Nouvelle Aquitaine World-Class Wine Region Stunningly Beautiful Countryside Rustic & Tasty Cuisine Historical Towns & Cities Discover Beautiful Nouvelle Aquitaine Looking for things to do in Aquitaine? Look no further and browse our wide range of fantastic tours. Whether you are searching for a dream wine-tasting tour in Bordeaux or you wish to explore an authentic Cognac distillery, we’ve got you covered. Beyond visiting the best wineries in Bordeaux, beautiful Nouvelle Aquitaine has so much to offer, from the hidden gems of wine tours in St. Emilion in a stunning French countryside setting to taking an unforgettable Arcachon boat trip around the bay. We at Ophorus can adapt to ...
- World-Class Wine Region
- Stunningly Beautiful Countryside
- Rustic & Tasty Cuisine
- Historical Towns & Cities
Discover Beautiful Nouvelle Aquitaine
Looking for things to do in Aquitaine? Look no further and browse our wide range of fantastic tours. Whether you are searching for a dream wine-tasting tour in Bordeaux or you wish to explore an authentic Cognac distillery, we’ve got you covered.
Beyond visiting the best wineries in Bordeaux, beautiful Nouvelle Aquitaine has so much to offer, from the hidden gems of wine tours in St. Emilion in a stunning French countryside setting to taking an unforgettable Arcachon boat trip around the bay. We at Ophorus can adapt to your wishes, organise all the activities for you and make it a dream holiday or just an idyllic Bordeaux city break.
Your Travel Guide to Nouvelle Aquitaine
Where is Nouvelle Aquitaine?
The Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France is located in the southwest part of the country and is the largest of all the regions of metropolitan France. It results in the combination of 3 former regions that were Aquitaine, Poitou Charentes and Limousin.
From the French Basque Country, home to beautiful sandy beaches and some of the best waves the Atlantic coast has to offer, to the Dordogne region to the east where you’ll find some of the world's most famous Paleolithic art. This is an incredibly diverse region and it would take more than a week to just get a small feel of it.
Naturally, a great starting point for many visitors is the city of Bordeaux. But beyond its most famous city, the region also boasts fabulous seaside resorts such as Saint Jean de Luz, Arcachon and Royan. Bayonne and Biarritz are also very popular destinations located in the Pyrénées Atlantiques department. The Lot et Garonne area is also famous for its rich cultural heritage like in Moissac or its great variety of local food & wines.
To the south, where one of the largest pine forests in France is located, discover mediaeval towns and villages that will take you all the way to the Pyrenees. Here, traditional mountain villages have kept their authentic charm. There really is something for everyone.
Nouvelle Aquitaine History
Known as one of the three major regions of France during Roman times, the huge area that stretched from the Loire Valley to the Garonne River, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the East of the Central Mountain Range, was already accounted for in the IVth century.
By the 8th century, the first Dukes of Aquitaine controlled much of that area and the Kingdom of Aquitaine was created by Charlemagne in 781. In 855, Charles the Young was crowned King of Aquitaine in the town of Limoges.
In the 11th century, the Counts of Poitiers became the new Dukes of Aquitaine and in 1170, Richard the Lion Heart, son of Eléonore of Aquitaine de France and Henry II Plantagenêt, became the new Duke. At that time, Aquitaine & Gascony became one and included all three major cities of the region: Limoges, Bordeaux and Poitiers, very similar to the Nouvelle Aquitaine region that exists today.
The Most Visited Monuments, Sites & Tourist Attractions in Nouvelle Aquitaine
In terms of the most specific visited attractions of the region, the Futuroscope near Poitiers in the Charente Maritime area is the most popular attraction in the Region.
It is then followed by the lesser known Millau Viaduct, the Zoo of La Palmyre, Lascaux IV Centre for Parietal Art or the Dune du Pilat located near the town of Arcachon. The most visited museum of the region is the Aquitaine Museum of Bordeaux.
Bordeaux City in Nouvelle Aquitaine
Wholly revitalised since its so-called “Sleeping Beauty” days, Bordeaux is now one of France’s liveliest cities. A capital of art and architecture, culture and wine in France, the city is located just over two hours from Paris by high speed train.
Classified as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2007, elegant Bordeaux is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuary into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves and a Right Bank area which includes the Libournais, Bourg and Blaye. The vineyards near Bordeaux city are always a popular spot for tourists, but the historical side of the city has so much to explore as well.
If you’re curious about the city’s restored architecture, recent feats of urban planning and the history of this formerly rundown town, join us on a guided walking tour of Bordeaux. Led by one of our certified tour guides, they will be eager to show you the essential Bordeaux sites to suit your interests. The most famous landmarks include the historical Golden Triangle, the Cathedral of Bordeaux as well as Place de la Bourse and the most popular Water Mirror.
A trip to Bordeaux is also a great opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities including some of the best cheese and wine tours in France. Saint Emilion wine region is without a doubt the most popular destination when it comes to vineyard visits and wine tasting in incredible Châteaus.
If you would like to do a bit of exercise on your Bordeaux wine region food and wine tours you can combine it with a great leisure activity & French passion, cycling, by taking one of our Bordeaux wine tours by bike.
Other exciting activities include Bordeaux river cruises or a visit to the brand new la Cité du Vin wine museum. If you have time for even more wine and food lovers fun then why not take a Bordeaux wine course or a gourmet walking private tour.
As a specialised tour company based in Bordeaux and a proud member of the Bordeaux Tourism Office, we at Ophorus can adapt to your wishes and organise private wine tours and tastings for all wine lovers and create your ideal Bordeaux holiday.
The Best Towns in Nouvelle Aquitaine
Nouvelle Aquitaine is also home to a variety of historical and interesting towns in an array of beautiful settings . They include the classy surf-orientated seaside resort of Biarritz, Pau located near the Pyrenees and the Basque town of Bayonne.
There is also the town of Limoges which is known for its porcelain and Poitiers where you can find the popular attraction Futuroscope. The port town of La Rochelle or the capital of the Dordogne, Périgueux are also worthy destinations. Bergerac, located at about a one hour drive from Bordeaux, also makes for a perfect full day wine tour for those that wish to taste local wines.
The Best Hotels with Spa in Nouvelle Aquitaine
A question that we often receive from our clients is: Which hotel should I choose for a weekend spa in the Aquitaine region of France? First of all, the name Aquitaine refers to the 'Land of Water' because of the number of thermal baths present in the region.
Today, it is the region with the highest number of thermal establishments, 30 out of a total of 103 in France. Historically, travellers have been coming for spa holidays in Aquitaine since the beginning of the 19th century to relax so book your hotel spa Aquitaine and forget all about your worries.
Arcachon & Pilat Sand Dune
On this day trip, discover the Dune du Pilat, the tallest dune in Europe and hike to the top for breathtaking Atlantic ocean views. After the effort, savour great seafood in Arcachon town or Cap Ferret. During the day, visit a local oyster farm and taste fresh oysters with a glass of white wine. The town of Arcachon in Nouvelle Aquitaine France is a must-see while in the region.
The Dordogne region in Nouvelle Aquitaine France
One of the best day trips from Bordeaux is an exciting tour of Dordogne, located west of the Massif Central. On this full-day trip, you will experience the brand new Lascaux IV museum, visit beautiful mediaeval villages and drive along the picturesque Dordogne valley and Vézère Rivers where so many prehistoric caves are located. If time permits, ask your guide if a guided tour of Sarlat is feasible as this is one of the most well preserved historical city centres in France.