cities in france

Cities in the southwest France: history, tourist sites, activities.

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france tours suggestions

Eight suggestions for touring the southwest of France.

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french gastronomy

Traditional dish recipes from southwest part of France.

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french trivia

France in facts and figures! Interesting less known facts about France

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Activities and Interesting Things to Do

South West France


 
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City:Agen

Agen Museum

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The Agen Museum is one of the most important art and history museums of Aquitain region. It features 5 Goya paintings, Sisley and Tintoret art as well as Roman art. The museum can be visited free the first Sunday's of the month as well as during the Grand Pruneau Show that takes place the last weekend of August (begining of September).
eyecandyAddress:Place du Docteur Esquirol 47000 AGEN
eyecandyPhone:05.53.69.47.23

City:Albi

Venetian Carnival in Castres

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Castres is located some 40km south of Albi, on the banks of L'Agout River, in Tarn department.
Since 2012 the town hosts in the middle of March a Venetian Carnival. Animations include: a Venetian market that lasts a whole weekend, masks parades, street music etc.
Date: March 17th, 18th, 19th 2017
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eyecandyAddress:81100 Castres, Tarn
eyecandyPhone:33(0)5 63 35 77 08

Wine Tasting Classes in Gaillac

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The "Maison des vins" in Gaillac - at 25 km east of Albi - organizes all year round wine tasting classes and a variety of events around the wine.
Reservation mandatory.
eyecandyAddress:Abbaye Saint-Michel, 81600 GAILLAC
eyecandyPhone:05 63 57 15 40

City:Auch

Saint Mont Wineries Open House

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Plaimont is a village situated some 70km (43 mi) west of Auch, in the region that produces the "Saint Mont" wines.
During the "Saint Mont Wineries Open House" event the 200 wine makers of the region open their doors to celebrate the "Saint Mont" AOC wine.
Dates: March 24th, 25th and 26th 2017
eyecandyAddress:Plaimont, Gers
eyecandyPhone:

City:Beziers

Canal du Midi Short Cruise

J F M A M J J A S O N D
A short - few hours - cruise on the Canal du Midi starting near the city of Bezièrs.
eyecandyAddress:14 rue des Écluses - Écluses de Fonserane - 34500 BÉZIERS
eyecandyPhone:04 67 36 51 24

Beziers Museum

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The museum present an introdution to the social, economic and cultural evolution of the Beziers region from prehistoric times to the present day.
eyecandyAddress:Rampe du 96ème, Caserne Saint-Jacques, 34500 BEZIERS
eyecandyPhone:+33 (0)4 67 36 81 60

Canal du Midi Cruise - Agde

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The "Bateau du Soleil" offers from March to November cruises on the Canal du Midi and Thau Lake.
eyecandyAddress:6, rue Chassefières - 34300 AGDE
eyecandyPhone:33(0)4 67 94 08 79

"Escale à Sète"

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Festival of maritime traditions.
Dates: from March 28th to April 2nd 2018
eyecandyAddress:Sète
eyecandyPhone:

City:Biarritz

Musée de la Mer Aquarium de Biarritz

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Accept the invitation to travel down a new pathway climbing back along the Gulf Stream presented by the Musée de la Mer-Aquarium (Museum of the Sea-Aquarium) from the seabed of the Gulf of Biscay to the wonders of the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific seas!
A dazzling spectacle: the only hammerhead sharks in France presented in a giant pool of 1500 m3.
Marvel at the abundance of life found around one of the largest live coral reefs found a European aquarium: clownfish, anemones, eels and a multitude of exotic fish of original colours and improbable shapes...
Every day at 10:30 am and 5 pm, you don’t want to miss the feeding our the very cheeky seals, an enchanting spectacle that promises to delight young and old ...
For any additional info email: Marion Etcheverry
eyecandyAddress:Biarritz Aquarium, Plateau Atalaye, Biarritz
eyecandyPhone:05 59 22 33 34

