Bordeaux and Gironde
Bordeaux’s heritage is plural: architectural and intangible, yesterday and tomorrow. For if the image of heritage is first of all that of beautiful stones, the concept now extends to more recent buildings, statues and fountains, classical and modern museums; to literature, gastronomy, know-how and lifestyles.
The main sites of Bordeaux: Placed on the road of the Chemins de Saint Jacques de Compostelle, Bordeaux and several of its monuments are now listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Our guides will make you discover many historical sites and monuments.
The Gironde Estuary
This Mississippi-like estuary, where nature dominates, stretches between islands, marshes and vineyards, horse breeding and aquaculture. About ten islands populate the river. On the slopes, there are mills and old castles. In the villages, superb Romanesque churches and somewhere inland, unique Gallo-Roman sites. All the small ports and quadrangle pontoons of the estuary are authentic havens of peace, amazing stopping places with a very “natural” atmosphere where all around, cliffs, grass and vegetation are omnipresent.
Guided boat trips on the Gironde estuary; discovery of the 7 bridges of Bordeaux; discovery of the islands and the citadel of Blaye (from Bordeaux).
Days by boat to discover the islands of the estuary : Cruise between Bordeaux and the oceanic mouth on the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde rivers to meet the islands of the Estuary and the vineyards of Bordeaux ( from Bordeaux).
The Arcachon Basin
The Bassin d’Arcachon is the only lake on the Aquitaine coast to have kept an opening to the sea For a long time only frequented by fishermen, the Bassin d’Arcachon has been, since the middle of the last century, the kingdom of the oyster and its 84 km of beaches surrounded by pine trees make it an original and privileged place, unique on the coasts of France. Surrounded to the west by the wild ocean, to the north and east by the Bordeaux vineyards, to the south by the immense forest of the moors, the Basin benefits from the mildness of a climate where the invigorating scents of the sea air and those of pine resin. The calm waters of the Basin delight fans of a still unspoiled nature, impregnated with iodine, the scent of pines, mimosas and broom.
Guided tours of Arcachon : Winter town and summer town by coach and on foot.
Commented discovery and climb of the Dune du Pyla (highest dune in Europe). The Dune of Pilat, a large national site, invites you to a Saharan stroll along its ridges, from which the view is extraordinary.
Discovery of Gujan-Mestras : French capital of oyster farming with its oyster museum its 7 authentic ports all dedicated to oyster culture and construction naval.
Discovery of Cap Ferret and its authentic oyster-farming villages .
Guided tour of the Teich Ornithological Park : The most perfect exoticism will be there and you will then have the impression of being totally elsewhere: at the end of the world !
Commented boat trips on the Arcachon Basin : Comments on Arcachon oyster farming, the places of cultivation and predators of oysters and on the different sites of the Basin. Walk along the picturesque oyster huts. Discovery of small ports with colorful huts; Oyster parks and oyster farming; Small and large beaches that surround the Basin; Bird reserves and pine forests; Typical villages, seaside towns and listed sites; From the Dune du Pyla; From Bird Island and Cabanes Tchanquées.
The Médoc and its vineyard
Between the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the largest estuary in Europe in the east, the Médoc stretches for 80 km, from the north of the Bordeaux conurbation to Pointe de Grave. The Médoc… It is the wine route that includes the most famous châteaux: Giscours, Margaux, Pauillac, Lafite, Mouton Rothschild… It is also a striking diversity of landscapes with the estuary and its small ports, the green of the forests pine trees and 100 km of uninterrupted ocean beach. It’s a walk through marshes, horse farms and aquaculture. The Médoc is also some of the most prestigious wines in the world.
Visits – tastings in world-famous wine châteaux :
1st Grands Crus Classés; Grands Crus Classés; Crus Bourgeois; in Pauillac, Margaux, Moulis, Beychevelle, etc.
Saint-Emilion and its jurisdiction
Not far from Bordeaux, between Libourne and Castillon-la Bataille, Saint-Émilion stands like an open-air museum. Built as an amphitheater in a limestone valley, this small town, “precious stone of Bordeaux” astonishes and fascinates. The medieval city of Saint-Émilion with its religious, military or civil monuments, its underground caves, squares, alleys and vineyards, was classified in 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even today, Saint-Emilion retains all its charm and amazes with its troglodyte tradition and its vestiges of the great Romanesque period.
Guided tours of underground monuments.
Guided tours of the main sites of Saint-Emilion.
Guided tours of the jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion.
Small Tourist Train Excursions to discover the mythical Saint-Émilion vineyard.
Guided tours of Château de Vayres : It is one of the most beautiful monuments in Aquitaine. The castle belonged to the Albret family and their illustrious representative, King Henry IV. Former medieval fortress dominating the Dordogne, it is listed as a Historic Monument and its park has received the Remarkable Garden label. From its formal gardens to the medieval gardens, from the banks of the Dordogne to its rich apartments, the Château de Vayres invites you to discover a magnificent heritage.
Bordeaux has been able to count over the centuries on Bourg and Blaye to defend it from river attacks. Architectural gems remain from this defensive mission.
Discovery of the history and heritage of Blaye: The Citadel of Vauban, the Blaye vineyards, the Gironde estuary.
