If you want variety the Aquitaine is possibly the place for you. Atlantic coastal towns and seemingly endless pine forests to the west, the stunning backdrop of the Pyrénées in the south, vineyards (both wine and cognac) in the centre and north and the most stunning architecture, valleys and villages from the centre towards the east.
Dordogne, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Getting there and getting away
Airports: Bordeaux, Biarritz, Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées, Bergerac, Limoges
TGV stations : Angouleme, Libourne, Bordeaux, Agen, Tarbes, Orthez, Bayonne, Biarritz
The Dordogne has long been a popular destination for summer visitors and those looking to buy a property and make a new life in France. With its soft rolling hills, woodland, fields of sunflowers, vineyards and sparkling rivers it presents a warm and welcoming environment.
This is a culturally diverse part of France with a big Spanish influence. The Pyrénées Atlantiques attracts Spaniards and the Portuguese as well as northern Europeans which makes for a lively atmosphere. Buy a house in this area and it is easy to nip over the border to Spain
Largest of France's 96 departments, and home to world famous 'claret', or Bordeaux wine. Think St Emilion, Pomerol, and the entire 1855 classification of Medoc - Margaux, Paulihac, Ste Estephe (and Haut Brion at Graves)... The chateaux of Lafitte-Rothschild and more.
Once a major sheep farming area where shepherds travelled the marshes on stilts, the Landes is now home to an impressive maritime pine forest. With a mild climate thanks to its position on the Atlantic, the Landes also boasts the longest beach in Europe