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Ira Szmuk

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Bordeaux is known for its stunning architecture and vibrant city life. On sunny days, you can spend the day in terrace cafes and walk along the neverending Garonne riverfront. The problem is though, that you can’t always count on sunny days in Bordeaux, as there are quite a lot of rainy periods here even during the summer. So having a plan for rainy days is quite a must! 

In this article, I put together some of the best places and things to do in Bordeaux. These include some of my favorite indoor places for drinks, museums, and of course wine-related activities. Many of these activities are geared towards adults so if you’re traveling with kids I invite you to take a look at my article about things to do with kids when it’s raining in Bordeaux

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux check out my list of the best 50 things to do in Bordeaux. Now let’s start our list of the best activities for rainy days in Bordeaux.

Food and wine with friends at Halles des Bacalan

The Bacalan market opened its doors in 2017 and has become one of the most popular places in town since. It’s not a surprise, of course, Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin museum and hosts numerous artisans and merchants who were chosen for the quality of their products. 

Les halles des bacalan

It’s a perfect place for lunch or an apero with friends, especially on rainy days. You can stay there for hours tasting delicious food and drinking wine. If you want to discover other cool places in the Bacalan neighborhood check out my article about things to do in Bacalan.

Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

See an immersive exhibition at Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières is a visual arts space situated in an old submarine base built during WWII. Since 2020 it has been hosting marvelous immersive exhibitions of many famous artists like Klimt and Dali. Different parts of their famous works are being deconstructed and screened on the walls of the Bassin accompanied by a touching soundtrack. You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe.

 This year les Bassins de Lumières is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Vin Gogh and other Dutch painters. The new exhibition will be presented from February 16, 2024, to January 5, 2025. You get your tickets here.

La cité du vin

The cité du vin is a fun place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a one-of-a-kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers, and then smell and taste wine.

The tickets are not cheap but there’s so much to see there that you can easily spend a full day there. So you won’t have to worry about making plans for a rainy day. If you want to learn more about this super innovative museum, check out my article about visiting the Cite du Vin.

Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Visit Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base turned into an urban space with a co-working space/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. 

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin

This is a great opportunity to discover a different Bordeaux, beyond the elegant historic center. When it’s raining you can spend a full day there, eating at a restaurant, tasting wine, doing second-hand shopping in Emmaus, and enjoying street art. 

It’s also one of the best places to take kids to when it’s raining

Address: 87 Quai de Queyries – 33100 Bordeaux

Le garage moderne

Le Garage Moderne is a special combination of a garage for cars and bicycles and a place of art and culture, workshops, and social meetings. If you have a problem with your car or your bicycle, it’s a good opportunity to learn how to fix it. The mechanics of le Garage Moderne will accompany you with explications adapted to your level of mechanic knowledge. 

Apart from that you can just drop by to have a drink, make friends, and see interesting art expos. Le Garage Moderne is open from Monday to Friday.

Address: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

Visit the Opera building

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux was built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Victor Louis. It’s one of the most beautiful 18th-century theaters in the world and is one of France’s preserved historical buildings. 

Previously a seat of the French parliament, today it’s home to the Opera National de Bordeaux and the Ballet National de Bordeaux. You can try and get tickets to one of the shows at the Opera. A few times a week, depending on the season, the Grand Theatre also offers a guided tour. The price is 10 euros and free for people under 26. For reservations click here.

Address: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Taste Wine 

We are in the capital of wine, so instead of being gloomy about the weather, use it as an opportunity for wine tasting. Here in Bordeaux, you have several places where you can taste local wines during the day without waiting for the wine bars to open up in the evening.

One good example is Bar à Vin which is located in one of Bordeaux’s beautiful 18th-century buildings. This place specializes in the wines of Bordeaux and it changes its wine menu once a month, so there’s always a good reason to go back and learn about new local wines. If you want to discover other good places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux.

wine tastings in Bordeaux
photo by lost in Bordeaux

Visit art museums

If you are in the mood for some art on a rainy day, there are a few museums in the center of Bordeaux that are dedicated to art and design, the most important ones are:

Le musée des beaux-arts

This museum is famous for its sculptures and paintings from the 16th to 20th century, among them the works of Pérugin, Rubens, Chardin, Delacroix, and Matisse alongside Bordelaise artists such as Odilon Redon and Albert Marquet.Opening hours: The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions as well as concerts and art events. Open every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00

Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design– the museum is closed for renovation

The Museum of Decorative Art and Design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. Many of the furniture and pieces of art you will see in this museum are dated to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.  Not less impressive is the original woodwork and wooden floor of the museum. 

The museum is currently closed for renovation

Le CAPC – musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

Le CAPC is worth visiting even if you are not a big fan of contemporary arts. The museum is housed in an old wool warehouse where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. What makes it special is the combination of modern art with the old architecture of the building. 

In the permanent collection, there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art.  Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux

CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

*All museums mentioned above are free every first Sunday of the month.

Visit the Capucins Market

One of the main attractions in Bordeaux is Marché des Capucins. It’s the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and it has everything from fruits and spices to local sweets and plenty of oyster stands. 

Chez-jean-mi Bordeaux market
Chez-jean-mi – Lost in Bordeaux

It’s a perfect place when you want to hide from the rain in Bordeaux. Take your time strolling between the stands and discover the Southwest of France gastronomy. You can then stay for lunch in one of the many restaurants in the Market. You can also try and book a food tour and turn it into a richer experience.

Weekends are especially busy in Capucins with locals meeting their friends for oysters and wine after their market run. So if you want to get a table on a Sunday be sure to be there before 11 am. If you need help choosing what and where to eat at the market, check out my article about the best places to eat in Marche des Capucins.

Play board games in Jeux barjo

Jeux Barjo is the most central game bar in Bordeaux which includes several spaces: a mezzanine, a cellar, and large libraries. Anyone can enjoy this bar as it holds a very impressive board game collection, and even if you are not familiar with the games, the friendly staff are there to explain the rules. The bar offers different menus of games, drinks, and tapas. 

Address: 12 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater that offers a unique experience as it’s installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. It is much more than just a cinema, there are regular meetings with directors and debates on social issues that are being addressed in movies. The program is very diverse, from little independent productions to big-budget movies and old classical ones. 

Utopia cinema Bordeaux
Photo by: Ramon Szmuk

At the entrance to this beautiful building, you will also find a restaurant, and on sunny days there are a lot of tables outside watching Place Camille Jullian. An old movie and lunch in an old church sounds like the most comforting plan for a rainy day. The price is 7 euros, see the program.

Address: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

Surfing in a coffee place

This is a super cool activity for a rainy day. The Wave Surf Café is the first indoor cafe where you can surf! The Big artificial wave in the middle of the coffee shop imitates an ocean wave and allows you to feel like a professional surfer in the city center :). It’s a nice experience for those who don’t live next to the sea and don’t have the opportunity to surf. For more details click here.

Address: 174 Cours du Médoc, 33300 Bordeaux

See local contemporary art in MECA

If you crossed Pont Saint-Jean recently you must have noticed the white modern building that reminds La Defense Arc in Paris. This is MECA the Regional Pole of Culture and Creative Economy. One of the more interesting places you’ll find here is Frac. 

MECA Bordeaux

Frac is a cultural institution with a mission to promote contemporary art in Nouvelle Aquitaine, hosting several exhibitions of local artists.  The exhibitions are varied and include many genres from photography to painting and sculpture. During the weekend it hosts interesting talks, workshops, and activities for kids. For more details click here

Address: 54 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux

Visit the chic foodie market – Boca 

If your stomach starts growling after the long art session in FRAC, just continue to the next place on Quai de Paludate – La Boca Foodcourt. They call it the first French food court, although it reminds me less of a traditional food court in an American mall and rather chic and a bit of a pricy foodie’s market. 

boca food bordeaux

Boca is a long hangar with rows of wooden tables in the middle and about 15 different restaurants. I like it as there’s a great variety of food such as seafood, Spanish tapas, a meat restaurant, and a good bar. It’s especially nice if you come as a group of people and share many different plates. On weekends La Boca hosts many fun events such as salsa parties, 90s dance parties and more, you can check their events schedule here.

Address: 208 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux

Try to get out of an escape room in Espace Hunt

Escape rooms have become popular around the world and it didn’t skip Bordeaux. There are a few escape rooms in Bordeaux and Espace Hunt, located next to Gare Saint-Jean is one of them. The concept is that for one day you become a group of detectives and you have 60 minutes to collect clues and solve a series of questions to exit the room before time runs out. The bigger your group is the easier it will be to get out! 

After the game, you can enjoy a coffee in a 100m2 Victorian salon and take photos in special detective costumes. The place isn’t recommended for kids under 12 and all kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. One of the rooms is forbidden for kids under 16.

Adresse: 5 rue Pierre Loti, 33800 Bordeaux 

Bowling 

Bowling is one of the best indoor activities you can do on a rainy day. Bordeaux has a big Bowling facility right just a few minutes walk from the city center. Bowling de Bordeaux is located in Meriadeck and it’s open daily. The place also has a bar and billiard tables. See all the information here.

Address: Terrasse du Général Koenig, 33000 Bordeaux

Centre Aquatique Caliceo

What’s better than to pamper yourself in a spa when it’s raining outside? The Caliceo Center offers you just that. A spa with pools, aquatraining, hammam, different saunas, and massage to relax and forget about work and city life. The place is open daily from 10:00 to 21:00.

Address: Quartier du Tasta, 8 Rue Jean Pommies, 33520 Bruges

Enjoy a Roller Disco 

Moovens Roller Rink in Gradignan is a fun place where you can go skating or rollerblading. They offer skating classes, roller sessions and even organize roller disco parties from time to time. If you don’t have rollers you can rent them there. See all the details here

Address: 11 Av. de la Madeleine, 33170 Gradignan

Axe Throwing in Pessac

If you feel like doing something special that you probably haven’t done before – consider axe throwing. Apparently, it’s a thing now and Les Freres Jacks is the place for it in the Bordeaux area. You have to reserve a target for one hour (up to 3 people for 1 target). 

Address: 152 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 33600 Pessac

Go shopping in one of Bordeaux’s Malls 

I’m not a huge fan of shopping centers but I must say that it saved a lot of my rainy days here in Bordeaux. If you want to stay close to the center of Bordeaux, Meriadeck is the only mall in the city. It has quite a few nice shops and a few simple restaurants/ coffee shops. 

However, if you want something bigger where you can spend many hours you should head to one of the commercial centers of Bordeaux. The two biggest and most impressive ones are Rive d’Arcins in Begles and Aushopping Bordeaux Lac, both accessible by public transport from the center of Bordeaux. Both of these commercial centers have a huge variety of shops, many places to eat, and little corners for little kids to play.

Attend one of Bordeaux’s events

The Bordelais are quite used to rainy winters (or falls and springs for that matter) so there are plenty of events that are adapted for people trying to escape the rain. While the summer events are usually outdoors, starting October many events, like special markets and open doors in various Chateaux, are starting to take place all over the region. 

To know about specific events taking place every month, follow my monthly lists that I publish regularly on the blog and subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I update you about the best events every weekend. 


I hope this list gave you a lot of ideas for the upcoming rainy weather! Thank you for reading and share if you liked it 🙂

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

If this February is even slightly similar to last year, we might have some sunny and warm days coming soon. You can use the opportunity to discover the region! Visit some of the beautiful villages around Bordeaux, go eat oysters in Arcachon, or just spend one day in Bordeaux like a tourist

In this article, I wanted to update you on some of the best events taking place in Bordeaux (and the region) in February. But if you need more ideas for fun things to do, here’s an article about the best things to do here in the winter. 

You can also subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things happening in the city every weekend.
If it’s your first time in Bordeaux I recommend reading my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux and about the best districts in Bordeaux in case you’re still looking for accommodation.

