Historic capital of the Albret region, Nérac is a town of 7000 inhabitants which can boast an important cultural heritage due to its location. Witness to a past steeped in history, this town in Lot-et-Garonne is a must for anyone seeking to discover the Landes and the former district of the province of Gascony. Why visit Nérac? Here is all there is to know.
Tourism in Nérac : what to do ?
Between the castle-museum of King Henry IV, the cruise on the Baïse river and the discovery of the medieval village, Nérac is a must during your stay in the Landes and Gascony.
In order to visit the town in due form, here are the monuments and sites that you must absolutely discover.
The visit not to be missed: the Henri IV castle-museum
If Nerac is a city known to historians, it is partly because it was the capital of the House of Albret, a family that in 1484 acceded to one of the most powerful kingdoms of medieval times: the throne of Navarre.
Based on a former Gascon fort, the castle-museum of Henri IV is a true jewel of the Renaissance. Built in the 15th century, the monument is probably the best witness to the rise of the House of Albret over the centuries. With prestigious courts such as that of Marguerite d’Angoulême, Jeanne d’Albret or Henri de Navarre (Henri IV), the building is at the heart of the tourist visit of the medieval town.
Even if 3 of its 4 wings have been destroyed, a visit to the Henri IV castle-museum, and more specifically the north wing, holds many surprises in store for you. Former flat of the Queen of Navarre, you will find there an exhibition retracing the heyday of the Albret family as well as a unique architecture.
If you are a tourist in Nerac, the castle is one of the places you should definitely visit. There, you will retrace the journey of a family and a historical figure of French culture: Henri IV, King of France and Navarre.
The visit of the castle of Nérac is free. However, you will need to reserve your place in advance!
Discover the town of Nérac and the landscapes of Gascony through a river cruise on the river Baïse.
If it is essential to visit the castle overlooking the river Baïse, it is no less important to take a river walk on it.
Nérac offers a guided tour along the Baïse. Called “Les croisières du Prince Henry”, it offers tourists the opportunity to discover the royal city from a different angle.
How does the guided tour take place?
The Prince Henry Cruise offers you the opportunity to embark on an authentic gabare (gabares are traditional boats which, in the past, were used to transport goods). The Prince Henry was built in 1994 and was used to transport Armagnac brandy and flour before being used as a tourist attraction in Nérac.
A 1 hour walk with commentary by a local tourist guide, the cruise starts at the harbour master’s office in Nérac, which is also one of the most beautiful river ports in France.
During this visit, you will discover the emblematic monuments of the city such as :
- the old bridge
- the king’s baths
- the castle Henri IV
- the flower fountain
Accessible to all, this cruise is one of the city’s flagship tourist activities and is an opportunity to discover the landscapes of the Pays d’Albert and Gascony.
For those with a sweet tooth, it is possible to take a lunch cruise. A way to immerse yourself 100% in the local culture by taking advantage of the Gascony terroir and fresh, seasonal produce.
Depending on the season, departure times vary and are more or less recurrent.
Read also : All about fly fishing in the Albret region
Stroll through the city and follow in the footsteps of emblematic characters.
With its picturesque charm, the ancient royal city of Nerac has something to please many people. Between its old houses, its quays and its architecture mixing gothic art, contemporary style and renaissance. The city is one of the major cultural tourist activities in the Albret country.
In addition to being a real stroll in the heart of history, Nérac is a city that has seen the passage of emblematic figures such as Haussmann, Henri IV or Michel Polnareff.
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When to travel to Nérac?
A historic town in Gascony, the crowds are much heavier in July and August than the rest of the year.
As far as the temperature is concerned, the most favourable months are from April to September.
If you don’t want to have to deal with crowds that could impact your tourist experience, we advise you to leave between April and June.
Between hotels, bed and breakfast and AirBnB, Nérac does not lack accommodation.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the places where you can stay :
- Hôtel Henri IV : 3 star hotel, this former coaching inn is perfectly situated since it is in the heart of the historical city.
- L’Albret CHR : with a terrace, a lounge, a bar and a restaurant, the Albret CHR also has rooms for those who want to make a stopover in the city of Nérac.
- Gîtes de la Garenne : with garden and outdoor swimming pool, this 40m2 house is the ideal place to enjoy your holidays in Nérac.
- Château de la Cauderoue : the most of this bed and breakfast? it puts at your disposal bicycles which will allow you to discover the town and to ride the cycling paths around the medieval city.
- Chambre d’hôtes : you will find rentals in bed and breakfast from 50€.
- AirBnB : on the application, some private individuals put at your disposal their house or rooms.
Where to eat in Nerac ?
Within the town, you will find nearly 10 restaurants which will welcome you and offer you, for the most part, traditional cuisine revisited. Among them: L’Art de Vivre, Les Terrasses du Petit Nérac or La Cheminée are very good addresses where you can enjoy a complete meal without paying a fortune.
How to get to Nerac ?
Nérac is only accessible by car. To get there, you have to take one of the departmental roads that pass through the town (D136, D656, D930, D258).
Situated 28 km from Agen, count a thirty minutes to get to the ancient historical capital of Albret.