We have organised several guided tours which combine history, relaxation, nature, agriculture, rambling, or simply discovering new places.
There is lots more to do (Bicycle rides, Golf , Wine Trails, etc.) but let's leave some things to be discovered…
All these activities are within an hour's reach from our location.
Are you ready to prepare your vacation.
Click on the road signs to choose your destination !!!!
Sabres and the around
- The Marquéze Museum of Man and the Environment : This museum is a must. It relates the everyday life of the inhabitants of a hamlet or « airial » in the early 19th century (Visit: 2 hours minimum). Departure from Sabres train station.
- The Resin Museum : A workshop for distilling pine resin which functioned from 1859 until 1954. Explanations of the various steps from pine resin to oil of turpentine and rosin.
- L'Escupe - Huc or Fire Museum : This museum explains the various means available to fight against forest fires, from watering can to fire-fighting aircraft.
- Elvire's Ranch : Horse-riding.
- The Mexico Water Sports Base : Canoeing down the Leyre river, Mountain-biking on trails, archery. You may rent a mountain-bike from our house to get to Mexico Base.
- Visits to artisans' workshops : The Glass Blower (a true artist). NB : The craftsmen's house is closed this year.
MOUSTEY : The Barouche Ride
- Week-ends on various themes : traditional architecture, healing fountains, flora and fauna.
- The castle and its deer breeding farm (facing the castle).
SOLFERINO – Bourg :
- The village was created by Napoléon III in 1863 in order to develop an experimental domain and a model farm.
- Of special interest are the cottages, the chapel and further towards Morcenx, the remains of the experimental farm.
ARJUZANX : Lac artificiel :
- Perfect for small children and families. The water is warm and not too deep.
- Starting this year there will be shows are on the lake : more information from the tourist office in Morcenx.
Les églises :
- The 12th century church of St John the Baptist at SORE :
- The porch and small columns remain intact and on the south side there is the door which was reserved for lepers.
- The church of St John the Baptist de Richet at PISSOS with its interesting frescoes and surrounding churchyard.
- The Lugaut Chapel at RETJONS figured in the Jacquères peasants revolt.
- It contains the most ancient landscape painting of the Landes.
- The Church of our Lady at MOUSTEY , facing St Martin's Church, is adorned with wall paintings evoking pilgrims to St Jacques of Compostella, the history of sanctimonious hypocrites and current beliefs.
Les Fontaines :
- D'YCHOUX : 3 fountains
- St Jean and Ste Rose for skin complaints - Notre Dame for all sorts of diseases.
- St Jean de BOURICOS ( at Pontenx towards Mimizan) for tired limbs.
- St Michel at LUE. for skin problems.
- Ste Quitterie at COMMENSACQ for headaches.
The Arcachon and Pilat
The Pilat Dune :
- 105 m high – 2700 m long.
- From the top, you can see Cap Ferret (there is no need to drive there) and a wonderful contrast of blue sea, green countryside and sand.
- Pay Parking is advisory because of thefts.
The Barre d'Arguin :
- Situated between the Pilat Dune and Cap Ferret, this has been a Nature Reserve since 1972 (on the way into Arcachon).
L'île aux oiseaux (Bird Island) :
- In the middle of the lake of Arcachon with its old fishing huts. Visits by boat, departure from Arcachon harbour.
- Visit the Winter town, with its rich 19th century architectural heritage (guided walking tours from the tourist information centre).
- The Aquarium (facing the harbour).
- Parks and gardens – the Moorish park in the Winter town, and the Pereire park in the Spring town.
- The oyster house : A guided tour covering 16 centuries of history.
- The lake gardens – the Hume.
- The oyster beds. Several small restaurants proposing tasty meals with local products.
The Leyre Delta :
- Where fresh and sea water mingle (lovely walks in the shade of the trees
The Teich Ornithological Park :
- Situated at the furthest limit of the Leyre Delta a two-hour walk amidst a profusion of migrating or nesting birds, depending on the seasons (binoculars, silence and patience are the order of the day).
