Nature activities in Aquitaine
Between the plains of Armagnac and the mountain peaks in the Basque country, the sand dunes along the Atlantic coast and the fields of the Périgord. Aquitaine is a region of contrast.
From the huge pine forests of the Landes to the bassin d'Arcachon and the Gironde estuary, the ocean's influence is everywhere. Other regions also contribute their specific features: l'Entre-deux-Mers, the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion, and"four" (green, white, purple around Bergerac, and black around Sarlat-la-Canéda), which make up the department of the Dordogne. This large variety of nature sites offers a vast array of choices for outdoor activities to all lovers of nature and fresh air.
There is a great time in store for Epicurean hikers in the Pays des Bastides of the Périgourd region and in the mountains of the Basque country, where the beech forests of Iraty are famous throughout Europe. The mountain paths follow the summer pasture slopes around the Pic du Midi d'Ossau or in the Soule valley. There you can see the "cayolars" (sheepfolds high up in the mountains) and the flocks of sheep... with griffon vultures circling overhead. These mountains have remained well preserved and intact over the years.
There is plenty of scope for cycling escapades in the region. A pioneer of the "green route" style, Aquitaine is especially well known for the Roger Lapébie path, also known as the Entre-deux-Mers to the southeast of Bordeaux, which leads to Sauveterre-de-Guyenne. There are a lot more wonderful things to see between the coast and the forest, on the paths of the workers who extracted the resin from the pine trees. These paths have been converted into bicycle paths: a network of hundreds of kilometres between Médoc and the Basque country, via Lacanau, Arcachon, Biscarosse, etc.
The Dordogne is navigable and is great for a mini-cruise in a gabare (a large wooden sailing boat), for example, at the foot of the castles of Beynac and Castelnaud, towards la Roque-Gageac. And river boating shows all its finery along the canal d'Entre-deux-Mers, which runs along the Garonne, between Bordeaux and Agen, encouraging tourists to venture even further along the water.