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Tourist attractions French Atlantic Coast

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  • 1 Villa Arnaga Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    av. du Dr Alexandre-Camino F - 64250 Cambo-les-Bains

    Arriving in Cambo for a cure in 1900, Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) was immediately won over by the town and decided to move here permanently. He moved into the spacious Labourdes Basque-style Villa Arnaga perched up on a promontory, which the writer tu..

  • 2 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, ..

  • 3 Place de la Bourse Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. 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..

  • 4 Cognac Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Les Remparts - pl. de la Salle-Verte F - 16100 Cognac

    Partly occupying the Perrin de Boussac residence (1567) on one side and abutting the 17C ramparts on the other, this resolutely contemporary facility houses a remarkable museum dedicated to cognac and its history. 1 200m 2 of exhibits provide a fasci..

  • 5 Baths of Chassenon Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Longeas F - 16150 Chassenon

    Covering 12 000m, the baths of Chassenon are the most important surviving examples from Roman Gaul. Beyond the cold and tepid rooms, the hot pools, still showing their original tiles in places are particularly impressive, as is the ingenious hypocaus..

  • 6 Église St Jean - Underground church Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    r. St-Jean F - 16390 Aubeterre-sur-Dronne

    Hewn from a single block of rock, this is France's highest monolithic church. Those excavating it in the limestone in the 12C were able to incorporate earlier caves used by the first Christian worshippers. The present church was undoubtedly built to ..

  • 7 Church of Saint Pierre d'Aulnay Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    av. de l'Église F - 17470 Aulnay

    The Church of St Pierre cuts a solitary figure, rising among the cypresses of its old graveyard. A Unesco World Heritage site, this masterpiece of Poitou Romanesque built of warm-hued stone stands near the village of Aulnay-de-Saintonge. Noteworthy f..

  • 8 Tumulus de Bougon Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    F - 79800 Bougon

    One of Europe's earliest necropolises, Neolithic people erected these funerary monuments some 2 000 years prior to the building of the pyramids. Running around the five well-preserved Bougon tumuli and the remains of a Cistercian priory, the museum h..

  • 9 La Chabotterie Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    D18 F - 85260 Saint-Sulpice-le-Verdon

    Discover the simple pleasures of an 18C Bas-Poitou dwelling, named after the estate's owners from the 12C onwards, the Chabots, and hiding place of leading Royalist François Athanase de Charette de la Contrie, or "Charette", whose capture o..

  • 10 Château d'Antoine Abbadie Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rte de la Corniche F - 64700 Hendaye

    The explorer and astronomer Antoine Abbadie (1810-1897) commissioned Viollet-le-Duc to build him a castle that would suit his taste for the Middle Ages and science. This amazing Neo-Gothic building, boasting crenelated towers and pepperpot roofs, is ..

  • 11 Ossau Valley Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 64000 Pau

    The Ossau Valley was once known as Ursialensis vallis, or ''Bear Vallley''. It stretches out for 70km from Pau to Laruns (lower Ossau). The valley is dotted with a multitude of medieval-looking villages, including Bielle, with its 15C and 16C houses,..

  • 12 Aspe Valley Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 64400 Oloron-Ste-Marie

    The Aspe Valley is accessible from Oloron (N 134) and stretches all the way to the Col de Somport. This rugged mountain valley personifies the harmony of a well-preserved natural environment, thanks to its forests where the few remaining bears are pr..

  • 13 Marquèze Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    rte de Solférino F - 40630 Sabres

    In the heart of the Landes de Gascogne Regi o nal Nature Park, the Marquèze area occupies almost 20ha in the protected area of the valleys of the Eyre. It has been reconstructed to present life as it was organised here in the late 19C. Almost 30 buil..

  • 14 Grand Parc Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    F - 85590 Les Epesses

    The castle is set in a 50ha estate with lakes and paths running through woodland filled with typically French flora and fauna. High points of the visit include falconry displays, stunt riding, gladiatorial combats and reconstructions of amazing battl..

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

    Religious buildings

    pl. 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 ..

  • 17 Church of St Hilaire le Grand Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    r. 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..

  • 18 Sainte-Croix Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    3bis r. Jean-Jaurès F - 86000 Poitiers

    This rich museum, occupying a building on the site of the old Abbey of Sainte-Croix, contains three sections. The regional archaeology collection has pieces from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. Artistic and historical views of Poitiers are illust..

  • 19 Abbaye de Saint-Savin Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    F - 86310 Saint-Savin

    Founded in the 9C and pillaged by the Normans in 878, this abbey was rebuilt in the 11C in record time. Although the conventual buildings are more recent (17C), the rest of the abbey is original. A handsome blend of harmony and sobriety, the abbey ch..

  • 20 La Grande Côte Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 17200 Royan

    Leave the car at the point where the D25 from Royan ceases to follow the coastline and head into the woods to access a stony platform. The Gironde, Grave Point, Cordouan Lighthouse, Coubre Point and its lighthouse make for an impressive panorama. To ..

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