South Western France
Best months:
July to October

South Western France

Travel article
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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Bardhylius: EUR location FRA; 20 February 2008

South-Western France comprises the regions of Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées. Together, these two regions contain thirteen departments. South-Western France is a historical region with many prehistoric caves, caverns and archaeological sites.


Geheimnistragerin: Biarritz - moody; 1999

A lot of options here. Lacanau, situated west of Bordeaux and known as one of Europe’s finest beach breaks. All ability levels are welcome as the beach offers a variety of conditions. Air temperatures range from 18 to 24°C and water temperature should be 17 to 21°C (70°F). Springsuits and boardies required. Lacanau is easily accessible from the UK with a 1-hour flight from Gatwick to Bordeaux.

The Silver Coast, which is the main coastal region north of Biarritz, has spot after spot after spot. If the swell is good the entire coast lights up. The quality of the waves here is so good due to the funnel shape of the Bay of Biscay - channelling the waves in to the eager surfers. The pick of the waves can be found in and around Hossegor and Biarritz, but  - be prepared for the crowds in the summer.

But even though headline acts like Hossegor, Biarritz and Lacanau draw the biggest crowds, you can head further north and you’ll find the coastline becomes much quieter and whole lot more varied. There are consistent reefs and beaches that break in virtually any wind direction, and hidden spots where you can score waves all to yourself. Check out places like La Torche, La Sauzaie, and Sauveterre – you won’t be disappointed.


Pline: Metro Paris Rame MP59 ligne 4 station; 20 June 2006

There are many ways of travelling France: by plane, train, bus, motorcycle, bike, thumb or car.

France has a well-developed system of highways. Rent a car and you are free to go! Metro is not very cheap in Paris, but will take you, literally everywhere.

Train is a great option to get around France. TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse - High-Speed Train) is fast and extremely comfortable – it truly is a wonderful way of seeing the country.

Hitchhiking is possible as well, just be patient. And your knowledge of French will help you a lot here (and generally in every situation).

where to stay

Trachy: RĂ©sidence Les Princes, a "Toulousaine" style, 18 May 2007

Toulouse is a city in southwestern France, in the Midi-Pyrenees region, halfway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

  • Cap de Castel Hotel is a small charming hotel set within a typical medieval Mediterranean village, dominating the Lauragais hills and valleys, renowned as "Little Tuscany", in the rural south of France. The breathtaking view is an invitation either to discover the surrounding gem-like villages, vineyards or simply relax on the shaded terrace nearby the pool.
  • Holiday Inn Le Capoul is located in walking distance with many decent restaurants of various styles and many stores and interesting sights.
  • Novotel Airport is about 15 minutes from the airport, a shuttle bus can take you there. Has decent, standard Novotel rooms. Staff speaks little to no english however, except those at the reception.
  • Hotel le Clocher de Rodez is an 18th Century building. As one of Toulouses historic hotels, the building has sheltered numerous famous artists and musicians.
  • Hotel le Moulin de Moissac is the oldest in the area; its been around for five centuries! Located just about 35 miles from the airport.
  • Résidence les Princes are two charming, comfortable and well equipped apartments in a small flat building with an oven-cooked red-brick front which is typical of "Toulouse" style.
    Each apartment is equipped with an individual air-conditioning and provides more than sixty european and american TV channels. Very quiet and close to the "canal du midi" and center of the city - which gives a great view on an exotic garden with palm and banana trees. 

what to pack

Fir0002: Canon-Deluxe Backpack-200-EG; 26 June 2005

Pack some warm and cool clothes and have at least one set of nicer clothing for more formal occasions. Don’t forget to take waterproof clothes/gear/backpack for the rainy season.

Pack some basic toiletries so that you do not need to spend unnecessary money to purchase these basics. You may want to just buy a travel pack and bring it.

A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and will be useful in daily life. Women: remember to take a good flat pair of shoes.... And for everybody: pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for walking. Beach clothing & sandals will be useful if you are going in the warm season.

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