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Armagnac, like its more famous sister Cognac, is also produced in the southwest of France. However, most people are not aware that this region, located less than two hours’ drive from Bordeaux, is one of the gems of the region, priding itself with charming medieval villages ancient chateaux, and family-owned distilleries. this beautiful region. Bas Armagnac (the lower Armagnac) is located in the heart of the Landes department, about 120 km to the southwest from Bordeaux, which makes it a perfect day trip. In this article, you will discover the best things to do in the Bas Armagnac area in the Landes department. I’ll take you to the most beautiful villages in Armagnac, help you find distilleries to visit, and suggest the perfect day trip to the Landes. Let’s start!

Armagnac is actually produced in three different departments in the southwest of France:  Les Landes, Gers, and Lot et Garonne, representing a large part of the old Gascony. The whole 15,000 hectares region is divided into three producing districts: Bas-Armagnac, Armagnac-Ténarèze, and Haut-Armagnac, each with their appellations and methods of production. I’m not going to dwell on the details of how Armagnac is made as I’m not an expert, that is something you will learn by visiting one of the distilleries I write about in this article. What I will talk about is how to have an amazing day visiting Armagnac. For the sake of this article, I focused only on the Bas Armagnac district which is the closest one to Bordeaux (or Bayonne for those coming from the Basque country). Armagnac-Ténarèze and Haut-Armagnac are equally beautiful and interesting to visit for those who have more time. 

If you need more information about traveling in these regions or any other part of the southwest join my group “Travel in the southwest of France” on Facebook. You can find plenty of other ideas for day trips from Bordeaux in my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

Visit the beautiful villages of Landes d’Armagnac

La Bastide d’Armagnac

La Bastide d’Armagnac is a classic bastide town with a central arched square (Place Royal) that was built at the end of the 13th century by the Count of Armagnac, Bernard VI. This is one of the more lively villages in this part of the Landes department. In the main square, you’ll find several restaurants and coffee places as well as an Armagnac shop so if you don’t have time to visit a distillery, this is a good place for tastings. The main square is surrounded by many narrow streets with old wooden houses, most of which are the original houses, adding to the authenticity of the village. 

a day trip in La Bastide d'Armagnac
La Bastide d’Armagnac by Lost in Bordeaux

Apart from the beautiful center, there are a few things to do around La Bastide d’Armagnac. When visiting there don’t miss the Chapel Notre-Dame de Cyclistes, a cute little church located in a very serene setting and dedicated to cyclists. Also just next to the village you can find the Ecomusee de l’Armagnac. The museum is dedicated to the history of Armagnac making and will help you discover all the techniques, tools, and different crafts that went into making this lucrative spirit over the centuries. It’s also a fun place to visit with kids as you can take them for a walk in the beautiful park on the domain. 

 Chapel Notre-Dame de Cyclistes

Saint Justin

Less than five km from La Bastide d’Armagnac you’ll find another beautiful village called Saint Justin. Here the central square is quite simple and doesn’t give away the charm of this little town, but a short stroll will make you fall in love with Saint Justin. My favorite part is the string of beautiful houses covered with flowers peacefully overlooking the little river that crosses the town. The calming sound of the stream can bring you into a very deep level of tranquility, which is something all of us badly need right now 🙂 

If at this point you’re starting to be hungry, Saint Justin is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. Along the main street, Allée Gaston Phoebus, you’ll find several good restaurants. One that I particularly liked was Le Cadet de Gascogne.

Mauvezin d’Armagnac

Mauvezin d’Armagnac is a small village located just next to La Bastide d’Armagnac. It’s very small without any specific monuments but there are a few beautiful old houses with wooden fronts in the center and it’s worth a short stop on the way. 

Roquefort

Another beautiful town in Lower Armagnac is Roquefort, not to be confused with the famous blue cheese that is produced in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in Aveyron (I’m sure plenty of visitors pass by wondering where all the Roquefort producers are hiding). This little town is somewhat overlooked but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re traveling to the Bas Armagnac region. Roquefort, founded in the 10th century, is a fortified town situated on the road to Vézelay (one of the roads to Camino de Santiago). There are a few points of interest I recommend seeing when visiting the town, among them the beautiful Eglise Saint Marie, the bridges, and the 1949 art deco building, the foyer municipal. The best day to visit Roquefort is Saturday when the weekly market takes place on Avenue des Arenes. 

Eglise-Saint-Marie-Roquefort
Eglise Saint Marie in Roquefort

Visiting distilleries in Armagnac

If you made it all the way to the Bas-Armagnac region I would highly recommend visiting at least one Armagnac distillery. Unlike Cognac, here in Bas – Armagnac most of the distilleries are still owned by small families which are usually eager to host and talk about their Armagnac. It’s always inspiring to meet people who are so devoted to the complicated process of producing Armagnac and the visits are usually quite enriching.

I should warn you that visiting an Armagnac Chateau is a bit more complicated than visiting wineries around Bordeaux, which are more tourism-oriented. Here they don’t have a lot of visits and so they don’t have people to welcome visitors. This means that you usually need to call them in advance and ask for a private visit, especially if you are visiting outside the touristic season. Having said that, many of them will gladly welcome you to their distilleries so don’t hesitate to call. Here are two places I recommend visiting (there are many more of course).

Chateau de Lacquy 

The beautiful Chateau de Lacquy is the oldest Armagnac house in the Bas-Armagnac region. The Chateau is owned by the de Boisséson family that has been producing Armagnac since acquiring the property in 1711.  We were welcomed by the owner, Gilles de Boisséson, who gave us a very interesting and extensive tour of the vineyards and the cellars and served us so many glasses straight from the barrels that my husband finished the tour quite “pompette” as they say in French. On our private tour, Gilles shared a few fascinating family stories with us, including the part his grandmother took in the French resistance during WW2. You can contact them through their site to book a tour. The owner speaks English which makes communication very easy. 

Chateau de Lacquy  in Bas Armagnac
Chateau de Lacquy

Chateau de Ravignan

Chateau de Ravignan is a family property, built in the 17th century in the Louis XIII style and is labeled a historic monument. The Ravignan family has been occupying the place and producing Armagnac there since 1732. Apart from tasting Armagnac and visiting the cellars, you can also take a guided tour in the impressive chateau and discover the history of the family through their art, furniture, and decorations. The chateau is surrounded by beautiful French gardens that can be visited separately from the chateau. 

Chateau de Ravignan in Armagnac
Chateau de Ravignan

This chateau is open daily in the summer so you don’t need to call ahead if you want to visit the chateau itself. However, if you want to do some tastings it’s better to contact them in advance. All the details are here

Taste Floc de Gascogne

Before I end my article about a day trip to Armagnac I want to talk about another spirit you should taste there. While Armagnac is quite a familiar name among spirit lovers, Floc de Gascogne is a much more local drink that’s popular mostly in the Southwest of France. Floc de Gascogne is a regional aperitif, a vin de liqueur fortified with Armagnac which is mostly consumed in the old Gascony region where Armagnac is produced. Many of the Armagnac houses produce Floc de Gascogne as well so if Armagnac is a bit too strong for you, try this drink. I’m sure you’ll love it! 

La Fete de la Distillation 

In case you missed the summer season, you can visit the region in November during Fete de la Distillation. The Fete de la Distillation takes place every November when the new Armagnac is being born after the harvest season. This year (2020) Chateau de Ravignan will celebrate la Fete de la Distillation on November 21-22, see all the details here.  For more details about these events in other domains please contact the tourist office of Bas Armagnac directly through their site

The Bas Armagnac (lower Armagnac) is best visited during summer as it’s not very lively outside of the tourist season and many places tend to be closed. However, some of the villages are still nice to visit on Saturdays and most chateaux will welcome you if you call them a bit in advance. 