The best things to do in Bordeaux and the region in February 2024

See the stunning Vin Gogh exhibition at Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières will finally be hosting the stunning Vin Gogh exhibition that has been traveling the world for a few years. And even if you’ve already gone to this expo elsewhere in the world, I still recommend going to the Bassins de Lumières just to experience it in this special location. The visual arts space is situated in an old submarine base built during WWII. The reflection of the works of art of the most notorious artists in the world in the water of the basin just makes it a very immersive and special experience. You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe. 

The new exhibition will be presented from February 16, 2024, to January 5, 2025. You get your tickets here.

Les Nuits Au Musée

The CAPC Museum in Bordeaux in collaboration with the IBOAT team is organizing a big electronic music weekend. See the full program here.

Jumping International de Bordeaux

Jumping International de Bordeaux is a big riding equestrian event that includes competitions, spectacles, and a fun fair. The event will take place February 1 -4 in Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. For more details click here.

Fête des Boeufs Gras de Captieux

Fête des Boeufs Gras is a festive day celebrating the famous Bazas cattle in the southeast of Gironde. There are two places where celebrations usually take place. This year the first one will be Captieux where the Fête des Boeufs Gras will take place on February 4, followed by Bazas (you’ll read about it next). The festive event includes a parade, music, and a tasting of delicious meat. For info click here.

Fête des Bœufs Gras de Bazas

Since 1283, the Thursday before Mardi Gras, the city of Bazas has been hosting the famous “Fête des Bœufs Gras” that celebrates the Bazas Beef. An Oxen parade takes place on the central streets of the town which will be judged by a jury of experts. 

The day ends with a banquet where you can taste the famous meat. The event will take place on February 8. See more details here.

Fête des Bœufs Gras in Bazas

Ratatam – kids festival

The Ratatam Kids Festival is taking place at the Entrepôt du Haillan until February 13-18. The program includes concerts, animated movies, a painting contest, video games, meetings with cartoonists, a comics workshop, and more. Check out the full program here.

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end 2024 is a fun music festival taking place on Feb 23-25. The long lineup of DJS will perform in many places in Bordeaux such as the IBOAT, Les Vivres de l’art, the Warehouse, and more. You can find the program and tickets here.  

Les Toiles Filantes – Kids Cinema festival 

Les Toiles Filantes is a cinema festival allowing kids to discover cinema through screenings, meetings with people from the industry, new movie contests, and more. The festival takes place at Cinéma Jean Eustache in Pessac from February 26 to March 3. For more details see the website of the festival.

Party at Blonde Venus

The Blonde Venus is a fun space on the Bassin a Flot with plenty of cool events taking place on weekends. They organize everything from vintage markets to kids’ dance parties and DJ sets. See the full list of events here

Truffles market in Saint Emilion 

Truffles are one of the most identified products of the Southwest of France. Usually, Dordogne is the one to take most of the credit when it comes to truffle markets, but Gironde is giving a fight. Every Saturday morning in February a truffles farmers market will take place at la Maison Espace Gaudet in Saint Emilion. See more info here.

visit Saint Emilion

Check out my article about what to do and see in Saint Emilion if you decide to go. 

Go to a concert at Arkea Arena

Arkea Arena is one of the biggest concert venues in Bordeaux, hosting a great variety of shows from French mega starts to dance shows and spectacles for kids. It’s a great option for the cold days of February. See the full program here.

Is it your first time in Bordeaux?

If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred AirBnB location.

If you need more tips for things to do in the SW of France I invite you to join my Facebook group ” Travel in the South West of France“. Also, every Friday I send a newsletter with plenty of additional events you can enjoy during the weekend, so hurry up and subscribe to my email list now 🙂

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group


If you’re planning to travel to the southwest of France, deciding on where to land, is the first decision you need to make. Bordeaux is the biggest airport in the southwest of France but there are quite a few smaller international airports in the region that will get you quicker to your destination. In this article, I put together a list of all the international airports in the Southwest of France with suggestions of things to do in each area. 

If you want to start looking for a flight for your next vacation here, try putting one of the airports in this list in Ski Scanner. That’s a great tool to see if you have a direct flight to the region and find the best flight prices.

Bordeaux – Merignac airport

Bordeaux is the capital of the Southwest of France (Nouvelle Aquitaine region) and as such the Bordeaux- Merignac airport acts as the main airport in this region, There are direct flights from many European cities such as Amsterdam, London, Athens, Basel, and many others. 

During the summer season, there are also plenty of smaller and exotic destinations where you can take a direct flight from Bordeaux. These include Catania, Casablanca, Faro, Paphos and more. You can see all the destinations to and from Bordeaux airport here

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

How to get to and from the Bordeaux airport
If you’re staying in the center of Bordeaux, the easiest way to get there from the airport would be to take the tram (line A). Here’s the schedule of that line

You can also take a taxi from the airport, or book one in advance if you want it to go faster. Booking is a good website for booking a taxi from the airport to any destination in Bordeaux.  If you need to get to another destination in the region like Arcachon or Cap Ferret, I recommend using this taxi service.

However, if you’re planning to start traveling the region straight ahead, you rent a car at the airport. All the big companies have an office just outside the main terminal. Here’s the website I usually use to find the best car deals in the region.

In case you want to continue to one of the other cities and towns in the region, Bordeaux’s pretty well connected to other parts of the region. You can find several trains a day to destinations like Toulouse, La Rochelle, Bayonne, Bergerac and others. You can get from the airport to the train station in Bordeaux by the airport shuttle.

If you need to stay the night near the airport there are a few hotels in the area with a free shuttle service to the airport like Sheraton and Mercure. There are also several more affordable options like Ténéo Apparthotel and Campanile however they don’t provide a shuttle service so you need to have a car to get to the airport. 

What to do near Bordeaux: Bordeaux itself is a must of course but it’s also the base for visiting places like Saint Emilion, the Medoc wine region, Arcachon, and Cap Ferret.

Other smaller international airports in the southwest of France

La Rochelle airport

La Rochelle – Île de Ré

La Rochelle is a beautiful port city situated on the Atlantic coast in the Atlantic coast. The airport is located about 5km from the center of Bordeaux and just next to the bridge that leads to Île de Ré. 

It’a a small airport with two main airlines flying here which are Easy Jet and Ryanair. The cities you can fly from to La Rochelle are London, Bristol, Bruxelles, Geneva, Lyon, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, and Porto. Most of the flights operate only during the tourist season. You can see all the details here

Access to the airport: There are buses from the airport to La Rochelle center and to all the villages of Ile de Ré, you can see all the info here. There’s also a taxi service at the La Rochelle airport, here’s a list of all the companies in case you want to book a taxi in advance. 

Car rentals: four companies are operating in the airport: Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, and Avis. You can find them on this map.

What to do nearby: La Rochelle is a stunning city that should not be missed. Other stunning destinations close to the La Rochelle area include Île de Ré, Île d’Oleron, Fouras, and many beautiful villages along the coast such as Talmont-sur-Gironde and Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. Cognac is also quite close to La Rochelle and is definitely worth a visit.

Airports in the Dordogne Department

Bergerac Dordogne Airport

If you’re heading to the Dordogne you can land directly in Bergerac one of the main cities in the Dordogne departments. It’s not as big as the Bordeaux airport serving mainly airlines flying from the UK and Brussels. 

How to get to and from the Bergerac airport: There’s currently no public transport to the city center. So you can either book a taxi online (or you can call one of the taxi services on this list) or rent a car at the airport.

Things to see nearby: That would be the closest airport to get to places like Sarlat, the Lascaux caves, Perigueux, and some of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne (Beynac, Domme, and others).

Where to stay in Bergerac
The promenade in Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

Brive airport 

Brive is one of the biggest towns of Corrèze, located in proximity to the Dordogne and Lot department. Two airlines are operating here Amelia and Ryan Air. These are the six destinations from which you can get by direct flight to Brive: Paris, Ajaccio in Corsica, Nice, London, Brussels, and Porto. 

Taxi from the airport: 

Taxi services are available in front of the airport for each arrival:  taxis from the Corrèze department and taxis from the Lot department.

Car rentals: three car rental companies are operating at the Brive airport: Avis, Europcar, and Hertz – you can book a car online using Skyscanner or call one of the companies on this list.

Things to see nearby: That’s a great airport for those planning to travel in the Dordogne Valley. Brive places you close to beautiful towns like Sarlat, Martel, Rocamadour, Terrasson-Lavilledieu, and many others.

Airports in the Basque country and the Pyrenees

biarritz the guide by lost in bordeaux

Biarritz Pays Basque Airport

Biarritz Airport is the airport that serves travelers to the Basque French country.
It is also the closest international airport to the surfing villages in the Landes department like Hossegor and Seignosse.

The main airlines operating here are Air France, Ryanair, Transavia and Easyjet. You can get to Biarrtiz from several French and European cities like Zurich, Dublin, London,  Stockholm, and more. You can see all the destinations here

How to get to and from the Biarritz airport
The airport is located within 5 minutes from Biarritz city center and about 15 minutes from Bayonne. There are several buses from the airport to the main destinations in the region. Here you can see all the buses going from the airport to the towns nearby. There are also taxis airport to any destination in the Basque country- you can see the list here.

Car rentals 
All the big car rental companies are operating at the airport so you can go ahead and find the best deal online.

What to visit nearby: Biarritz is located in proximity to the capital of the Basque country, Bayonne, which is a must-visit. Close by you’ll also find Saint Jean du Luz as well as many other beautiful Basque villages. Within about an hour’s drive, you’ll be able to visit San Sebastian on the Spanish side.

Pau Pyrenees Airport 

Pau is one of the smallest airports on this list but it’s also the closest one to the Pyrenees mountains so if you’re into skiing, this is the best one to land at. Most of the flights that go there are Air France flights, which means that you’ll likely need a connection flight from a bigger city in France. 

How to get to and from the Pau airport
A shuttle goes from the airport to Pau city center and train station leaving approximately every hour from 7 am to 7 pm. There are also taxis going from the airport to Pau and Lourdes. You can see all the details here.
Car rental: A few international car companies are operating here, take a look here.

Toulouse Blagnac Airport

In this list, I included only airports in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, but I feel like Toulouse must make this list as well. It’s located in the neighboring region, Occitanie, but it is the biggest airport in the Grand Sud Ouest area and is well connected to many destinations mentioned on this list. 

You can travel to Toulouse from practically anywhere in Europe and a few places outside of the continent like Doha, Agadir, Montreal, Tunis, and others. See the list of the destinations here.

Toulouse is one of the main airports in the Southwest of France

How to get to and from the Toulouse airport
Toulouse is a big metropolis with great public transport. A shuttle links the airport to the Toulouse train station and on its route, it stops in several locations near the city center. You also have a few buses connecting the airport to the suburbs and towns nearby.
As always, you can also take a taxi from the airport, you can book it here and check the rates here.

Car rental:
All the big rental companies are operating here as well – you can start checking the prices

Where can you travel from Toulouse?
About everywhere in the southwest of France. Around Toulouse, you have amazing places like Carcassone and Albi as well as the hidden gems of the Gers department. To the north you can travel to the Lot and Dordogne departments, to the east you’ll find the stunning Mediterranean beaches, and traveling south will get you to the Pyrenees. If you take the train you can also get to Bordeaux in two hours. You can’t really go wrong here!

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

I’ll be honest with you, choosing the best wineries to visit in Bordeaux is an impossible task! The Bordeaux wine region is home to around 6,000 wineries with many being open for visits. Bordeaux has more than 60 AOCs (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) prodicing very different types of wines. So choosing a winery to visit will depend on your taste as well as how far you’re willing to travel. 

In this article, I wanted to be very inclusive and give representation to the most famous appelations you should be visiting. From each of these, I chose one or two wineries I particularly enjoyed visiting. All the wineries on my list offer tours in English which are very easy to book. 

If you’re new to this region, I recommend reading my Guide to the Bordeaux wine region first.  However, the most important thing to know is that the Bordeaux wine region is largely divided into three parts: the right bank, the left bank, and Entre Deux Mers. In this article you’ll learn about each of these regions and by the end of this article you’ll be able to choose the best winery to visit in Bordeaux. 

Visiting wineries in the Bordeaux wine region
Bordeaux vineyards

How to get to Bordeaux’s wineries: 

Before we start, let me say a few words about the best ways to visit wineries in Bordeaux. You have plenty of guided tours from Bordeaux to some of the best wineries in the region. So if you want a hassle-free experience, you can choose one of the tours from my Best Wine Tours in Bordeaux article

In case you’re using my list to build your own tour, then you’ll need to rent a car to get to most of the wineries here. Alternatively, you can also find quite a few great wineries you can get to by train/ bus in my article about wineries to visit by public transport. One such winery is Château Pape Clément which you’ll find in this article. 

Now let’s dive in and discover the best 12 wineries to visit in the Bordeaux wine region. 

Bordeaux wineries to visit on the right bank – rive droite of the Dordogne

The right bank (rive droite) of the Bordeaux wine region covers all the vineyards located on the right bank of the Dordogne River and the Estuary of Gironde. The wines from that region showcase Merlot-dominant blends celebrated for their velvety texture and aging potential. These wines often embody a harmonious balance of fruitiness and structure, reflecting the terroir of the region.

There are quite a few appellations on the right bank but here I’m going to talk about the most famous ones: Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and Fronssac. It’s really hard to choose just a few wineries to visit from this region as there are so many great ones! So I ended up including the ones I most enjoyed visiting this year! If you want to visit more wineries in this region, check out my list of wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

Château de la Rivière, Fronsac appellation

The stunning Château de la Rivière, overlooking the Dordogne valley, is an award-winning winery in the Fronsac appellation. It’s one of the biggest vineyards in the region, covering an area of 100 hectares and producing both red and white wines. 

Château de la Rivière - a kid friendly winery in Fronsac Bordeaux
Château de la Rivière – by Lost in Bordeaux

The visit itself is particularly interesting here and you get to wander around their 16th century defensive fortress. The bottles are kept in caves dug in the 19th century that you visit with flashlights. 

Château de la Rivière is one of the best wineries to visit with kids in the Bordeaux wine region. And you can even spend a night there, as the chateau owns a beautiful B&B with a pool overlooking the vineyards. So if you want to make it a weekend experience you can book it here

Château de la Rivière is open for visits all year from Monday to Saturday, by appointment only. Book your visit here.

Château de Sales, Pomerol appellation 

Pomerol is a very small appellation with boutique wineries covering approximately 800 hectares. It’s home to renowned estates like Pétrus and generally produces some of the world’s most coveted and luxurious red wines.

Château de Sales is one of the biggest and most impressive domains in the Pomerol appellation. Its 90s-hectare property makes it the biggest vineyard in the AOC Pomerol. They are known for Merlot-dominated wines blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, to create a very elegant texture.

Château de Sales is a family-owned winery, entirely passed down from generation to generation for almost five centuries. The beautiful manor house was built in the 17th century and has been listed as a Historic Monument in France since 1996. Their tasing room on the other hand is very modern and nicely designed.

Chateau de Sales - one of the most elegant chateaux in the Bordeaux area
Chateau de Sales – by Lost in Bordeaux

The chateau offers a variety of touristic experiences: you can discover the chateau, do a wine and chocolate pairing workshop, a wine and cheese pairing, and even a cycling tour in the vineyards. All of these experiences include wine tasting of course! 

Château de Sales is open from Tuesday to Saturday (and closed on bank holidays), you must book a tour to visit it.
Address: 11 Chem. de Sales, 33500 Libourne

Chateau de Bernateau, Saint-Émilion Grands Crus

Château Bernateau is a family-run winery owned by the 11th generation of the Lavau family. The tours are run by the lovely Karine who is married to one of the sons running the family business. 

On their best visit, called From the Vine to the Cellar, you get to discover a variety of old and baby vines and tour their beautiful vat room. The tour ends with a tasting session of 3 Saint Emilion Grands Crus to understand the differences in terroirs and the evolution of the wines.

Chateau bernateau - a family winery in Saint Emilion
Château Bernateau – Lost in Bordeaux

It’s not one of the fancy chateaux of Saint Emilion but if you want to visit a family-owned winery this is a great choice. Around their traditional stone house, you’ll find a charming garden and a small playhouse for kids. A perfect place for a relaxed visit which you can also end with a picnic in the garden.

They are open daily and offer tours in English and French. Click here to book a tour online.
Address: Château Bernateau, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse

Château Cadet Bon,  Saint-Émilion Grands Crus

Château Cadet Bon is a small winery (7 hectares), located within a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. It has been producing classic Saint Emilion wine since 1867. Six of the seven hectares are planted on a single block on a hill overlooking the medieval town. Their dominant grape is Merlot blended with about 20% of Cabernet Franc grapes. 

In 2001 the chateau was bought by Michele and Guy Richard who renovated the property and turned it into a Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé. In 2017, the owners started the transformation to create only organic wines. 

wine tasting at Chateau Cadet Bon in Saint Emilion
Chateau Cadet Bon – by Lost in Bordeaux

Château Cadet Bon offers several tours. The small group tour includes a tasting of three wines accompanied by a detailed explanation. You can also enjoy a comparative experience where you get to taste other wines from Saint Emilion and Pomerol and compare them to Château Cadet Bon. They also offer a wine-tasting workshop, an amazing opportunity to deepen your understanding of how to properly taste wine.  

You can book each one of these activities here.
Address: Au Cadet, 33330 Saint-Émilion.

Chateau de Ferrand, Grand Cru Classé

The impressive Château de Ferrand is located about 6km from the center of Saint-Émilion. The domain occupies 32 hectares, which is considered a big winery in Saint Emilion.

The tour takes you through the vineyard and the big wine cellars. Part of the visit also includes the history of the Château which dates back to the 17th century. There are two beautifully designed tasting rooms that they have recently finished renovating. 

Chateau de Ferrand - a winery to visit in Saint Emilion
Chateau de Ferrand – By Lost in Bordeaux

Most of the wineries I tend to include in my articles are smaller cozy wine estates, but it’s definitely not the case of Château de Ferrand. It’s much more professional and the wine-tasting part is conducted by a professional sommelier who will teach you how to taste wine.

Château de Ferrand offers a variety of visits, masterclasses, and wine-related events throughout the year. You can see them all here

Address: Château  de Ferrand, Saint-Hippolyte, 33330 Saint Emilion

Château La Croizzille, Grand Cru Classé

Situated on the elevated grounds of the Saint Emilion plateau, the Château La Croizille occupies one of the most fertile terroirs within the appellation. It’s a small winery, occupying only 5 hectares split between different plots with an important soil variety. 

Château la Croizille offers a fascinating journey combining old and new. The modern château stands right next to the traditional Château of Tour Baladoz, owned by the same family. 

Château La Croizzille - a beautiful view of Saint Emilion vineyards
Château La Croizzille – by Lost in Bordeaux

Their basic tour allows you to discover the differences between traditional and more innovative techniques of winemaking. One of the highlights of this tour is the amazing view from the tasting room overlooking the vineyards from the top.

You can also enjoy a gourmet tour and combine the wine tasting with tapas on their terrace. And on sunny days, you can also book a wine tour with a picnic for lunch

Click here to book a tour at Château la Croizille.
Address: lieu-dit Baladoz, 33330 Saint-Laurent des Combes

Bordeaux wineries to visit on the left bank – rive gauche of the Garonne river

The left bank (rive gauche) area of the Bordeaux wine region covers all the vineyards located on the left bank of the Garonne River and the Estuary of Gironde. Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon-driven, these wines are known for their structure, tannic backbone, and aging potential. The terroir imparts a sense of minerality and complexity, with each appellation contributing unique characteristics. 

The left bank is home to the famous Medoc appellation from the north and the Graves and Pessac-Leognan appellations in the southern part. In that huge sub-region, you can also find the Sauternes appellation which is renowned for its white sweet wines. My list includes at least one winery from every appellation mentioned here.    

Château Lamothe Bergeron in Medoc 

There’s no lack of amazing wineries to visit in Medoc so choosing only one is really challenging. I have a list dedicated to chateaux in Medoc so in case you need a bit more to choose from take a look at that.  However, Château Lamothe Bergeron was my choice for this list mostly due to its great selection of visiting experiences. And it’s also open all year round, which is usually not the case in Medoc. 

Château Lamothe Bergeron  offers some of the most interesting visits in Medoc
Château Lamothe Bergeron – Lost in Bordeaux

The stunning Château Lamothe Bergeron is located in Cussac-Fort-Médoc between Margaux and Saint Julian. The Cru Bourgeois classified winery produces Haut Medoc wine, using Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot as their only grape varieties. 

The winery offers a variety of tours and activities that can fit both wine amateurs and professionals. You can choose anything from wine-tasting training to a cellar visit, a gourmet visit, and more.

Château Lamothe Bergeron is open every day from April to October and Mon – Fri from November to Mars. See all the available tours here.
Address: 49 Chem. des Graves, 33460 Cussac-Fort-Médoc

Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Leognan

Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé wine labeled under the Pessac Leognan appellation. It’s one of the most beautiful chateaux to visit in Bordeaux and the only one on this list you can easily visit by tram/bus from the city center

The vineyards of Château Pape Clément were planted at the request of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, the future Pope Clement V. The château itself was built much later and has beautiful Neo-Gothic embellishments. Today apart from producing wine it’s also one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Bordeaux

Chateau Pape Clement  - one of the best chateaux to visit in Bordeaux
Chateau Pape Clement – by Lost in Bordeaux

Château Pape Clément offers daily visits in both French and English as well as winemaking workshops where you can assemble your own wine. The winery is open daily most of the year. You can see all the available tours here.

Address: 216 Av. Dr. Nancel Penard, 33600 Pessac

Château de Cerons in Graves 

Château de Cerons is one of the more impressive properties to visit in the Bordeaux wine region. The château is a historical Chartreuse (little house) dating back to the 17th century. The winery produces both red and white dry wines from their 30-hectare vineyard. 

The Chateau offers a range of different visits that include wine tasting, picnic baskets with regional products, and even a tour with a nap 🙂  

It’s one of the more kids-friendly wineries in the region. You can rent bikes at the château and go on a beautiful rural path discovering the heritage of the village and the Garonne River. If you want to discover other kid-friendly options, check out my dedicated list

Château de Cerons is open Mon to Sat from May to October and Mon to Fri from November to April – you can book a tour here

Address: 1 Latour, 33720 Cérons

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in the Sauternes appellation 

The Sauternes appellation has quite a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful wineries but to me, the most impressive one is Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey. Located in the tiny village of  Bomme, it’s one of the oldest chateaux in the region, dating back to the 13th century. On the domain, you can also find a Michelin-star restaurant and one of the best wine hotels in the region.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Hôtel & Restaurant Lalique in Sauternes - one of the best wine hotels in Bordeaux
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Hôtel – Lost in Bordeaux

The Château with its 18.5 hectares is located on a hill, 70 m above sea level. Just next to it, you can find one of the most prestigious wineries of Bordeaux, Château d’Yquem. 

Apart from the discovery tour they also offer a wine pairing experience guided by the chef or their Michelin restaurant. Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey is open every day in the high season and from Thursday to Monday in the low season. You can visit the winery by appointment only.

Book your tour in Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey here.

Best wineries to visit in the Entre deux Mers wine region – Bordeaux’s white wines

Entre deux Mers is the biggest wine region in Bordeaux and funny enough it’s actually dedicated to white wines! Wines labeled under the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation are typically dry white wines, and they are often blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle grapes. The name Entre-Deux-Mers translates to “between two seas,” referring to its location between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.

While many wineries in this region still produce red and rosé wines, only their white ones can be labeled as Entre deux meres AOC. The red wine in this region will usually be labeled under the Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs.

Château de Camarsac

The imposing Château de Camarsac is nicknamed Château du Prince Noir  (Castle of the Black Prince). Construction of the castle started in 1312, and the structure underwent significant alterations and modernizations from the 16th to the 19th centuries. 

