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Written by expert travel-writers with more than 40 titles to their name, Bradt's Gascony & the Pyrenees is the only current English-language guide to the entirety of this fascinating, relatively under-visited and consequently affordable region of southwest France. Offering advice on where to stay and eat with what to do and see, this new guide provides everything you need for an enjoyable, fulfilling visit.
In Gascony, everyone can find their own adventure. Surfers can ride Atlantic waves at Hossegor and Mimizan. Sun-seekers can loll on the Landes' beaches, then stretch their legs by climbing Europe's tallest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat. Hikers can trek high into the Pyrenees to gawp at majestic cirques, while those less energetic can go on a donkey-back. Families can bike along numerous backways, while cycling buffs cheer on the professionals during the Pyrenees stage of the Tour de France.
Activity enthusiasts aside, the region will delight anyone who craves a slower-paced holiday in beautiful natural landscapes. Culture buffs can linger in the coastal art havens of Collioure, Port- Vendres and Céret, or discover Palaeolithic cave art at Niaux and Le Mas-d'Azil. Pilgrims can follow the path to Lourdes. Fans of the bizarre can visit Salvador Dali's 'centre of the universe' (Perpignan train station) or La Pourcailhade, the pig festival of Tri-sur-Baïse.
Urbanites can enjoy the splendours of Perpignan, Bayonne, Biarritz and Auch, or take it down a notch at medieval Catalan villages. For quirky retail therapy, shopaholics can browse the espadrilles for which Mauléon is famed or the berets synonymous with Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Gourmets will delight in the quality of local cuisine, from cèpe mushrooms and poulet au pot to a flock of duck-based dishes. Cocooned within quiet, natural settings, yoga practitioners can calm mind and body with various wellness therapies.
And whatever floats your boat, everyone can relax in some of the hundreds of personally recommended places to stay - from charming inns and spas to restored medieval stables, and even the astronomers' dormitories at the Pic du Midi. All conveyed through the intimate expert insights that characterise Bradt's Gascony & the Pyrenees.