« FRANCEDiscover France • Southwest France

Destination Southwest France

The Southwest region was first cultivated by the Romans and had a flourishing wine trade long before the Bordeaux area was planted. As the port city of Bordeaux became established, wines from the 'High Country' would descend via the tributaries of the Dordogne and Garonne.

Discover magical Southwest France

Popular Destinations: AquitaineBordeauxToulouse… and more

• Aquitaine

Destination Aquitaine, Western France

In Roman times, the province of Gallia Aquitania originally comprised the region of Gaul between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Garonne River, but Augustus Caesar added to it the land between the Garonne and the Loire River. The province extended inland as far as the Cevennes …


• Bordeaux

Destination Bordeaux, Western France

Bordeaux is known to be the world's wine industry capital, and it is considered Europe's main military space and aeronautics research and construction complex. Bordeaux wine draws its name from the city around which it has been produced since the 8th century …


• Toulouse

Destination Toulouse, Western France

Located between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast, Toulouse is a city of students, a center of cutting-edge European technology and the capital of the good life; its taste for celebrations and fine food attracts a growing number of new inhabitants …



… more popular destinations in Southwest France

» Albi

Albi, Midi-Pyrenees

The red brick town of Albi is synonymous with the famous artist who was born here in 1864, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. This makes the town's Toulouse-Lautrec Museum only fitting, as it boasts more works by the diminutive Impressionist than anywhere else on earth. The painter is best known for his posters and works delving into the Paris demi-monde, and at the museum you'll see how Lautrec developed his artworks from pencil sketches into completed paintings …

» Arcachon

Arcachon, Aquitaine

Arcachon, a popular seaside resort and bay in the Gironde department in southwest France, is fairly new, having only officially been declared the City of Arcachon by Napoleon III 150 years ago, back when it was still a minuscule fishing hamlet. Fishing still plays an important role in the town's economy today, not only because of export but also tourism; indeed, Arcachon is said to have some of the best oysters in all of Europe, and tourists from all over the country flock to the bay in the name of gluttony and seafood …

» Bay of Arcachon

Bay of Arcachon , Bordeaux

Planning a wine tasting trip to Bordeaux? Sounds like fun! But after, say, a full week of visiting vineyards and sipping wines, it's going to start to blur together and you may even start to get bored. Ah, the problems one has when vacationing in France! Luckily, this delicious problem has an equally delicious solution - head out to the Bay of Arcachon, just an hour's drive or train ride away from Bordeaux, and one of those places you can't believe you've never heard of before …

» Cabardès Wine Region

Cabardès Wine Region , Midi-Pyrenees

While not the most famous nor the most popular wine appellation in southern France, Cabardès is not one to be overlooked either. Huddled in the arid rolling hills surrounding the medieval fortress of Carcassonne, Cabardès has a surprisingly large array of flavors depending on the climate, as the 1,360-acre (550-hectare) appellation is positioned on the cusp between the Languedoc-Roussillon and Sud-Ouest regions. This duplicity in flavors, aromas, climates and landscapes can easily be perceived in the Cabardès wines …

» Carcassonne

Carcassonne, Midi-Pyrenees

Although some form of fortification has been on this specific tract of land since the Roman era, the fortified city of Carcassonne as it is seen today was constructed throughout the 12th century. It stayed an impregnable fortress for the next several hundred years and was saved from being dismantled in the mid-1800s through a program of complete restoration. In the ensuing centuries the city outgrew its walls, and today visitors will find a fully modern French town leading up to the gates …

» Fronton Wine Region

Fronton Wine Region, Midi-Pyrenees

Fronton isn't simply yet another French wine region; far from being ordinary, it's considered to be one of the oldest wine productions in the country, having started during the Roman Empire. It now covers over 20 municipalities and 5,090 acres (2,060 hectares) of dry, sandy soil that is counterbalanced by sunny weather and high altitude. Located in the valleys overlooking the Tarn River just north of Toulouse, Fronton wines only gained international recognition in the 18th century …

