Regional Facts - Nouvelle Aquitaine

The region Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine) was created in 2016 by the fusion of 3 old regions -Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It is the largest region in France by area and administration. Located in the Southwest of the country, places to visit include its largest city Bordeaux the world’s wine capital and Europe’s tallest sand dune – Dune de Pilat amongst others. Continue reading to learn some fun and interesting facts about these places!

Let’s start with Bordeaux

It is the world's major wine industry capital

Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century

The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century

It has the biggest shopping centre in Europe called the Rue Saint Catherine 

The most popular landmark for tourists is the Place de la Bourse, which was built for the French ruler French ruler Louis XV. 

Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" (for men) or "Bordelaises" (women).

It is twinned Bristol, United Kingdom (since 1947) 

Futuroscope theme park

As the name indicates, this is an audiovisual park with a host of 3D shows and rides.

It is located in the department of Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Poitiers.

The most exhilarating of these shows are “4D”, combining movement and other sensory effects with the films.

What’s handy for parents with younger children is that hardly any of the attractions have height restrictions.

Some of Futuroscope’s 25 attractions are the only such attractions in the world.

"Les Jardins Eyrignac".

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is of course well known for its wine and beaches; however, this beautiful region also has some wonderful gardens to visit too.

The gardens of the manor of Eyrignac are located in Salignac-Eyvigues, in Dordogne, in the Périgord noir

These gardens are well-known for their beautiful topiaries. There are ten hectares of boxwood sculptures that requires tens of thousands of man-hours a year to maintain.

You can get an audio-guide that explains the gardens’ five different sections, each with a limitless diversity of creative shapes and demarcated to make it feel like you’re entering rooms with furniture rather than something that’s alive.

As you go you can also find benches in quiet little nooks where you can read a book for a while without being disturbed.

"La Dune Du Pilat" (Dune of Pyla).

La Dune Du Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe. 

It is located in the Arcachon Bay area, 60 km from Bordeaux.

It measures 1,640 feet wide and 1.86 miles, with the height ranging from 328 to 383.8 feet above sea level.

At this summit, the view is spectacular with the ocean coast, the inlet of the Bay, the large pine forest and, when the sky is very clear, the Pyrenees Range.

Interestingly, the dune is relentlessly moving inwards, slowly pushing the forest back. The rate of movement is discontinuous; sometimes it moves fast (10m in a year) and sometimes very slow (less than a meter). 

During the last 57 years, the dune has moved some 280m giving an annual displacement of 4.9m per year

And finally, a recipe for the region

Les Pommes de Terre Sarladaise

An easy recipe but very traditional of the region. Often served with duck or chicken (and of course a red wine from the region).

For authentic sarladaise potatoes, add porcini mushrooms and parsley.