Top things to do in Atlantic Coast

Top Choice Natural Feature in Pyla-sur-Mer

Dune du Pilat

This colossal sand dune (sometimes referred to as the Dune de Pyla because of its location 4km from the small seaside resort town of Pyla-sur-Mer), 8km south of Arcachon, stretches from the mouth of the Bassin d'Arc…
Top Choice Amusement Park in Nantes

Les Machines de l’Île de Nantes

Nantes' quirkiest sight is this fantasy world – a serious and seriously wacky workshop with mechanical contraptions galore displayed in plant-filled hothouses – where you can fly giant herons in La Galerie des Machi…
Top Choice Museum in Chartrons, Bassins à Flot & Bacalan

La Cité du Vin

The complex world of wine is explored in depth at ground-breaking La Cité du Vin, a stunning piece of contemporary architecture resembling a wine decanter on the banks of the River Garonne. The curvaceous gold build…
Top Choice French in St-Émilion

La Terrasse Rouge

Knowing foodies adore this spectacular vineyard restaurant, born out of Jean Nouvel's designer revamp of Château La Dominique's wine cellars, 5km north of St-Émilion. Chefs work with small local producers to source …
Top Choice Seafood in Pyla-sur-Mer

La Co(o)rniche

There's no more glamorous address on the Atlantic Coast than this 1930s hunting lodge, reinvented by French designer Philippe Starck. Perfectly placed for a meal or tapas-fuelled drink after a sandy walk on Dune du …
Top Choice Cafe in Saint-Pierre, Saint-Paul & the Triangle d'Or

Brasserie Le Bordeaux

To dine à la Gordon Ramsay without breaking the bank, reserve a table at his elegant belle époque brasserie with an interesting Anglo-French hybrid cuisine – local Arcachon oysters, fish 'n' chips, Gascon pork pie w…
Top Choice International in Bordeaux

Magasin Général

Follow the hip crowd across the river to this huge industrial hangar on the right bank, France's biggest and best organic restaurant with a gargantuan terrace complete with vintage sofa seating, ping-pong table and …
Top Choice French in The Medoc

Café Lavinal

With Michelin-starred chef Julien Lefebvre from Château Cordeillan-Bages overseeing the menu and 120 wines on the carte de vin, a brilliant dining experience is guaranteed at this village bistro near Pauillac. Retro…
Top Choice Modern French in Nantes

Pickles

This buzzing neobistro would be right at home in Paris. Market-sourced, modern and wholly creative cuisine by English chef Dominic Quirke (a Newcastle lad wed to a French lass) is sensational – and extraordinarily g…
Top Choice Aquarium in La Rochelle

Aquarium La Rochelle

La Rochelle's state-of-the-art, family-friendly aquarium is home to 12,000 marine animals and 600 different species. Visits begin by descending in a clunky old 'submarine' to the ocean floor, where you're greeted by…