A Visit to Bordeaux in the Aquitaine Region of France
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?
Bordeaux City Sights
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
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
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 GirondeClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Bordeaux Wine Region
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 regionClick thumbnail to view full-size
More About Bordeaux
Visit Bordeaux on Youtube - Take a trip around the city in this short video montage
More Bordeaux Information on the Web
- Bordeaux, world heritage site - Official Tourist Website
Bordeaux, world heritage site. It is a recognition of our city's value and historic unity. Bordeaux is exemplary thanks to the unity of its urban and architectural expression. This architecture is classical and neoclassical and met with nearly no sty
- Bordeaux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the city in France. For the wine, see Bordeaux wine. For other uses, see Bordeaux (disambiguation).
- Bordeaux city
Portal to more useful Bordeaux websites
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....