More and more people are exploring the possibilities of going on holiday with their friends, and it’s a great way to enjoy one of our luxury villas in Aquitaine while taking full advantage of the fantastic amenities and services we’ve got on offer. And while you’re enjoying the beauty of south-western France, you should also take advantage of the best group activities in Aquitaine – we’ve got some great ideas for you below!
1. Take hold of the handlebars with Bike Hire Direct
Lazing by the pool, gobbling more than your fair share of rich French food and all but drowning in wine; gluttony is part and parcel of the holiday package, but it can also leave you feeling lethargic. One way to counter that indulgence and perk up your group of travelling compatriots is with a rejuvenating bike ride. With Bike Hire Direct, the bicycles will be delivered direct to the door of your villa for free. Then just point your handlebars in whatever direction takes your fancy and off you go. Pair up with a pal on a tandem, request baby seats for the rugrats or opt for a basket, which you can fill up with wine and cheese for a mid-cycle picnic.
Location: Dordogne, France
Book: Online at Bikehiredirect
2. Paddle downstream with Brantome
Round up the troops for an invigorating canoe trip down the Dronne River, a tributary of the Isle River and one of the lifebloods of his fertile region. You can go solo and steer your own vessel, join forces with a friend on a two-seater or team up with two fellow holidaymakers in a three-person canoe. Even the least sporty members among your crew will find this easy route manageable. The river’s weirs (miniature dams that help regulate the river’s flow) add a little thrill to this otherwise leisurely paddle and the riverside scenery is pleasing to the eye. It’s not unheard of to see a beaver or two swimming near shore here either so keep your eyes peeled for any rustling movement on the river’s banks.
Location: 14 Avenue André Maurois, 24310 Brantôme, France
Book: call +33 5 53 05 77 24
3. Visit forgotten islands with Bordeaux River Cruise
Fun though canoeing may be, all that paddling can take its toll on the arms. If your friends or family have their hopes set on utter relaxation rather than adventure, the leisurely excursions provided by Bordeaux River Cruise offer a much less physically demanding way to exploring the waterways of Aquitaine. All kinds of cruise itineraries can be scheduled, with departures leaving from Blaye, Pauillac and Lamarque. Our top pick is the two islands excursion, which includes a jaunt down the Gironde Estuary, a wine-tasting pit-stop at Margaux Island, on-board views of the UNESCO-listed Vauban’s Bolt fortress and a stopover on the private Patiras Island, where a lighthouse offers hard-to-beat views over the vineyard-carpeted Médoc peninsula.
Location: 2 Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Book: Online at bordeaux river cruise
4. Watch a Basque sport at Cesta Punta de Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Football and rugby might take precedence back home, but in Aquitaine’s Basque Country, Cesta Punta – also called jai alai – is the sport of choice. Often touted as ‘the world’s fastest game’, this lightening-speed sport is somewhat similar to handball. It involves one ball, one wall and two people – or four if you’re playing doubles. Players wear a curved reed basket, known the cesta, and use this to hurl the pelota (a hard-as-rock rubber ball covered in goatskin) at speeds that often reach 270 kilometres per hour. It’s extremely fast and competitive, easy to understand and lots of fun to watch; one of the best places to take in a game is at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where several tournaments take place every year.
Location: Ithurralde Avenue 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Book: Online at Cesta Punta
5. Drive the car of your dreams with Supercar Roadtrip
Supercar Roadtrip specialise in turning petrolheads’ fantasies into reality. Back home in the real world, where school runs and grocery shopping top the agenda and practicality trumps style, you might be stuck with a run-of-the-mill people carrier or some other equally unremarkable model. But while you’re on holiday, suspended in a kind of fantasy land where extravagance and indulgence are always allowed, you can finally take the wheel of the kind of impractical, high-powered road machine you could never otherwise afford! The motor-mad among your group can choose between a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes or Jaguar. And for those who don’t want to drive? They can ride along as a passenger for the rip-roaring journey in a car that’s sure to turn heads.
Location: 12 rue Albert, 33300 Bordeaux – France
Book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 33 6 09 32 67 70.
6. Learn to surf at Surf en Buch
Aquitaine’s Atlantic Coast is prime surf territory and one of the best places in France to hone your surfing skills. Arrange for a private lesson for you and your friends and family to find out who among you shows promise and who’s heading for a wipeout. Your instructor will help you get to grip with the board and educate you in the deceptively difficult art of riding a wave. Even if the practice of standing on a surfboard eludes you, it’s always fun to try, and watching your nearest and dearest attempt it is just as entertaining as any TV show or film.
Location: 22 rue Captal François de Ruat 33260 La Teste de Buch
Book: Call+33 6 80 05 46 95
7. Test your mettle with Experience Canyon
Nothing bonds like a buzz, and the lashing of adrenaline you’ll experience while canyoning in the Pyrenees will only bring you and your chums closer. Canyoning combines a hodge-podge of outdoor activities, that – depending on the route you complete – may include wading or swimming through water, sliding down water flumes, climbing along ledges, jumping into pools, scrambling under waterfalls and abseiling. Scary, some would say; others would call it thrilling. Either way, you’ll sleep well after this day of adventure.
Location: 51 Bis Bd Charles de Gaulle, 64140 Lons, France
Book: call +33 6 08 21 45 78
Is your adrenaline pumping yet? If so, give it another boost with the other great travel inspiration across our site. There’s more suggestions for the bold traveller in our blog on the the top outdoor activities in Aquitaine, or if you fancy something a bit more relaxing here’s three Bordeaux vineyards for a great wine tasting experience. Looking for somewhere fun today? We’ve listed our favourite quirky chateaux in the South of France too. Just ask our concierge team if you have an questions!