Shopping and Eating
We are about 15 minutes away from the town of Casteljaloux, which has a lively market on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. There is a main street with lots of little shops and cafes. The Casteljaloux Tourist Office is a good source of information about what’s on in and around the town.
About 15 minutes away in the opposite direction is Marmande, which has an old town centre and some large shops on the outskirts. The market is on Saturday. Marmande Tourist office is a good source of information about what’s on in and around the town.
Many restaurants will be found in small villages as you drive around. We suggest you try out a new restaurant if you stumble upon one – we tried the Leopard D’Or in Samazan and L’Orme in Bouglon, both were very good. If you find more, please let us know.
Messing about on [or near] the water
Just south of Casteljaloux is Lake Clarens which in the summer is a water playground with giant inflatables, a giant slide, rock climbing, trampolines etc
On the outskirts of Casteljaloux, there’s an Olympic sized, open air Swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers and sunshades that’s open throughout the summer.
The canal de Garonne is about 10 minutes away, and you can follow its route by cycling the towpath, or driving close to the banks. France velo tourisme has some suggested routes for cyclists, or I can lend you a walking map that covers the local stretch.
Emerald Navigation has a selection of boats that can be hired without a licence for short periods to explore the canal
There’s a canoe club nearby at Mas D’Agenais. This club offers guided canoe trips, equipment hire, beginners and improvers courses and lessons. Address: Halte Nautique 47430 LE MAS-D’AGENAIS Tel : +33 5 53 93 76 08
Sports and recreation
The nearest Golf course is at Casteljaloux, near to Lake Clarens
Casteljaloux is the home of France’s third largest Thermal bath complex, where you can relax and sample the treatments on offer.
There is a casino near lake Clarens, with a bar and restaurant.
Nightmarkets. Throughout the summer months, many towns and large villages hold night markets, where you can shop, eat and drink the local produce.
Cave du Marmandais is a few miles away – where you can taste and buy local wines. There’s no shortage, as the region produces 6 million bottles of wine per year
Joining in with the locals
Towns and villages hold regular fetes to celebrate saints days. You would need to book tickets in advance, and its a great way to get a true feel for village life. The best source of information is the Tourist Information Office, who will happily give you a huge sheaf of flyers.
Vide greniers [car boot sales] where you can pick up some amazing, unusual and sometimes downright useless items for next to nothing, but be prepared to haggle gently.
Getting close to nature
Between us and the Atlantic is a huge area of Regional Park – the Parc Naturel des Landes de Gascogne. Its a great place for walking, cycling, birdwatching and has an exhibition centre where you can find out about the history of this cultivated pine forest
Chateaux and churches
The region is full of wonderful historic buildings of differing levels of grandeur, such as the local church at Guerin, the Castle du Roy in Casteljaloux [home of the Tourist Information Office], the pigeonnerie at Lagrange and the grand and imposing chateau at Duras.