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Nouvelle Aquitaine

Nouvelle Aquitaine forms a region in western France along the Atlantic Ocean and is bounded to the north by Pays de la Loire. It is bounded to the east by Auvergne-Rhônes Alpes, to the south by Occitanie,and to the north by Centre-Val de Loire. You will be able to find various property for sale in Nouvelle Aquitaine

Nouvelle Aquitaine consiste of 12 departements : The Charente (16), the Charente-Maritime (17), the Corrèze (19), the Creuse (23), the Dordogne (24), the Gironde (33), the Landes (40), the Lot-et-Garonne (47), the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64), the Deux-Sèvres (79), the Vienne (86), and the Haute-Vienne (87).

Nouvelle Aquitaine’s population is 6 million and its surface area is 84,000 km².

Nouvelle Aquitaine’s major cities include Bordeaux, Pau, Bayonne, Mont-de-Marsan, Biarritz, Angoulême, Poitiers, Limoges and Perigueux.

It has a long, straight west coast, which stretches along 270 km (167.77 miles) of white beaches from La Pointe de Grave down to the Spanish border. Along the coast, there are two main resorts, Biarritz in the south which, once fashionable with the glamour set of the 1930s has recently been revived by trendy Parisians, and Arcachon to the north, which is popular with Bordelais weekenders.

There are also one million hectares of forest: one of the biggest in Europe. These forests were planted in the 19th century to stabilise drifting sands. Above Landes, the Gironde département around Bordeaux is home to some of the world’s most celebrated vineyards. These are mainly situated in the fairly flat Medoc, west of the River Gironde, and around the increasingly hilly area of St-Emilion.

Century after century, country houses have appeared along rivers in Aquitaine and you can find many lakes with water activities on them. There are also the mountains: the Pyrenees in which you can find winter sport activities and nice pedestrian footpaths for nature lovers.

Climate

At the base of the Pyrenees, bathed by the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream, New Aquitaine enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year. In Bordeaux, Estival temperatures are higher than 20°C (68°F) on average. It should also be noted that, on average, Aquitaine profits from almost 2,200 sunny hours per annum, a figure close to that of the Mediterranean South.

Châteaux

There are so many lovely castles to visit in the region that it is difficult to pick out a few to list here. Perhaps the best thing to do is decide which direction to head in and then discover the chateaux en route! Alternatively, you can choose to follow La Route Richard Coeur de Lion, and visit the chateaux dotted along its path. Some have activities for children, and there are medieval festivals in the summer that are fun to see.

Many of the castles in the area were built in the 11th century and then fortified or altered in the name of fashion. It is common to have parts of the same castle dating from several different periods. The competition between the Dukes of Aquitaine and their struggle for the thrones of England and France, meant that when it came to castle building a statement about power and wealth had to be made.

There are also hundreds of churches and abbeys of note; many are very ancient and beautiful with that almost mysterious air of calm one finds in old places of worship.

Châteaux de Chalus

Chalus is famous for being the final resting place of Richard the Lionheart. The story goes that Richard got word that some fabulous treasure had been discovered (denoted in the coat of arms) and was being kept here, so naturally he wanted his share. When he was refused, this led to the siege in 1199, where he was wounded by a prototype of the crossbow (then a medieval secret weapon). He refused treatment, the wound reportedly went black and he died at the age of 42, one of the most powerful and influential men of the time. Naturally very unpleasant things happened to the archer responsible, despite getting a deathbed pardon from the slain hero.

The castle is surrounded by the imposing granite blocks characteristic of the area, and has several parts dating from different periods, including a cylindrical dungeon.

Châteaux de Hautefort

This château really is a fairytale castle (it has been used in Hollywood films). It is very impressive and set above the village, on a huge hill. The formal gardens are lovely and transport you back in time, and are best viewed from the courtyards above, although there is also a nice woodland walk, if you prefer dappled shade, rather than sun-court formality.

Châteaux Rochechouart
This 15th century chateau is especially intriguing since it is built alongside the 20km crater of an ancient (200 million years ago) meteorite strike. It is also the home of a collection of 16th century frescoes as well as a collection of contemporary art.

Wines

New Aquitaine is famous worlwide for its Bordeaux wines with 122 600 ha (302 951 acres) of vineyard classified AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée). They produce an average of 6 million hectoliters of fine wines from at least 10,000 wine properties. There are also wines called “Vins du Sud-Ouest” which, for a better price, are more typical in their tastes. For instance, you will be able to find a dry white Jurançon, a Buzet, a Duras, a Bergerac (wine which have plenty of flavours), a Chalosse or a Tursan (which is wonderful with foie gras).

Art de vivre

At the crossroads between the North and the South, between slate and tile, the “oc” and the oïl” languages, New Aquitaine is a land of mixing, of passageways, of opening up. Its astonishing diversity is expressed in terms of a genuine art of living harmonizing conviviality and authenticity. It is here that all generations, creations and sensibilities cohabit, between pleasure and emotion.

Gastronomy: the savors of New Aquitaine
Oysters of Marennes-Oléron, Chabichou cheese, cognac, Pineau des Charentes, AOC butter, goat cheese, lamb, mojhettes, snails …
The list is far from being exhaustive and attests to the extraordinary gastronomic wealth of New Aquitaine, where nature is generous and abundantly provides the products necessary for a healthful and authentic cuisine.
Renowned for their savours, the gems of the land regale gourmets and occupy a place of choice in the best of restaurants.

Tasting and visits: follow the guide
For over four centuries, Cognac has constituted one of the “fleurons” of New Aquitaine.
So, as to allow one to uncover all the secrets of this “liqueur of the gods”, as Victor Hugo termed it, the large trade houses propose guided visits.
On the agenda: discovery of the distillation rooms, the wine stores, the domains … and a tasting session.

Useful information

www.francetourism.com
www.dordogne-on-line.info

www.poitou-charentes-vacances.com

www.limousin-on-line.info

Maps of new Aquitaine:
www.ign.fr
www.maps.google.fr

Travel from the UK:

New Aquitaine is served by the airports of Biarritz, Pau, Bordeaux, Bergerac, Limoges and Agen. Ryanair flies to Limoges, Poitiers and La Rochelle from London Stansted, East Midlands airport and Liverpool.
Budget airlines such as Ryanair fly everyday to Biarritz, Pau Bergerac and Limoges.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in New Aquitaine. We have a large network of partners in New Aquitaine. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Aquitaine matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in New Aquitaine do not hesitate to contact us.

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