Certes Domain :
- Located on the eastern shore of the basin between Audenge and Landon (400 hectares. Sea walls and fishponds).
- There are several cycling or walking trails (Details from the tourist information centre.).
- Between the Hume and Gujan Mestras, there are many amusement parks of special interest to children.
The Armagnac Country
- The seat of the of the Viscount of Marsan : a 12th to 14th century fortified town.
- The 11th century church was founded by St Sever Benedictine monks.
- Wooden arenas (no connection with Roquefort cheese !).
St JUSTIN :
- A 13th century walled town centre in the heart of a village dating back to the 5th century. Important medieval fairs were held in St Justin.
- The church of St André was the heart of the defence system of the walled town.
- The jail, the stronghold, the ramparts and the Templars' Tower.
LABASTIDE D'ARMAGNAC :
- A fortified town founded in 1291 with timbered and stone houses surrounding the royal palace.
- The 15th century church tower and the temple.
- The Church of our Lady in the style of Toulouse with a « pietà » carved out of 15th century polychrome wood.
- The Armagnac museum at Garreau castle : a 16th century wine growers museum, distilleries, museum of stills.
- A 12th century Chapel of our Lady (on the Eauze road).
- The 17th century castle of Ravignan surrounded by a formal garden in the French style. The interior is luxuriously furnished and decorated with family portraits evoking the reign of Henry IV.
- You will receive a warm welcome from a member of the family with a guided tour ending up in the wine cellar.
- The wine cellar at the Ognoas domain : a modern wine producing plant run by the Landes Local Authority.
- Explanation of the process of Armagnac distillation (Free visit). Magnificent still dated 1804.
Trails for Cycle paths and footpaths from the Ognoas domain to Gaube mill and Tampouy Manor. Visit the sheepfold where King François I went hunting.
The Lake Route
PARENTIS EN BORN :
- The Museum of Petroleum and Oil Wells.
- The Hydroplane Museum : This is where Latécoère (the founder of the Air Postal Service) established several factories and test centres. Aeroplanes, objects and documents from this period are on view.
- Biscarosse church : 14th and 15th century Gothic.
- Biscarosse Museum of Local Traditions :a small museum dedicated to the history of the village.
- Canal boat trips : Leaving from the Museum of Local Traditions, as you glide along the canals, local boatmen recount the history of the lakes and dunes.
- The Underwater Museum : An exhibition of archaeological excavations made in the lake.
- Of particular interest are the dugout canoes fashioned from a single pine log dating from the First Iron Age.
HIKING AND SPORTS :
- Several footpaths and cycle paths around the lakes or between the lakes (brochures available at the tourist office).
- 18 hole Golf Course on the way to Biscarrosse plage (tél. : 05/58/09/84/93).
- An Adventure Park for young and old.
- A Miniature Port at Sanguinet to train future sailors
- Aquatic sports on the lakes.
A Day in the Coutry - Leon
THE LAKE OF LÉON
THE HUCHET STREAM
The lake and the Huchet stream linking it to the sea are classified as a Nature Reserve.
A boat trip with local boatmen is a good way to discover this remarkable site. The boat moves slowly through a lush forest abounding in giant fern, royal fern, pink hibiscus, iris, water-lily, cypress, alder and willow.
You may encounter an otter or a European mink or catch sight of a heron or a black kite. Book your trip 2 or 3 days in advance or even more. tél. : 05-58-48-75-39.
You may also follow the stream on foot. Take the D328 road, park at Pichelèbe and walk beside the stream as far as the beach at Moliets.
At Léon there is a market every morning in the summer.
ST MARTIN ESCALUS :
- Visit the Moulin de la Galoppe : A stroll around a pleasant beauty spot where you can also fish for trout (the children will love it).
- The Blanc, Hardy et Noir Lakes : South of Soustons near Seignosse, the Blanc and the Noir lakes are classified as Nature Reserves. There is an abundance of plant life (over 400 varieties), birds and fish. (Guided tours by appointment : Tél. : 05-58-72-85-76).
