The city of Bordeaux and the area surrounding it are bursting with riches waiting to be discovered.
The city has long been an architectural haven. Among its numerous must-sees are the Palais Rohan, Grand Theatre, Les Allées de Tourny, Monument aux Girondins, Place de la Bourse and Place du Parlement to name but a handful. Contemporary buildings pop against the elegant historical architecture, not least the Bordeaux wine museum with its bulbous, curvaceous shape stamping its mark on the riverside.
The Garonne River flows into the sea at Bordeaux, but not before offering inhabitants and visitors one last chance to enjoy strolling, cycling, running or dining along its scenic banks.
This brings us on to the city’s food and drink scene, which is dominated by the celebrated wines produced in the region’s vineyards. With restaurants serving up the finest wines alongside adventurous nouvelle cuisine or traditional French fayre, months could be dedicated to exploring the city’s outstanding gastronomy.
One of the top things to do in Bordeaux is head out to the vineyards for wine tours and tastings. Routes take in areas including Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves, Sauternes, Médoc, Saint-Emilion, Blaye and Bourg. If you’re a true connoisseur, you may wish to combine your visit with the Bordeaux wine festival which takes place annually in June.
The city is just 45 minutes from Arcachon Bay which encircles an inland sea and the highest sand dune in Europe. Among the many attractions around the bay are beautiful beaches, oyster ports and forests, providing many an opportunity for cycling, bird watching, oyster tasting and boat trips.
To the south of Bordeaux is Landes forest, the largest pine forest in Europe; a many-made phenomenon which now offers the perfect terrain for cycling and walking, great for those wanting to leave behind the buzz of the city for the tranquillity of nature.