Top 10 Things To Do
Bordeaux is both a city and a large region in Southwest France bordering the Atlantic Ocean. If you are fortunate to sample both on your holiday you will have memories to last forever. With so many attractions, sites and activities to choose from, our list will help you begin your journey into one of France’s richest regions of history, wine and food. Read more about Bordeaux and the Bordeaux region.
1 - Be enchanted by the UNESCO world heritage city of Bordeaux
The heart of the area of Bordeaux, this urban centre is one of the most beautiful cities in France and the centre of many sites and attractions such as the Grand Thèatre-Opera de Bordeaux, the Musée de Aquitaine, the Musée des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Art), CAP or the Museum of Contemporary Art or UNESCO sites on the Santiago de Compostella Route. Read more about 'Bordeaux - Port of the Moon'.
2 - Drive the famous Châteaux Routes of Bordeaux
The Wine route of the Médoc is one of the most famous wine routes in the world. It will take you by such iconic wine châteaux like Château Margaux, Château Laffite-Rothschild and Château Latour. Drive or cycle the UNESCO world heritage wine region of Saint Emilion, stopping at the medieval town of Saint Emilion, designated as one of the "100 Most Beautiful Villages of France".
3 - Get lost among the Bordeaux Vineyards
Although there are many Wine Routes to follow through famous regions such as the Médoc, Graves, or Saint Emilion but we suggest that you spend time following the lesser known routes through the beautiful Sauternes region or the Côte de Blaye, Côte de Bourg and Côte de Bordeaux regions with fabulous wines at a fraction of the price of the major Château. Other not to be missed regions include Cahors, Cognac, Bergerac, and Armagnac.
4 - Discover the UNESCO world heritage region of Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion was founded in the 8th century by the hermit monk Emilian who carved out a small home, actually a cave, in the hill. The hill became known as "The hill with a 1000 Châteaux" and named one of the most beautiful villages of France. The region of Saint Emilion was designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
5 - Climb the highest sand dune in Europe – The Dune du Pyla on the Atlantic coast
Scramble or climb to the top of the Dune du Pyla and be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Arcachon Basin. Welcome to the best beaches and the oyster capital of Europe!.
6 - Go back 17,000 years and into the prehistoric Caves
Attention spelunkers, prehistoric history buffs or curious travelers. Explore the Bordeaux area prehistoric sites - one of the most famous being the UNESCO world heritage site, the Cave of Lascaux in the Dordogne near Montignac. When Picasso visited the site and saw these extraordinary artistic cave drawings of prehistoric animals, he remarked, "We have invented nothing! A 'Rave about Caves' takes you to other underground adventures in the Bordeaux region.
7 - Walk, walk, walk, or cycle!
An ambulatory mode is really the best way to see the 18th century architecture of the city of Bordeaux. Take a refreshing break or a splash in one of the largest interactive art installations, The Water Mirror, reflecting the cityscape along the Garonne River. For 1 euro a day pick up a bike from designated bike racks all over the city and continue your spin through history.
8 - Take a wine course at the CIVB Wine School - L’Ecole du Vin
If you’re interested in wine a definite "must visit" is the CIVB building for all that is wine in the Bordeaux area. A priority activity is their excellent 2 hour wine course, just one of many that they offer. The CIVB is the destination for great information about lesser known but excellent châteaux.
9 - Indulge your senses at Bordeaux’s Markets
The Sunday morning market on the Quai de Chartron is a seafood food extravaganza showcasing an extraordinary fish market. Plan your best relaxed Sunday brunch savoring bouillabaisse, shrimps, mussels, a variety of other shell fish and even pasta treats with superb wine sampling from Graves or other Bordeaux wine regions.
10 - Surf and swim on the Côte d’Argent, the Silver Coast
Bordeaux means beaches. Some 200 kilometers of white silvery sand stretches south from the Gironde estuary. You have found Europe’s best surfing destination with challenges for amateur and professional surfers alike. Swimmers and sunbathers can find a quiet beach retreat or join the crowd in a larger resort centre like Arcachon.