It may not have the glitz and glamour associated with its counterpart on the Mediterranean, but France's Atlantic Coast is just as appealing. Of course, there's the scorching sunshine and miles of sandy beaches, but there's so much more to this region than bucket-and-spade summer days.
Lively Bordeaux is emerging from an ambitious makeover to become one of France's hot destinations. Then there's the wine.
On the coast itself, the relaxed seaside resorts of Soulac-sur-Mer and Arcachon sit at either end of the Côte d'Argent, a long stretch of virtually deserted sand beaches and dunes best explored on bicycle.