From Mercuès to Magescq, from the vineyards of Cahors to the immense Landes pine forest, this trip is a compendium of small pleasures. You can do it any way you like: on foot, by donkey, or in a car; regardless, you’ll get an unexpected glimpse of the rich landscapes of the Southwest. Here, you will discover caves with prehistoric paintings, abbeys listed as historic monuments, and colorful arenas. The final stop on this route--which continues to Santiago de Compostela (Spain)--is the Basque coast, with its waves and festive spirit!
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Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. Staying in this 13th century château overlooking the Lot valley is a truly unique experience, an authentic immersion in the history of France during the Middle Ages. Built on a rocky promontory, this was the summer residence of the Counts and Bishops of Cahors for seven centuries. Today, the chef draws his inspiration from local producers, and has won an international reputation for working wonders with black Lalbenque truffles and Quercy lamb. The wine list includes the great Malbec wines and vintages produced in the château’s very own wine cellars, because before being the owner, Mr. Vigouroux was the wine grower. ... Learn moreless
As the owners of Château de Mercuès, the Vigouroux family are a part of the tradition of South West wine making families - and the Cahors appellation. In the seventies, Georges Vigouroux used all of his energy and expertise to replant some 250,000 Malbec grape plants 300m above sea level in one fell...Read More less
Less known than Lascaux, this cave is nevertheless home to one of the largest Palaeolithic sanctuaries in Europe. Discovered by two teenagers in 1922, it is home to a large variety of concretions and prehistoric paintings dating back over 25,000 years. There are several hundred patterns and engraved...Read More less
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Restaurant and hotel in a village. Contemporary interior designer Jacques Garcia has worked wonders with the décor of this 13th century bastide, that was once home to the Counts of Toulouse. The mood is theatrical and luxurious. Sofas with feet that look like lion paws sit beside ancient floor tiles and velvety wall hangings. There is a touch of the artist Jean Cocteau here too, with an avant-garde chandelier that appears out of a wall. Your itinerary should include visiting the region which is one of the most beautiful parts of France, and sampling the recipes dreamt up by Chef Michel Trama, this extraordinary self-taught starred Chef, who strolls through the Lot-et-Garonne farmer markets looking for the best and the unexpected. His cuisine reveals his love of wholesome food and of life in general. You'll sample notably his potato papillote and his lobster lasagna, a few reasons the restaurant is not to be missed. ... Learn moreless
A must see on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostela, Moissac Abbey is famous for its marvellous cloister (11th century). The cloister is in the shade of a majestic cedar tree and has 116 columns and 76 capitals which are reminiscent of biblical stories. Outside, the tympanum of the gate to the abbey...Read More less
Christophe Avi has the lilting accent and physique of a former rugby back-row forward. As the deserving heir of a family of wine growers, he is one of the protagonists of the revival of the Côtes du Brulhois, a long-forgotten land. His authentic wines, which are full of flavour, are promoted by the Aubergade...Read More less
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Hotel and restaurant in the country. Protected by the village’s medieval church and in the shade of old plane trees, stands this beautiful 18th century charterhouse. The stone arcades of its sand colored frontage invite you to discover an elegant succession of living and dining rooms. An afternoon by the fireplace in the library, a summer night dining under the lime-tree, tasting Armagnac from its vineyards, nestled in its soft sofas: all this generous joy, real hymn to the delicious products of Gascony, matches the harmony of its luminous simplicity. In the gardens, benefit from the expert treatments provided at the Thermal Spa. ... Learn moreless
Known to all Tour de France fans, Notre-Dame des Cyclistes is quite a unique place of worship. Since 1959, this chapel has been dedicated to the dogged courage and achievements of anonymous cyclists and champions alike. Located on the road to Lourdes and Santiago de Compostela, relics here are old jerseys...Read More less
Fun for the whole family, the Course Landaise is an integral part of the Gascon tradition. It was in the Robert-Castagnon arena that the first French championships of the discipline were organized in 1959. Even today, in the heart of summer, the "flying men" compete by performing somersaults and swan...Read More less
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Restaurant and hotel in the country. A small country palace, on the borders of the Landes and Béarn regions, a romantic haven, a feast for the senses, for pampering your body and letting your mind wander. This family home is an invitation to happiness. Fairytale gardens, aristocratic abode and symphonic cuisine. In this small village, once placed under the patronage of Empress Eugénie, herb gardens, majestic trees and ancient roses line the pathway to a stunning spa, La Ferme Thermale®. In the kitchen, Michel Guérard, who "cooks the way a bird sings", creates celestial marvels. Everywhere else, Christine casts her poetic touch. ... Learn moreless
Don’t be fooled by its name--the Gascon Peasant Museum is a formidable testimony to the daily life of the region's peasants at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The impressive collection of agricultural machinery and tools evokes a past world rich in tradition and culture. A conservatory orchard...Read More less
Created in 1970 in the heart of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park, the Marquèze Ecomuseum evokes the traditional life that the Landes people used to lead in the airials, these vast grassy areas that once grouped together homes and farms. It was these traditional houses that inspired us to...Read More less
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Restaurant and hotel in a village. This 19th century mansion combines all that is great about the southwest of France and the Landes, the country of dunes and wide open spaces. The scent of the sea pines drifts over those relaxing by the swimming pool or on the white sandy beaches, only a few kilometres from the Relais de la Poste, or those surfing the famous waves of the Landes coast. Chef Jean Coussau concocts with great talent flavorful gourmet recipes originating from the region between the Basque Country and Bordeaux, with its wealth of exceptional products, like Adour lamprey, hot duck foie gras with grapes, sand asparagus from the Landes or Gillardeau oysters on a bed of chanterelles. ... Learn moreless
In the heart of the Landes region, the Huchet coastal river offers a wonderful little adventure between the Etang de Léon lake and the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll descend the approximately 6-mile distance between marshes, dunes, and peat bogs in a galupe, a traditional flat-bottomed boat. A multitude of protected...Read More less
Located beside the superb beach of Ilbarritz (Bidart), this restaurant has become an institution in the Basque Country. Dedicated to both fine dining and partying, this is a place that we frequent with great relish. It is a combination of a restaurant, tapas bar and cocktail bar. In the evenings, DJs...Read More less
**Offer cannot be combined, valid for an itinerary in at least 2 different Relais & Châteaux establishments, reserved with Relais & Châteaux concierges, discount applicable on certain rates and certain establishments. List available from our concierges.
Total price communicated as an indication, based on a stay of the number of nights recommended on this webpage, taking place in the next 3 months, and based on double occupancy (excluding recommended activities, excluding properties not bookable online).
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: Suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
“Every day, pilgrims begin new journeys on the road to Compostela. From Mercuès to Magescq and from the Cahors vineyards to the well gridded pine forest of the Landes, this journey is packed full of simple pleasures. You can do it as you like - on foot, by donkey or in the car -, it offers an unexpected view of these rich landscapes of the South West. Here you can discover caves with prehistoric paintings, classified monasteries and colourful bullrings. The end point on this route - which nevertheless continues to Saint Jacques -, is the Landes, which remains a special area. This land has long been a wetland area. It now hides in the shelter of the majestic marine pines. Our village is both somewhere else and nowhere. In memory of Empress Eugénie, who bestowed her patronage on the small spa town in 1861, we have created a special place here for spa guests and foodies who come to experience well-being and modern cooking.”