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Tonneins - a Garonne River town

Tonneins is an attractive town that is located on the banks of the River Garonne, in south-west France. Once a major tobacco producer, today Tonneins is better known for its fruits, of which the famous Agen plums are perhaps the most acclaimed. The landscapes around Tonneins also feature vineyards in no small way, and there are many beautiful wine domains to discover and excellent wines to taste.

Tobacco and Tonneins

The tobacco legacy of Tonneins is still tangible, however. The old quays, where once tobacco was loaded onto boats, have now been transformed into a lovely promenade, where residents and visitors can take a peaceful stroll along the riverside. There is also a museum which you can visit, to discover all about the industry that once was the lifeblood of Tonneins.

Life after tobacco

Initially, when the tobacco industry began to decline in the region and the tobacco factory was closed with the loss of many jobs, it was an economic blow to the town. But Tonneins rallied and with the help of local investment, has re-established itself as a thriving community and an attractive residential centre.

Tonneins and its facilities

The town has excellent facilities with a good range of shops (including two supermarkets and a hypermarket), banks, a post office, health care and educational services, and there are plenty of cafés and restaurants too where you can relax and enjoy the delicious cuisine and great wines of the south-west.

Twice weekly market

If you are among the many Francophiles who are addicted to the multi sensory pleasures of the traditional French street market, Tonneins has a treat in store for you. The town hosts not one but two markets every week, with both Wednesdays and Saturdays seeing the colourful stalls appearing in the town, and offering you the chance to purchase excellent, fresh local produce as well as all manner of surprises!

Sports and leisure

There is a swimming pool in Tonneins, and there are many more activities that you can find in and around the town. Try, for instance, kayaking or canoeing on the river, or maybe you would prefer pottering around in a pedalo on the nearby leisure lake. Those with kids in tow take note... the lake, at Cateljalloux, also has an activity centre which is great fun, and includes child-friendly equipment such as water slides and rope swings. Golfers can enjoy a very good course that is located near Tonneins, and the countryside also lends itself well to cycling, walking or horse-riding.

Out and about

There are a number of places of interest and beauty in the areas that make great destinations for days out from a base in Tonneins. Visit Agen, the major centre for plums, and try the famous cuisine that includes such delicacies as duck confits, prune sauces and great local wines. Then there is Marmande, the town noted for its large, juicy tomatoes, and, if you don't mind going a little further afield, the neighbouring departments of the Dordogne, the Gironde, the Landes, the Gers and the Lot are all accessible and offer a huge diversity of French delights.

How to get there

Tonneins is easily accessible from the UK thanks to the airports of Bordeaux, Bergerac, Toulouse and Pau, which offer a variety of flights and airlines and are within a relatively short drive of the town. Bordeaux is served by British Airways, bmibaby, Aer Lingus, easyJet and flybe; Bergerac by flybe and Ryanair; Toulouse by British Airways, easyJet, bmi, Jet2 and flybe; and Pau by Ryanair. The TGV makes another great option, as there are TGV stations at both Toulouse and Agen, which are not far away, and Tonneins has its own railway station. So with just a change from the Eurostar at Paris you can travel all the way by train, by travelling on from Paris by TGV and then local train! If driving, you will find Tonneins easily accessible from the N113.

Property prices and availability in and around Tonneins

Property in and around Tonneins is not usually particularly cheap, as the department of Lot-et-Garonne is in a very desirable location, being, as it is, within reach of the big commercial centres of Toulouse and Bordeaux. There is a good variety of property to be found in the area, with some very reasonably priced village houses for restoration and some lovely big, rambling farmhouses outside the town.

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Tonneins AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Tonneins?

Tonneins is situated in the south-west of France. It lies slightly to the north-west of the centre of the Lot-et-Garonne department.

Tonneins Property Map


Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map


Lot-et-Garonne Guide

  Lot-et-Garonne Map

Population: 9,000

Access: By air: Fly to Bergerac, Bordeaux, Toulouse or Pau. By rail: The TGV runs to Toulouse, and also to Agen, from where you can take a local service to Tonneins itself. By road: The town is easily found from the N113.

Economy: The principal force in the economy of Tonneins is fruit growing and wine. Tobacco production, once significant, has declined rapidly and tourism is becoming a factor.

Interesting fact: The rapid decline of the tobacco industry may have been good for the health of the population, but it initially had a very detrimental effect on the economy of Tonneins, once a major tobacco growing town.

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