Espadrille Museum

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The espadrille is the traditional basque foot wear.
An espadrille shop, featuring an espadrille museum, is located in the little town of Osses, some 43km south east of Biarritz.
The place is open between March 15th and October 15th.
eyecandyAddress:Zone Artisanale ORDOKIA 64780 OSSES
eyecandyPhone:05 59 37 79 38

Cake Making Demonstrations

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Watch famous pastry cook Jacques Le Nay Caruelle - owner of Mandion bakerie - make cakes in his workshop every Saturday and Sunday morning (before 10:30am).
eyecandyAddress:Pâtisserie Mandion, boulevard du BAB, Centre Urbegi, 4, rue Jean Mouton 64600 Anglet
eyecandyPhone:05 59 64 86 68

Planète Musée du Chocolat - Chocolate Museum

J F M A M J J A S O N D
All year round the Chocolate Museum of Biarritz organizes course and activities around chocolate like chocolate tasting, making a chocolate lollipop, chocolate painting, making a gourmet chocolate tablet, tasting of wine and chocolates
. Reservations minimum 15 days in advance.
eyecandyAddress:14 avenue Beaurivage, 64200 Biarritz
eyecandyPhone:05 59 23 27 72

City:Bordeaux

"Planete Bordeaux","Planete Cooking" and "Oenology Club"

J F M A M J J A S O N D
"Planete Bordeaux" is an institution dedicated to Bordeaux wines.
All year round it organizes numerous events surrounding the wine, wine tourism, wine tasting classes, wines and foods accord, wine making, etc .
For more information about "Planete Bordeaux" check out also Three easy ways to do Bordeaux wine tasting when lacking time!
eyecandyAddress:RN 89 – Sortie 5 – 33750 BEYCHAC ET CAILLAU
eyecandyPhone: 05 57 97 19 38

Wine School of Bordeaux

J F M A M J J A S O N D
All year round the Wine School of Bordeaux offers initiation or advanced courses for all those interested in the wines of Bordeaux.
eyecandyAddress:3 cours du XXX Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux
eyecandyPhone:05 56 00 22 85

Bordeaux Museums

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Bordeaux has several entrance free museums (free with the exceptions of temporary exhibits). Among them the Aquitaine Museum, Museum of Decorative Arts, Ethnography Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Garden and the Customs National Museum that is free only the first Sunday of each month.
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eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:
eyecandyPhone:

City:Cahors

Lagrézette Winery

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Lagrézette is a Cahors emblematic wine. The domain spreads over more then 60ha with the main grape type being "le malbec".
The domain is open for tours and wine tasting every day from 10 :00 AM to 6 :00 PM including Sundays.
eyecandyAddress:Château de Lagrézette, 46140 Caillac
eyecandyPhone:05 65 20 07 42

City:Carcassonne

Carnival of Limoux

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Starting in January and ending in April, Limoux's carnival is the longest in the world.
It takes place each weekend during the above mentioned period and animations include: street music and dances, impromptu performances of traditional masks of "Le Pierrot", "Le goudil" and "Le Domino", etc.
For carnival images click here
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eyecandyWeb Site:www.limoux.fr
eyecandyAddress:place de la République, Limoux, Aude
eyecandyPhone:

City:Dax

The Museums of Dax

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Dax’s museums include:
Borda Museum
The museum houses collections of prehistoric objects from archaeological excavations, and also coins. One room is devoted to regional folklore and local bullfighting traditions. The museum can be visited entrance free on the first Sunday of the months (Always free for visitors under 18)
Georgette Dupoy Museum
The museum displays the work of Georgette Dupoy a French painter of the 20th century. Entrance free each Sunday and during national holidays.
Helicopter Museum
The museum displays a unique, in Europe, collection of ancient helicopters and planes and other aviation paraphernalia. The museum is open from the begining April to the end of November. Free for under 12 year olds.
eyecandyAddress:La Chapelle des Carmes, Rue de Borda, Dax
eyecandyPhone:

City:La Rochelle

La Rochelle Aquarium

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The aquarium of La Rochelle, located in the heart of the city, is one of Europe's largest private aquariums. Spread on a surface of 8,445 m2 (or more than 90,000ft2) , it is the home of more than 12,000 animals of 600 different species that live in more than 3 million liters of sea water.
Each year the aquarium welcomes more than 800,000 visitors, making it the most visited aquarium in France.
eyecandyAddress:Quai Louis Prunier, 17002 La Rochelle
eyecandyPhone:05 46 34 00 00

La Rochelle Museums

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Interesting visits and collections at 5 of the La Rochelle museums: New Wolrd Museum , D'Orbigny-Bernon Museum , Beaux Arts Museum , Natural History Museum and Maritime Museum .
All the museums with the exception of the Maritime Museum can be visited free of charge the first Sunday of the month between the month of October and April (included).
eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:La Rochelle
eyecandyPhone:

City:Lourdes

Lourdes Museums

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Some of Lourdes museums are: The Pyrenees Museum housed in the Lourdes Castle: features the largest art, popular traditions and historic item collections related with the Pyreneen Mountains region. www.chateufort-lourdes.fr
The Wax Museum - it tries to recreate scenes from the New Testament and the life of Bernadette Soubirous. www.musee-de-cire-lourdes.com
The House of Sainte Bernadette - situated at 2 Rue Bernadette de Soubirous. The house where the parents of Sainte Bernadette lived displays photos and objects related to the life of the Saint.
eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:Lourdes
eyecandyPhone:

City:Narbonne

Terra Vinea

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Terra Vinea is a 80 meters underground wine cellar/showroom and a Mediterranean civilization museum.
The visit is followed by the tasting of Languedoc region wines.
eyecandyAddress:11490 Portel-des-Corbières
eyecandyPhone:04 68 48 64 90

City:Pau

Visit Jurançon Wine Cave

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Jurançon is the emblematic wine of Bearn (even Henri IV at his birth was made to swallow few drops of Jurançon as it was the custom in Bearn at the time!).
The caves of the Jurancon, with its ageing, assembling and wine bottling facilities, are open for visiting (on appointment) and tasting.
eyecandyAddress:La Cave de Gan - Jurançon - 53 Av Henri IV - 64290 GAN
eyecandyPhone:05 59 21 57 03

Jurançon Wine House

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The "Jurançon Wine House" offers the possibility of tasting of 150 different wines from the Jurançon denomination (AOC Juraçon) as well as Madiran, Irouléguy and other South West wines.
The House organizes all year round wine tasting classes and a variety of events centered around the wine.
The Jurançon Wine House is situated in the town of Lacommand that includes also a Knights Hospitallers Commandery built in the beginning of the 12th century.
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eyecandyAddress:Lacommande, Pyrénées Atlantiques
eyecandyPhone:05 59 82 70 30

City:Perigueux

"Thursdays at the Museum" - Lunch Time Visit of Périgueux Museum

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Each Thursday the "Art and Archeology Museum" of Périgueux can be visited for free during a "lunch break" from 12pm to 2pm.
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eyecandyAddress:22 cours Tourny, 24000 Périgueux
eyecandyPhone:05 53 09 37 74

Foie Gras Museum at Thiviers

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The town of Thiviers, 33km north of Périgueux, is considered the foie gras capital of Périgord.
The museum allows you to discover all facets of the foie gras from production to tasting, its history, tips for enjoying it.
eyecandyAddress:8, Place du Maréchal Foch
24800 Thiviers
eyecandyPhone:+33 (0)5 53 55 12 50