Château de Camarsac - a winery to visit in Bordeaux
Château de Camarsac – by Lost in Bordeaux

The domain produces everything from whites, roses, three types of reds, and even their own beer. The winery offers three tours: A guided tour with wine tasting, a Panoramic tour with a visit to the 14th-century restored dungeon as well a blending workshop

The castle is located in the little village of Camarsac located about 15 km from Bordeaux, which makes it an easy gateway from the city. From time to time they also organize fun events for both adults and kids. Château de Camarsac is open for visits all year long, by appointment only.

You can see and book all their tours here
Address: Castle Camarsac, 30 Rte de Bergerac, 33750 Camarsac

Château le Grand Verdus

Last but not least on our wineries in Bordeaux list is Château le Grand Verdus, located in Sadirac, about 20 km from Bordeaux. The beautiful property was built in the 16th century and has been owned by the Le Grix de la Salle family since 1820. Today the winery is run by Antoine and Thomas Le Grix de la Salle who have inherited all their winemaking knowledge from their family. 

Château le Grand Verdus produces organic wines in their vineyards that occupy 114 hectares. Their wines include all reds, whites, and rose from the following appelations: Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux Blanc, and Bordeaux Rosé. Their wines are very easy to drink and are perfect for the hot days of Bordeaux. 

Château le Grand Verdus is open from Monday to Friday. You can choose between their discovery tour, a visit dedicated to producing white wines (quite rare in Bordeaux), and the same for red ones. You can see and book all their tours here

In the summer they also have an outdoor wine bar with concerts twice a week. See all the details here
Address: Château Le, Grand Verdus, 33670 Sadirac

Is it you’re first time visiting the Bordeaux wine region? Here are a few tips

If you want to spend the night at a Bordeaux vineyard. Check out my article about the best wine hotels in Bordeaux. If you’re visiting the region with kids you can combine it with a trip to one of the family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux.

Here are more Bordeaux wine-related articles you may find useful!

A detailed guide to the Bordeaux wine region
A day trip to Saint Emilion
Wineries to visit in Saint Emilion 
Wineries to visit in the Sauternes wine region 
Wineries in Bordeaux to visit by public transport
A weekend in Medoc
Best wineries to visit in Medoc

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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Do you want to read this article again when you’re in Bordeaux? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 


The Lege Cap Ferret peninsula is located in the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon, a bay on the French Atlantic coast. In this blog, I frequently talk about my love for Cap Ferret with several of its villages mentioned on my day trips to the Arcachon Bay list. 

However, as a local, I can honestly say that one day in Cap Ferret is simply not enough. It’s not a place you go to with a checklist of things to do, it’s a vibe, an atmosphere you need to settle into. To explore Cap Ferret properly you need at least one night there, or even a week if possible. So for those of you ready to be captivated by the charm of Cap Ferret, this article is for you! 

In this article, I gathered a list of hotels and guest houses perfect for single travelers, couples, and families. It includes a few fancy places with a spa but also simple charming huts near the beach. More importantly, you’ll get detailed recommendations and insights on the best villages to stay in the Cap Ferret peninsula, so you can plan your vacation accordingly.
Let’s start 🙂

Where should you stay in Cap Ferret? 

The easiest answer would be everywhere because it’s simply a stunning place. But there’s always a BUT, isn’t there? 🙂 So here I want to briefly explain, why I think some parts of the peninsula are a bit better to stay in than others, depending on your needs. 

Where to stay in Cap Ferret
The beautiful Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

The liveliest part of The Cap Ferret peninsula is the southern village called Cap Ferret. Here you will find a big daily market, plenty of amazing beaches, and a lot of restaurants and shops. As the peninsula gets even more narrow in the southern part, it’s easy to walk from the ocean side to the bay side – so you can choose from many beaches every day, without needing a car.

Great accommodations in the Cap Ferret village include La Maison du Bassin, Yamina Lodge, Les Chambres du Phare, or Hôtel Côté Sable.

And here comes the But :). In July- August Cap Ferret gets very busy, which means that the market and most of the restaurants will be packed. So if you’re looking for a slightly calmer atmosphere, without seeing so many people on your way, I’d advise going to some of the quieter fishermen villages in the peninsula. These include l’Herbe or le Canon, and Les Jacquets, which are very charming but a bit less busy. 

Here are some great accommodation opinions in this part of Cap Ferret: Les pieds dans l’eau and Villa des Sables in L’Herbe and Villa Aitama and Les Canonniers in Le Canon.

L'herbe - one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Ferret
L’Herbe

Another very lively part of Cap Ferret is the villages of Petit Piquey and Grand Piquey, which are located in the middle of the peninsula on the bay side. They are not as big and central as the village of Cap Ferret but they perfectly convey the authentic atmosphere of the peninsula. In that part of Lège-Cap-Ferret, you’ll find cute ports with typical oyster huts, some of the most beautiful beaches in Arcachon, and many boutiques. 

The beautiful beaches of Grand Piquey
Grand Piquey – by Lost in Bordeaux

Another thing to keep in mind when staying in Cap Ferret during the summer (or sunny weekends) is the traffic. It can get really bad. Now, if you’re going to Cap Ferret to relax for a few days and have no intention of moving anywhere, that shouldn’t affect you. But if you plan to use it as a base and travel to Bordeaux, Medoc, or other parts of Arcachon then staying in the southern part can be a hustle. Instead, I recommend staying in the northern part of the peninsula in or near the village of Claouey. It still has the charming vibe of Cap Ferret but you avoid most of the bad traffic. 

Here are a few fabulous places in Claouey or at the entrance to Lege Cap Ferret: Flou de Pin, Le Clos D’ignac, and Domaine du Ferret

Let’s get to the best part which is finding accommodation in Cap Ferret! Here are my recommendations with a bit more details. 

The best hotels in Cap Ferret (The Lége Cap Ferret peninsula)

La Maison du Bassin

La Maison du Bassin is one of the most stunning hotels in Cap Ferret, nestled in the fishing area of Cap Ferret, just next to the lighthouse. Staying here you’ll be located in one of the most authentic and charming parts of the peninsula. Just a few minutes walk from the Mimbeau beach and one of the most famous restaurants is Cap Ferret, La Cabane d’Hortense. 

The hotel itself is situated in a stunning wooden house, covered with greenery. It has 11 rooms, delightfully decorated with sea-themed art. The place is pure tranquility, and with its impeccable services ensures a memorable stay for its guests. One of the highlights of La Maison du Bassin is its restaurants with an amazing seafood menu. 
Book your stay here.

Domaine du Ferret Restaurant & Spa

 If you’re looking for a more elevated experience, you should check out the Domaine du Ferret. The 4-star spa hotel offers an onsite outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a Spa and Wellness center. So to complement the already relaxed spirit of Cap Ferret you also get to enjoy massage treatments 🙂
The domain also has a bar and restaurant on site.

The Domaine du Ferret is composed of separate lodges inspired by the fishermen’s huts of the Bay of Arcachon. All the rooms are decorated in a very clean and soothing vibe and include a kitchen, an AC, and a terrace or a balcony. 

The Domain is located very close to the village of Claouey at the northern end of the Cap Ferret Peninsula. A few minutes walk will take you to one of the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret, Jane Boy. It’s a great location if you want to avoid traffic and if you’re planning to bike along the cycling paths of Cap Ferret. 
Book your stay here.

Hôtel Côté Sable

If you fancy a beachfront hotel, this is the place for you! Hôtel Côté Sable is located in the heart of Cap Ferret, just in front of the main beach. Its location on the main boulevard of the village of Cap Ferret puts you in walking distance of most of the restaurants as well as the fishing port with its oyster huts. 

The hotel itself is nicely designed with spacious rooms and either a small private garden or a balcony. On summer days you can enjoy their sea-facing bar and when it gets a bit chilly outside there’s a lounge with a fireplace for you to enjoy. The hotel is also home to the Clarins Spa facility which offers massages, a balneotherapy, and a hammam. You can also rent bikes and even boats at the hotel reception. 

This is an amazing option for those who want to be in the hyper center of Cap Ferret and enjoy everything without driving. Be aware though that it’s located in the south of the peninsula so if you have plans to come in July-August and travel a lot during your stay, I’d take a place in the northern part. 
Book your stay here.

Cabane Bord de Plage

Cabane Bord de Plage is located on one of my favorite beaches in Cap Ferret. Plage des Jacquets is one of the more hidden gems of the peninsula and that’s why the cabane is a perfect fit for anyone looking for a more isolated experience. Here you can enjoy the tranquility of Lége Cap Ferret even on its busiest days. 

The hotel is nestled just north of the little Forêt de Lège et Garonne which is amazing for morning walks and a great place to watch the sunrise. You’re also located within walking distance from one of the smallest oyster ports where you can see the ostréiculteurs at work. 

It’s a tiny and cozy cabane with one room and a living room with a convertible sofa, perfect for a couple or a family with kids. 

Book your stay in the Cabane here

Villa Aitama

If you’re traveling with a big family or a group of friends I highly recommend this stunning villa at the village of Le Canon. 

Villa Aitame offers nine apartments ranging from small studios for couples to an apartment that can host up to 7 people. In total, Villa Aitama can host up to 32 people if you rent all of it (you don’t have to of course). All the apartments are equipped with a kitchen as well as a separate toilet and bathroom. All of their accommodations have a terrace or a balcony so even if you travel with a lot of people you don’t have to be in each other’s face all day long 🙂 

The villa is located within a 50m distance of the Canon beach, and particularly close to its oyster port, which is the most charming port in Cap Ferret. You will be located very close to commerce and other restaurants of Le Canon, and within a 10-minute walk from the charming village of L’Herbe. The villa is also located 10 minutes by bike from the stunning ocean beaches.
Book your stay here

The cute port of Le Canon and its oyter huts
The cute port of Le Canon and its oyster huts

Yamina Lodge

Another amazing option for a big group is Yamina Lodge, located in the south of the peninsula in the village of Cap Ferret. It’s a wooden house nestled in the forest and has a bit of a rustic beautiful vibe to it. It’s a private lodge that can host up to 8 people in total and is equipped with a big kitchen, 2 bathrooms as well as an outdoor dining area. 

Yamina Lodge is located just between the ocean and the Bassin (Arcachon Bay) beaches, with the closest beach being the stunning Dune beach on the ocean. Pascal the lovely owner provides you with bicycles to facilitate moving around the peninsula. However, you can easily just walk to most of the places in the Cap Ferret village, like the fishermen’s port or the lighthouse. 
Book your stay here.

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share all the best events in the region and all my other Bordeaux discoveries. I send an email every Friday in the afternoon– sign up here.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do in the Arcachon region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
What to do and eat in the town of Arcachon
Best day trips to le Bassin d’Arcachon
15 best things to do with kids in Arcachon
Where to stay in Arcachon
The Best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best camping sites in Cap Ferret and Arcachon

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Around November, the southwest of France starts its winter sleep with many places shutting down for the low season. Bordeaux, however, is different! It’s a very lively city where you can always find interesting stuff to do, even on the coldest days. In this article, I’m going to give you a few fun ideas of things to do in Bordeaux in the winter.

I start my article with 10 ideas of places to go to in Bordeaux as well as Cognac and Saint Emilion. The second part of my article is dedicated to fun events taking place in the winter in Bordeaux. If you’re visiting Bordeaux in December, check out my December list

Angoulême - the capital of street art and comics of France
Street art in Angoulême – Lost in Bordeaux

If it’s cold and raining at any other time of the year, you should read my article about the best things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux and things to do with kids when it’s raining in Bordeaux

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux, you’d also enjoy my article about the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux.

Best things to do in winter in Bordeaux and the region

Visit Bordeaux wineries 

You’d be surprised to know that many wineries are open for visits during January- February, however in a slightly limited version. Many are closed on weekends during the winter season as well as during the week of Christmas and New Year’s. 

