With a huge diversity of landscapes, culture sites and climate, France is the most visited country in the world. France is located in Europe, and also controls numerous islands in three oceans and two continents, such as Reunion Island, Guadeloupe, and Martinique and French Guiana which is located in South America. France is the third most extensive territory in Europe, and offers a wide range of landscapes and leisure activities to suit everyone.
There are several mountain ranges – the Alps, Pyrénées, Juras, Voges, and the Massif Central; numerous seas such as the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, and even the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy winter sports in the Alps, surf on the Landaise coast, drink delicious wine in Bordeaux, learn more about art in Paris, experience amazing trekking in Bretagne or Corse or have fun in an amusement park such as Disneyland Paris, Futuroscope or Puy du fou.
As you can see, France is so large and diverse that one article could not be exhaustive. For now, I want to tell you about one region in France. Far away from the famous Paris is the biggest of the 13 metropolitan regions: Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine).
Where is Nouvelle-Aquitaine located?
Nouvelle-Aquitaine or New Aquitaine is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Pyrénées. This region offers a wide range of breathtaking landscapes – mountains, beaches, forests; tasty gastronomy – Foie gras, duck breast, cannelé, Basque cake, pastis landais; and a long and ancient history.
This region is accented on a push pin world map and marked with white arrow.
Bordeaux and wine
Bordeaux – known as the city of wine – is the capital of the region, and is the perfect place to take a walk and admire the beauty of France with its gorgeous streets and ancient architecture. Bordeaux is located around vineyards and is renowned for its luscious Grands crus (great wine) such as Margot, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Petrus or Saint Emilion.
There are amazing landscapes with beaches and coastlines free from buildings, and the ocean has an amazing color and great waves in Basque country or Les Landes. Some old towns offer the chance to experience France as a typical Basque Country with their own unique lifestyle.
Also, there are some amazing places around Bordeaux such as Le basin d’Arcachon where you can admire the beauty of nature in Cap Ferret, navigate on Bird Island and observe the spectacular bay from dune of the Pylat (Biggest sand dune of Europe).
Another remarkable old city surrounded by vineyards in Saint Emilion. This ancient city with medieval looks offers an idyllic setting for its visitors. There you can taste the best wine of the region and for a second, feel the vibe of a different century.
The Pyrenees – this spectacular mountain chain is a natural border with Spain and Andorra in the south of France. Even if the Pyrenees don’t seem as great as the Alps at first, this 430km long mountain chain is the perfect place for trekking and canoeing or rafting because of mountain torrents, another phenomenon specific to the French Pyrenees.
Summer celebrations in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Nouvelle-Aquitaine has a wide variety of festivals, celebrations, and events. There are some amusement parks such as Futuroscope or Walibi for people to enjoy thrill rides. In the summer, a lot of music festivals take place all around the region with Reggae Sun Ska Festival in Gironde for reggae lovers, Garorock in Les landes and Francofolies in La Rochellese – some of the largest music festivals in France. Another great celebration in the region is the Ferias festival that is imbued with Spanish culture and is a moving celebration that takes place all summer in the south of the region and change cities every week. Even if these celebrations are strongly linked to bullfights, it is overall an opportunity to party and celebrate the joys of summer.
Marathon in Medoc vineyards
A lot of sports events take place in the region as well, including one of the most unique marathons in the world – the Medoc marathon. This marathon takes place in September near Bordeaux in the vineyards of Medoc and is not like any other marathon. All marathon participants are allowed to discover the incredible castle in Medoc and taste their wine. That’s right, in the Medoc marathon you run and you drink. There are more than 23 tasting spots on the marathon route. The Medoc marathon is considered as “the longest marathon ever” as even though the distance is the same as every other marathon, it takes much longer for runners to get to the finish line. This marathon is definitely a great challenge to any runner who enjoys wine, and a chance to discover the region in an unusual and fun way.
The best known chateaux
Take a chance to visit the castle in Medoc and several other worths to visit castles in this region while enjoying some of the most beautiful landscapes found in the Haut Medoc, with its gently rolling valleys and wetlands bordering the Garonne, crisscrossed by streams.