Hope you enjoyed this article and marked Armagnac in your to-go list. When you go there, don’t forget to tag me in your posts and stories on Facebook (@Lostinbordeaux) and Instagram (@Lost_in_Bordeaux). 

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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

Did you know that the smallest village in France is located in Gironde, the department of Bordeaux?  Castermoron d’Albret is a tiny village of only 3.5 hectares, located in the Entre Deux Mers wine region, about an hour drive from Bordeaux. Entre Deux Mers is sometimes called the Tuscany of France due to its scenic landscape of hills and vineyards. In this article, I am going to tell you why you should really consider visiting it on your trip to the Bordeaux region!  At the end of the article, you can find other recommendations of villages worth visiting on the way (Click here to find a car for your trip).

Being the smallest village in France is a nice title but is it really worth an hour’s drive? In the case of Castelmoron d’Albret, the answer is definitely yes! The medieval town is brimming with charm and beauty with old houses covered with eclectic pots filled with colorful flowers. No house is the same here, every window, shutter, and door have its particularity and will make you stop and admire the beauty. There are almost no signs of modern life here, no cars, no sidewalks, just flowers, and pure charm. It looks so authentic that it feels like it got stuck in time. Mind you, it didn’t go unnoticed by French moviemakers who shot several period movies here. 

the smallest village in France - castelmoron d'Albret

There are only about 50 people living here and even with some tourists wandering around, the village feels calm and peaceful, you can barely hear any noise here. I believe that my kids are the loudest thing this village has ever known 🙂 

What to see in Catelmoron d’Albret?

There aren’t any important monuments you should see here and that’s kind of the beauty of it. Take your time to stroll the captivating streets of the village, smell the flowers, admire the stone houses, pass through the narrow corridors between the four streets of the village. Despite its tiny size we somehow managed to spend three hours there. I have to mention though, that we travel with kids who stop to pick up every stone and leaf so for most people, it would probably be a nice tour of about a 1.5h. The village is situated on a hill, so don’t miss the beautiful view from the little green square located next to the Halles. Another spot not to miss is the old lavoirs (wash house) located on the footsteps of the village. You will see it on the left when you enter the village from the main street, the Grande rue. In this map you can see all the places worths paying attention to.

the smallest village in France - castelmoron d'Albret

The are only three businesses in this village. The most interesting is the pottery workshop of Cécile and Christophe, which is both a shop and a workshop where they host groups. They also have a little tea garden just next to the workshop.

There’s also Serge the silversmith with his big workshop that specializes in fixing agricultural equipment. And finally, you can also visit the Bar- Brocant of Pierre located at the entrance to the village. 

If you love hiking there are two great hiking trails you can do from the village. One is a short 5km trail called Boucle locale du moulin and a longer one Boucle locale de l’etang which is 10km long. You can see signs in the villages leading in the direction of the trails. Or use the instructions on the official site of the village (in French) – find them here. 

When to visit Catelmoron d’Albret? 

The best time to visit this and other villages in the region is spring! All the flowers are blossoming with roses climbing all over the medieval houses. Just that will make you fall in love with the Southwest of France!  

roses in castelmoron d'albret

However, in Castelmoron d’Albret, Christmas is also a special time and if you’re in the region try to plan a trip here. Every Christmas, the couple from the pottery shop are installing one of the most impressive Crèche de Noël (nativity scene) in the church of the village and most windows on the main street are decorated with little characters from the creche. It creates an amazing atmosphere that gives this village even more charm.

What else to do around Castelmoron d’Albret?

Castelmoron d’Albret is a perfect half a day trip but if you made the effort to get here from Bordeaux you may want to visit one of the other villages, towns or sites in the region. There’s a lot to visit in this part of the Southwest of France, Here are some suggestions:

  1. Sauveterre-de-Guyenne –  just seven minutes’ drive from Castelmoron d’Albret and you’ll arrive to one of the most important towns in Entre Deux Mers. The town was founded in the 13th century and is one of the many bastide towns located in this region of France. You’ll see its impressive entrance gate from the road, it’s hard to miss. 
  2. La Réole –  a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne river located about 14 km from Castelmoron d’Albret and about 50 km from Bordeaux. It’s one of the most impressive towns in the South of Gironde and has a great market every Saturday. For more beautiful villages in the region check out my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde.
  3. Duras – you can also continue a bit further to Duras, a town located in the Lot et Garonne department, about 17 km away from Castelmoron d’Albret. The most important monument in Duras is Chateau de Duras, a very impressive castle with a magnificent view of the Dropt valley.  
  4. Sauve Majeurs – if you’re looking to stop somewhere closer to Bordeaux, this is the place to go. The Abbaye de la Sauve Majeure built in the 11th and 12th centuries is located just midway between Bordeaux and Castelmoron d’Albret. The ruin of the ancient abbey is a historic site that appears on the UNESCO list of protected heritage sites.  It was an important religious site until the Hundred Years’ War and was destroyed during the French revolution. Next to it, you can find the Maison du Vin of Entre Deux Mers which can help you with information about different wineries in the region.  
Sauve-Majeure
Abbaye Sauve-Majeure

If you liked this article, you should also check out my other related posts about day trips around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
The most beautiful villages in Gironde
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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

For those of you who haven’t signed up for my email list yet, you should definitely check it out this week as the weekend program is superb, so hurry up and sign up here!

Here are more photos from the beautiful Castelmoron d’Albret

In the last year, with Covid restrictions, we started doing much more hiking than before, which I’m very happy with. However my kids are still small, so a not very well-planned trip usually turns into a whining journey and ends with me and my husband carrying them half the way. That is why in the last few months I did a lot of research to find kids-friendly walking paths in Gironde. In this article, I chose the hiking trails I enjoyed most when traveling with my kids. Most of them had also longer trails which you can enjoy with older kids that can walk longer distances. 

I have to warn you though that some parts of most of the trails are not very stroller friendly so if you are hiking with babies I strongly recommend bringing a carrier with you. In any case, for stroller-friendly hiking I recommend going to the parks of Bordeaux, you can discover the best ones in my article about the most beautiful parks of Bordeaux
Also, check out my article about the best hiking trails around Bordeaux for additional locations in our beautiful region.

If you’re interested in more ideas for things to do with kids in the region I invite you to follow me on Facebook/Instagram. Now let’s start! let’s dive into family-friendly hiking trails around Bordeaux!

Family-friendly hiking in Bordeaux Metropole

The city center itself is very friendly for kids but here I’m mostly going to talk about trails in nature so I didn’t include it.

Ecosite du Bourgailh in Pessac

family-friendly-hiking-in-Gironde

One of the most pleasant and kids friendly hiking trails in Bordeaux is located in Pessac. The Ecosite of Bourgailh is not just a park, it’s a universe of plants put together in a great landscape design. The area of the Foret du Bourgailh includes a 2.6 km walking trail, the largest tropical greenhouse in the region, sports facilities, a skate park, an amphitheater, a zoo, and a really fun wooden animal theme playground.

Parc Floral 

Parc Floral, located in the north part of Bordeaux is part of the Réserve écologique des Barails, a beautiful natural reserve spreading over 156 hectares. The reserve consists of different parts each with its own characteristic: the forest, the park, the meadows, the wetlands, and the ecological corridors. All of them are great for hiking but the one that kids love the most is Parc Floral.

The park starts with beautiful flowers and continues to the surprising twin cities gardens with sculptures and structures donated by some of Bordeaux’s twin cities like Ashdod (in Israel), Fukuoka (Japan), and Casablanca (Morocco). Kids usually use the twin gardens as a playground, climbing and running around the different statues. The most magical part of Parc Floral is the Torrent de Montagne, a mountain river with stones from the Pyrénées.

