Southwestern France is a region of sea and wine, with nice beaches over the Atlantic Ocean, as well as young, high mountains close to Spain.
- Lourdes - centre for the mystical veneration of Mary, mother of Christ, probably the most-visited destination within the region with over 6 million visitors a year
- Bagnères-de-Bigorre - picturesque spa town located mid-way between Lourdes and Tarbes at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains. Popular base for skiers (winter), cyclists and hikers (summer) and other outdoor sport enthusiasts.
If you are an individual you take daily excursions departing from Toulouse and Bordeaux that head towards all the major sights of the regions: Small villages of the region, Albi, Carcassonne, Lourdes, Canal du Midi, Wine Tasting in Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, the Dordogne region, Biarritz and the Basque Country... The excursions take place on board 8 seater fully equipped minivans and are taken care of by professional driver guides. Languages include English and German. Visit the website Ophorus Tel: +33 547 277 030. The company is also specialized in Pyrenees ski transfers as well as Canal du Midi transfers departing from Toulouse or Bordeaux and heading towards all major resorts.
- See also: French cuisine
Traditional cuisine in Southwestern France includes duck, goose, fish and various seafood dishes. In the area around Bordeaux, lamb, Bordelaise sauce, oysters and other fish dishes are traditional fare, as well as superb local wines. The egg-based patisserie canelé is a traditional dessert in the region around Bordeaux. The Toulouse region is known for its cuisine based around specially fattened duck, or canard gras raised in the rural regions of Gers and Landes, west of Toulouse. Traditional dishes include :
- Cassoulet, a slow-cooked casserole dish that includes sausage, goose or duck, pork skin, and white beans.
- Magret de canard, a very tender cut of duck breast pan-seared, usually rare.
- Confit de canard or duck confit, a fried leg of duck
- Foie gras, duck or goose liver
- Toulouse sausage, saucisse de Toulouse
In the very southwestern corner of the country near Bayonne and Biarritz, the Basque influence introduces dishes based on tomatoes, peppers, beans and fresh fish.