Chateau Beynac

 © Jean-Christophe BENOIST — Travail personnel, CC BY 4.0, 

12 June 2024  |  Culture, Events

Culture and events in the South-West of France

The South-West of France is a land of contrasts and traditions. It is a region where culture and events punctuate local life. From the Atlantic Ocean, to the mountains of the Pyrenees, to the lands and countryside of the Southwest, this region is a real treasure for lovers of parties, heritage and gastronomy.

Unmissable festivals and events

1. The Dax Fair

The small town of Dax, hosts the Dax feria every summer. For five days, the streets are filled with white and red, and the atmosphere is of conviviality and joy. Bullfights, concerts, street shows and fireworks are on the program. It is a highlight to discover the bullfighting traditions and the festive atmosphere of the Southwest.

2. The International Street Theatre Festival in Aurillac

In August, Aurillac became the capital of street theatre. For more than 30 years, this festival has brought together artists from all over France and around the world, offering varied and often unusual shows. This year it will be from August 14 to 17, 2024 that you can observe in the streets, squares and parks of the city turn into ephemeral scenes, where poetry, humour and creativity are mixed.

3. Le Festival du Film de Saint-Jean-de-Luz

PFor film lovers, the Saint-Jean-de-Luz Film Festival is held every year in October. It's an appointment not to be missed. This year this festival will take place from October 7 to 13, 2024, this festival highlights young directors and offers a program rich in previews and meetings with film professionals. The seaside resort offers an idyllic setting to combine culture and relaxation.

The Southwest - Heritage and Traditions

1. The Mediaeval Bastides and Villages

The Southwest is full of bastides and mediaeval villages that tell the history of the region. Monpazier, Cordes-sur-Ciel, and Domme are perfect examples of these fortified cities built in the Middle Ages. Their cobbled streets, central squares and half-timbered houses plunge visitors into a journey back in time



2. The Castles of the Dordogne

The Dordogne valley, nicknamed the valley of a thousand castles, is a place of discovery for heritage lovers. From mediaeval fortresses to Renaissance castles, such as the Château de Beynac or the Château des Milandes, each building tells part of the tumultuous history of this region.

Local Markets and Products

1. Local Markets and Products

The Southwest is a real land of gastronomy. The markets of Sarlat, Périgueux or Auch are essential places to discover local products: foie gras, truffles, duck confits, and other delicacies. Local producers are proud to share their know-how and authentic products.

French market

 © Pixabay 

2. Bordeaux and Southwest Wines

It is impossible to talk about the Southwest without mentioning its vineyards. The Bordeaux region, with its prestigious appellations such as Saint-Émilion, Médoc or Pessac-Léognan, produces world-renowned wines. But the Southwest also contains other wine treasures such as the wines of Cahors, Gaillac, or Jurançon. Wine routes offer picturesque routes through the vineyards and tastings in welcoming areas.

On the wine route

 © Pexels 

Outdoor activities and leisure

1. Discovery of surfing on the Atlantic Coast

The southwest Atlantic coast is a paradise for surfers. Famous spots such as Hossegor, Biarritz or Lacanau attract skiing enthusiasts from all over the world. Surf schools are numerous and offer courses for all levels, allowing everyone to learn about this sliding sport.

Atlantic Coast

2. Hiking in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees offer a nice playground for hikers. From trails such as the GR10, which crosses the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, to more accessible walks such as the Gavarnie Circus or Lake Gaube, there are routes for all tastes and difficulties. The preserved nature and grandiose panoramas will seduce lovers of the great outdoors.



The southwest of France is a region rich in discoveries and experiences. Between lively festivals, historical heritage, gastronomic delights and outdoor activities, there is something for everyone. Whether you are passionate about culture, lover of good tables or fan of nature sports, the South-West offers you an ideal setting for unforgettable moments.

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Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

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