Guided tours of the Citadel of Blaye: Located on a rocky promontory, it overlooks the Gironde estuary. Built by Vauban between 1686 and 1689, it was commissioned by King Louis XIV to close the estuary and protect Bordeaux from enemy ships. Imposing and majestic, the citadel is today perfectly preserved (and inhabited) with its 17th century interior buildings, its ramparts, its castle, its religious buildings (convent, chapel, and cloisters) and its two gates (Dauphine and Royale). Listed as a historical monument since 1937, it has been classified by Unesco since 2008 on the World Heritage List as part of the Vauban Major Sites Network.
Discovery of the Corniche road : Set off along this picturesque route to admire the Gironde estuary, the fishermen’s houses and the troglodyte dwellings.
Guided tour of the medieval village of Bourg: Discovery through the upper town and the lower town.
Visits – tastings in wine châteaux: For the wine lover, red and white, who stays in the region, a tour of the Côtes de Blaye and Côtes de Bourg vineyards is a priority. On the left bank of the Gironde, the area of this appellation is very large but the vineyard occupies only a small part. Of course, Blaye still has an image of a “little wine” that sticks to his skin, but there are more and more quality winegrowers there. Everything suggests that this upward trend will continue!
Entre-deux-Mers was one of the first large vineyards in the region. It owes its name to its geographical location between the Garonne and the Dordogne, considered to be seas. At the heart of the prestigious Bordeaux vineyards, the Entre-deux-Mers appellation offers all the riches of an ancestral cultivation of the vine, a unique terroir between Dordogne and Garonne, richness of an exceptional historical and natural heritage .
Visits – tastings at the Maison des Vins and in wine châteaux.
Guided tours of bastides, castles and ancient villages.
Guided tours of the Abbaye de la Sauve-Majeure: Perched on a hill in the heart of Entre-deux-Mers, is one of the most spectacular monuments in Bordeaux. A once grandiose masterpiece of Romanesque art, this monument is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Routes of St Jacques de Compostela.
Guided tours of the Château de Cadillac : The castle of the Dukes of Épernon which dominates the Garonne was built at the beginning of the 17th century From this elegant castle where Louis XIII and Louis XIV stayed, remains the main building, two wings rebuilt in the 19th century, the main courtyard and the gardens. Inside, 17th century painted paneling and ceilings, tapestries with historical scenes, gilding, monumental carved fireplaces and polychrome marble give the castle a princely appearance. The castle, the moat and the garden were classified as a historical monument in 1875.
Guided tours of an organic farm : which aims to rediscover, in a surprising park, fruits, vegetables and plants of yesteryear. After the visit, a “Discovery snack” is offered with recipes from yesteryear.
South Gironde, in the land of Graves and Sauternes
The South Gironde offers a double landscape where vines and Landes forest form a setting of choice with the appellations Barsac, Graves, Pessac- Léognan and Sauternes as well as remarkable fortified castles. Travel to the heart of the landscapes where the Sauternes wine is born, golden, sweet, and world famous.
Multiply the discoveries as you wish: Grands Crus Classés, properties with authentic accents, historic châteaux and medieval fortresses .
Visits – tastings in wine châteaux: L Sauternes wines and Barsac are considered exceptional sweet white wines . Guided tours of historic castles:
Domaine de Malagar: residence of the writer François Mauriac and an exceptional site overlooking the Garonne valley, the town of Langon and the Landes forest
Château de Rauzan , located less than an hour from Bordeaux on the Entre-deux-mers plateau. The Château de Rauzan, witness to the Hundred Years War, is a magnificent example of medieval architecture.
Château de Cazeneuve : The Royal Château de Cazeneuve then owned by King Henri IV was the residence of the Kings of Navarre and Queen Margot. The Château de Cazeneuve was classified as a historical monument in 1965.
Château de Villandraut : This fortress, classified as a historical monument, was built between the years 1305 and 1312 for Bertrand de Goth, who became Pope under the name of Clément V.
Château de Roquetaillade : The Château de Roquetaillade is a unique example of feudal architecture in France. The ruins of the old castle and the new castle with its chapel were classified as historical monuments in 1976. The Roquetaillade castle museum preserves the rural memory of the region.
The Terroir des Graves
Between the Landes forest massif and the Garonne valley, the Graves region extends the Médoc, encompassing Bordeaux and its suburbs.
The Graves vineyard stretches along the Garonne. It draws its character and its difference from the multitude of gravel, pebbles, silica and limestone rolled up by the water, dispersed over the millennia by the great floods of the river. It is all these characteristics that make this poor soil, which no other culture than the vine or the woods would want, gives the wine so typical of Graves, only wine in France to bear the name of its soil “ Graves from Bordeaux “. No other wine region offers such a diversity of wines: dry and mellow whites, elegant and racy red wines, velvety and silky wines.
Visits – tastings in world-famous wine châteaux and in artisanal and family properties.
Guided tour of the Château de La Brède : An exceptional building in historical, architectural and natural terms, this site has been classified as a historic monument since 1951. The Château de la Brède is also called “Château de Montesquieu », Since the philosopher was born there in 1689, and after having traveled a lot, he ended up settling there permanently. Besides the beauty of the site and the architectural interest, it is obviously the omnipresent memory of Montesquieu that attracts!