Named Aquitaine after the Latin word aqua, meaning water, this region in the south west of France is one of its largest and most diverse, both geographically and culturally.
With woodlands and orchards, vine-clad hillsides, meadows and fields of corn, it’s no wonder that so many artists call it home. You may find yourself similarly inspired!
Cobbled streets and timbered houses abound in picturesque villages throughout Aquitaine, which also reputedly comprises the largest number of well-preserved medieval bastide towns to be found anywhere in Europe.
The region is also renowned for its concentration of Prehistoric sites, which boast grottos and rock paintings.
A masterpiece of Romanesque art, Moissac’s famous abbey and cloister is just one of many historic sites to visit.
Explore the ancient bastide town of Montauban with its fine arcades and grand pink houses.
Call in at the Armagnac producing town of Condom, with its 14th century cathedral and medieval old town.
Visit the French Renaissance Chateau Henry IV in Nerac, or discover the Cistercian Abbaye de Flaran, founded in 1151.
Sample the regional cuisine in one of the many superb restaurants, or browse the traditional open-air markets in medieval squares for delicious local produce to enjoy once back on board.
Some of the local delicacies include foie gras, truffles, cep mushrooms, confit de canard, prunes and walnuts.
Pair the wonderful cuisine with the superb wines for which this region is so well known, St. Emilion and Margaux being just two that immediately spring to mind.
Also renowned is the Armagnac brandy with its dedicated museum housed in a turn of the century cellar. Bask in the mild climate and abundant sunshine as you explore the region’s waterways.
Choose from the tree-lined, narrow River Baise; the still, tree-shaded waters of the Canal de Garonne; or the link waterway of the canal de Montech with its fascinating boat lift.
Home to the largest wine fare, Vinexpo, Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. While it is not possible to cruise to Bordeaux itself, you may like to visit this city before or after your cruise.
It is the Bordeaux wine that forms the base of the rich gravy in the traditional dish, the entrecôte marchand de vin, as well as in the renowned Sauce Bordelaise.
The cuisine is also known for plentiful fish and shellfish, including the indigenous Gravette oysters.
Enjoy the mild and generally warm and temperate climate whilst discovering the area’s waterways.
Explore the Rivers of The Garonne, rising in the Spanish central Pyrenees, or the Dordogne, with its source in the mountains of the Massif Central. Both rivers ultimately join the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux.