The countryside of SW France is charming in all seasons, the quiet solitude of the winters and vibrant, colorful springs. Summer brings many of these tiny towns to life, thanks to tourism and seasonal residents, where autumn might be one of my favorites, watching the vines change color and the misty autumnal mornings. It’s the best way to see the real France and during these covid times a great way to get out, avoid large groups of people, and support smaller communities.
Captieux has a lake, Lac de Taste, incredible farms like La Ferme des Filles, is home to one of the most Northern bull rings, and is where the delectable ‘puits d’amour‘ pastry is from! It is in Gironde but being so close to the Landes you will still pass through pine forests.
HOW TO GET THERE : You’ll need to drive. Captieux is a small town on the edge of Gironde, Landes and Lot et Garonne. Word on the streets is that, eventually, there will be a TGV direct from Bordeaux in the next few years. Until then, the closest train station is Langon, which is a 25 minute drive away. There are a lot of wonderful small towns in the area worth stopping by and taking in the scenery as you drive.
WHAT TO DO : Besides selling incredible produce from seasonal vegetables to eggs on-site, La Ferme des Filles has gites to rent, will eventually run educational events (when covid allows), and offers a lovely large area for your children to roam and meet goats, sheep and chickens / Open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 2pm-6pm, Closed Sunday / +33 6 63 04 36 07 / email@example.com / Lieu dit Marahan, 33840 Captieux / La Ferme Des Filles – Location de gites et vente de produits bio
If you are staying locally, about 25 minutes drive from Captieux is the rainbow trout farm of La Ferme du Ciron, in business for over 30 years and offering whole trout, trout eggs, smoked trout and different canned items. You can also order fish killed in the Japanese Ikijimi method (surcharge). Our trout was collected on demand, incredible fresh. Walk-ins to the shop are welcome Monday-Saturday from 2pm-6pm / Grand Trépelèbe, 47420 Allons / La Ferme du Ciron
They’ve taken Bordeaux by storm, but these modest little, bite-sized desserts by pastry shop Maison Seguin have a humble origin. The original shop in Captieux still stands and now sells the original flavor, but also chocolate, lemon and raspberry / Open Thursday-Saturday, Sunday morning only / +33 5 56 65 60 40 / 4 Rue de la Gare, 33840 Captieux / +33 Maison Seguin – Le puits d’Amour à Captieux depuis 1952 /
As you drive through the area, there are also plenty of 11th and 12th century Roman churches in the countryside, which are generally easy to spot due to their flat bell towers. This one is in Goualade, eglise Saint-Antoine de Goualade built in the 12th century although changes have been made during the 14th and 16th century. The beautiful door is from the 17th century and was added during the Wars of Religion. It has one of the more ornate interiors I’ve seen in the area.
While you’re out here, why not enjoy the Landes forest and go for a walk? There are some really easy trails if you have small children, like the one at Escaudes, but many others which can be found in the area. The walk around Lac de Taste is also very child-friendly. The summers inland can feel much hotter than those on the coast, so bring water and snacks, and always pack a rain jacket as the weather can change quickly all times of year! Lac de Taste (cdcdubazadais.fr)
You can read more here Bullflighting in Southwest France, Corrida – Aquitaine Travel Guide