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Tourist attractions French Atlantic Coast

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  • 1 Old Quarter Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue de la Ferté F - 17000 La Rochelle

    The dwellings around the Town Hall, Rue des Merciers and Rue du Palais were built with two ways out; on the ground floor they have a large room often converted into a shop, then an interior courtyard with staircase and gallery; on the first floor a d..

  • 2 Abbey of the Ladies of Saintes Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    11 place de l’Abbaye F - 17100 Saintes

    Having previously sheltered young noblewomen, the abbey became a barracks. Disused and then rehabilitated, it is an abbey church in the Romanesque style of Saintonges, topped by a superb steeple and endowed with a fine portal delicately carved. A nav..

  • 3 Arsenal Quarter Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    route de l’Arsenal F - 17300 Rochefort

    The shipyard stretched along the Charente River on two levels (they still exist today) separated by slipways or dry docks. It had 11 construction yards and careening basins of which the Old Form is the oldest masonry dry dock in the world. A foundry,..

  • 4 Poitevin Marsh Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 17000 La Rochelle

    The aquatic and plant world of the Poitevin Marsh resembles a huge maze of waterways and paths. A boat ride will take you gliding over the green water of the Wet Marsh, nicknamed the Green Venice, starting from Coulon, Le Vanneau, Damvix, Maillezais ..

  • 5 Château de Cazeneuve Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 33730 Préchac

    The courses of the Ciron and Homburens meet discreetly under trees right by the château, just as beautiful Margot and her gallants used to do in the past. The seat of the lords of Albret, it became property in 1572 of Henri III of Navarre, the future..

  • 6 Grand Théâtre Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Place de la Comédie F - 33025 Bordeaux

    Built from 1773 to 1780 by architect Victor Louis in pure neo-Classical style, this is one of the most beautiful theatres in France. The refined interior staircase inspired Garnier for his Opéra de Paris. The auditorium is made up of pillars, ramps, ..

  • 7 Musée d'Aquitaine Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    20 cours Pasteur F - 33000 Bordeaux

    Housed in the faculty of literature and science's old building, this museum traces mankind's history in Aquitaine from prehistory to the present day through extensive collections displayed over two floors. The section devoted to Bordeaux's Golden Age..

  • 8 Museum of Fine Arts Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Place du Dr-Esquirol F - 47000 Agen

    An attractive backdrop for this museum, located in four 16C-17C residences (Estrades, Vaurs, Vergès and Monluc): medieval art (a 16C Brussels tapestry entitled The Month of March); archaeological items include the jewel of the collection, a 1C BC Gre..

  • 9 Bonaguil Castle Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 47500 St-Front-sur-Lemance

    This astounding fortress, which rises on the borders of the Perigord Noir and of Quercy, is one of the most perfect examples of late 15C and 16C military architecture. Its particular feature is that under the appearance of a traditional castles, it p..

  • 10 Church of St. John the Baptist Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Rue Gambetta F - 64500 St-Jean-de-Luz

    Inside this plain and rather severe church, the raised choir is closed off by a beautiful wrought-iron screen, and a glistening gold reredos dating from the 17C. To the right of the main entrance, note the blocked doorway, the custom after a royal ma..

  • 11 Basque Country Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 64100 Bayonne

    The French Basque country, flanking the Pyrenees and the Bay of Biscay, stretches between the Adour and Bidassoa rivers, combining ocean, mountain and forest in equal parts. It is composed of three provinces, Labourd (from Biarritz to Hendaye and Rhu..

  • 12 Gorges de Kakouetta Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    de Ste-Engrâce F - 64560 Ste-Engrâce

    These gorges, sunk vertically in the limestone, are beautiful as well as impressive, with the beginning of the Grand Étroit the most grandiose of all; this splendid canyon is more than 200m deep but only 3-10m wide. The torrent roars through the long..

  • 13 Isturitz and Oxocelhaya Caves Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D 251 F - 64640 St-Martin-d'Arberoue

    The superimposed Isturitz Cave and Oxocelhaya Cave below it are abandoned underground beds of the Arberoue River. The Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons left their treasures in these cathedrals of limestone, full of monumental columns and majestic hangings..

  • 14 Somport Pass Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 64490 Urdos

    This pass, at an altitude of 1,632m, is the only one in the central Pyrenees open year round. It has been steeped in history since Roman times, and up until the 12C was a major stopping place on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. Nowadays, ..

  • 15 Passage du Gois Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - Île de Noirmoutier

    This 4.5km-long submersible causeway, in use since the 17C, was the only way for vehicles to reach the island from the late 19C until 1971, when the toll bridge was opened. Shoals formed the Gois causeway; the name is derived from a local term, goise..

  • 16 Baptistère Saint-Jean Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Rue Jean-Jaurès F - 86000 Poitiers

    This baptistry, built in the mid-4C, is the oldest example of Christian architecture in France. Apart from the baptisal room with its octagonal pool, you will see some moving romanesque frescos that take on greater significance in the summer, when, t..

  • 17 Church of N.-D.-la-Grande Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Place Charles-de-Gaulle F - 86000 Poitiers

    This typical Poitevin-style Romanesque church has a 12C façade with lively sculpted decorations on the theme of the Incarnation. On summer evenings the special lighting recreates the façade's medieval colours. The fifteen-minute polychrome spectacle ..

  • 18 Church of St Hilaire le Grand Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Rue St-Hilaire F - 86000 Poitiers

    This large Romanesque church, built in 1049, is a place of pilgrimage, and is considered by some to be the most interesting in Poitiers. Outside, observe the chevet, the chapels grafted onto the transept and the ambulatory. Inside, the choir and tran..

  • 19 Place de la Bourse Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    place de la Bourse F - 33000 Bordeaux

    This pretty horseshoe-shaped square was built from 1730 to 1755, based on the layouts of architects Gabriel father and son. It is hemmed in by two typical buildings with columns on the upper levels bearing triangular pediments: to the north the Palai..

  • 20 Cité de l'Océan - City of the Ocean Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    1 avenue de la Plage - la Milady F - 64200 Biarritz

    The Cité de l'Océan building was designed by the American Steven Holl to resemble a large wave between the sky and the earth. A visit here, which can be combined with a trip to the Biarritz Musée de la Mer (Sea Museum) - Aquarium, puts the visitor in..

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