Saint Emilion, which is the most visited wine area in the Bordeaux region has many chateaux accepting visitors during the winter. If you need some recommendations, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

If you don’t have a car, your options are a bit more limited, but there are still a few nice chateaux you can visit by public transport. One of my favorite ones is Chateau Pape Clement, and it happens to be open during the winter too – book your visit here

Go to the Opera

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux is one of Bordeaux’s most emblematic historic buildings and should not be missed when in Bordeaux. During the winter months, The Opera of Bordeaux offers a long program of classical music concerts for kids and adults. See the full program here.

Visit a distillery in Cognac

Winter is a great time to take a trip to the Cognac region and witness the traditional distillation process. That’s when the Cognac producers transform the wine into eau-de-vie and what will eventually become the famous brandy. 

Many distilleries run tours during the winter and include a detailed explanation of the distillation process. I highly recommend visiting family-owned producers in the winter as you’re more likely to be taken through the whole process.

Cognac Pasquet

Here’s my article about the best distilleries to visit in the Cognac region.

Eat a Raclette 

Raclette is quite popular in Bordeaux in the winter, even though it’s far from being a traditional Southwest cuisine. There are a few restaurants where you can find this wintery treat. One of the best ones is La Petite Savoie, a local institution that now has two restaurants in the center. One on the riverfront and the other one on rue des Argentiers in the Saint Pierre district.

Go to a Spa 

Nothing better than a Spa on a freezing winter day! There are several small and big Spa facilities in Bordeaux. The biggest one is called Caliceo Center and it’s open daily, without any reservation. It has a few pools, saunas, and different types of massages.

If you’re more into a romantic Spa weekend, here are my recommendations for the best Spa hotels in Bordeaux.

Go Ice Skating 

Ice Skating is one of the most popular winter activities and luckily there’s a great place for that in Bordeaux. La Patinoire de Mériadeck is a sports complex with a huge ice skating arena open to the public for a few days a week.

As the Patinoire hosts many different events during the year, its opening hours might change from time to time, so before heading there with your kids, check out the schedule

Check out the covered markets in Bordeaux 

Bordeaux has a few covered markets in Bordeaux, which are perfect for cold days. You can use it as an opportunity to discover local delicacies but also have lunch or a drink in a very local environment.

The best one to start with is Marché des Capucins, the main market of Bordeaux. That’s my go-to place when I want Arcachon oysters without actually going to Arcachon.

Chez-jean-mi Bordeaux market
Chez-jean-mi at the Capucins Market

Two other, more modern markets I highly recommend belong to the Biltoki group and are located in the Talence and the Bacalan neighborhoods. These two markets are perfect for an evening drink and tapas.

Discover all the best markets in Bordeaux in my article.

Discover the foodie streets of Bordeaux 

Staying in a foodie mood, you can also explore some of the foodie streets in Bordeaux. These are the places where you can find the best bakeries, coffee shops, cheese shops, and more. They are not always on the tourist trail and not always easy to find and that’s why I decided to write an article about the foodie streets of Bordeaux.

Go to one of Bordeaux’s museums

Last but not least, if it’s too cold outside, going to a museum is always a good idea! Bordeaux has a great variety of museums, from street art to science and history, just choose one from my list of museums in Bordeaux.

Musee d'Aquitaine Bordeaux
CAPC museum in Bordeaux

Events taking place this winter in the Bordeaux region (2024)

Disney on ice

One of the most popular events for kids in Bordeaux is happening again! All the popular Disney characters reunite for an ice skating spectacle. Disney Sur Glace will take place on January 5-7 at the Arkea Arena.  For tickets and more details click here.

Le lac des Cygnes

Théâtre Fémina is hosting the Ukrainian National Ballet of Odessa which will perform the famous Swan Lake ballet. The spectacle will take place on January 6, See all the info and tickets here.

Winter Sales

Who cares if it’s raining and cold? January is the winter sales month!! Soldes d’hiver are several weeks in the winter during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, appliances, toys, and more. This year Les Soldes d’Hiver will take place from January 10 to February 6.

Trente Trente – Emerging Arts Festival

Trente Trente is an annual festival, created to promote emerging artists in Bordeaux and Nouvelle Aquitaine in general. The festival includes more than twenty performances by artists from all genres, with some experimenting with interdisciplinary arts. 

Check out the full program that includes dance, music, theater, circus, and more. The festival takes place on January 16- February 2 in different theaters and cultural spaces across the Metropole.

International magic festival

The international magic festival will take place in Théâtre Fémina on January 20-21. This year ten world-class artists (magicians and illusionists) will offer you breathtaking spectacles that you wouldn’t want to miss. For more info and tickets click here.

The festival also offers workshops and spectacles for little kids. All the kids’ events will take place at Théâtre Molière. See more info here.

Fête de la truffe in Sarlat

A big truffles market will take place this weekend (January 20-21) in Sarlat. I know that’s a bit far from Bordeaux but it’s one of the biggest truffles markets in the region so worth checking out. For more info click here.

Here are more things to do and see in Sarlat, the capital of Black Perigord. 

Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême

The famous International Comics Festival of Angouleme will take place on January 25-28. Angouleme is the comics capital of France and is famous for its amazing street art. If you decide to go there, prepare yourself with my article about Angouleme so you won’t miss the most beautiful murals in the city

You can purchase tickets here. Find all the details about the events taking place during the festival here.

Jumping International de Bordeaux

Jumping International de Bordeaux is a big riding equestrian event that includes competitions, spectacles, and a fun fair. The event will take place February 1 -4 in Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. For more details click here.

Ratatam – kids festival

The Ratatam Kids Festival is taking place at the Entrepôt du Haillan until February 13-18. The program includes concerts, animated movies, a painting contest, video games, meetings with cartoonists, a comics workshop, and more. Check out the full program here.

Fête des Bœufs Gras

Bazas in the Southern part of Gironde is a beautiful town that attracts many people with its weekly market. But what Bazas is mostly known for is its Beef. 

Fête des Bœufs Gras in Bazas
Fête des Bœufs Gras

Since 1283, the Thursday before Mardi Gras, the city of Bazas has been hosting the famous “Fête des Bœufs Gras” that celebrates the Bazas Beef. An Oxen parade takes place on the central streets of the town which will be judged by a jury of experts. 

The day ends with a banquet where you can taste the famous meat. The event will take place on February 8. See more details here.

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end 2024 is a fun music festival taking place on Feb 23-25. The long lineup of DJS will perform in many places in Bordeaux such as the IBOAT, Les Vivres de l’art, the Warehouse, and more. You can find the program and tickets here

Festival des Lanternes in Montauban

This year Montauban (about 50 km from Toulouse) is hosting yet another lanterns festival. The event called le Jardin Fantastique will host 40 artists from China that will present their monumental sculptures. This event will take place on Cours Foucault from December 15 to February 11, 2024. See all the info here.

La Flamme de l’Armagnac

Armagnac is one of the best products in the Southwest of France! Its production spreads over three departments in this region: Les Landes, Lot et Garonne, and Gers, all located within a 1-2 hour drive from Bordeaux. From the end of October to the beginning of January, the producers of Armagnac celebrate the distillery period with fun events at the chateaux and in small towns in the regions. see more details here.

Go to Truffles markets in Dordogne

December is the start of the winter truffles season with many truffles markets in the region taking place between December and February. The Dordogne is known as the capital of truffles in the Southwest of France and starting mid-December it hosts several truffles markets in its different villages. You can see the full list of truffle markets taking place from December to the end of January here.

Looking for accommodation in Bordeaux?

These few articles should help you find the best place to stay in the Bordeaux region:

A detailed guide to the districts of Bordeaux
The best hotels in the center of Bordeaux
Best Spa hotels in Bordeaux
Wine hotels in the Bordeaux region
Family-friendly hotels in Bordeaux

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

If you ever visited Paris with kids, you’re definitely familiar with Disneyland and probably with other theme parks like Astérix and Jardin d’Acclimatisation. However, everyone knows that there are quite a few amazing parks outside the French capital, especially in the Southwest region. In this article, I gathered some of the best theme parks in the southwest of France, to encourage you to discover France beyond Paris. 

My list includes traditional amusement parks, historical parks, and special theme parks specialized in science, space, or animals. All the parks on my list are suitable for single travelers, couples, and families with children. Spending a day in an amusement park is a really fun way to get to know the area and experience France in a different adventurous way!
If you’re planning a family trip in the southwest of France be sure to check out my family-friendly guides to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Dordogne, and Ile de Ré.

Puy du Fou – one of the most famous theme parks in France

Puy du Fou isn’t located in what is considered the Southwest of France but I included it anyway as it has been voted as one of the best-themed parks in Europe. 

Located in Vendée, in the heart of a century-old forest, Puy du Fou offers a magnificent artistic adventure. It caters to audiences of all ages, making it suitable for families, history enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers alike. 

In addition to some traditional roller coasters, Puy du Fou is all about a theatrical experience and an enchanting ambiance of magic and marvel. The theme park is acclaimed for its grand-scale shows, historical reenactments, and dazzling light shows. Through these, you get to travel in time to different periods like ancient Rome and the Middle Ages, the Viking era, and more. 

There’s an incredible amount of stuff to see and experience here so make sure you plan at least one full day to make the most of your visit at Puy du Fou. You have four villages and more than 15 captivating spectacles to choose from. All the shows offer free simultaneous interpretation into English, German, Spanish, and Dutch. The park also offers plenty of fun workshops and about 20 different places to ear (which is always important when traveling with kids 🙂 )

If you stay late (or stay the night) you also get to enjoy their beautiful night shows. The stunning night spectacle unfolds against the backdrop of an ancient castle, offering elements of water, fire, and music. It’s an amazing experience that is highly recommended. 

Tickets: You can buy tickets for 1,2,3,4 day, these include access to all the shows. The only show that requires additional tickets is their famous Cinéscénie spectacle which takes place on weekends in the summer. The park is open from April to October – see opening hours

Here are the links to purchase a one-day ticket or a multi-day entry ticket – See all the options here. If you’re staying there for more than one day, there are three hotels you can choose from during your stay. There are also a few accommodation options outside of the park if you want to be a bit more isolated, such as this cozy guest house

Theme Parks in Nouvelle Aquitaine – the Bordeaux region

Futuroscope – the biggest park in the region

The Futuriscope is the biggest amusement park in the Southwest and one of the most popular parks in France.  Known for its futuristic architecture and multimedia and cinematic experiences, this amusement park attracts around 2 million people from all over the world every year.

Packed with state-of-the-art attractions, Futuroscope is a haven for tech enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike. The park offers a wide range of entertainment shows, including light and water displays and live performances. Throughout all these amazing experiences your kids get to learn about science, technology, and innovation. 

Other interactive experiences include 3D and 4D shows, dancing with robots in the air, and mind-bending rides in a time machine. You can only imagine your kids’ enthusiasm in this adventurous cutting-edge park. But even the adults will be swept away on this magical journey, I can guarantee that.

So if you’re looking for a perfect futuristic gateway, Futuroscope is your place! The park is located in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, about a 20-minute drive from the city of Poitiers and 2 hours away from Bordeaux. There’s a direct train that goes there from Poitiers so it’s very easy to get to by public transport. The park is open daily from February to October, on weekends during November and December, and closed in February.  

Tickets: You can buy tickets for one or two days and if you’re planning to come later in the day there’s a reduced price after 17:00. See all your ticket options here. While anyone can enter the park, it’s not recommended under the age of 5yo. So if you’re looking for the best parks for little ones, keep reading this list. 
If you’re planning to stay there for two days, there are quite a few hotels within walking distance, such as Novotel, Kyriad, or the Pirates-themed Hotel du Parc.

Le Bournat – a beautiful historic park

Le Bournat amusement park is the biggest theme park in Dordogne, situated in the heart of the Périgord region.

The open-air museum is all around unfolding life in a traditional Périgord village from a bygone era; Cobblestone streets wind through the park, adorned with craftsmen showcasing their skills, horse-drawn carriages traversing the lanes, and lively performances echoing the spirit of the past. 

