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Aquitaine Geography

  • Aquitaine is France’s largest region.
  • Aquitaine is composed of 5 departments: the Gironde, the Landes and the Pyrenees Atlantiques which are situated along the coasts and also the Lot et Garonne and the Dordogne located inland.
  • Aquitaine is really appreciated by visitors for its magnificent forests, parks, lakes and for its famous seaside resorts, like Biarritz, Lacanau, Mimizan or Archachon which combine waves for surf-lovers and stretched out sandy beaches for the others.


Aquitaine Geography and Key Data
Surface Area
Aquitaine consists of 41,308 km² equivalent to 7.6 % of France's total surface area.

Departments
Aquitaine consists of 5 departments: Gironde, Lot et Garonne, Pyrénées Altantiques, Dordogne, Landes.


Dordogne is divided into "colour" areas: Black Perigord refers to the part of the region famous for its oak woods, Green Perigord for pastureland, White Perigord for rock and Purple Perigord for vineyards.

Communes
Aquitaine is composed by more than 2,290 communes.
Coast and Water in Aquitaine
Ocean
Aquitaine is bordered along its west coast by Atlantic Ocean.

Beaches
Aquitaine includes different beaches types over 270 kilometres from the Pointe de Grave to the Adour with good and average quality water.
Flat depths: Hendaye.
Ears (built by humans): Anglet.
Sandbar (Baïnes): Seignosse, Mimizan and most Aquitaine beaches.
Shortbreak and offshore: Hossegor.
Quick upturn of ocean bottom: Capbreton.
Many natural harbours are also present in the Basque Country.

Popular coastal resorts
For family trips: protected bathing and fine sand in Hourtin, Vieux Boucau, Seignosse or Carcans.
For surfers: perfect waves in Lacanau, Biarritz, Anglet, Hossegor-Capbreton or Mimizan.

Rivers
Garonne and Dordogne forming the Gironde estuary.

Freshwater ponds and lakes
The France’s biggest lake is Carcans-Hourtin-Maubuisson. There are also Lacanau Lake, Etang de Cousseau, Etang de Hardy, Marais d’Orx, Cazaux-Sanguinet Lake, Biscarrosse Lake, and natural reserves in Soustons Lake.
Mountains range in Aquitaine
Mountains
Aquitaine is bordered to the south by Pyrénées Mountains.

Ski Resorts
Aquitaine has ski slopes in La Pierre St Martin, Artouste, Iraty Issarbe, Gourette (altitude: mini 1200, maxi 2200m).
Forests and Natural Parks in Aquitaine
Forests
There are one million hectares of forest planted in the 19th century. Les Landes (the largest pine forest in France), Green Périgord (Dordogne), Iraty & Les Arbailles (Basque Country)

Protected areas
National Park of The Pyrenees, Regional Nature Parks of the Landes and Périgord-Limousin are components of national Green Tourism schemes in Aquitaine.

Fauna and Flora
Wildlife: horses, ewe, deer, wild boar, eagle,vulture, fowl, lynx and also.
Sealife: oysters, turbot, sole, skate and dogfish, tuna.
Different kind of forests: pine, beech, oak, chesnut and fir trees.
Hills covered by: tree fern, moor, broom, vineyards, sweetcorn.
Areas of interest in Aquitaine
Côte d'Argent
One of the most popular french coasts.

Bassin d'Arcachon
A large famous lagoon where oysters are farmed.

Dune du Pilat
The largest sand dune in Europe.


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