About The South-West Coast and Pyrenees-Aquitaine
A magnificent area to explore which, taken with Languedoc-Roussillon, connects Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast via the Pyrenees with the Mediterranean coast and Provence. The scenery is magnificent, and everyone from hikers and history buffs to sunseekers and gourmets will find plenty to grab their attention.
Between Bordeaux and Toulouse, the fastest road is the A62. This gives access to the gentle countryside of Gascony to the south and to the valley of the Lot to its north. If you want to explore the Pyrenees, follow the disjointed sections of the D918, through the west and central Pyrenees. The mountain roads between Pau and Saint-Gaudens also catch some fine Pyrenees scenery. Don’t rush this Pyrenees – you’ll need plenty of time to ogle the scenery and tackle the winding roads in safely.
ATLANTIC TO MEDITERRANEAN WALK
Hearty hikers can go the entire distance from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean on the GR10, part of the national hiking trail network (the Grandes Randonnées), or the even more rigorous Haute Randonée Pyrénéenne (HRP). With less time (or energy) to spare, there are several hiking centres such as Cauterets, with access to the Pare National des Pyrénées. (Insert link Walking in the Pyrenees, in Roussillon: French Catalonia).
There are flights and fast TGV train services between Paris and both Bordeaux and Toulouse; bus services also link the two. From Bordeaux, frequent trains serve Bayonnne (train and bus connections to the Basque Coast and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port). Bayonne-Toulouse trains stop at Pau (connections to Oloron-Sainte-Marie), Lourdes and Saint-Gaudens. Lourdes is the best place to pick up bus connections to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Cauterets, and Luz-Saint-Sauveur (for Gavarnie).