Plage du centre in Bidart.
Upstream from Bordeaux, cruises (organised by 7 different companies) take visitors to discover the river Garonne, near the “Entre-deux-Mers” and Sauternais areas. Downstream, head to see Gironde’s estuary, its islands, the village of Pauillac: the gateway to Medoc and Blaye vineyards, the Vauban riverbank Citadel and the estuary riverbank, on the opposite side.
- Number one sustainable destination in France
- Thousands of kilometres of footpaths including six Ways of St James.
- La Vélodyssée, an European cycle tour of over 1,250km along the French Atlantic coast.