Discover the best things to do in the region during your stay in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a beautiful city, an attractive place to live.
The mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé who undertook extensive projects during the 1990’s so as to return Bordeaux to its former glory: the quays were entirely restructured, the town center was pedestrianized and the facades of buildings were cleaned thus giving them a second life… In 2007, these efforts were rewarded by Bordeaux’s classification on the UNESCO World Heritage List, thus ensuring the protection of its patrimony.
Bordeaux holds a significant place in French living: it was voted as one of the top three towns in which one lives well. If you come to Bordeaux city, you must explore the streets, alleyways and squares of this magnificent wine capital, classified on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Learn about its architecture, its history dating from the 18th century.and its relaxed way of life!
If you stay in Bordeaux for the week end or a short stay in Bordeaux, explore the best things to do:
- the modern cultural centre, the Cité du Vin launched in 2016 and Bassin à Flots
- quartier Saint-Pierre with place du Parlement, place du palais, the magnificient Porte Cailhau, la Grosse Cloche built in the 15th century
- the city hall, Bordeaux' Cathedral Saint André, place de la Bourse, the famous Water Mirror created by Michel Corajoud
- the big square place des Quinconces and its wonderful and much photographed monument aux Girondins
- the golden triangle with place Tourny, the Grand Theatre build by the famous architect Victor Louis in the 18th century, the very charming Jardin Public of Bordeaux
- quartier des Chartrons, la place du marché des Chartrons, rue notre dame and its famous antics, le market located on the quais on sundays
- Saint Michel, et its wonderful church , Capucins' market on sundays
- rent a bike and cross the 2 bridges
What to do in Bordeaux? let yourself be inspired with our different tours in Bordeaux. Have a nice stay or week end in Bordeaux!
Visit Saint-Emilion, classified to the Unesco World Heritage
The very charming village of Saint-Emilion is only 45mn from the city of Bordeaux
Saint-Emilion is a charming village located to the east of Bordeaux and classified on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. A monk, called Emilion, who live in the 8th century, decided to settle there and to set up his own monastery. He gave his name to the town after becoming a Saint in the 11th century. Thanks to its proximity to the Dordogne River that flows past the foot of the town, and to the commercial trade that occurred on the river, the town became rapidly rich.
The undulating chalky landscape of the Saint Emilion area provides the perfect drainage to the vines. The ‘terroir’ is particularly appropriate for the Merlot grape variety that enjoys the clay (humid and fresh) soils. The wines that you will taste there are blended with a majority of Merlot: they are fruity, fresh medium-bodied and delicate.
In 1955, a classification of Saint Emilion wines was established with the idea of being revised every 10 years. Within this classification you will find some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious wines such as Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone and of course the famous Pétrus, located at Pomerol.
Visit Medoc region and its famous chateaux route
For wine connoisseur, Medoc region is a must-do to taste fine Bordeaux wines
Amongst the 60 A.O.C. throughout Bordeaux vineyards, the Médoc is the area that concentrate the highest proportion of prestigious châteaux. When driving along the ‘chateaux route’, the D2, you will pass by some of the world famous names such as Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe.
This piece of land enclosed between the river and the ocean has been known, for a long time, to make some of the best wines in Bordeaux, with their own strong personality. Napoleon III had a premonition and in 1855, year of the Universal Exhibition of Paris, ordered the creation of the Great Growth Classification (Classement des Grand Crus Classés). The most prestigious wines are classified by 5 categories from 1st to 5th growths.
All along the Médoc are some of the greatest growths: Château Margaux, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Pichon-Longueville, Château Giscours and many others. The Médoc is not only home to the greatest number of prestigious Grands Crus, but also to less known properties that are all magnificent in their own way and full of charm and authenticity. The Medoc soils, which were covered by the ocean millions of years ago, are made up of sand and gravels (pebbles). These poor and arid soils are perfect for growing the robust Cabernet Sauvignon vines, that need to suffer If you like powerful and aromatic wines you will find yourself in heaven in the Medoc. As you travel along the chateaux route, towards Saint-Estèphe the wines become more and more powerful.
Discover the beautiful Graves region
At the doorstep of Bordeaux, Graves region has so much to offer : wonderful vineyards and fascinating chateaux
The Graves appellation certainly does not have the same reputation as its cousins, Saint-Emilion and Médoc. Located just on the edge of Bordeaux, it is home to beautiful châteaux that produce magnificent wines. Graves wines are the only wines in France to hold the name of their soils: “las Grabas de Bordèus”, is literally the “Gravel of Bordeaux”. The Graves is the oldest appellation in Bordeaux and the particularity of its ‘terroir’ reminds us of the very high quality of its wines.
The Graves owe their name to the poor soils covered with gravels of different sizes, that, when night falls, transfers the sun’s heat that was kept during the day, to the vines. Going from Bordeaux to Langon, the Graves stretches over a large area of land that is 55 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. On the west and the south sides of the Graves, the pine forest protects the area from bad weather . The Garonne river on the east side provides milder micro-climate and works a thermo-regulator for the vines.
The northern part of the Graves area is the Pessac-Léognan appellation. Three very prestigious chateaux of the Graves area can be found there. The vines of Château Haut Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, and Château Pape Clément blossom and mature around Pessac, one of Bordeaux’s closest suburban towns. Red wines represent two thirds of the appellation’s production. They are produced with equal amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives the structure with tannins and acidity, and Merlot, bringing fruitiness and smoothness. The white wines, made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are famous for their freshness, their intensity and their floral and citrus fruit aromas, as well as gentle woody aromas when aged in barrels.
Visit Arcachon and its famous Pyla sand dune
Arcachon is a beautiful bay located at a 45 minutes’ drive away from Bordeaux.
Arcachon is a bay of 1500 hectares fed by the Atlantic ocean forming an inland sea with the colors of a lagoon, bordered on one side by a blond fine sand dune culminating at 104 meters: the Dune du Pyla, the biggest sand dune in Europe. From its summit you can also see the beautiful Landes forest. The Bay of Arcachon is also home to the eponymous town where lots of wealthy French families spend their summer holidays.
Here are the best things to do in Arcachon :
- Climb the famous Pyla sand dune and admire the breathtaking view from the top
- Climb to the top of Cap-Ferret lighthouse and benefit from the outstanding view of Arcachon’s bay
- Jump into a boat trip to be closer from the wellknown « Cabanes Tchanquées », wodden houses in the middle of the bay
- Savour an ice-cream or waffle at the famous local pastry chez Frédélian,
- Walk into the Ville d’Hiver neighbourhood in the city of Arcachon and eat the delicioux and sweet « Dunes Blanches » de Chez Pascal, a must do while in Arcachon’s bay ??