Aquitaine, France

Area: 41,309 km2 [ 27,553 square miles]

Population: 2,842,000

Regional capital: Bordeaux

Historically, Aquitaine essentially owed its wealth to its famous vineyards in the Bordeaux region and vast pine forests.

Recent economic progress achieved based upon the aerospace, agri-foodstuffs and wood pulp industries, the Province's industrial development is still lacking.

This, of course, is great for those who want to see France as it appears in the postcards.

Towns in Aquitaine

Agen - In France, Agen is famous as the "capital of the prune," a local produce, you can find either as a sweet (stuffed with puree) or after-dinner fare (prunes soaked in Armagnac, a type of Brandy).

Arcachon - Arcachon is a water sport community also known for its thermal baths and plentiful gardens and parks.

Bayonne - Bayonne, at the junction of the rivers Adour and Nive, is a busy commercial town, with a long history.

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The bayonet (lovely thought there) was invented here and Bayonne is equally famous for its chocolate.

Bordeaux - Referred to as the fine wines capital of the world, Bordeaux is a major metropolitan area (approaching 1 million wine lovers) with a diverse array of industries.

Dax - Dax is a busy market center in southwestern France that still retains parts of the original Roman wall circa 4th century.

Pau - In southwestern France, Pau is perched on a high bluff that parallels the Pyrenees mountains and, of historical note, is the birthplace of France's 1st Protestant king, Henri IV.

Saint Jean de Luz - Near the Spanish border on the Nivelle River lies this beach community with tuna and sardine fishing economies.