Bordeaux is the capital of southwestern France. The city is distinguished by its exceptional 18th-century architecture. It is also a World Heritage status by UNESCO. It is well known for its gastronomy, culture, shopping, and nearby vineyards of the world’s finest wines.
It’s a great addition to a tailor made French itinerary for many reasons! First, it can stand on its own as a shorter city break. You can explore the area in a few days if you don’t have that much time. Second, it is connected incredibly well to transport and other nearby sites that you can visit. This means that you can add it on to a longer itinerary. Or a few days in Paris, a flight to neighboring Italy, or its easy proximity to the western coastal towns of Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz.
Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing tips and ideas for a shorter city break. These are also trips that can be added on to a longer holiday. This week, we are sharing ideas on beautiful Bordeaux!
Getting to know Bordeaux
Bordeaux, hub of the famed wine-growing region, is a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France. It’s known for its Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, 18th- to 19th-century mansions and notable art museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.
Beyond its vintages, Bordeaux and its region decant their unique lifestyle to all visitors. Explore the historic landmarks, take a wine tasting course, stroll along the Rue Sainte-Catherine, try surfing or indulge in a basket of Arcachon Bay oysters—the choice is yours.
The Miroir d’eau reflecting pool in Bordeaux
The “Mirror of Water” is a stunning example of how the city mixes classic and the contemporary. By the Place de la Bourse, this artistic piece of granite is covered with water. It creates incredible aquatic reflections that are truly magic.
The Cité du Vin wine heritage centre in Bordeaux
Bordeaux has long been one of the world’s top wine destinations. When Cité du Vin opened in 2016, it finally got a museum to match its reputation! Located in a spectacular modernist building that resembles a wine decanter, the City consists of exhibition spaces, cultural events, a wine bar, a cinema space, and more. Here, with a private wine expert, you will embark on an immersive, sensory adventure to discover the area’s wine culture and more. Enjoy a unique experience exploring the many and varied facets of wine across time and space. Your tour will conclude on the eighth floor of Belvedere. Here, you will soak in 360-degree views of the city along with a glass or two of the wine of course!
Cap-Ferret is a long stretch of shore on the Atlantic coast not far from Bordeaux. It’s famous for its oysters (considered by many to be the best in France). Also, its ocean and bay beaches, famous with the local Bordelaise for being THE place to go to relax. It’s a laid-back, easy-going beach town that is often times still pleasantly quiet. There are so many reasons we love this place. First, the beach shacks selling oysters and seafood along the sandy dunes. Second, long paths that connect village to village by a leisurely afternoon on the bicycle. To follow, gorgeous pine forests full of wildlife that nestle up against the sea. To conclude, colorful wooden fisherman’s homes charmingly snuggled one next to the other. Summing it up, this 12 mile peninsula is great stop for relaxation with a hint of the past
The vineyards of the Médoc
Médoc is Mecca of powerful red wines, the terroir of grands crus such as Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Julien. The châteaux route of Médoc: a must-visit for any wine lover!
Tailor made tours
The Bordeaux region boasts some of the most attractive scenery in France: vine-covered rolling hills, grandiose castles, and quaint historic villages. Cyclists (from beginners to professional level) can enjoy a plethora of cycling itineraries with our private biking guides. Recommended routes include the Roger Lapebie bike path in the Entre-deux-Mer region for its lush natural landscape and the 50-kilometer ride (done in a couple of days) from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion, a beautiful pastoral village that is designated on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its historic monasteries and churches plus and the 29-kilometer route from Bordeaux to Margaux, a village known for its gastronomy.
Full day tour of Bordeaux
With your local guide discover the treasures of this special city that has made it a UNESCO heritage site. The morning will be spent exploring the city’s most famous landmarks. These include the Grand Theatre, the Girondins monument, Allée de Tourny, and Place de la Bourse. You will also enjoy the 2,000-year-old district of Saint-Pierre, famous for its cafes and restaurants. You may even have the chance to explore the Les Halles de Bacalan, dedicated to Bordelaise edibles. This tour ensures you discover Bordeaux’s beautiful neighborhoods and unique history. Lunchtime will provide a real treat at one of our favorite restaurants, conveniently located at Cité du Vin, an amazing new interactive wine museum. This also happens to be your last stop which is full of fun and interesting anecdotes.
Full day wine tour
Here you will have the choice between the Saint-Emilion and the Medoc areas of Bordeaux. Both will include 3 different castle winery tours and tastings. It is a wonderful day of both learning about the Bordelais wines but also the history of the people and places that produce them.
City breaks, always tailor made
A few days in Paris? Or even head to the south of France? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish. Bordeaux is a great city break to add to so many other destinations!
We hope that these itinerary ideas provided some travel inspiration for your upcoming fall and winter. As always, its our mission and promise to make your Mediterranean travel dreams come true!
Contact us to start planning!