Although the west of France has its share of legendary beaches – those in the Vendee, Charente-Maritime and the Pays Basque being the most popular with sunseekers – there are plenty of other things it is equally recognised for. The westernmost tip of Brittany ventures bravely out into the Celtic Sea, its rugged coast shaped by the thrashing waves, and the southern Pays de la Loire lays claim to the famous châteaux of Angers and Saumur.
Brittany’s Celtic past resonates with that of Cornwall, making it an attractive destination for British visitors. It also boasts fine local seafood and some enchanting medieval villages and port towns with brightly painted, half timbered houses and elegant churches. To the south, the extensive beaches of the Vendee and Poitou-Charente line the Atlantic coast, ribbons of white sand that draw in holiday makers and water sports enthusiasts from all over Europe.
Aquitaine is home to the historic Dordogne, as well as some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world – those of Bordeaux. The latter provides a great cultural experience, with its châteaux set splendidly among the vines and the impressive city of Bordeaux poised at the heart of it all. It is in the Dordogne that some of the most intriguing historical sites can be found. Caves with ancient paintings and mighty stalagmites weave beneath a picturesque countryside, where medieval cities such as Sarlat perch.
An exploration of western France is a unique opportunity to taste world famous wines, stroll along endless coastline, discover delightful towns and enjoy freshly caught seafood.
Bonjour Kate - Our Western France expert
Kate’s passion for France started many years ago when she was a student in Paris, studying for her degree. Since living and working in France for several years, she has returned many times over the years to visit, both on holiday and on work research trips.
A keen naturalist and Francophone, she likes to combine both interests when visiting France. Her favourite area is the Aquitaine and she is very excited about Belles France’s new holidays this year along the Velodyssey, one of Europe’s longest cycle tracks, which runs along the Atlantic coast.