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Sites not to be missed

There are a great many places to visit in Aquitaine which you will find in the pages of this website. Here are a few that are not to be missed…

Cordouan Lighthouse, Gironde:: Cordouan Lighthouse
One of the very few lighthouses to be listed as a historic monument, this 68-metre giant keeps watch over sailors 7 kilometres off the Gironde Estuary.
The elder statesman of European lighthouses, it was built in 1584, but watchtowers had been in this place since the Middle Ages.
From the King’s apartment to the lantern room and Notre-Dame chapel, you can visit this “Versailles of the Sea” with its 311 steps.
Sailings from Le Verdon, at the northernmost point of the Médoc.

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:: Bordeaux
It is a condensed version of the history of France that you can find in the city's streets and museums, from the remains of the Palais Gallien, a Gallo-Roman amphitheatre, to the very contemporary exhibitions of the CAPC. 
The 18th-century façades along the quaysides and the architecture in general in the large city centre offer exceptional sights to admire on walks.
On June 28th 2007, UNESCO approved Bordeaux’s application and added the city to its list of official world heritage sites. The UNESCO-listed zone covers the entire city centre within the boulevards and as far as the river Garonne: a total of 810 hectares, almost half of the city’s total surface area.
The gateway to a wine region bearing the world’s most prestigious names, Bordeaux offers all the delights of a city - museums, restaurants, shopping, bars, operas… - with the beach and the mountains just down the road…

Pont de Pierre bridge by night, Bordeaux, Gironde


:: Saint-Emilion
Its monolithic church is a medieval jewel in the crown of a town listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.

:: The Dune du Pilat and the Bay of Arcachon
There is the sea of course, because Aquitaine has 250 kilometres of Atlantic coastline. In the northern half of this huge beach there is a natural curiosity, the Bay of Arcachon. This bay forms an interior sea of 1500 hectares, the shores of which are dotted with seaside resorts and oyster-fishing ports. 

Just a short bike ride away, there is another giant. Not made of stone like the lighthouse but instead made of sand: the Dune du Pilat. Standing 104 metres high, it is Europe’s tallest dune.
If you climb it – a task made easier by the steps – you will be rewarded by an unobstructed view over the ocean and the Bay on one side, and the Landes forest on the other.

Pyla Dune, Gironde


:: The “cabanes tchanquées" and Bird Island 

These shacks on stilts out at sea and the bird reserve are sites really worth a visit in the Bay of Arcachon, as are Arguin Sandbank, Cap Ferret and the Leyre Delta.

:: Château de Bonaguil
In Lot-et-Garonne, Bonaguil is a fortified castle built in the 13th century and constantly improved up to the 18th century and the Vauban fortifications.
Listed as a historic monument since 1861, it is one of the “major sites” in Aquitaine.
Remarkably well preserved with imposing proportions and traces of the entire history of military techniques, this castle is an essential visit in the region.

:: Monpazier
One of the finest fortified towns in Périgord, listed as “One of France’s Loveliest Villages”.

:: La Roque-Gageac
Listed as “One of France’s Loveliest Villages”, set between the Dordogne River and the cliff face. As you face the river you can see several castles at the same time. 

La Roque Gageac, Dordogne


:: Sarlat
Cinema festival, music festival, truffle market… Sarlat offers all the charms of Perigord, combining tradition and dynamism.
And the prehistoric sites of the Valley of Humanity are only 10 kilometres away.

>Aquitaine sites listed as World Heritage by UNESCO


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