Parc floral in Bordeaux - one of the most kids friendly hiking trails in Bordeaux

Parc Floral is located in the Bordeaux Lac neighborhood and to get there straight without passing the forest first you will need to enter through entree roseraie (next to the Golf de Bordeaux Lac). Before heading there check out the information about the different entrances and parking spots on the official site of Bordeaux.

Hiking with kids in Arcachon 

Arcachon is heaven when it comes to hiking with kids. Everything is flat, the landscape changes a lot depending on the timing of your arrival and it has a rich flora and fauna to explore during your trip. There’s also always the option of going to the beach at the end to motivate kids to finish the trail. Here are some of the best family-friendly hiking trails in Arcachon.

The Domain of Certes-Graveyron

If you want to explore the nature of Bassin d’Arcachon at its best, Domain of Certes Graveyron in Audenge is the place to go. Located at the very heart of the Arcachon Bay, this natural reserve of 530 hectares is an amazing place for hiking with kids no matter what age they are. There are several trails you can take to discover the salt meadows and the migrating birds passing through Arcachon. The most kids-friendly one is Boucle de Graveyron, a 5.5 km circular hiking trail that goes through some of the animal farms in the region, the cute port of Audenge, the Audenge beach, and the blue colored salt marshes.

Domain of Certes Graveyron in Audenge, Arcachon

What I especially love about the Domaine de Certes is that it looks different every time you visit it. Due to its location at the heart of the Bay, the reserve completely changes its looks depending on the tide hours during the day of your visit so every visit there feels like you’re exploring a new location.
The reserve is free and can be visited whenever you want. Bicycles are not allowed on the walking paths of Domain de Certes et Graveyron. There are maps and good trail markings on site.

Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Prés Salés d’Arès

La Réserve des prés salés d’Arès is a huge natural reserve that offers several short and long hiking trails. The hiking starts at the port of Arès which is a nice place to stop for a plate of oysters before you hit the road 🙂 The most family-friendly trail is the 4.5km Boucle d’Arès, a path that goes along the salt meadows and then continues in a beautiful forest. The one downside is that this path ends on a road so you have to walk a bit along passing cars. However as the road is in the village itself, the few cars passing there are driving quite slow so it doesn’t really ruin the experience.

Hiking with kids in Ares, Arcachon

Les Prés Salés Ouest 

Prés Salés Ouest is another beautiful natural reserve, located on the other side of the Bassin d’Arcachon in La Teste de Buch. I love recommending this one to parents with small kids as it’s one of the only stroller-friendly hiking paths in the region. You can start the 2.2km trail from the port of Teste de Buch or from the Avenue du Général Leclerc (you will see a big parking from the road).

Prés Salés Ouest - a beautiful hiking trail in Arcachon

We started hiking when the tide was still quite low and finished it when it started to rise, the change in the landscape was spectacular. If you want to make it even more fun, stop at the port for some fresh oysters. The entrance is free and open for cycling as well.

Hiking with kids in other parts of Gironde 

Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’Hourtin

Let’s now move to the Medoc region which offers a lot of great hiking trails. Hourtin is the biggest lake in Gironde surrounded by beautiful beaches and a lot of natural spaces. The Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’hourtin is located at the northern point of the lake. It offers several trails which are all quite easy to do with kids, with the shortest one being the green path (Le Sentier de la Lobelie), a 2 km path along the lake. If it’s hot enough, finish your day at the beach nearby!  To start the hiking trail park your car at the Piqueyrot beach.

The trails of the Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’hourtin

You can see more details about all the trails in that reserve here

Lac Bleu and Lac Vert

I love hiking around lakes! I think that water in combination with the greenery around it gives it a very meditational vibe 🙂 Luckily there are a few beautiful lakes in Gironde where you can have a lovely walk and admire the colors of the water. The first one is Lac Vert (the green lake) in Canejan and the second one is Lac Bleu (the blue lake) in Leognan, both located about 15/20 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux. Their names derive from the color of the water and they are both stunning. They are both great to visit with kids, although the green one is easier to do with strollers.  If you have a dog, they would love Lac Blue!

Lac Vert near Bordeaux

Forêt de Migelane

Forêt de Migelane is a 280 hectares forest situated on parts of the Saucats, Martillac, and la Brède towns in Southern Gironde. The calm forest has several hiking trails to offer, from the most kids-friendly one we have la Petite Boucle circular (1.4 km), La Petite Boucle circular trail to la Balade Forestière (2.7 km), la Balade Géologique (5.2 km) and la Grande Balade (6.5 km). See more info here.

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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

Bordeaux is a lively city throughout the year, with plenty of restaurants, pubs, and wine bars where you can grab a drink every day of the week (well Mondays are kind of tough, but you can still find a spot for an apero).
In the summer, however, Bordeaux takes it up a notch and becomes one of the coolest summer places in France. Plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are surging all over the city making the city extra chic. Most of the summer bars in Bordeaux are open only during the summer (duh!) and some only for a short period during the season, so you have a limited time to enjoy them. Some are more posh and chic, other more simple and chill but they are all super fun to hang out in during the summer in Bordeaux. In this list, I included some of my favorite rooftops and terraces all over Bordeaux metropole so you won’t necessarily have to get to Bordeaux center to enjoy the Bordelaise summer vibes. 

*IMPORTANT NOTE: due to Covid 19 restrictions, only six people/table are allowed and there’s a limited amount of people these bars can host, so be sure to reserve your table as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in wine tastings in Bordeaux check out my article about the best places in Bordeaux that offer wine tasting sessions. For specific events and other ideas for things to do every weekend, I invite you to subscribe to my email list here. If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

Here’s a list of the best places summer bars in Bordeaux for a perfect cocktails evening or an afternoon apero!

Summer bars in Bordeaux

Mama Shelter – the chic rooftop

Mama Shelter is probably the most popular summer rooftop bar in Bordeaux. It has a funky design and many original cocktails but I believe its location should also get a lot of credit for its popularity. It’s one of the only rooftops in the center of Bordeaux, located just next to the Cathedral Saint André, and it has one of the best views of the city. If you come during evening hours, booking in advance is recommended. For reservations click here.

Mama shelter bordeaux

Address: 19 Rue Poquelin Molière, 33000 Bordeaux

Gina 

One of the most exciting places to open up this summer in Bordeaux is Gina, a rooftop bar, an Italian restaurant, and a coffee shop located in the new Renaissance hotel in the Bassin a flot district. One of the highlights of this stylish place is the swimming pool in the middle of the rooftop bar, which will open at the end of June. The place is open seven days a week and on weekends offers a brunch as well. The restaurant requires a prior reservation, you can book here. For more details check out their Facebook page
Address: Place des Millésimes, 33300 Bordeaux

La Guinguette chez Alriq – the best tavern in town

La guinguette chez Alriq is one of my favorite places in Bordeaux and its opening event is for me signaling the beginning of the Bordelais summer! The Guinguette is a big tavern located on the right banks of the Garonne at the Bastide neighborhood, hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere. There’s usually a small price to pay for the concerts taking place on Wed-Sat and on Sundays the entry is free. You can see their program here. The place is very popular so expect to see a line at the entrance. 

la guinguette chez alriq - the of the best summer bars in Bordeaux

Address: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Les Chantiers de la Garonne

Just next door to La guinguette chez Alriq you can find one of Bordeaux’s best-hidden gems. Les Chantiers de la Garonne is an old hangar turned into a sailing club and a restaurant with one of the best outdoor spaces in Bordeaux. The restaurant is located on the banks of the Garonne river and the outdoor space feels like a real beach with plenty of low tables on fine white sand and fresh seafood with cold bottles of white wine. You can find more info about the restaurant and other activities proposed by the Chantiers de la Garonne here

les chantiers de la garonne

Address: 21 Quai de Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Les Planches Éphémères

Les Planches Éphémères is the new cool kid on the block. A huge outdoor bar, located at the hippodrome of Bordeaux in La Bouscat. The place offers two bars, a dj set, and a huge chill-out area under the trees.  The place is open every day until September 19. Check out their site for more info. 