» Graves

Graves, Bordeaux

Often considered to be the very birthplace of Bordeaux wine (with some vines being over 2,000 years old), Graves also happens to be the largest wine-growing area in all of France-120,000 hectares of vineyards to be exact. A top destination for wine aficionados! It doesn't come as a surprise that one of the most popular things to do in Graves would, understandably, be the wine route. Visitors from around the world flock to the area to taste new wines, discover the esteemed Grands Crus and talk all things epicurean …

» Lastours

Lastours, Midi-Pyrenees

Due north of Carcassonne, just a little over two hours away from Toulouse, are the Lastours Castles (Châteaux de Lastours). Not much more than ruins now, during the height of Catharism in the 13th century these four castles played a major role in the defense of, access to and passage through the area. The Lastours Castles each have a name: Cabaret, Quertinheux, Surdespine and Tour Régine. Perhaps most astounding to visitors is their location, situated as they are on an alarmingly narrow ridge …

» Medoc

Medoc, Bordeaux

Everywhere you turn in Bordeaux, exceptional wines are the principal attraction, and one of the most famous areas for wine is the northern region of Medoc. Renowned for its fine red wines and home to some of the most prestigious wineries in France, the region encompasses classified growing areas like Pauillac, Margaux, St Julien and St Estephe. Wines here are typically produced from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and, being a grape best aged, the area's acclaimed vintage wines can carry unbelievably steep price tags …

» Montagne Noire

Montagne Noire, Midi-Pyrenees

Part of the Haut-Languedoc regional park and the southwestern tip of Massif Central, Montagne Noire is a mountain range that overlaps four French departments: Tarn, Hérault, Haute-Garonne and Aude. It is called the Black Mountain because of the dense forest that covers its entire northern slope, an extreme contrast with its typically Mediterranean southern slope, capped in scrubland and olive trees. Montagne Noire culminates at 3,969 feet high with Pic de Nore …

» Pomerol

Pomerol, Bordeaux

Pomerol is an undersized, wine-oriented village located about 45 minutes east of Bordeaux. But its relatively small size-just 2,000 acres-definitely isn't an obstacle to quality; indeed, Pomerol has become one of the region's most respected Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) over the second half of the 20th century, despite being slightly different from the strictly categorized, upmarket Bordeaux wines. With a yearly production that edges about 3,000 bottles per winery, Pomerol wines find prestige in rarity …

» Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

One of the principal red wine regions, located 35km northeast of Bordeaux, the town is named after a traveling monk, Émilion whose followers began producing commercial wine here in the 8th Century. The Romans planted vineyards here in the 2nd Century, and the main grape varieties now are Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a sprinkling of Cabernet Sauvignon. The region's fine wines are made with time honored traditions at the Chateau Haut-Sarpe (Grand Cru Classe), Chateau Figeac and Chateau Beau Séjour Becot, just to name a few …


« FRANCEDiscover France • Southwest France

Southwest France Tours & Travel
Southwest France Hotels & Accommodation

Southwest France Tours & TravelSouthwest France
Tours & Travel

Southwest France Tours & Activities

South West France or in French Sud-Ouest, is a wine region in France covering several wine-producing areas situated respectively inland from, and south of, the wine region of Bordeaux. These areas, which have a total of 40,000 acres of vineyards, consist of several discontinuous wine 'islands' throughout the Aquitaine region, and more or less to the west of the Midi-Pyrénées region. …

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Magical Journeys to FrancePlaces to Stay in
Southwest France

Southwest France Hotels & Accommodation

Southwest France is farming France, a green and peaceful land nurturing crops from sunflowers to foie gras - Bordeaux wines and Cognac. Visitors are mainly drawn to the wide Atlantic beaches, the ski slopes of the Pyrenees and the calm of the Dordogne

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