City:Perpignan

Prehistory Center of Tautavel

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The town of Tautavel is situated some 27km (17 mi) Northwest of Perpignan.
The town is the location of the European Prehistory Center and it's museum.
This complex was built near the cave where the remains of the prehistoric Man Of Tautavel were found.
eyecandyAddress:avenue Léon-Jean-Grégory, 66720 TAUTAVEL
eyecandyPhone: +33 (0)4 68 29 07 7

The Yellow Train Catalan

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The train,the highest running train in Europe, crosses the beautiful northern Catalonia region.
It links Villefranche de Conflent (some 50 km or 31 mi west of Perpignan) to Latour de Carol passing by Mont Louis and Fort Romeu. The train runs all year long (some cars are open cars)
eyecandyAddress: CASTEIL , Pyrenees Orientales
eyecandyPhone:08 00 88 60 91

City:Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Visit a Basque linen weaving workshop and Basque brewery

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The Basque weaving shop "1910 Lartigue" and the Basque "Akerbeltz" brewery are located next to each other in the town of Ascain some 10km southeast of Saint Jean de Luz.
Both offer visits to their workshops and the possibility of buying (free tasting in the case of the brewery) of their products.
eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:Z.A. de Larre Lore, 64310 Ascain.
eyecandyPhone:

La Rhune Mountain Train Ride

J F M A M J J A S O N D
At 10 km from Saint Jean de Luz, the cogwheel train dating back to 1924 takes the travelers on the summit of the La Rhune mountain, at 905 meters altitude, the legendary peak that overlooks the French and Spanish Basque Country.
The train runs every day from February 27 to November 2 2016.
eyecandyWeb Site:www.rhune.com
eyecandyAddress:Col de Saint-Ignace - 64310 SARE
eyecandyPhone:05 59 54 20 26

City:Sarlat

Sarlat Vintage Cars Meeting

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The meeting takes place each last Sunday of the month in Sarlat from 10:30am to 12:00pm. It is open to anything on wheels older then 1980 (but also to exceptional newer cars).(Between 10am and 12:30pm only!)
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eyecandyAddress:Place du 19 mars 1962, Sarlat
eyecandyPhone: +33 5 53 59 06 09

Bergerac Tabacco Museum and Automobile Museum of Sanxet Castle

J F M A M J J A S O N D
These two interesting museums are located respectively in and close to the town of Bergerac some 56km or 35 mi west of Sarlat.
The Tobacco museum, unique in France, traces the history of tobacco since pre-Columbian times.
The Automobile Museum of Sanxet Castle is located 8 km south of Bergerac in the heart of Monbazillac vineyard. Sanxet Castle itself is on old 14th century English fortress.
The visitor is invited to tour the winery before visiting the museum the displays 30 rare and prestigious cars. The visit finishes with the chateau wine tasting.
eyecandyAddress:Musée du Tabac, Maison Peyrarède - Place du Feu 24100 BERGERAC
eyecandyPhone:+33(0)5 53 57 03 11

Sarlat Fest’oie

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Each year Sarlat celebrates the Goose - its emblematic bird with the GOOSE FEST: "Fest’oie".
Dates: March 4th and 5th 2017
eyecandyAddress:Place de la Liberté, 24200, Sarlat-La-Caneda
eyecandyPhone:33 5 53 31 45 45

Prehistory Welcome Center

J F M A M J J A S O N D
In order to better prepare your voyage in the "Valley of the Man", as the Vezere valley is called, drop by the Prehistory Welcome Center.
As is is written on the center's web site: "The Prehistory Welcome Center, open in July 2010, is dedicated to the discovery and knowledge of prehistory and the Vezere Valley. It will fulfill several functions for the general public: welcoming tourists and providing them with information on the subject of prehistory...".
The center organizes also (free) events centered around the prehistory and its most important sites in Dordogne.
Entrance free for under 25 y.o. and THE FIRST SUNDAY of the month.
eyecandyAddress:1 Rue du Musée, 24620 Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac
eyecandyPhone:05 53 06 06 97