Address: 8 Avenue de l’Hippodrome, 33110 Le Bouscat

Plage de L’IBOAT

The Iboat is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot and mostly known as a concert venue. During the summer they also open their “beach”, a fun outdoor space on the banks of the Bassin a flot with a bar, comfy sofas, and varying outdoor events. La Plage de L’IBOAT is definitely one of the best summer bars in Bordeaux for an afternoon drink! You can see the list of concerts and events here
This year they are planning to open a second outdoor space (starting June 17th) that will be called Blonde Venus with cool features like a kids corner and a vintage shop, see more details here.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district
Address: Bassin à Flot n°1, Cours Henri Brunet, 33300 Bordeaux.

Le Solztice

Another comeback from last year is the popular tavern (they call themselves a beer garden 🙂 ) called Le Solztice. The outdoor bar is located close to Bordeaux’s main train station,  in the Belcier district which has been gaining a lot of hype in the last two years. Solztice is an associative bar that offers plenty of cool features like food trucks, live concerts, pétanque and more. The place is about to open its doors on June 11, for more details click here
Address: 147 Rue des Terres de Borde, 33800 Bordeaux

Effet Mer

If you didn’t have enough reasons to go to Bassin a flot, here’s another one. Effet Mer is a fun summer bar, located just next to the Base Sous-Marine. This cool place is open seven days a week and offers daily life concerts and dj sets. For more details click here

Address: 280 Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Terrasse 14 – a pop-up bar

Terrasse 14, on the rooftop of Hangar 14, was last summer’s coolest place to be. Besides an amazing view on the Garonne river, this place had all the hipster 101 kit 🙂 A cool bar, a petanque court, great local beers, wines, and tapas, and a lot of chic bordelaise people. I was excited to read that the bar is going to reopen again this summer at the end of June, for more details follow their facebook page. The bar will close its doors at the beginning of September.

Terrasse 14 rooftop in Bordeaux
Crédit photo : Terrasse 14

Address: Hangar 14, Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux

Café Utopia

This isn’t specifically a Bordeaux summer bar but it’s one of my favorite Terraces in Bordeaux all year long (when it’s not raining of course). For those who’re not familiar with the place, Utopia is an independent cinema theater, installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. At the entrance to this beautiful building, you’ll find le Cafe Utopia, a nice bistro, and a good place to take your laptop for a few hours of work. However, the best part is the terrace which has plenty of tables on one of the liveliest squares in Bordeaux, Place Camille Jullian. If you’re looking for a nice, simple place for a drink in the center of the city, this one is recommended. 

Cafe Utopia - one of the best terraces in Bordeaux
Cafe Utopia – one of the best terraces in Bordeaux

Address : 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

Rooftops and Terraces in Bordeaux Metropole

Domaine de Raba

The beautiful chateau of Domaine de Raba is well hidden in a residential neighborhood in Talence. This place is a bit hard to describe as it has everything from a spa to a fancy restaurant, a bar, and different events like cinema nights and morning yoga. About two years ago, the Domain de Raba opened an outdoor bar called the Tiki Bar. The menu of the bar changes every week and it has many special evenings with Dj sets and concerts. Booking in advance is recommended, you can do it online here. This year the bar will reopen its doors on June 9.

Address: 35 Rue Rémi Belleau, 33400 Talence

Les Halles de Talence

The Talence market is the little brother of the Bacalan market, built by Biltoki in December 2018. Inside the market, you can find a very good cheese stand, tapas, Moroccan food, sushi, oysters, and more. The prices are a bit high except for the bar, which has a great variety of wines at a decent price. The best part, however, is the outdoor area! Plenty of tables are spread in the afternoon between the market and the other restaurants in the Forum and you can enjoy a really fun apero or dinner with a very local vibe. I live in Talence so this is actually my favorite place for a Friday apero! 

Halles de Talence - chic market near Bordeaux

If you want to discover other markets in Bordeaux check out my article about the best markets in and around Bordeaux

Address: Place Alcala de Henares, 33400 Talence

Canopée Café in Merignac

If you want to avoid going to the city center the Canopée Café is a great option! The Canopée Café in Merignac has both an indoor restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) and a very chic rooftop with a huge selection of cocktails and a petanque court, called the Bodega. This rooftop is located in the industrial zone in Merignac and thus lacks the beautiful view of Bordeaux’s rooftop bars but the place itself is super chic and there’s plenty of parking :). All the details are here

Canopée Café Mérignac - chic rooftop near Bordeaux

Address: Face Mérignac Soleil, 1 Chemin de Pouchon, 33700 Mérignac

La Laiterie – a new garden bar

Another summer bar in Talence! It’s starting to look like a “Bars in Talence list” but it’s just because I live here :). La Laiterie in Talence is a beautiful outdoor bar hidden in a wild green garden. Once/Twice a week they also have concerts, for those you must book your place in advance – all the details (as well as their opening hours) are here.

La Laiterie - Talence - bar in a Garden near Bordeaux

Address: Impasse Vieille Tour,  33400 Talence 

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 it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

From time to time I receive questions about beautiful places to walk dogs in Bordeaux, and so “inspired” by the third confinement in France I decided it’s time to dedicate an article to our little four-legged friends. In the last few months, I wrote numerous articles about hiking and parks in Bordeaux that many found useful this year. Most parks in Bordeaux are very dog friendly so I really recommend you go through my previous articles:

The most beautiful parks in Bordeaux
The best hiking trails around Bordeaux
Best places to visit 20km from your home
The most family-friendly hiking trails in Gironde

Important note: In many parks in Bordeaux dogs are allowed only on a leash and some need to be muzzled, here’s the exact wording from the site of the Marie de Bordeaux: “Les chiens “non classés” sont autorisés tenus en laisse, de même que les chiens de seconde catégorie tenus en laisse et muselés”

In this article, I want to give you a bit more than just the list of parks. This year I’ve spent quite a lot of days exploring nature around Bordeaux with my kids, looking for hidden lakes, easy walking trails, streams, and just any beautiful place where my kids can feel free to run and enjoy nature. I’ve noticed that many of these places are perfect for dogs as well, in many of them you can let them run free and they can even enjoy a swim. So here are some of the best green spaces to walk your dog in Bordeaux metropole.

Parc des Berges de la Garonne in Bègles

Berges de La Garonne is one of the hidden gems of this region. Many, visit this part of Bègles to do shopping in Rives d’Arcins without even knowing that behind the big shopping center hides a very tranquil green park with a beautiful view of the Garonne river.  Take your dog for a walk along the river and enjoy the metallic sculptures along the way. Don’t miss the Carrelets, the traditional fishing cabins that you can find mostly on the banks of the Gironde Estuary.

Parc des Berges de la Garonne in Begles
Parc des Berges de la Garonne in Begles

Where to park: You can park near Cultura in the main parking of the shopping center and go in the direction of the Garonne river until you see the park. You can equally find parking at the port of Begles and start the walk from the northern part of the park. 

Bois de Thouars in Talence

The Thouars forest is located on the border of Talence and Gradignan and has 4km of walking paths in the woods and around the lake as well as different sports facilities. The hilly path around the lake is especially beautiful and is a great adventure for dogs and kids alike. 

Where to park: There’s a huge parking in front of the pool at 235 Avenue de Thouars, 33400 Talence.

