"Art de vivre” in South-west France!

There is no doubt about it : New Aquitaine is a region where « art de vivre »,  (making the most of life's pleasures) is a way of life!  This began in the Middle Ages with Eleanor of Aquitaine and continues today...

“Art de vivre” has been part of New Aquitaine’s DNA since the 12th century. 

The court of Aquitaine was one of France’s finest : this is where courtly love began, and one of Queen Eleanor’s close relations, the Limousin troubadour, Bernard de Ventadour, followed her  to several of the residences of the Dukes of Aquitane:  to Poitiers, Bordeaux and beyond. Thus, the “Occitan” Romance language and the area’s “art de vivre” shone past its borders.

  • King Henry the 4th perpetuated the tradition. He was born in Pau in 1553, and it is likely he owed his sturdiness to delightful local products and traditions!  He was christened in the typical Bearn way : garlic was rubbed on his lips (this is referred to as « biberon » de Jurançon – or Jurançon baby bottle). As he grew up, he continued to fancy good food, hunting, games, dancing and the company of renowned persons of letters, such as his Epicurean friend, Montaigne.
  • Once he became King, he showed concern for his subjects’ well-being. He is famous for having said : « If God  keeps me, I will make sure that no peasant in my realm will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday! »
  • Nouvelle Aquitaine « art de vivre » is not a myth. It continued for centuries and has become a way of life . It is the result of a temperate climate, an endless coastline, an incredible diversity of lands, and the talent of its inhabitants.
  • It is France’s 1st farming region with the mighest number of official quality labeled products, which can be found on our colourful markets, where you can take a stroll and listen to the different accents. A few types of foods to tempt your tastebuds: oysters, foie gras, caviar, truffles…
  • It is also the French region with the most « Live Heritage Businesses » (129), and creations which can be found all over the world : Limoges porcelain and enamel, Aubusson tapestries, Basque fabrics, espadrilles and berets, leather (Saint Junien gloves, Repetto shoes in Saint Médard d’Exideuil, Laurige accessories in Niort-Chauray), not to mention the famous “charentaise” slippers, with felt soles.  

Once we have taken care of your tastebuds, it is time to take care of the rest ! Water is omnipresent in New Aquitaine. In fact the word “Aquitaine” comes from the Latin word « aqua » meaning « water ».  This explains why many of our hotels have spas. We also have thermal resorts such as Evaux-les-Bains, Dax, La Roche Posay ...
So now you know where to come if you wish to live like a King ! Welcome to New Aquitaine !

Skills and "savoir-faire"

New Aquitaine is a land of excellence and innovation, a reflection of our region's history. 


New Aquitaine is France’s first farming region, and has all the assets required to offer amazing food !  


With over 400 clubs and 80.000 members, New Aquitaine is THE land of rugby. In fact,our 5 top-level clubs will be competing in France's Top 14 professional rugby union club...