Le Bournat - one of the best attractions for kids in the Dordogne region
Discover how walnuts oil is produced- Le Bournat Park

Le Bournat is a fantastic option for families looking for a place designed for children to explore freely. Your kids will have the chance to actively engage in traditional crafts, try their hand at vintage games, and have fun in a classic funfair that harks back to a simpler time. It is a great blend of education and entertainment. The park is considered one of the best things to do with kids in the Dordogne.

The park, located in the town of Le Bugue, is open from April to the end of September. You can purchase your tickets here

Le Bugue is generally a great place to stay in the Dordogne if you travel with your family. Many fun attractions from a historic labyrinth to an aquarium and kayaking are at your disposal, open during the tourist season in Dordogne.

L’écomusée de Marquèze

Another outdoor historical park on this list is L’ écomusée de Marquèze, nestled in the heart of the Landes forest in southwestern France. The park is ideal for those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere where children can safely run around, explore, and discover the rich history and heritage of the region.

This unique destination offers a journey back in time, a chance to experience the traditional way of life in the Gascony region. Your journey starts at the train station in Sabres where you will embark on an old train that will take you to the site through a beautiful foresty route. As you wander through the park, you’ll see real 19th-century houses and other structures used by the locals for farming and daily life. 

The park’s immersive experience extends to interactive demonstrations and workshops. Visitors can engage in traditional crafts and activities such as wool and weaving or feather pen writing. You’ll also meet domestic animals and explore the nature around you.

L’ écomusée de Marquèze is one of the largest outdoor museums in France, located in a fascinating and unique region preserving the heritage of Gascony. So if you’re traveling in Les Landes or the south of the Gironde departments, I highly recommend taking your kids to this fascinating place. 
The park is open from April to the end of September. You can plan your visit and book your tickets here.

Walygator Sud Ouest

Situated in southwest France, Walygator Park is a more traditional amusement park, ideal for thrill-seekers. This park is home to many attractions: from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters such as “The Monster” and “The Anaconda,” to family-friendly rides.

If you are into intense and unforgettable excitments, don’t miss The Dark Tower. Feel your heart racing as you slowly rise to the skies, offering breathtaking views of the entire park. Or maybe you’re more of a roller coaster lover? this park is known for its heart-pounding twists and turns rides. And if you wish to take a chill break, there is a sea lion show! 

Walygator Park is located near Agen, in the middle of the way between Bordeaux and Toulouse, making it a fantastic destination for a day of fun if you are visiting the southwest of France. 

The park is open from April to October, but not every day, the hours for this year will be published soon here. You can buy your tickets online or on-site. If you’re going to spend a few days in the region, you can also try the water park Aqualand Agen, that’s just nearby – there’s a combined ticket for the two parks.

La Rochelle Aquarium

La Rochelle is one of the most attractive destinations in the southwest of France. A beautiful historic port city on the Atlantic coast of France, with a lively center abundant with cute shops and museums. One of La Rochelle’s best attractions is its Aquarium, standing as a marine marvel that captivates visitors with its diverse aquatic exhibits.

From colorful coral reefs to majestic sharks and playful sea otters, the exhibits are thoughtfully designed to provide an awe-inspiring spectacle as well as valuable insight into ocean conservation. One of the most beautiful parts is The Oceanic Tunnel, a transparent passage that allows you to stroll through an underwater world surrounded by sharks, rays, and other majestic sea creatures.

La Rochelle Aquarium - one of the most beautiful Aquarium in Europe
La Rochelle Aquarium – by Lost in Bordeaux

When planning your visit to La Rochelle Aquarium, be sure not to miss the scheduled feedings and interactive sessions. These experiences provide a deeper understanding of marine biology and offer a chance to witness the fascinating behaviors of the aquarium’s inhabitants.

La Rochelle Aquarium is open daily all year long, you can buy your tickets online or onsite.
* If you’re traveling in the south and La Rochelle is too far for you, Biarritz also has a great aquarium that kids adore. It’s open all year long – you can buy tickets here.

After exploring the underwater wonders, you can stroll through the picturesque streets of La Rochelle, known for its charming architecture, vibrant markets, and delicious seafood cuisine. If you need a restaurant recommendation, check out my article about where to eat in La Rochelle.

KID PARC Île d’Aventures

If you’re planning a family-friendly vacation in the Bordeaux region, the Kid Parc in Gujan Mestras is an option to have on your list. Located on Arcachon Bay it’s the biggest amusement park for kids in the Bordeaux region. That is why in the summer or during school breaks, the lines can get a bit long. 

The Kid Parc offers more than 30 different attractions which include a pirate boat, a carousel, different roller coasters, inflatable houses, and more. It’s not as big as the Futuroscope or other impressive parks you can visit in Europe but it’s a place kids truly enjoy. If you have preteen kids, this place will provide a safe and joyous space for them to release some energy. 

This park is great for kids over 5yo, if you’re traveling for little ones, I highly recommend going to the neighboring park La Coccinelle. You can find more family-friendly activities in Arcachon in my article about 15 Fun Things to Do with kids in Arcachon
KID PARC Île d’Aventures is open from April to early November and you can buy your tickets here.

Theme parks in Occitanie – the Toulouse region 

Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse

The Cité de l’Espace is a space theme park that takes visitors on an immersive journey into the cosmos. It’s among the coolest museums in Southwest France, located in the beautiful city of Toulouse. The Cité includes interactive activities and exhibits, like looking at fragments of the Moon and Mars up close, getting inside a real Russian spacecraft, and more. 

There is a collection of a few exhibits and interactive displays in it, that offer a hands-on exploration of space and astronomy. From life-size replicas of spacecraft to cutting-edge simulations, visitors can experience the thrill of space exploration firsthand. The park is not only an educational hub but also a celebration of human ingenuity and the wonders of the universe.

You can also enjoy a newly opened exhibition called “L’Envol des Pionniers”, a captivating homage to aviation pioneers. The exhibition explores the evolution of flight, showcasing historic aircraft and providing a glimpse into the daring feats of the first French aviators. A great visit for space lovers and curious minds alike!

If you are planning a visit to Toulouse with kids, the Cité de l’Espace is a must! Whether you’re gazing at the stars in the planetarium, exploring the intricacies of space travel, or taking part in interactive exhibits, this space-themed park is an experience you’re kids won’t forget. There’s also a cute space dedicated to the little ones with soft plays, funny mirrors, and space-related toys. My kids stayed there for hours!

La Cité de l’Espace is open from February to December, see schedule here. Plan to spend at least four hours at the park to discover it properly. You can purchase your tickets here.

Animal Park of the Pyrenees

Parc Animalier des Pyrénées is a wildlife haven located in Argelès-Gazost, in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains. Visitors experience a close encounter with the region’s diverse wildlife, enveloped by the breathtaking backdrop of majestic mountains.

With more than 500 animals, this beautiful park is dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of extinct breeds in the area. As you wander through the park, you’ll encounter a variety of indigenous species, including bears, wolves, and marmots, in a natural setting. You’ll be invited to feed them yourself and learn more about their habits by accompanying the passionate caregivers in their daily lives. 

A must-see is the captivating spectacle of raptor flight demonstrations. You can marvel at the grace and agility of majestic birds of prey as they soar through the Pyrenean skies. 

Throughout the year the park hosts many special events as well as a special Escape game (usually on school breaks). Want to enjoy this park even more? You can spend the night at the park, and sleep with some of its prettiest animals (well not really with them, but next to them 🙂 )

Stay at a splendid dome-shaped cabin overlooking the Brown Bear enclosure or in an authentic Trapper’s Cabin near the Grey Wolfs. See all the accommodation options here

The park is open from April to early November- see schedule here. You can book your tickets here.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Biarritz and Bayonne are the two places people usually think about when referring to the French Basque country. But there are so many more beautiful villages and towns to discover in this magical region. Many travelers are more familiar with the Basque country across the border in Spain, and the French side feels almost like it’s a separate country from the rest of France. That’s no surprise because this region was an independent country for much of its history. 

The most beautiful village in the French basque country

The Pays Basque in the most southwestern part of France has plenty of small, picturesque villages that are worth a visit. A few were even labeled as some of the most beautiful villages in France. If you want to discover the French Basques beyond its touristic coastal side, a visit to at least a couple of these villages is an absolute must! In my article, I gathered all the most stunning and special villages to visit in the French Basque region, so you have a lot to choose from. 

This article is for travelers who plan on spending a bit of time exploring the region, but if you have very limited time in the Basque country, there are fun one-day guided trips like this one, focused on visiting the little villages. There is also this tour, where you can visit the bigger main towns of the French Basques.

The 10 most beautiful villages to visit in the Basque country 

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Located almost on the border with Spain and in the foothills of the magnificent Pyrenean mountain range, this beautiful little town is an important destination on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trek. 

Religious tourists flock to the old center of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to follow the historic route. The village is known for an old tradition of having plenty of cheap hostels on the main street, offering you a bed for as little as 10 euros a night. Besides its historic importance, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is also a picturesque village with colorful homes and a lovely old bridge crossing the river. No wonder it was labeled as one of the official plus beaux villages in France!

Saint Jean Pied de Port - a must visit in the Basque country
Saint Jean Pied de Port – by Lost in Bordeaux

What not to miss: Visit the historic Mendiguren Citadel in the town center, it is the town’s pride!
What to do nearby: Taste AOP Irouléguy wine, made in the surrounding valley. Visit the valley of  Baïgorry and the Aldudes with its amazing farms of charcuterie and cheese, many of which can be visited. I can personally recommend a visit to the farm of Pierre Oteiza.

You can also take this guided tour that combines both a guided visit to Saint Jean Pied de Port and a visit to Baïgorry for cheese tastings.

Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Ciboure

Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of my favorite towns in the French Basque country! It’s probably the biggest town on this list but it’s still made it here due to its authentic, charming, cozy ambiance. The seaside town is sitting within the Bay of Biscay, facing the Atlantic Ocean, and is located just 15km from Biarritz.

Saint Jean de Luz - one of the best place to visit in the French Basque country
Saint Jean de Luz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint-Jean-de-Luz is celebrated for its distinctive Basque architecture, featuring streets adorned with vibrant half-timbered houses that characterize the charm of the old town. A visit to the historic Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste is highly recommended, as it holds the significance of being the location where King Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Spain exchanged vows in 1660.

Ciboure is a pretty red-and-white town that lies across the river Nivelle from the harbor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It’s quieter and smaller than its neighbor but just its charm is well worth a visit if you’re in that part of the Basques.  

What not to miss in Saint Jean de Luz: Be sure to pass by the tourist office for a map of the city as there are quite a few interesting houses and landmarks to see while you discover Saint Jean de Luz. The town is known for its extraordinary seafood which you can find in one of the many local restaurants or at the morning market. Enjoy a beach day and a swim in the calm bay and then have a drink on the Socoa harbor.

If you’re short in time you can take this fantastic tour to Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz.

Espelette

Espelette is a small, colorful village in the Labourd province, about 20 km from the famous resort town of Biarritz. If the name Espelette rings a bell, it’s because Espelette red peppers (piments d’Espelette) are cultivated here. At times it feels like the whole village was built as a temple to these little red peppers! Starting late summer, thousands of peppers are hung to dry under the red shutters of traditional Basque houses. Most of the shops in the city sell red pepper products.

What to eat in Espelette
Beautifully designed restaurant with traditional Basque food (Espelette)

The scenery of houses covered with red peppers is what makes this place so unique and distinguishes it from other traditional Basque villages. In addition to the beauty of the village, visiting Espelette is also a culinary journey into the Basque country and its unique recipes. You can read more about different food-related experiences in my article about Espelette.

What not to miss: Discover the unique Basque architecture, visit the Saint-Etienne church, taste local delicacies like Espelette products, spicy chocolate, and Basque charcuterie
What to do nearby: Visit other small villages in the surrounding areas, such as Ainhoa, Ascain, la Bastide Clairence, and Sare, some of which appear in this article.
Special events: At the end of October the village celebrates La Fête Du Piment (the pepper festival), with concerts, a big market, and a parade to celebrate the end of the drying season.