Parc de Montgaillard in Gradignan

Gradignan is known as one of the greenest towns in Bordeaux metropole so it’s not a surprise that one of our dog-friendly places is located there. The path follows the Bourde stream that goes through Gradignan and continues to Canejan, a great hiking path for the more avid walkers among you. At the heart of this park, you’ll find one of the last fully restored water mills in the metropole, a fishing lake, playgrounds, and a picnic area.  

Where to park: There are several parking spots around the mills at Chemin des Moulins, 33170 Gradignan

Bois des Sources du Peugue in Pessac

How about a hike in a magical forest with a beautiful lake where your dog can swim? Bois des Sources du Peugue in Pessac is one of the less known forests/parks in the metropole, but it’s really worth a visit. It has plenty of trails that are perfect not only for hiking but also for cycling. It’s a perfect place to walk your dog and also to have a picnic at the end of the walk.

Where to park: You can find parking around the intersections of Avenue du Port Aerien et Rue des Bouvreuils.

Parc de la Bruthe in Floirac

Moving on to rive droite to the beautiful Domaine de la Burthe in Floirac. This park is part of a beautiful forest and is a perfect place for hiking and for spending the day enjoying the hidden spots between the trees. The place is also home to the equestrian center so you can see plenty of horses all over the park.

Where to park: Chemin de la Burthe, 33270 Floirac

Parc de la Bruthe in Floirac
Parc de la Bruthe

Bois d’Arboudeau in Parempuyre

Another hidden gem that many are not aware of is the Arboudeau forest in Parempuyre, one of the northern towns in Bordeaux metropole. Like other places on this list, this forest has a beautiful lake in its center and you can do a fun circuit with your dog around it. 

Where: Rue de Bordeaux, 33290 PAREMPUYRE

Lac Bleu and Lac Vert

These two lakes are very popular among dog owners and they are also two of the most beautiful lakes in Gironde. The first one is Lac Vert (the green lake) in Canejan and the second one is Lac Bleu (the blue lake) in Leognan, both located about a 15/20 minute drive from Bordeaux. Their names derive from the color of the water and they are both stunning. I think that Lac bleu is the dogs favorite one 🙂

Forêt de Migelane in Martillac

Forêt de Migelane is a 280 hectares forest situated on parts of the Saucats, Martillac, and la Brède towns in Southern Gironde. This calm forest has several hiking trails to offer, all of them are perfect for walking your dog: la Petite Boucle circular (1.4 km), La Petite Boucle circular trail to la Balade Forestière (2.7 km), la Balade Géologique (5.2 km) and la Grande Balade (6.5 km). See more info here.

Forêt de Migelane in Martillac
Forêt de Migelane in Martillac

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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

 All the bars and restaurants are currently closed which probably makes you want to skip this Valentine’s day altogether. But during these tedious times, celebrating love is more important than ever and nature could be a magnificent scenery for that. In this article, I gathered a few fun ideas for couples to do together this Sunday on Saint Valentine’s day. So grab your bottle of wine, maybe even a picnic, and follow me to the most romantic places around Bordeaux. 

See the sunrise from Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux

The Pointe aux Chevaux beach in Petit Piquey is one of the most magical beaches in Cap Ferret. Surrounded by pine trees and a few oyster cabanes, it looks like a place taken for a movie. The beach worth a visit any time of the day but if you’re a morning person, I would really recommend leaving the house early that day and go see the sunrise, nothing will give you more romantic vibes than that. 

Sunrise in Cap Ferret
Sunrise in Cap Ferret by Lost in Bordeaux

Dune du Pilat

Our beloved Dune cannot is a permanent resident on a list like this. The panoramic view of the forest and the ocean is quite hard to compete with. Of course, the ultimate pleasure would be to see the sunset from the top, but as there’s a curfew at 6pm, you’ll have to do with a romantic picnic on the top of the dune instead.

Saint Croix du Mont

This is one of my personal favorites in the region. Saint Croix du mont is a small village located in the south of the Entre Deux Mers region and is known thanks to its excellent white sweet wine. There’s not much to do there but the view from the top of the village is absolutely stunning. During the summer there is a nice bar there but currently, you’ll have to bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy the view. You can also do a little hiking trail from the top of the village. 

Saint Croix du Mont

Visit a winery 

Did you know that many of the wineries in the region are open for visits? They are allowed to have up to 6 visitors but as there aren’t any tourists here, you’ll most likely be alone and have a romantic wine tour and tastings just for yourself. The choice, of course, is enormous so you’ll have to do some work to see which are currently open. Here are a few suggestions of wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Chateau loudenne on the Medoc wine route
The pink house – Château Loudenne by Lost in Bordeaux

Go biking together

There are plenty of beautiful biking paths in the region. If you want to stay in the city, you can cycle on the promenade from both sides of the Garonne. But if you don’t mind getting a little farther away, Roger Lapébie Bicycle path can be a great romantic adventure. 

You can start your path from Pont Pierre in Bordeaux and cycle on the right side of the river until you get to Latresne, where the official path starts (follow the river bike path to Latresne). The official path is 57km long and it goes through the Entre Deux Mers region until it gets to Sauveterre-de-Guyenne. Here’s an article with more instructions. 

Visit the smallest village in France 

There’s something cute and romantic about being the smallest village in a country and in our case the smallest village in France is located in Gironde and called Castelmoron d’Albret.

roses in castelmoron d'albret

There’s not a whole lot to do there, the town is simply very cute and you can have a picnic while enjoying a beautiful view. If you want to visit another place in that region you can stop by Duras or Sauveterre-de-Guyenne. For more info about villages to visit in Gironde read this article.

Go hiking 

There are plenty of beautiful hiking routes in this region and if the weather is good, it can make a perfect Valentine’s day activity. Hostens is definitely one of the best hiking trails in this region but if you prefer going to Arcachon over the Landes forest, The Domain of Certes-Graveyron is a perfect place to spend the day.

For more experienced hikers, go to Saint Emilion and challenge yourself with more hilly trails. Here’s an example of a medium level hiking trail in Saint Emilion – https://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/bdd_fichiers/file_1564493621.pdf

For hiking ideas in Bordeaux, be sure to check out my article.

Do a fun street art day

If you love street art there are many places to discover in the region but nothing can be compared to Angouleme, the street art and comics capital of France. Tens of beautiful mural and funny comics decorate the city walls and it will take you hours to spot them all, a full fun, and romantic day :). It’s only 1.5 hours drive from Bordeaux and you can even reach there by train. Check out my guide to the street art of Angouleme before going.

Go to the Pyrenees to see snow

There’s so much snow this year, you must go see it before spring starts. Spend the day in one of the lovely ski towns in the Pyrenees and enjoy the tranquility created by the beautiful white powder. All the ski facilities are closed this year but you can go to Cauterets and enjoy this charming ski resort town. Then drive up the mountain to Pont D’Espagne for a hike in the snow. 

Hautacam in the French Pyrenees

That’s it for our romantic weekend! 

I hope you find it useful and if you travel to one of these places don’t forget to tag me in your stories on Instagram @lost_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

So we can finally go a little bit farther than 1 km from our house Wouhoooo!!! I know that it’s not really considered traveling but we’re in 2020, take whatever you can my friends 🙂 In this article, I want to offer a few ideas of places you can visit within the 20km radius of your home, which is the new limitation for the moment. I don’t mention places in Bordeaux itself as I believe it will be very crowded so I prefer to encourage you to find more spacious places and discover nature or other cute parts of the metropole. As we are limited to only three hours a day I included places that can be visited shortly rather than long hiking trails. 

Before we start here are two articles I think you’ll find helpful if you’re looking for beautiful places to breathe some fresh air
The most beautiful parks in Bordeaux 
The best hiking trails near Bordeaux 

For the purpose of this list, the 20km radius is measured from the center of Bordeaux. I assume that many of you live outside of Bordeaux so before going out check if the location fits in your 20km limitation. You can use this site to check. Here’s the list of ideas for places to visit during the next stage of confinement – 20km, 3 hours – here we go! 

