From quaint whitewashed villages to vibrant port cities, prehistoric caves to château-studded hills, it is easy to see why so many holidaymakers have already fallen in love with the magic of France’s Nouvelle Aquitaine.
And it’s far easier to get there than you might think, thanks to regular, affordable flights from the UK with Jet2.com.
The region – the country’s largest – stretches from the breathtaking beaches of the Atlantic coast to the bucolic landscapes of the Dordogne, leaving visitors spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what to do first.
Step back in time and discover the proud maritime history of La Rochelle, or explore the languid, sun-soaked island of Île de Ré by bike.
What makes Jet2.com soar above the rest?
Jet2.com operates flights to La Rochelle and Bergerac at super convenient times from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford or Manchester, giving you even more flexibility when it comes to planning your route.
The affordable airline also offers 10kg hand luggage as standard and the option of paying for 22kg hold luggage. So there’s no excuse not to bring that extra pair of shoes!
When it comes to booking Jet2.com is keen to keep costs down, and does not charge any extra for paying with a credit card.
Want a getaway that feels quintessentially French? Then you’d struggle to do much better than the pretty cream-stoned riverside town of Bergerac, and the wonders of the surrounding Dordogne region.
Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to explore Nouvelle Aquitaine for yourself thanks to Jet2.com flights to La Rochelle and Bergerac Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Bradford.
Not only do you have a choice of regular flights at convenient times, but Jet2.com also offers 10kg of hand luggage included – giving you even more flexibility when it comes to packing for your great French escape.
With all of these amazing benefits, it’s of little surprise Jet2.com was voted Best Airline – UK by TripAdvisor, and was named Travel Brand of the Year by Which? in 2018.
Ready for your next adventure? Read on to find out more about Nouvelle Aquitaine… and then visit Jet2.com to book your flights.
DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF LA ROCHELLE’S MARITIME HISTORY
Book a flight with Jet2.com and kick off your visit to Nouvelle Aquitaine in the lively and welcoming port city of La Rochelle.
Known as La Ville Blanche (the White City) because of its limestone facades, La Rochelle remains steeped in maritime heritage thanks to its role as one of France’s most important Atlantic seaports between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Here are our picks of the things you must do, see and visit in La Rochelle
The historic Three Towers that stand proud over the city
La Rochelle Aquarium, home to 600 species
Today La Rochelle would perhaps be better known as the ‘Green City’ thanks to its large parks and efficient public transport that makes it a breeze to get around.
There is plenty to see and do in La Rochelle so it is certainly worth stopping off for a few days. An absolute must-see are the Three Towers, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, which stand proud over the city skyline.
For a taste of local life, explore the colourful houses in Gabut, the former fishermen’s district, or while away the hours trawling through the boutiques, second-hand shops and art galleries that line the streets of the Saint-Nicholas district.
On a family trip to the city, a stop at La Rochelle Aquarium is a must. Plunge into the wonder of the oceans and discover the roughly 600 marine species that call the aquarium home, taking in the shark theatre and tropical forest.
TAKE IN THE SIGHTS OF ILE DE RE BY BIKE
Less than two miles away from La Rochelle, across a bridge, is the island of Île de Ré, dubbed by the Lonely Planet guide as ‘one of the most delightful places on France’s west coast’.
The popular destination is bustling with tourists with July and August but its traditional whitewashed buildings with terracotta roofs are definitely worth seeing, no matter what the time of year.
While there are some 10 villages scattered across the island it is still small, spanning just over 18.5miles from its most easterly to its most westerly points.
The compact island is also criss-crossed by some 100km of cycle paths, making it the perfect place to explore by bike. The fact that it’s largely flat helps, too!
EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF BERGERAC AND THE DORDOGNE
Situated on either side of the Dordogne river is Bergerac, a town rich with art and history – and the perfect base for venturing out into the prestigious wine-growing country of the Dordogne.
If the name sounds familiar that’s likely thanks to dramatist and satirist Cyrano de Bergerac, considered one of the town’s biggest claims to fame.
Before leaving Bergerac and the Dordogne, make sure you cross these three things off your list
Bergerac food market, open on Wednesdays and Saturdays
Sample the local wines at the Maison des Vins in Bergerac
While there’s much romance to be had in his legend, largely created by playwright Edmund Rostand, the reality is that the real Cyrano likely spent just a little time living in Bergerac, if any at all. However that hasn’t stopped the people of the town from paying tribute with a statue (and yes, it does possess a rather big nose.
The narrow, medieval streets of the town come to life on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, when they’re taken over by a traditional food market. Let your mouth water as you stock up on essentials for a picnic in a nearby vineyard, with freshly baked bread, succulent strawberries and punchy saucissons all on offer.
Supplies in hand, head out on one of theroutes des vins and discover the region’s Pécharmant red wine and dessert wines such as Monbazillac and Saussignac on the glorious vine-covered hills.
In Bergerac itself there is also the Maison des Vins – a must if you fancy yourself a wine connoisseur (or simply enjoy a tipple). There you can take a tour to discover the region’s wine-growing history. When in season, you can also sample wine made by local producers… and even pick up a few bottles to take back with you.
Finally, don’t let the sun set on your visit to Bergerac without a stroll along the towpaths, where you can admire the sight of the regal flat-bottomed boats known as ‘gabarres’ sail elegantly by.
If you have time to venture further afield, it’s definitely worth heading out deeper into the Dordogne, which has long attracted admirers with its rich food, grand châteaux and picturesque villages all waiting to be discovered.
Take a day trip and explore some of the region’s breathtaking castles, or drive for a couple of hours to explore some of France’s finest prehistoric cave art in the caverns of the Dordogne’s Vézère Valley.