About the Aquitaine Region of South West France
Guyenne was a large province of pre-revolutionary France with Bordeaux as it’s capital. Guyenne generally defines the SW corner of France, today known as Aquitaine.
Aquitaine is the region which contains the departments of South West France including the Gironde, Dordogne and Lot et Garonne. We have chosen specifically to build our portfolio of properties in the area that is known here as the 'Êntre deux Mers' (between two seas), aptly named as it is lies between two of France's great rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The regions capital is Bordeaux and is one of the world’s great wine-growing regions. The area is typically characterised by châteaux, vines and rolling countryside rich in agriculture and Bastide Towns steeped in history.
Like most of France, Aquitaine has a temperate, Atlantic-influenced climate. Rainfall is below the nationwide average with summer temperatures averaging over 25°C. The winters are generally mild with an average temperature of 10°C and the occasional frost. There are of course continental extremes where one can experience severe frosts in the winter and in contrast blasts of Saharan heat of 35°+ in the summer.
The day-to-day life of the locals is still based around agriculture and the pace of life is slow. Food and mealtimes are a sacred time of the day and long lunches are still the norm. Children are still free to play outside without the constant gaze of parents and the crime rate is refreshingly low. Below you will find information on a selection of towns and villages in Aquitaine.
The World Heritage City of Bordeaux
The capital of the Aquitaine region and the centre of the world-renowned wine-growing area. It has excellent transport links thanks to the international airport and high speed railway system. Bordeaux is currently undergoing a major investment and renovation programme including cleaning up the quayside to make a fashionable restaurant and bar district. A new tram system is nearing completion reducing congestion and leaving the centre of the city pedestrianised and easy to navigate. The magnificent neo-classical architecture is being restored to its former splendour.
Eymet Bastide En Périgord Dordogne France
Situated in the Dordogne department and near the border of the Lot et Garonne. Eymet is a well-known Bastide town, famous for it's gourmet food factories (foies gras and confits) and for its large British population.
Eymet was founded in 1271 by Aphonse de Poitiers. It had an eventful history during the Hundred year was and the wars of the religion. The ramparts were raised under Louis XIII.
The beautiful central square is lined with ancient half timbered or stone houses, many with mullioned windows. In its centre is a 17c fountain.
It is a busy and lively town, with an abundance of excellent eateries. The summer population doubles and with it the diary of local events, fairs and markets increases twofold, to provide the residents and summer visitors alike with a wealth of interesting and fun pastimes. For more information on Eymet follow this link to the local site: www.eymetguide.com
Bastide Miramont de Guyenne
In recent years Miramont has undergone a major overhaul of the town square, pedestrianising it and making the general appearance of the town much smarter. It is, like Eymet, a bastide town and a classic example of one with a grid layout of intersecting streets, with wide thoroughfares that divide the town plan into blocks, through which a narrow lane often runs, and with a central market square surrounded by arcades (couverts).
The town has a superb market every Monday, which has one of the best selections of local produce in the region.
There is a very attractive leisure lake situated just outside of the town, with an interesting development project ongoing and a reputable private school. It lies geographically inside the Lot et Garonne department of France, but very close to the Dordogne border. Eymet is 10 minutes drive NE of the town and Bergerac a further 20 minutes by car.
The Dordogne River Bergerac
The town of Bergerac is located on the right bank of the Dordogne. In addition to its vines, Bergerac is also an important tobacco growing area and has a fascinating tobacco museum and a wine museum in the old town. The old town and harbour area are charming and well worth exploring. Bergerac airport is now an important hub with daily flights from various UK airports, Belgium and Holland, to cater for the holiday makers, second home owners and the business traveller.
This a pretty hilltop town sits on the borders of the Lot et Garonne and the Gironde with an impressive Château looking over the valley of the Dropt. The town has a weekly market, bars and restaurants. During the summer months there are frequent events such as the wine fair, antique fairs and night markets.
Monségur was founded in 1265 by Eleanor of Provence, Queen of England, and wife of Henry III Plantagenet. Monségur is the only high bastide in the Gironde, located on a limestone spur, which overlooks the Dropt river valley. It has kept the layout designed by its surveyors in the 13th. century. It is organized around the central square bordered by covered arches. The highlight of this lovely town is its Jazz Festival in early July, when the town comes to life with non-stop music for 3 days and a wealth of food and wine stalls.
Renowned for its world class wines this medieval village is now a World Heritage Site. The town lies approximately 40 kilometres east of Bordeaux perched on a rocky escarpment overlooking the valley of the Dordogne. It is an excellent place to visit with narrow cobbled streets, superb restaurants serving local cuisine and lots of places to try the local produce.