Parc floral 

This is my getaway when I need a bit of nature close to Bordeaux. The beautiful Parc Floral of Bordeaux is located at the Barails natural reserve, next to the forest of Bordeaux (Bois de Bordeaux). With its beautiful flower garden and the creative twin city gardens with sculptures and structures donated by some of Bordeaux’s twin cities. No matter where you live in Bordeaux metropole, this park is probably within the allowed distance and it will fill your three hours with a lot of beauty. 

Parc floral Bordeaux

Parc de l’Ermitage 

Parc de l’Ermitage Sainte-Catherine in Lormont with its while cliffs is one of the most beautiful parks near Bordeaux and if you haven’t been there yet, this is an excellent opportunity to check it out.  When on the upper side of the park don’t miss the stunning view from the Aquitaine bridge above the Garonne river. 

For those of you coming with kids, there’s a cute animal park just next to the park called la ferme des Iris. Also if you’re traveling with a stroller I would recommend doing either the upper or lower parts of the park as the stairs between the two parts are quite steep. 

Réserve Naturelle Des Marais De Bruges

Another beautiful and under-discovered nature spot in the metropole is the natural reserve of Bruges. Just a few minutes’ drive from Bordeaux Lac you’ll find 256 hectares of natural treasure with more than a hundred bird species and many types of insects and mammals. There is an itinerary of 2.4 km offered by the site that will allow you to discover one of the parts of the reserve and watch the birds from three different observatory spots. 

The entry to the site is free, the address is Avenue des 4 Ponts.

Lac Vert

Now something for those in the South part of the metropole, although it is within your 20 km even if you live in Bordeaux center. If you like taking a stroll next to water sources this one is for you. The beautiful Lac Vert (the green lac) in Canejan is a perfect place for a short hike with kids or with dogs or both 🙂 It has a nice 1.5 km trail surrounding the lake and a playground for kids when they finish the stroll. 

Parc Majolan

A lake, beautiful nature, and mysterious caves all in one stunning park located less than 10km from the center of Bordeaux. Parc Majolan in Blanquefort is one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux and an excellent way to spend your three hours outside. 

Take a long walk on the quai

The right side of the Garonne river is worth a visit not only for Darwin and la Guinguette chez Alriq but also for its beautiful promenade, especially Parc aux Angéliques next to Darwin. You can start your walk at Pont Chaban Delmas and continue walking along the riverside until you get to Arkea Arena in Floirac – it is about 6km in total.

Parc aux Angéliques in Bastide

The Ecosite of Bourgailh

I have mentioned this place on several occasions just because I really love it. It’s a great park for walking or cycling and definitely the best one if you have active kids who love skating and climbing on walls (aren’t they all 🙂 ) The area of the Forêt du Bourgailh includes a 2.6 km walking trail, the largest tropical greenhouse in the region, sports facilities, a skate park, an amphitheater, a zoo, and a beautiful animal-themed playground. If you’re cycling from Pessac you don’t have to get to the main entrance to enter the park, on the crossroad between Rue des Frênes and Avenue de Monbalo there’s a cycling path that leads right into the park. 

For more places to visit in Pessac read my article

Lla Forêt du Taillan­-Médoc

If you want to discover a proper forest rather than a park, this one is for you. La Forêt du Taillan­-Médoc is a 420 hectares forest that proposes four trails for hiking: The 2.6 km Circuit vert, the 5.3 km Circuit bleu, the 7.1 km Circuit rouge, and the 8.6 km Circuit noir. You can read more info about the forest and the circuits here

 Discover other markets 

If you live far from a market and are obliged to buy everything at the supermarket, this is a great opportunity to get familiar with some of the best markets of the metropole. Many of the big weekly markets take place on the weekends and they are spread around some of the biggest suburbs in Bordeaux metropole. A few of my favorites are the Sunday market of Bassens, the Saturday market at Merignac, and the Sunday market of Pessac. 

markets in Bordeaux France

Check out the list of the best markets in Bordeaux is my article

Discover the suburbs of Bordeaux 

Most people usually leave the metropole on the weekend or go to the center of Bordeaux, but these new rules give us an opportunity to discover some of the other towns surrounding Bordeaux. I have already written about Pessac with its lovely center (check out my article) but there are other cute little towns around Bordeaux. Lormont has a cute little center, Gradignan is lovely and has some interesting sites to visit such as the Prieure de Cayac and Parc René Canivenc with its aminal park. In Bordeaux itself, you can visit Saint Agustin and Saint Bruno which are two nice neighborhoods, or take a walk in the developing neighborhood of Bassin a flot.

If you don’t live in Bordeaux metropole, join my group “Travel in the Southwest of France“. We have members from all over the southwest of France that share a lot of advice about secrets spots in their region.

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

You don’t need to rent a car or travel far from Bordeaux to have a fun and enriching day trip. Some of this region’s treasures can be found in Pessac, one of Bordeaux’s biggest suburbs. Just jump on a tram or your bike and enjoy a full day of history, nature, wine, and street art in a beautiful historic town. The trip I planned is best done by bike but you can also do it by foot, car, or public transport. 

Here are all the places I’m going to discuss in this article:

If you need other ideas of day trips from Bordeaux without a car check out my article about 10-day trips from Bordeaux by train

The center of Pessac

Start your day in the center of Pessac, next to the Pessac Centre tram station. It is one of the liveliest city centers in Bordeaux metropole, with plenty of restaurants, coffee places, and excellent food shops. Here are some of my favorite places in the center of Pessac:

Eat and Coffee – If you want to start your day with coffee or a light lunch, head to the chic coffee shop Eat and Coffee at 14 Place de la Liberté.

Franck Labasse Patisserie – just in front of the coffee shop don’t miss the great chocolatier and patissiere Franck Labasse at 11 Place de la Liberté.

Ragazzi da Peppone – If you’re hungry, just know that you’re standing next to one of the best Italian restaurants in the region. Ragazzi da Peppone is located at 8 Place de la Liberté.

Fromagerie Dauchez – on the main street (30 Avenue Pasteur) you can also find a fantastic cheese shop.

Restaurants in Pessac center

Pessac Market

Every Tuesday and Saturday there’s a very nice market in the center of Pessac. Try to plan your trip on one of these days as the center tends to be livelier on market days.

Le marché Bourrec – the biggest outdoor market of Pessac takes place every Sunday on Avenue Pierre Wiehn. This is one of the biggest markets in Bordeaux metropole with more than 170 stalls selling the best products the region has to offer. 

Street art in the center of Pessac

Pessac is one of the main street art centers in Bordeaux metropole and even has an annual festival, called Vibrations Urbaines, dedicated to street art. You can find dozens of murals all over town with some located close to the center of Pessac. 

My favorite one is located near the train station in Pessac, at 25 Place de la 5ème République. The huge mural of an elderly man called Entre Deux Mondes was created by the French duo Sismikazot in 2017. On the map I’ve made for this article, you can find several other murals in the center of Pessac, marked with a yellow painter’s palette sign.

If you’re a street art geek, you can find many more murals all over Pessac on this site

Amazing villas in Quartier Casino

Another one of Pessac’s hidden gems is the beautiful villas in quartier Casino, on rue Goya and Rue Alexandre Jaubert. Between 1897 and 1904, a local architect named Hector Loubatie built 17 villas that were inspired by the villas of Ville d’Hiver (the winter town) in Arcachon. Today the neighborhood looks like mini Arcachon and the houses carry the nickname “arcachonnaises”. During the Belle Epoque, these villas were the resort houses of wealthy Bordeaux residents. 

villa mimosa - quartier casino in Pessac

Get on your bike and discover Pessac

From the elegant center of Pessac, you can start your cycling tour to discover some of the main attractions of this town, from wine to nature and fascinating architecture. I remind you that this tour is doable by car or public transport and even on foot if you’re in good shape. However, I strongly recommend exploring Pessac by bike. 

