Gastronomic routes and gourmet trips
Both in the countryside and in town, you can follow gourmet routes and sample both the riches of our cultural heritage and the delights of good food.
Happy are those who opt for slow tourism ! On the way keep your eyes wide open to discover, our most beautiful villages. Take the time to listen to people from the region telling you anecdotes and local stories. Savour these new aromas which, over the course of tasting sessions, awaken nose and palate with subtle flavours.
Here are the « official » routes, identifiable via a signage system. The names are clickable and lead to the different websites.
:: The gourmet route of the Basques.
:: On the Ossau-Iraty cheese route.
:: The Périgord foie gras route.
:: The Périgord walnut.
:: The oyster route .
:: The wine routes: around Bordeaux, and Bergerac, in the Béarn Jurançon area and the Landes Tursan area..
And in terms of the cities? Here are the highly tempting programmes in Bayonne, Bordeaux and Pau :
:: Bayonne: 2 suggestions, one via the tourist office about chocolate (2 hour visit, €10 per person, by reservation), the other with a local guide who takes you on a discovery morning of the local traditions from ham to trinquet (Pelota courts) (For groups from 8 people, €65 per person).
:: Bordeaux: 1. The Tourist Office of the City of Bordeaux offers numerous suggestions, from markets to vineyards including specialised shops. 2. An epicurean passionate about their town, « food tours » according to the season, Miam, balades gourmandes.
:: Pau: The covered markets introduce you to savoury and sweet delights thanks to the Gourmet pass. On the menu there is Henri IV ham with « garlic and Jurançon » flavours, sheep’s milk and dairy cow cheeses, brook trout marinated in sorrel, « coucougnettes d’Henri IV » (raspberry and almond sweets), Denier de Navarre (coin shaped biscuit), etc. and in terms of wine, the essential Jurançon. Tourist office, €12.
The taste for feasting
Did you know that the region has its own Food Industry Promotion Agency (AAPrA) ? A little bible was created in 2014, the Aquitaine gastronomic heritage inventory. A unique work in France that now lists over 300 products.
Here is an overview of the products benefiting from a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). And of course, in the South-West, they also have their own festival!
The Truffle Festival in Sarlat, the nearest Sunday to 20th January
Here is the « black diamond » of Périgord. An elderly person would tell you that 50 years ago, you could smell the truffles from thePérigueux law courts on market day. A tall story, or a sign that times have changed? Yet the truffle remains the very essence of Périgord Noir. A lot of villages have their own market Sorges is a model, it is on the last Sunday of January.
Fattened duck and goose market in Dax scheduled on Saturdays during winter, since 1356 under the Black Prince.
We owe foie gras to a young girl, who lived not far from Peyrehorade. Raising a little gosling, Yantine fed him so much that he soon became big and fat. The local lord wanted it for his table and after trying it, asked for all the ducks to be raised in this way. Foie gras is still the jewel of Landes! Incidentally, geese and wild ducks naturally gorge themselves, before their migration, to protect against the cold at a high altitude.
The Bayonne Ham Festival, Easter weekend
Created in 1462,, this festival is an opportunity to discover the traditional and artisanal production methods of Bayonne ham and to see the best ham being chosen! At the time it was about only recognising ham coming from pigs raised in the Adour basin and preserved in salt from Salies-de-Béarn.
The Paulliac Lamb Festival, on Pentecost Sunday
Another ancestral tradition, another exceptional dish. With the transfer of Aquitaine to the King of France and thanks to the policy of Colbert, there are numerous Pyrenean shepherds from the valleys of Aspe, Ossau and Barétou who come to spend winter in the valley of Garonne and Médoc. The lambs are raised for 75 days maximum without leaving the sheep pen. They are fed on their mothers’ milk, who graze at the foot of the vineyards.
The Prune Festival, end of August – start of September
It was the monks from the Abbey of Clairac who, in the 13th century, created the Ente plum, but production did not really get going until the 16th century. Its oblong shape reminds one of the rugby ball so dear to our region! See also the the Pruneau Gourmand (Gourmet prune) museum in Granges-sur-Lot.