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A Visit to Bordeaux in the Aquitaine Region of France

Updated on September 30, 2014

Our Trip to Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

France is our favourite place to holiday, we've been visiting for over 15 years now.

Usually, we stay in Britanny or Normandy, but in the Summer of 2010 we decided to go further South. We chose the Aquitaine region and stayed in the Gironde Department, about an hours drive from Bordeaux.

This lens is about some of the places we visited and the beautiful sights we saw. I hope you enjoy this short visit to Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France!

All of the photographs in this lens (not including Amazon products) are from my own collection. You are free to use them with the appropriate credit link back to this page

Where is Bordeaux?

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Bordeaux City Sights

Esplande des Quinconces, Bordeaux
Esplande des Quinconces, Bordeaux

A Visit to Bordeaux City

Bordeaux city was about an hour's drive south from our gite. Very easy to find, just following the motorway signs. We parked just outside the city and used the park and ride tram to get there.

We chose a particularly hot day and arrived there around midday too! We got a quick baguette lunch and then decided the only way we were going to see the sights in this heat was to take the tour guide bus around the city. I'm a big fan of city tour buses, the best way to learn about the city, especially if time is limited. The tour we chose had multi-lingual commentaries.

The tour was fascinating and took us all around the city. We learned about the various buildings and statues and picked up a great deal of history and culture along the way.

The statue in the picture here is the Statue of the Girons, Esplanade des Quinconces was rescued from the Germans during WW2. They had ordered all iron to be removed and used for ammunition but the French man charged with removing the horses drove them to an unknown village and hid them there until after the war. They were later returned to Bordeaux and reinstated.

Find our more information about the Bordeaux City Tour Bus here

At the end of our city tour we returned to our car and drove to Bordeaux Lac, a large lake just outside the city where visitors can swim and join in with water sports. Excellent picnic area to chill out and cool off in the shade.

We ended our trip with a visit to our favourite French diner - Buffalo Grill! Yes, ok, I know not traditonal French cuisine, but perfect when you just need a burger or some chicken wings!

Some Pictures of Bordeaux City - A tour bus view!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Esplande des quinconcesBordeauz parking lotCathedrale de St AndreCathedrale de St AndreCrosse cloche bell towerEsplandeWaterfall statue, an ancient fresh water point
Esplande des quinconces
Esplande des quinconces
Bordeauz parking lot
Bordeauz parking lot
Cathedrale de St Andre
Cathedrale de St Andre
Cathedrale de St Andre
Cathedrale de St Andre
Crosse cloche bell tower
Crosse cloche bell tower
Esplande
Esplande
Waterfall statue, an ancient fresh water point
Waterfall statue, an ancient fresh water point

Bordeaux City and Travel Guides

To get the most out of a visit to any city of culture, a travel guide and map is an essential buy. With so much information to absorb you want to be sure that you do not miss any fascinating facts and sights. We took the city tour bus and picked up lots of information about the city from our guide, but if we'd decided to do the tour ourselves on foot a map would've bee a necessary purchase. It is useful when planning your tour and you can use your guidebook information to highlight points of interest that you definitely don't want to miss!

Around the Aquitaine Region

Citadel at Blaye
Citadel at Blaye

Around the Gironde Department

Part of the Aquitaine Region

We hired a car which we'd collected at Bordeaux airport when we arrived. Our gite was out in the countryside so the car was essential for our trip. We like to drive around and see some of the French villages and scenery. I didn't find the villages as pretty as the ones up North but the views in the country were breathtaking. Miles and miles of vineyards and the occasional sunflower field coloured the landscape, simply stunning!

The Gironde department is set around the Gironde estuary, where the sea travels inland. The wine region is to be found both sides of the estuary and to get to the other side you can either drive around it, via Bordeaux and about 4 hours round trip, or you can take the ferry across from Blaye. We chose to take the ferry (it only cost a few Euros), after first visiting the impressive citadel and taking in the views from there.

The citadel is shown in the picture here. It was built circa 1680 around a monastery and army fortress. It stands on the rock over looking the Gironde and has many fascinating buildings and ruins inside for you to discover. It is quite possible to spend a whole day inside there, with restaurants and exhibitions to help fill the time.

Once on the other side of the estuary there are numerous wine chateux to visit and sample their produce. We drove back around the estuary, calling in Bordeaux to eat on the way back.

Around the Gironde estuary there are also some pretty estuary beaches to visit and spend the day. We visited Meschers, with its stunning harbour and quiet beach and also one day took a trip a bit further out to St Palais, a typical French beach resort.