Cité Frugès – Le Corbusier 

This colorful residential neighborhood can be easily overlooked, but it’s actually one of the most important monuments of Pessac. The Cité Frugès is the first housing project of the famous Swiss-French architect, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier. 

The project was initiated by Henry Frugès, a wealthy industrialist in order to house working-class families in the 20s. In this project, Corbusier experimented with many new architectural ideas, incorporating strict geometric shapes, panoramic terraces, and vibrant colors in his design.

Cité Frugès - Le Corbusier

Cité Frugès was listed as a UNESCO heritage site in 2016. 

One of the houses in the district is a museum where you can learn more about the project and visit the house interior with all of the original features. See all the details about the visits on this site. The address is 4 Rue le Corbusier, 33600 Pessac. 

Taste wine at Château Pape Clément

Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé wine labeled under the Pessac Leognan appellation. Pessac Leognan, a wine region that was traditionally labeled under the Graves appellation, became a separate appellation only in 1987. This extraordinary château is one of the best wineries around Bordeaux and definitely worth a visit when you’re in Pessac.  

Chateau pape Clement Pessac

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. The chateau offers daily visits in both French and English as well as winemaking workshops where you can assemble your own wine. 

Book your visit here

Cycle along the Peugue 

It’s time for some nature! The cyclers or hikers among you will love this part of the trip. From Château Pape Clément take avenue du Pont de l’Orient north until you get to rue Surcouf (it will be to your left), a green pleasant path that follows the Peugeu stream.

The Peugeu is quite a long river that centuries ago was running through the center of Bordeaux flowing into the Garonne river (around Cours Alsace Lorraine). Since then the part running through the city center was covered leaving it exposed to the open air only in the suburbs. On this trip, We’ll be following the stream in the southwest direction.

On the way (around the intersection with Avenue de Noes) you’ll pass by Moulin de Noes, an 18th-century watermill. This is a very picturesque spot for a picnic. 

Moulin de Noes in Pessac

The Ecosite of Bourgailh

From the Moulin de Noes, we’ll be heading to our last destination, the Bourgaill forest. To do that you’ll have to cross the highway through Passerelle Rocade (find the path from rue Ciceron). On the other side continue on Rue des Frênes until it meets Avenue de Monbalo, then take the cycling path on your right until you reach the eco-park of Bourgailh. 

The Ecosite of Bourgailh is not just a park, it’s a universe of plants put together in great landscape design. The area of the Forêt du Bourgailh includes a 2.6 km walking trail, the largest tropical greenhouse in the region, sports facilities, a skate park, an amphitheater, a zoo, and a beautiful animal-themed playground. This is one of the most kids-friendly places in the metropole and on weekends it’s filled with families cycling and hiking. 

There are also plenty of nice ecological and educational events taking place there throughout the year, such as mushroom hunting, a pumpkin festival, planting workshops, and more. 

Discover more parks in my article about the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux

How to get to Pessac from Bordeaux

Pessac is actually one of the easiest day trips on my site. It’s located about 10 minutes drive from Bordeaux center and is very accessible by public transport. You can take tram B from the center of Bordeaux bringing you to the Pessac Centre tram station. You can also get there by train from Gare Saint-Jean and by several buses from different parts of Bordeaux. 

However, as I already mentioned the best way to do this day trip is by bike! If you don’t have your own bike you can use one of the city bikes of Bordeaux métropole – some of the stations are located in Pessac center so you can start and finish your day there. See all the bike stations in the center of Pessac in this link.

If you want to discover more of Bordeaux by bike, read my article about the Bridge to Bridge bike trail in the center of Bordeaux.

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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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Aubeterre sur Dronne is a small village located in the Charente department in the southwest of France. Aubeterre is labeled as one of France’s most beautiful villages and has a lot to offer, historic monuments, pretty houses, art galleries, and lively restaurants and coffee places. The town is located on the meeting point of the Charente, Gironde, and Dordogne departments which makes it a perfect day trip from many cities in the region such as Bordeaux, Cognac, Angouleme, Perigueux, Bergerac, or Saint Emilion. In this article, I’ll tell you why Auberette is worth traveling to and what you are expected to see in and around this beautiful village. 

Aubeterre sur Dronne was founded in the 13th century on one of the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela. Most of the village is built from a white stone typical to many cities and villages in the Charente department. The town feels a bit like an amphitheater with plenty of hanging galleries decorated with a lot of flowers and greenery. Auberrete is situated on the Dronne river and spreads over a hilltop and valley. The two levels are connected by pretty narrow streets with beautiful houses and breathtaking viewpoints on the valley. The town has several interesting monuments, with the most important being the underground church, Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean. 

Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean - Aubeterre sur Dronne
Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you need more information about traveling in these regions or any other part of the southwest join my group “Travel in the southwest of France” on Facebook. You can find plenty of other ideas for day trips from Bordeaux in my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

What to see in Aubeterre sur Dronne 

While Aubeterre is quite a small village there are a lot of nice streets and places you should not miss on your day trip there. Start your tour of the village on Place Ludovic Trarieux, named after the influential French politician,  Ludovic Trarieux, who was born there in 1840. Trarieux was the founder of the Ligue Francaise pour la défense des droits de l’homme (The Human Rights League of France). This is the liveliest spot in town with several coffee places, restaurants, and boutiques located around the square. For a light lunch, Crêperie de la Source is a cute little restaurant with an amazing view. From here continue to the Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean, the most famous monument in the town. 

If there’s one thing that should not be missed in Aubeterre sur Dronne it’s the remarkable monolithic church. The Saint-Jean underground church was carved from one cliff during the 7th century and was considerably enlarged during the 12th century by a community of Benedictine monks. It has a unique form and measures 20 meters high from the interior. The church has a relic pit, a necropolis with 160 stone coffins, and 18 meters high galleries all carved from the same stone. You can visit the site daily throughout the year – see the details here

Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean - Aubeterre sur Dronne
Eglise souterrain Saint-Jean by Lost in Bordeaux

 From the church start descending to the lower part on the charming Rue Barbichon with its pretty view on the valley. For here turn right to Rue Barbecane where you’ll arrive at Place Merkes Merval, an old washing place. This is a beautiful spot where you can admire the many hanging balconies of Aubeterre. Continue up the street to the main square. If you’re interested in art, don’t miss Espace Ludovic Trarieux on your right as well as Antiquités du Tourniquet, a beautiful antique shop on your left. 

Place Merkes Merval - Aubeterre sur Dronne
Place Merkes Merval – by Lost in Bordeaux

From here you can start discovering the western part of the village with its steep and beautiful streets and several historic houses. Don’t miss the Saint Jaques church, a collegiate that was demolished in the 16th century during the wars of Religions. Its remarkable facade is the only original part left from the church that was later rebuilt in the 18th century. Its facade is a real piece of art with arches and sculpted capitals. 

eglise saint-jacques aubeterre sur dronne
Eglise Saint-Jacques – by lost in Bordeaux

Go to the beach 

If you’re visiting on a hot day, you can finish your day trip on the Aubeterre beach! To get to the beach, pass the bridge to cross the river and turn right. The facilities on the beach include toilets, showers, a kids’ play area, and a restaurant. The beach is located at the Camping base de loisirs d’aubeterre sur dronne that also offers many water activities like kayaking and SUPs. See more details here

What to see around Aubeterre sur Dronne

Aubeterre sur Dronne is a great base to discover other parts of the Southwest of France. Here’s the list of the best places to visit around Aubeterre-sur-Dronne:

Angouleme – the capital of the Charente department is located about 50km north to Aubeterre and is totally worth the visit when in the region. Apart from its beautiful architecture, the city is known as the French capital of street art with tens of murals spread all over the city. Read my article about how to discover the street art scene in Angouleme before heading there. 

memoire du xxeme ciel - street art Angouleme

Cognac – the most famous town in this region is Cognac, obviously thanks to the world-renowned spirit produced there. Cognac is located a bit farther north, about 70 km from Aubeterre but it’s a very interesting place to visit, especially if you want to see how Cognac is made. Read all the details in my article about Cognac.

