Formerly the regions of Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes.
The very centre of France's hexagonal borders is occupied by the former region of Limousin, the least populated part of France. With its green and hilly bocage scenery, its picturesque villages and castles, it could be seen as the very epitome of the French landscape. In spite of its beautiful scenery Limousin - the region is named after its capital Limoges - is apparently off the beaten track for tourists. Indeed there are few conventional attractions in the usual sense, but its abundance of lakes and rivers makes the region good for anglers, canoeists and sailors. The Vezere, Correze, Vienne and Creuse rivers rise in the mountainous east (Plateau de Millevaches, Monts des Monedieres), where peaks reach a height of some 1000m. In the departements of Creuse, Haute-Vienne and Correze there are only 42 people per sq mi, and agriculture forms the basis of the economy. Manufacture of porcelain and wallpaper, as well as leather working, are key trades in the region. Every seven years (2009, 2016) some 20 towns (including Limoges, Le Dorat, St Junien, Nexon, Aureil) stage colourful processions between May and July called ostensions. The fabulous variety of the Atlantic coast between the mouth of the Loire and Gironde rivers makes for a popular tourist destination with 2600 hours of sunshine per year. Inland, in the regions of Poitou, Vendie and Charentes, there is much for those who delight in culture to see and experience, for example in Poitiers and in the Charente valley with the wine-growing area around Cognac, homse of the famous brandy.