Near Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, one hour from Blaye, the Atlantic ocean, Bergerac and Perigueux, the Libourne country, in the centre of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, is the ideal place to discover the Gironde and the Dordogne. There are six signposted and mapped "Routes des Vignes" (wine trails) to help you understand what differentiates a Pauillac from a Pomerol, a Sauternes from a Pessac-Léognan, as you travel around the vineyards of Bordeaux. Or why not drive down to the ocean at Arcachon to enjoy the best oysters in the world!

The département is criss-crossed with wide, shady roads and many greenways and cycle paths, such as the chemin Roger Lapebie and the mythical canal path that links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. You might also like to meditate on higher things on the way to Saintiago de Compostela - the region is on the pilgrimage route. It is also the best way to discover the country houses of the Gironde and old Gascony.