Villebois-Lavalette – much closer to Aubeterre you can find Chateau de Villebois-Lavalette, a thousand-year-old castle that went through a massive restoration project and can now be visited. The chateau is located in a nice little town (Villebois-Lavalette) with a great covered market.

Riberac – Also very close to Auberette you can find the charming town of Riberac which is located in the Dordogne department. The town that shares the same river with Aubeterre is known for its excellent weekly market every Friday morning. 

Where to stay in Aubeterre sur Dronne 

If you’re planning to go to this region for a few days there are plenty of hotels and guest houses around the town. If you want to stay in the village itself the Grange Bleuet is a recommended place.  See more hotels in Aubeterre sur Dronne here

Where to park in  Aubeterre sur Dronne 

There are two big free parking spaces in Aubeterre sur Dronne. The central one is located just in front of the tourist office on Place du Champ de Foire. If there’s no space there, you can go higher to the northern parking lot next to Chemin du Cimetière. 

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

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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As you can understand from my articles and posts on social media I do most of my trips with my kids. But last week, thanks to a platform I recently discovered I had the opportunity to FINALLY travel all alone. And it was so brilliant that I have to tell you about it (I also got you a discount so it’s worth reading until the end 🙂)! 

You already know that traveling with a local allows you to discover all the best places, especially in a city. It’s simply the ultimate way to discover the best restaurants and avoid tourist traps. That is exactly the experience I had on my trip to La Rochelle as I decided to use La Voyageuse, a travel platform where women host other women in their homes. I had an amazing host that helped me plan my trip and recommended many of the places I’m going to write about in the next few articles about La Rochelle and the surrounding islands. You can read about my personal experience using this platform at the end of the article.

So what is la Voyageuse?

La Voyageuse is a Bordeaux based start-up that connects female solo travelers to female hostesses. The hostesses are volunteers offering free accommodation in their house (could be a sofa or a room) simply out of their love of hosting and the desire to help other women on their solo traveling journey. The idea behind this startup is to provide female solo travelers a safe way to travel. The startup was founded last year and has been getting attention from the traveling industry (and even won some important prizes). 

hosts on La voyageuse platform
Almost 1400 hosts on their platform

A few weeks before we all went into lockdown I was contacted by Christina Boixière, the founder of La Voyageuse. Christina thought, rightly so, that many of my female readers are quite adventurous and enjoy discovering special places through the eyes of a local. Also, a lot of my readers travel alone, so providing a safer travel option is a great value I can give you gals. I must admit that this idea really resonated with my personal experience. In my early 20s, I used to solo travel quite a lot and I remember the hesitations and insecurity I felt when arriving alone at a hostel in a new city. Also, I feel that when you travel to a new place for just a few days you rarely have the opportunity to exchange with locals in the region. So this platform gives women a unique opportunity to travel safely and interact with local women who are very welcoming in their nature. 

How can you start using la Voyageuse

If you want to start using the platform as a traveler you need to purchase an annual pass for 119€ and you will have unlimited and free access to all the accommodations offered by the network of trusted female hostesses. The fee is used to finance the platform and

the verification process carried out by a dedicated team, to carefully review and validate all members. To support moms, this platform givers you the option to travel with one child under 12 yo. Currently, it’s being used by 2100 verified members of all ages, because let’s admit it, who doesn’t need a vacation after this long confinement period?

Now listen to the best news!!! I managed to get from Christina the founder of the company a special discount just for my readers and followers. So when you purchase it with my coupon code you get a 20€ discount!!! Awesome, right?! 

That’s how you purchase the pass:  You just go to the purchase page on their website and use my coupon code LOSTINBORDEAUX to get your discount. You can also buy it as a gift to someone else and get the same discount with my code. 

An advice from me – If you’re already planning your trip check the map of the hosts before purchasing just to make sure there are any ladies hosting in your destination. You don’t need a pass to be able to see all the hosts on the platform, you just have to open an account on the platform. Once you see that there are hosts in your destination, go ahead and purchase the pass. 

My personal experience with la Voyageuse

While I thought the idea was brilliant right away, I told Christina that I had to test La Voyageuse myself before writing about it on Lost in Bordeaux. That’s what I always do, I write only from my personal experience. So when we could finally go back to traveling in France again I decided that after three months with my kids at home this is the perfect time for a solo getaway (or mom vacation in my case 🙂 ). 

Oysters and wine in La rochelle market
Oysters and wine in 11am is the real mom-vacation 🙂

I’ve been planning a solo trip to La Rochelle for a while now and luckily there were several hosts in La Rochelle registered on the platform. I ended up contacting Sylvia – a Polish expat who has been living there for more than a decade. 

To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I was going to someone else’s house and invade their life in a way so I wasn’t sure how comfortable I would feel. But all of that disappeared the minute I met Sylvia at the entrance to her warm and lovely house in La Rochelle. She made me feel at home the minute I stepped in, offering dinner and wine and plenty of funny stories about their family life in the region. She then asked me what my plans are for the rest of my trip and without hesitation brought all of her guide books and maps, giving me the most elaborated explanation of what to do and see in the region. I loved that it was advice coming from a local who actually tried all these experiences so you could feel when she was really excited about a place or when it was something not really worth your time. 

A voyageuse host preparing dinner
A homemade dinner and wine – perfect after a long day in La Rochelle

Then came the best part! At some point when I was trying to decide what to do the next day she said “let’s just go to Île de Ré now and you’ll see how amazing it is” – and just like that we spent an amazing evening discovering Île de Ré. 

During my days there, she texted me to see if I’m doing ok and it felt so nice that someone I just met thinks about my well being. There’s just no way I could have had such an amazing experience if I would’ve stayed in a hotel or even a standard Airbnb. A hotel has its benefits of course, but when you travel alone as a woman, feeling safe and welcomed by a verified local woman really upgrades your traveling experience. 

I do want to make it clear, that if you’re looking for an Airbnb kind of experience, this is not it. La Voyageuse focuses on the interaction between traveling and local women rather than just a way to find accommodation. You need to have that in mind when planning your trip. There’s a chance that there won’t be an available host at a specific town you’re going to or that they won’t be able to host you for more than two-three nights. So just be ready for that and try to contact the host as soon as possible. 

An evening stroll in Ile de Re
An evening stroll in Ile de Ré

So just to sum-up, why do I think this is a fantastic way for women to travel? Mostly because it’s a great opportunity to meet interesting women in France and other places where the platform is active. Not less important, it’s the safest way for female solo travelers to travel, and finally, it’s just way cheaper than staying in hotels. An annual pass that provides you unlimited accommodation will cost you less than two nights in a hotel in France.  

I know that this article was mostly for women, but if you’re a man and you got to this point just know that you can buy the pass as a gift to your girlfriend, wife, sister, or mom. I promise you all of them would love to do a bit of solo traveling right now 🙂 So go ahead and check out their platform to see all the amazing locations you can find a host at and don’t forget to use the LOSTINBORDEUX code when purchasing to get your 20€ discount.

Note: This article contains an affiliate link, meaning that if you buy a pass using my promo code I receive a small commission. So you get the 20€ discount, I get paid, and you will be supporting the work I do at Lost in Bordeaux. So thank you 🙂

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