City:Toulouse

Ailes Anciennes Toulouse - The Old Wings of Toulouse

J F M A M J J A S O N D
The "Ailes Anciennes de Toulouse" is an association that collects and restores planes and aeronautical memorabilia.
Its collection is one of the biggest in France and includes planes like Dassault Falcon 10,Cessna 310,F-8 Crusader, Vautour IIB, Super Mystère B2, De Havilland Vampire T11, Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, Aero Spacelines Super Guppy etc.
The collection displayed close to the airport of Blagnac can be visited without appointment Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00 pm for unguided visits and Saturdays at 9:30 am and 10:30 pm for guided visits.
eyecandyAddress:4 rue Beteille 31700 BLAGNAC
eyecandyPhone:+(33)5 61 21 70 01

Short Cruises on Canal du Midi and/or Garonne River

J F M A M J J A S O N D
There are many companies offering short cruises on the Canal du Midi or on the Garonne river. (with or without repasts). We list here just two of them:
http://www.toulouse-croisieres.com/
http://www.bateaux-toulousains.com/canaldumidi.htm
From a cruise ship one can admire the nicest part of Toulouse viewed from the water and learn the history of the city that was born on the river banks.
The cruises are on reservation only.
For other information about experiencing the Canal du Midi visit our post: Cruising the Canal du Midi
eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:Quai de la Daurade, Toulouse
eyecandyPhone:

Revel's Saturday Morning Market

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Revel's Saturday Morning Market is listed as one of the 100 most beautiful markets in France.
It is held throughout the year in the galleries formed under the arches built in the middle of the Revel's bastide - a quasi-unique in France octogonal shaped bastide built in 1342 by Philippe VI de Valois.
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eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:Revel (some 61km or 37mi south east of Toulouse)
eyecandyPhone:

Cite de l'Espace

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Its only suitable for the city that hosts the European Aeronautic Defense and Space company (EADS) (and soon its HQ) to have a world renowned "Cité de l'Espace" - an attraction park dedicated to the adventure of space exploration.
Its most outstanding attractions are:
one of the world's biggest planetariums, the replicas of the space station MIR and the shuttle SOYOUZ, the replica of the Ariane rocket - the first two replicas can be sitied but unfortunately not the Ariane -, a simulator of Moon walking and a new exhibit dedicated to Mars equipped with a simulator of the Martian gravity and of its atmosphere.
The Cité is also in the possesion of the, unique in France, Moon rock given to it by NASA.
eyecandyAddress:Avenue Jean Gonord, 31506, Toulouse
eyecandyPhone:0820 377 233

Pottery Shops

J F M A M J J A S O N D
With 9 porcelain shops Martres-Tolosane, situated at around 60 km south west of Toulouse, is considered the "Porcelain Town".
This art has flourished here since the 18th century and after WWII the fashion of tin-glazed decorated porcelains was revived.
Some potters are still using unique decorative colors created by their ancestors and whose fabrication secret is guarded by the family.
Any of these 9 shops can be visited.
eyecandyAddress:Martres-Tolosane
eyecandyPhone:

Museums

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Each first of Sunday of the month the museums of Toulouse can be visited free of charge (The temporary shows still have an entrance fee). The Toulouse museums that fall in this "first Sunday free" cathegory are:

Check also our posts at: http://southweststory.com/wp/category/museums
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eyecandyWeb Site:
eyecandyAddress:Toulouse
eyecandyPhone:

Let's Visit Airbus

J F M A M J J A S O N D
"Let's Visit Airbus" is the title of the flyer that advertises the visits, organized by TaxiWay Company, of the Airbus Site in Toulouse.
There are 3 visits proposed, everyone of 1 1/2 hour: "Panoramic Tour", "Heritage Tour" and "Airbus 380 Tour". Reservation is mandatory.
eyecandyAddress:Village Aéroconstellation, Rue Franz Joseph Strauss, 31700 Blagnac
eyecandyPhone:05 34 39 42 00