- The Museum of Ancient Tools : The Château de la Pandelle houses a private collection of more than 1000 tools.
LABENNE (a little farther south) :
- The Orx Marsh : This is one of the last remaining areas of marshland in the region. It covers 800 hectares administered by the coastal conservation agency and has been restored to allow visitors to observe the flora and fauna of the marshes.
- The Zoo : An opportunity for children to see some unfamiliar animals.
- Robinson Park : For all those who love climbing.
History of Stones
- This is the "new domain" where the Albert family settled in the 13th century. In 1572 it became the seat of the future king, Henri IV.
- The Exterior : In the 14th century a large surrounding wall was added to the original 11th century castle motte in order to enclose the building In the 17th century it was transformed into a country house. Only the entrance gate remains of the old town which had grown up around the castle. As you stroll through the park visit the queen's grotto.
- The Interior is lavishly furnished. There is much to see, particularly the ground floor gallery and the royal bedroom.
- Situated on a rocky troglodyte peak once inhabited by pre-historic cave-dwellers. An impressive feudal castle built in 1306 by Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe. It is part of an ensemble of two 12th and 14th century fortresses.
- To the right of the new castle are the ruins of the old 11th century castle.
- The six enormous circular towers of the new castle enclose a rectangular central area.
- In the courtyard stands a majestic square keep.
- The restoration was carried out by Viollet le Duc and the furniture is the work of Edmond Duthoit.
- In the park there is a oriental style chapel and a 19th century farm.
- A beautiful 12th and 13th century Gothic church similar to Bazas.
- Behind the altar is the white marble tomb of Clément V. The stained glass windows are late 19th century.
- Artisans and artists lived in the 16th and 17th century houses in the town. (There is an evening market during the summer).
- A Gothic cathedral. The façade represents different periods at each level (13th-16th-18th centuries).
- Close to the cathedral the Promenade de la Brèche is a haven of peace A walk along the ramparts is recommended.
- The castle consists of an ensemble of 11th century mottes, ditches and courtyards.
- Explanations and excavations of the castle are to be found in the Maison Landaise in the centre of the village.
Sauternes and Graves
Small by its surface yet great by the renown of its white wines, the vineyard of Sauternes and Barsac is a "country" composed of the valley of Ciron, near its confluence with the Garonne . Its terroir is limited to only five towns (Sauternes - Barsac-Preignac - Bommes and Fargues). On its hillsides, grow rows of generally perpendicular stocks to Ciron's bed and separated in "clos" . The wine is elaborated from grapes stemming from 3 grapevines : muscadelle, sauvignon and sémillon.
Three naming :
- Sauternes : 1810ha – 43025hl
- Barsac : 405ha – 9800hl
- Cérons : 51ha – 1860hl
This territory, cradle of the vine growing of Bordeaux, adopts the name of the ground which bears it, a mix of gravels and pebbles rolled by waters. Three naming including the most prestigious of which are Pessac-Léognan
- THE AOC(PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN) Grave, in red and in dry white: 3500ha - 158965hl (75 % in red)
- THE AOC(PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN) Grave supérieur, blanc moelleux: 400ha 15035hl
- Pessac Léognan : naming of 1987 : red and white : 1615ha-65145hl
Sauternes : Typical wine related sight-seeing
- Château Filhot (17th C.)
- Château Yquem : the most prestigious wine of Sauternes
- Château de Malle (17th C.) : Entrance (wonderful ironworks and a unique collection of figures en trompe l'œil dating from the 17th C.)
- Church of the 16th C. and Louis XV furnitures.
- Ruins of the feodal Castle (14th C.)
- House of Graves wines : wine tasting and a collection of 300
- References of wines sold at the château price.
Loupiac - St Croix du Mont
St Macaire : fortified village on a headland above the Garonne
- Square of Mercadiou
- Church ST SAUVEUR with a hall dating from the 13th C.