Cambo-les-Bains

Cambo-les-Bains is located just 15 minutes’ drive from Bayonne and the spa town is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a thermal spa treatment. Head up to the upper part of town where you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants with views over the River Nive and the old town below. The village is less known than most of the other villages on this list, but if you’re looking for a tranquil and scenic designation, it is the perfect place!

Cambo-les-Bains - one of the most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Cambo-les-Bains – by Lost in Bordeaux

What not to miss: Visit La Villa Argana, a museum dedicated to the life and works of famous author, Edmond Rostand; taste delicious chocolate at the Chocolaterie Puyodebat; take a walk through the beautiful and calm Jardin des Thermes.

Ainhoa

Ainhoa is another gorgeous, typical Basque village located on the Spanish border. It’s much smaller than other villages on this list – just one main street, to be exact! But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. You can pop over for a very quick visit on a market day, when things get lively and fun! 

Ainhoa too is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and visited by many Basque country fans. It’s one of the villages you will visit on this private tour that takes you through some of the highlights of the Basque country. 

Ainhoa - most of the most beuatiful villages in France
A house in Ainhoa – by Lost in Bordeaux

What not to miss: Visit the Pierre Orteza shop. It is one of the most famous charcuterie producers in the Basque, and this is one of his biggest shops. What to do nearby: From Ainhoa you can also take a beautiful walking trail of about 12 km to Sare and the grottes.

Sare

Neighboring Ainhoa, Sare is a charming village that was listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. You’ll be able to visit the whole village in one hour. But besides the beautiful houses, it’s also a village from where you can go to some of the best attractions in the area. 

What not to miss: Visit the beautiful old Saint-Martin church and take some time to stroll the village’s cobbled streets. If you’d like to visit a Basque museum, Sare has one of the most interesting ones: Le Musée du Gâteau Basque. A museum dedicated to the iconic Basque cake where you get to explore the history, craftsmanship, and flavors of this traditional pastry.

The train on the way to La Rhune
The train on the way to La Rhune – by Lost in Bordeaux

What to do nearby: Just a few minutes from Sare you can take a train to La Rhune and see a breathtaking 360-degree view of the forest and almost the entire French Atlantic coast. If you have more time, you will also enjoy the caves of Sare.

LaBastide-Clairence

Another charming spot that’s on France’s official list of most beautiful villages is La Bastide-Clairence where you can see the lovely red-and-white architecture so typical of the region. You can do some shopping in the charming, locally-owned boutiques in Rue Notre Dame.

LaBastide-Clairence is located a bit farther away from the rest of the villages on this list, about 25km east of Bayonne.

What not to miss: La Bastide-Clairence is renowned for its artisanal shops, showcasing local crafts and traditional Basque products. The village hosts various events and markets throughout the year, providing an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant local culture. One such event is the pottery fair in September.

What to do nearby: Head to the dairy farm Ferme et Fromagerie Bethanoun, where you can taste local sheep milk cheese.

Guéthary

Guéthary is one of my only choices on the coastline as it’s still got that cozy vibe I was looking for when compiling my list. The tiny village boasts distinctive architecture that reflects its rich cultural and maritime heritage, quite different from the other villages on this list. 

What not to miss: Have a sunset drink with sweeping views at the seaside bar, Hétéroclito, and visit the old port where you’ll also find plenty of cute terrace restaurants.

What to do nearby: Take a stunning stroll to the village of Bidart, which is especially loved by the surfing community. 

The beautiful path along the beach from Guéthary to Bidard

Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle

Slightly off the beaten path, Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle is a charming village with a beautiful little center. Take a walk around the village and stop for a pastry or coffee while you admire the 17th-century church and classic red-and-white architecture.

What not to miss: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle is home to a great market every Saturday morning for fresh produce and delicious delicacies from the region.

Taste the best Basque produce
Taste the best Basque produce

What to do nearby: The Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle lake is beautiful and fun for kids and adults alike. It’s the perfect place to cool off in summer and has an inflatable water park, a few cute restaurants, and lovely beaches.

Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry

Our last village is located right on the Spanish border and in the breathtaking Aldudes Valley. Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry is a quaint, charming village with beautiful Basque architecture set on either side of the River Nive and among the sweeping green views of the valley. 

What not to miss: Visit the stunning, 12th-century Saint Etienne church and its beautiful Baroque altarpiece and take a walk from the Roman-style bridge, built in 1661, to the Château d’Etxauz, a castle listed as a historic monument.

What to do nearby: Visit farms in the valley and buy some local treats including sheep milk cheese, wines, cured meats, and artisanal soaps.

visiting farms in the stunning Aldudes Valley in the French Basque country
visiting farms in the stunning Aldudes Valley

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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Do you want to read this article again when you’re traveling in the Basque country? Save it on your Pinterest board.

Toulouse, the capital of Occitanie, is one of the liveliest destinations in the Southwest of France. I’ve got a detailed guide to a weekend in this wonderful city that you can’t miss if you’re visiting – check it out here!

But if you have more than a weekend to spend in the pink city, take the opportunity to discover the extraordinary heritage of Occitanie, a region nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenées mountains near the Spanish border. I can go on and on about places to visit around Toulouse but I’m sure many of you will visit the city without a car, so I decided to create a list of the best day trips from Toulouse to do by train.

A map of all the trains from Toulouse
Credit SNCF

Where can I go by train from Toulouse, you ask? 

Here are my top 10 ideas for day trips from Toulouse reachable by public transport.

Carcassonne – A stunning medieval town

A train journey from Toulouse: between 45 minutes and 1 hour – See tickets here.

The medieval town of Carcassonne is one of France’s magical gems that one can’t ignore when visiting the Southwest. This old citadel is located on the right bank of the Aude River. Early signs of civilizations date back 2500 years, it’s said to be one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the world. 

Access to the citadel is free and you can take the whole day to stroll the narrow medieval streets. It’s considered one of the best day trips from Toulouse for both adults and kids. You can also take a guided tour to discover Carcassonne in a fun way. Led by a guide in a medieval costume, the tour is a living story of Carcassonne in the 13th century. The tour is for adults and kids over 5yo. See all the details here

the citadel of Carcassonne
Carcassonne – Lost in Bordeaux

You do need to purchase tickets if you want to visit the castle and the ramparts, you can buy them online. The place tends to get busy in the summer so be sure to book the tickets ahead. If you’re coming as a group, consider taking a guided tour to make things easier!

If you don’t want the hassle of going there by train, you can also take an organized tour from the center of Toulouse. The price also includes an entry ticket to the chateau so really worth the price. Book your trip here

Albi – Visit the biggest brick cathedral in the world 

A train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour – buy train tickets here.

Another must-see town on a day trip from Toulouse is the city of Albi, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. Nicknamed “La RougeI” or “The Red” because of the red bricks used in much of Albi’s architecture, it’s the perfect distance for a quick day trip from Toulouse by train.

You can’t miss the Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile as part of the cité épiscopale d’Albi, the very well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century. Famous artist Toulouse Lautrec was born here and the city has the biggest collection of his works in the Toulouse Lautrec museum, another must-see stop on your visit to Albi.

Day trip from Bordeaux to Albi
Albi – Lost in Bordeaux

Talking the train from Toulouse to Albi is fairly easy but even easier is joining the CityTour Toulouse day trip. The bus takes you from the center of Toulouse to the center of Albi for the whole day. You can book your visit here. If you don’t have a car you can also take a private tour from Toulouse that includes both Albi and the stunning Cordes Sur Ciel, one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Personal recommendation: if you have the option, come here for a weekend and not only a day trip. It’s a chic city with plenty to see and great restaurants for foodies!

Castres

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 15 minutes – book train tickets here.

Castres, a city in Tarn to the east of Toulouse, is a hidden gem free from crowds. The architecture here is very different from the medieval towns mentioned above. Don’t miss the beautiful, colorful houses that look like they’re almost hanging over the Agout River.

Castres is home to two very interesting and famous museums. The Goya Museum, with its rich collection of Spanish artists including a few works of Goya himself, and the Centre National et Musée Jean-Jaurès, is dedicated to the life of important French politician Jean Jaurès, who was born in Castres. 

Wine tasting in Gaillac

Train journey from Toulouse: 45 minutes – see train tickets here.

If you love wine, you’re in luck! Toulouse is located just next to one of the oldest wine regions in the world, Gaillac. The city itself has a beautiful center with restaurants, cute houses, and stunning architecture, and is very pleasant for strolling around. 

Now onto the wine! If you have a car, make sure you book a visit to Château Lastours, a family-owned stunning estate that produces red, white, rose, and bubbly wines. However, even if you don’t have a car you can still enjoy fabulous Gaillac wines. Head to the chic Maison des Vins de Gaillac located in the Abbaye Saint-Michel in the center of the city. Here you’ll learn about the history of winemaking in the region and get to taste local wines.

wine tasting in Gaillac Château Lastours
Château Lastours in Gaillac – Lost in Bordeaux

Auch – the capital of Gers

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 30 minutes – Book your train tickets.

The town of Auch is the capital of Gers, a lesser-known part of the Southwest that totally deserves some attention. Auch used to be the historic capital of Gascony; it’s a very vibrant town full of history and great food! 

Auch was the birthplace of the musketeer D’Artagnan. If you’re a fan of the famous Three Musketeers, you can see his statue on the Grand Escaliers.

During your outing to Auch, be sure to visit the Cathedrale Sainte-Marie, the impressive staircase called l’Escalier Monumental with its view over the valley, Rue Dessoles, and try to catch the great market they have on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Cahors – the elegant town of deep red wine

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 10 minutes- see train tickets here.

The capital of the the Lot department, Cahors is located within an hour’s drive from famous destinations in the region like Sarlat and Rocamadour. The town is known for its regional food delicacies, such as truffles and foie gras. The best place to taste them is the market taking place every Wednesday and Saturday at Place de la Cathédrale. 

Pont Valentre in Cahors - a perfect day trip from Toulouse
Pont Valentre in Cahors – Lost in Bordeaux

I highly recommend a visit to the Pont Valentre which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another attraction in Cahors is its small secret gardens which are a gem to visit during the warmer seasons. The best way to discover the city is to follow the secret garden map!

Many people may have never visited Cahors but definitely heard of its wonderful wines. Some of Cahors wineries are located just a few minute’s drive from the city center, so be sure to leave some time for a tour and wine tasting. Here are two great wineries to visit in Cahors: Domaine Le Passelys (recommended with kids) and Domaine Rességuier. If you’re traveling by public transport, you’ll have to take a taxi to get there.

Bordeaux – the wine capital of France (and maybe even the world!) 

Train journey from Toulouse: 2 hours and 15 minutes – book your tickets to Bordeaux here.

A short train trip will take Bordeaux, a beautiful, historic, lively city full of history, fun events, food, and – of course – wine. In my opinion, Bordeaux is one of the most elegant and fun cities in all of France – and not just because I live there!

As someone who lives and writes about Bordeaux, I think you need at least a weekend to discover Bordeaux and its surrounding sights. But if all you have is one day, then a day trip to the capital of the southwest is definitely worth it! 

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

In a day you can check out the famous indoor Capucins market, taste some delicious cannelés (local traditional pastries), cool off at the Miroir d’Eau, check out one of the state-of-the-art museums, and eat great food at one of the countless restaurants the city has to offer.

With only a day or two in Bordeaux, I’ve summed up the things you can’t miss in this article. And if you have more time, here are my top 50 things to do in Bordeaux

Moissac and Montauban 

Train journey from Toulouse: 50 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively, located on the same train line

Moissac and Montauban are two towns very close to each other situated along the Tarn River. 

Moissac is a recommended spot to visit if you are interested in history, as it’s an important stop along the famous Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route. The famous, historic abbey and cloisters in the center of the town date back to the 12th century and are renowned as some of the most beautiful in the world.

