Vue aérienne de Bordeaux au coucher du soleil

Bordeaux: what to do, what to see...

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. Come along and unbottle Bordeaux with us!

Things to do in the Bordeaux region

BORDEAUX @Jean-Christophe CABUT - AdobeStock

• Start the Bordeaux wine trail in Graves and Sauternes

This is just one of the six Bordeaux wine routes to discover, and 38 key appellations: Medoc (St Estèphe, Pauillac, Margaux), Sauternes and Graves (Pessac-Léognan), Saint-Laurent Emilion, Blaye (Côtes de Blaye) and Bourg, Entre-deux-mers (Cadillac), and the Libournais (Pomerol, Fronsac).

• Surf the waves at Lacanau

Lacanau is the ultimate surf destination in France, known worldwide by the pros for the quality of its waves. But there are other very popular spots on the 126 kilometers (78 miles) of Gironde beaches, such as Carcans Beach, Verdon sur mer, Hourtin, Soulac and Cap Ferret (Green Tip, Grand Crohot, etc.)

• Climb aboard for a river cruise departing from Blaye

Embark from the foothills of the Blaye citadel, and navigate to the secret islands of the Gironde and the lighthouse of Patiras, which served as a guide for those navigating the estuary. This is a totally unique river trip in France.

• Drink (moderately) to the wonder of wine at the Grande Biennale in Bordeaux

During the Big Biennale "Bordeaux fête le vin," Bordeaux wine festival held every two years in June (the next one is in 2020), the party is in full swing on the quays of Bordeaux! It's here that winemakers settle down to taste their products, with a Tasting Pass entry. The fête is an unmissable event for lovers of wine, local gastronomy and culture.

• Push your limits at the Médoc Marathon

Drink and run, it's possible! Through 42.2 kilometers (26.22 miles), the route runs through the vineyards of Pauillac, Saint Julien and Saint Estèphe. A festive atmosphere is guaranteed, and disguises are recommended.

• Travel back in time on a visit to the citadel and fortifications in Blaye

Bordeaux was well protected, particularly by the Verrou de l'Estuaire (the Estuary's Bolt), built by Vauban, as well as the citadel of Blaye, Fort Pâté and Fort Médoc. This famous fortified triptych is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

• Dress up to the nines for an evening at the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux

Put on the ritz: The Grand Theater is an emblematic monument of Bordeaux. Dates from the 18th century, the dome of the theater is reminiscent of the Opera House of Versailles, enamelled in shades of blue and gold.

• Enjoy a plate of oysters hidden away in a beach hut at Arcachon 

In Arcachon, and around the basin, a snack break is required to one of the many oyster huts dotting the region. A dozen oysters, served in rustic simplicity, accompanied by some whelks or shrimp and a glass of white wine is the taste of Arcachon.

• Let it all go in a vinotherapy spa

A grape a day keeps the doctor away—rich in polyphenols, their seeds help regenerate cells. Plunge into a hot water bath, mixed with grape and vine extracts, or luxuriate in a wrap made from wine yeast. In vino veritas!

• Learn the art of blending cognac at a mixology workshop

Like champagne, cognac is only from Cognac. Follow the recipes of winemakers and bartenders to create new cocktails, mixing it with other ingredients (fruit juice, syrup, lemon, cardamom, honey, etc.). Santé!

Getting to Bordeaux 

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