- Gothic and Renaissance Houses
- Cradle of the pear William
- Côtes de Bordeaux (white wine) St Macaire: to discover
- Toulouse Lautrec's grave
- Notre-Dame Basilica reconstructed in the 17th C.
- Calvary with a magnificent view on the pond of the Garonne and the Sauternais
St André des Bois :
- Château Malromé : builtin the 14th C. last living place of Toulouse Lautrec
Sauveterre de Guyenne :
- Basilica built in 1281
- Benedictine Abbaye
Ste Croix du Mont :
- Viewpoint indicator (located at the terrace of the church) with a view of Pyrenees.
- Caves dug in fossil oyster beds of the tertiary era.
Loupiac : famous for its white syrupi wines
- Gallo roman Village. therms from the IInd au Vth C. with their original mosaics.
- Guided tour in compagny with the wine producer who also participates to the archeological searches.
Cadillac : ancient countryhouse dating from 1280
- Castle of the d'Eperon Dukes (1598-1620)
Rions : Medieval village, entrance through the Lhyan door (14e C.)
- A must see little jewel
A Foretaste of the Basque Country
Tall painted timbered houses are squeezed up against each other along the Nive River. Bayonne is a miscellany of traditional feasts and Franco-British history.
- The Cathedral of St Mary : 13th to 16th centuries. The northern tower and two spires were added during the 19th century.
- The Cloister : a beautiful 14th century Gothic artefact.
- Pont Neuf Street : famous for its chocolate.
- Petite Bayonne : opposite the main town has kept its old traditional atmosphere The Bonnat Museum. The Basque Museum.
- The Botanical Gardens : above the ramparts, 1000 species of plants with a Japanese touch.
- The Rock of the Virgin : with a statue of the Virgin Mary is linked to the mainland by a foot bridge built by Eiffel.
- The Museum of Chocolate : a must for gourmands !
- The Museum of the Sea : founded in 1930 is the most beautiful of its kind on the Atlantic coast.
ST JEAN DE LUZ : Where King Louis XIV was married
- The Harbour : this former whaling port looks like a typical picture postcard !
- Mazarin Street : St Martin's house.
- The Town Centre : A maze of pedestrian streets.
- King Louis XIV's house : built in 1643.
- The Church of St John the Baptist : The most famous and biggest of all Basque churches.
- The Abbadie Domain : A natural, protected site at Ste Anne.
- The Castle : The astronomer and explorer Antoine d' Abbadie's neo–gothic construction.
- The Floral Garden at URRUGNE : A magnificent 18 hectare park.
ESPELETTE : The home of hot chilli pimientos – a symphony of red and white. Stroll through the town and visit the 17th century church
- Artzamendi Pass : Leave Espelette for a walk which culminates at 926m above sea level.
CAMBO LES BAINS :
- Villa ARNAGA : The writer Edmond Rostand's Basque - style house. In the formal French garden there is a succession of ornamental ponds, an orangery and many animals.
ST JEAN PIED DE PORT :
- The red sandstone houses of the former capital of Basse Navarre are tucked away in the 15th and 17th century ramparts. Pilgrims on the way to Santiago of Compostella had to stop here.
- The pilgrims : way goes along the Rue de la Ciadelle, past Notre Dame church, over the old bridge and onto the road to Spain.
SAUVETERRE DE BÉARN :
- The Oloron torrent flows past the foot of this fine mediaeval town and is spanned by a legendary old bridge dominated by the Tower of Montréal.
- The general effect is a beautiful blend of old stones and verdant nature.
SALIES DE BÉARN :
- A charming little spa fashioned throughout the ages by salt and subterranean rivers.
- The Museum of salt : Retraces the history and exploitation of salt since Roman times and the Law of the Salt Fountain(1587)
- The Spa : The Hotel du Parc has a magnificent entrance hall with galleries and a double-return staircase.
- The Old Town : The Place Bayaa and surrounding streets.