Place Nationale in Montauban - a great stop between Bordeaux and Toulosue
Place Nationale in Montauban – Lost in Bordeaux

The lively, pleasant town of Montauban is another day trip from Toulouse I really enjoyed. Head to the Place Nationale with its beautiful arches and Place Roosevelt where cute cafés, shops, and people-watching will keep you busy. Montauban is one of the oldest bastide towns in France, founded as early as the 12th century. 

Najac and its chateau

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 20 minutes – Book your tickets.

The stunning village of Najac is surrounded by lush greenery, making for a very picturesque little place when combined with the old stone architecture. In fact, Najac is on the official list of France’s most beautiful villages.

Be sure to visit the Château Royal de Najac, built in the mid-13th century. The castle is home to the tallest dungeon in all of France, measuring almost 7 meters. From the top, you can stop and take in the magnificent view of the Aveyron River and the surrounding valley.

Castelnaudary

Train journey from Toulouse: 45 minutes

Last but certainly not least is the town of Castelnaudary, known as the birthplace of cassoulet – a famous French dish in the form of a rich, slow-cooked stew with beans and various meats. It’s also an important location on the Canal du Midi – a waterway of over 240 km connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Castelnaudary is a very famous tourist route for boat trips and many French and foreigners barge down the canal each year, many of them stopping in Castelnaudary.

Take a walk along the pretty port or harbor and see the famous canal, then stop for a drink on the Place de Verdun.

A very easy day or half-day trip from Toulouse, I highly recommend Castelnaudary!

Is it your first time in Toulouse?

Use my Toulouse guides to prepare for your trip:
A guide to a weekend in Toulouse
Where to stay in Toulouse
Toulouse with kids
Events in Toulouse

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

Liked the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Toulouse? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Toulouse is a dynamic city in Southwest France, teeming with life and culture. Also known as the “pink city”, Toulouse has gained popularity among city enthusiasts, and with good reason: its architecture, rich heritage, kids’ attractions, food, and markets make it one of the most interesting cities to visit in France.

As the capital of the Occitanie region and the fourth-largest metropolis of France, Toulouse enjoys a great location nestled between the Pyrenees mountains on one hand and the Mediterranean beaches on the other. It’s only a two-hour train journey from Bordeaux, which makes it an ideal getaway for those who wish to explore the south of France.

Before planning your Toulouse adventure, check out my guide on Toulouse’s top districts before your trip. It will assist you in finding the perfect accommodation for your stay. You can also read my articles about day trips from Toulouse, and the city’s best festivals, ensuring you don’t miss any exciting events during your visit.

Take a guided tour to explore old toulouse
Old Toulouse – by Lost in Bordeaux

In this article, I’ve rounded up the best-guided tours in Toulouse. A guided tour gives you a chance to explore the city through the eyes of the locals. Whether you like walking, cycling, or trying local food, this list should help you find the best experience to make your trip to Toulouse an unforgettable journey for you and your family. Let’s dive into the best tours in Toulouse!

Best walking and cycling tours in Toulouse

Toulouse Walking Tours

Led by Penny, a passionate Yorkshire native turned Toulouse enthusiast, “Toulouse Walking Tours” offers immersive and carefully curated guided experiences. It is a one-woman show that blends historical depth with local anecdotes. She is offering a wide selection of tours that go beyond the postcard, unveiling hidden gems and stories in the heart of Toulouse. 

Basilique St-Sernin in Toulouse
Basilique St-Sernin – by Lost in Bordeaux

The “Key Sights” tour, for example, offers a captivating journey through the city’s renowned landmarks. Delve into the rich history of Toulouse with stops at the impressive Place Capitôle, the majestic Basilique St-Sernin, and the scenic Garonne. This 2-hour stroll, spanning just over 3 km, provides not only historical insights but also local stories, making it an ideal initiation to Toulouse. 

See all tours of Toulouse Walking Tours here.

Unusual Guided Tour in the Age of Enlightenment

Embark on a unique journey through Toulouse’s Saint Etienne district, led by Madame de Cambon, a descendant of Pierre-Paul Riquet (the mastermind behind the Canal du Midi). This tour takes you back to the refined atmosphere of the 18th century. In period costume and lots of enthusiasm, Madame de Cambon shares incredible stories of Toulouse on the brink of the Revolution, offering insights into the daily life and gossip of high society. 

The adventure commences with a visit to the Saint Etienne cathedral, where the unusual architecture and the resting place of Pierre Paul Riquet are revealed. The tour then meanders through Place Saint-Etienne, where Madame de Cambon narrates tales of the former Archiepiscopal Palace and the Griffoul fountain. 

This exceptional experience which takes about 1,5 hours, offers a blend of history, storytelling, and architectural exploration, making it a must-try for those seeking a lively, theatrical kind of tour, for a deeper understanding of Toulouse’s past.

This tour is offered only in French. Book your tour here.

The essential of Toulouse by bike

Biking in Toulouse is an awesome way to discover the city. It’s mostly flat, with lots of bike paths in and around town. Locals ride bikes everywhere as it is a fast, cheap, and eco-conscious way to navigate the city, making a bike tour in Toulouse a fantastic choice!

This 3-hour Tour, offered in English, takes you through the heart of the city on comfortable bikes. You’ll meet your Le Petit Cyclo’s guide, easily identifiable in a red waistcoat. This is a local agency of bikes, passionate about making people discover the area by bike! Super friendly team and more than 10 years of experience. 

Best cycling tour in Toulouse
Cycling tour in Toulouse, credit: Le Petit Cyclo

You’ll start the journey at the iconic Saint-Etienne cathedral. As you pedal through historic squares like Place de la Trinite and Place Roger Salengro, delve into the stories that shape Toulouse. 
This tour isn’t just a ride; it’s an exploration of Toulouse’s iconic landmarks, promising a blend of fun, history, and local insights.
Book the tour here.

Harry’s Free tour

Harry is a passionate storyteller, formerly from Edinburgh who moved to Toulouse 20 years ago. His Free Tour in Toulouse is a true adventure. For a 3-hour captivating journey, he’ll take you through the city’s storied past and vibrant present.  

The tour covers key landmarks around the city, to which are attached Harry’s tales of Medieval Toulouse, the Inquisition, the Canal du Midi, the Revolution, and more. Along the way, Harry shares recommendations on the best places to eat and drink, ensuring a comprehensive Toulouse experience.

Harry’s lively storytelling style infuses humor and entertainment into the historical journey, catering to diverse interests and preferences. Whether you’re drawn to the architectural marvels, curious about local insights, or seeking a dynamic blend of history and entertainment, Harry’s tour offers a memorable exploration of Toulouse. Book a tour with Harry to delve into the melodrama of Toulouse’s history and create lasting memories in this amazing city! Book it here.

Best Food Tours Toulouse 

A food tour in Toulouse is a perfect way to explore the city through its culinary scene. With a local food-tour expert, you’ll go on a gastronomic adventure, allowing you to try the city’s food highlights. From local markets to iconic eateries and hidden gems, explore Toulouse’s vibrant food scene while hearing secret anecdotes and meeting cool people!

Market tour with a cheesemonger

This tour is all about meeting the authentic tastes and local vendors of Toulouse. Exploring the renowned Marché Victor Hugo introduces you to the world of French cheeses, bread, and wine, under the expert guidance of a passionate cheesemonger – Jessica.

As you navigate through the bustling market, you’ll discover the fascinating world of fresh and artisanal local products. During this visit, you’ll not only sample a variety of dishes but also gain a deeper understanding of the French market shopping experience. 

Food tour in Marché Victor Hugo
Taste of Toulouse – by Lost in Bordeaux

The Marché Victor Hugo tour is a sensory delight, combining the ambiance of a traditional French market with the expertise of a cheesemonger, making it a must-try for food enthusiasts and those eager to savor the authentic flavors of Toulouse.

Jessica who runs the tours, is originally from the U.S. but a Toulousaine at heart since 2017. Passionate about making the French food experience accessible, she shares insights and tips for exploring local markets, wine, and cheese. 

As a certified French Wine Scholar and former cheesemonger, Jessica combines in her guidance her love for the city’s architecture, people, and cuisine. Her tours are fun and informative, they offer a delightful journey through the markets, vineyards, and culinary wonders of the region. 
You can book the tour here

A food tour in the Carmes neighborhood with a trained chef

Try this unique culinary journey in Toulouse with Alejandro, a skilled chef who not only guides but also cooks for you throughout this 3.5-hour small-group tour. The exploration winds through the historic neighborhoods of Carmes and Saint-Etienne, offering seven stops that intertwine tales from Toulouse’s Roman era to the Middle Ages. 

This isn’t just a typical food or historic tour—here, history is not just told but tasted. At each stop, savor traditional recipes, ingredients, and products embodying the essence of Southwestern French Cuisine. For example,  you’ll be sampling sweet bites from the town’s oldest pâtisserie and eating the charcuterie star of this region: AOP Jambon Noire de Bigorre.

If you feel like discovering history through your taste buds, this is the tour for you! Secure your spot now for this special tour right here. 

Cheese tasting on a food tour in Toulouse
Food tour in Toulouse

Best tours with kids in Toulouse 

A walking tour with little kids is an impossible mission, at least with mine. So instead of fighting them, why not make it a fun experience for the whole family? Here are a few family-friendly ways to discover Toulouse.

The Little Train 

The little trains are quite common in France and you can find them in almost every city. It’s a fun, family-friendly activity and a very relaxed way to see the most important monuments of a city. 

The little train in Toulouse offers two different circuits. First, Circuit Garonne follows the Garonne River and takes you through most of the historic center around Place du Capitole. The second tour is the “Circuit de Canal du Midi”, following the canal, the gardens around the Grand Rond, and the chic Carmes neighborhood.

Weekend in Toulouse
Place du Capitole – by Lost in Bordeaux

Practical info:
The tickets: The ticket price is 7€  for adults and 3€  for kids (3-11 yo) and you can get a 2 €  discount with the city pass. You can buy the tickets next to the train, but be sure to arrive about 20 minutes before the scheduled train time. More info can be found here

Sightseeing Tour Bus

It’s usually not my favorite way to discover cities but with little kids that could be a great solution to eliminate some whining.

This 70-minute journey on a red open-air minibus offers a brief yet enriching exploration of the “Ville Rose.” Accompanied by an 8 -Language audio guide, which provides engaging stories and explanations, you’ll discover the vibrant streets of Toulouse and gain a super fun activity.  

The number of sites you will get to see in this adventure is quite extensive! It takes you through the old town, where you’ll see Toulouse’s Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, and the Hôtel d’Assézat’s Renaissance, home to the art gallery of the Bemberg Foundation featuring a stunning collection of 19th and 20th-century French paintings.

What’s great about a tour bus is that it allows you to see the main landmarks of the city in a relatively short time. A win-win when traveling with kids! You can Book it here

A Cruise on the Garonne River

Not only is a cruise a fun experience, but it’s also suitable for all ages which makes it a perfect activity to do with kids. The relaxed pace lets you appreciate the city without rushing or crowding. This laid-back cruise along Toulouse’s Garonne River is no exception! It is a perfect way to discover the city’s charm through its waterways. 

“Les Bateaux Toulousains” offers two kinds of cruises, which take 1h15 or 1h30. The cruise path changes slightly throughout the months of the year, so you will be sailing on either the Garonne River or le Canal du Midi, one of the oldest canals in Europe. 

You’ll drift along the Garonne, pass under Toulouse’s iconic bridges, and soak in the cityscape while enjoying a unique point of view. Also, on board, there’s a bar, so you can take a glass of wine and turn it into a luxurious, even more French experience! Book your tickets here

Or- you can get a free ticket if you purchase the **Toulouse city pass.

**Priced at €20 and valid for 3 days, the Tourism Pass of Toulouse gives you free access to museums and monuments, discounted rates on various activities, and a complimentary guided tour of your choice from the Tourist Office. You can also add 10 public transport trips (metro, bus, and tram) for an additional €10.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