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Biron Chateau

Biron Chateau roof top view



Aquitaine, capital city Bordeaux, is one of the great historic regions of France; it is also one of the largest and most varied regions of France. In the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was allied with the Plantagenet kings of England, and the region has many historic connections with the British Isles, notably through the wine trade.

Aquitaine is a very varied region; the northwest part of Aquitaine, comprising the departments of the Dordogne (24) and the Lot et Garonne (47) is made up of gentle hill country, with large areas of vineyards in the lower lying areas, and woodland and mixed farming in the hillier north east. The Dordogne area is famous for its countryside, its gentle valleys and villages, which seem to outsiders to be lost in time. The area is also famous as one of the oldest centres of known human habitation in Europe, and many prehistoric sites can be found round the area of Lascaux (remarkable caves, a UNESCO world heritage site) and Les Eyzies. Within France, the Dordogne department is more famous for its gastronomic specialities, truffles, foie-gras, walnuts and other mouth-watering delicacies, and is often rerferred to as "le Périgord", the area around the departmental capital of Périgueux.

The middle band of the region, following the line of the Gironde estuary, is low-lying land, and one of the most famous wine-producing areas in France. Bordeaux, regional capital and capital of the Gironde (33) department, is a magnificent city lying at the lowest bridging point on the Garonne River. It is one of France's great seaports, and its historic wealth is reflected in the many fine buildings of the old city, such as the unique eighteenth-century theatre. North of Bordeaux, to the west of the Gironde estuary, lies the area of Médoc, the most prestigious of the region's wine-producing areas; other famous vineyard areas can be found all round Bordeaux, and notably along the valley of the Garonne and its tributaries. Sand dunes above the bay of Arcachon.

The area around the small historic city of St. Emilion is another famous vineyard area. Further inland, the area between Marmande and Agen supports a busy fruit and vegetable industry. On the coast, the resort of Arcachon is very popular, on account of its sheltered anchorage, favoured by yachtsmen, and the proximity of the Dune du Pilat, the highest sand dune in Europe.

The banner image is from one of our many visits to Biscarosse, on the Atlantic coast.

View from Biron Chateau