Photos from around the Gironde

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The citadel at BlayeCitadelFerry across the GirondeGironde estuaryThe estuary beach at MeschersMeschers harbourBeach at St Palais
The citadel at Blaye
The citadel at Blaye
Citadel
Citadel
Ferry across the Gironde
Ferry across the Gironde
Gironde estuary
Gironde estuary
The estuary beach at Meschers
The estuary beach at Meschers
Meschers harbour
Meschers harbour
Beach at St Palais
Beach at St Palais

The Bordeaux Wine Region

Merlot
Merlot

Visiting the Bordeaux Wine Region

Bordeaux is renowned as one of France's great wine regions. The vineyards cover the whole of the Gironde department and extend throughout Aquitane with Bordeaux at its centre.

Driving around the region you will see miles and miles of vineyards and dotted around are numerous wine chateaux, many of which you can visit to sample their produce. We visited two of them. The first one, Chateau d'Agassac is shown in the pictures below. This one was a lot more commercialised and quite expensive, both to visit and to buy from. We didn't get a tour, just a self service quiz to do and the sampling was very sales orientated.

We did however get to visit another winery, Chateau Seganzac, which was a far more rewarding experience. The chateau was not as boldly advertised as some and we decided to stop as we were driving through the area. The owner, Thomas Herter, greeted us and gave us a personal tour which included the vines, the distillery and the bottling plant. He told us lots of information and was glad to answer our questions. We learned so much about wine making that day! Our tour ended with a delightful wine tasting session, he explained how to taste the wines properly and enouraged us to recognise the flavours and elements of his wines that he'd taught us about.

The tour was free and there was no pressure from him to purchase his produce, but of course, we were so enchanted by the Chateau Seganzac wine that we did indulge in a few bottles to bring home!

Unfortunately, we didn't have our camera with us when we visited the chateau, but you can see some here, at their official Chateau Seganzac Website

Visiting the wine region

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Chateau d'AgassacBottling timeMerlot grapesCeiling of the old pigeon house, now the wine tasting room at Chateau d'AgassacMiles and miles of vineyards around the Aquitaine region
Chateau d'Agassac
Chateau d'Agassac
Bottling time
Bottling time
Merlot grapes
Merlot grapes
Ceiling of the old pigeon house, now the wine tasting room at Chateau d'Agassac
Ceiling of the old pigeon house, now the wine tasting room at Chateau d'Agassac
Miles and miles of vineyards around the Aquitaine region
Miles and miles of vineyards around the Aquitaine region

More About Bordeaux

Visit Bordeaux on Youtube - Take a trip around the city in this short video montage

Did you enjoy this visit to Bordeaux? Have you been there yourself or maybe you would like to visit sometime? Let me know your thoughts here....

Bordeaux Guestbook - Thanks for stopping by, please leave your comments....

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    • Celticep profile image
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      Celticep 2 years ago

      Yes, the wines are amazing! Definitely a must to visit a traditional vineyard to learn about the art of wine making, and of course, sample their produce!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sure sounds delightful. We weren't too far from there on our trip to France. Sure enjoyed trying all the local wines. Beautiful region.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      Gites can be hit an miss - it pays to research! We stayed in one in Normandy, and it was so cold and desolate - even in late June. We also stayed in some fabulous ones in the south. One I remember well is Chateau La Grange de Luppe. Check it out if you can.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      I think I've developed a temporary case of extreme envy! There now it's past. Hate to be tooo envious and all of a fellow lensmaster. I have visited Marseille a number of times during my past navy career, but Bordeaux, that's a horse of a different color. Hope the holidays continue on for many years!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love to visit.

    • Celticep profile image
      Author

      Celticep 5 years ago

      @SheilaMilne: Yes, stiffling heat, luckily we had a pool at the gite to cool off .... the mosquitos at the gite (out in the countryside, middle of vineyards) was another story ....

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I always remember baking heat in Bordeaux, we must have chosen similar weather. We used to visit the area quite frequently when our sons were young but not recently. You've given me some ideas. :)

    • HenkWillemse profile image

      HenkWillemse 5 years ago

      France (and Bordeaux) have always been one of the places I've wanted to visit and this article just re-affirms that. One of my friends have just been to France (Envy) and they can't stop talking about it.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      Me, too, I have been to France, but not this area. Beautiful tour. Thanks!

    • Ninche profile image

      Ninche 5 years ago

      I've been to France, but never in Bordeaux - it looks beautiful, I really enjoyed reading it!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Thanks for the trip! I wish I could go there in person.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      Gorgeous photos and I loved traveling with you -- that's what it felt like. Thumbs up!