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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:
The best things to do in Cap Ferret
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 🙂 

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 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:

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*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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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 🙂 

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 🙂 

There are many ways to discover Bordeaux’s fascinating history and cultural heritage, its gastronomy, and its wine industry. You can plan a great trip to Bordeaux using all my Bordeaux articles, especially if you’re planning day trips from Bordeaux. But I think that the capital of the SW of France is so rich with history and landmarks that taking at least one tour in Bordeaux is almost a must! 

Jumpstarting your Bordeaux adventure with a guided tour isn’t just about finding your way around – it’s like having a local friend with the inside scoop. Whether you want to walk, sail, or pedal in the historic city or focus on other parts of Bordeaux’s culture like cuisine or wine, Bordeaux has a tour to offer. 

In this article, you’ll find the best tours in Bordeaux, anything from walking tours to gourmet tours, cycling, and more. As you’re visiting the world wine capital, you should consider taking a wine tour, which you can also find on this list. However, if you’re mainly interested in wine, I recommend checking my article about the best wine tours from Bordeaux

Best tours in the old center of Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

If you need more ideas of fun stuff to do in Bordeaux after (or before) your tour, you should also check my article about the best 50 things to do in Bordeaux. Now let’s discover the best tours in Bordeaux.

A walking tour of historic Bordeaux 

Bordeaux boasts historic landmarks, impressive gates, and architectural richness that’s almost impossible to absorb in a short visit, without the right guidance. I highly recommend taking a walking tour of the historic part of Bordeaux to get the context of how the city was developed and why it encompasses such different styles in its little center. 

Bordeaux Private walking tour

This excellent private guided walking tour of old Bordeaux will take you to the most popular landmarks such as the Grand Theatre, Porte Cailhau, and the Saint André Cathedral. The tour lasts 2-3 hours which is enough to give you a dipper understanding of Bordeaux’s magic without it getting too havie. 

The great thing about this walking tour is that it has a bit of everything. The historical details about the main monuments of Bordeaux but also local anecdotes and interesting cultural references. So if you want a fascinating and intimate guided tour of Bordeaux, this one is for you. Book the tour here

take a walking tour in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux group walking tour

If you don’t mind big groups, you can also take the Bordeaux guided walking tour proposed by the Bordeaux Tourist Office. This 2-hour walking tour offers a taste of Bordeaux’s fantastic mix of city urban landmarks and architectural marvels. It’s also a nice opportunity to meet other tourists from all over the world!

As the group can get big, you usually won’t cover as many landmarks and history as you would in a private tour. However, if don’t want to spend much on a tour, this is a great option to start your discovery of Bordeaux. Also, in case you purchase Bordeaux’s City Pass, you can take the tour for free. 

A night walking tour in Bordeaux

As much as Bordeaux is beautiful in daylight, there’s something even more magical about the city at night. The yellow smokie light reflected on the old limestone houses makes it look mysterious. It almost feels like the city is inviting you to discover its night secrets. 

To make your night date with Bordeaux more interesting I recommend taking the Night Walking Tour

Bordeaux by night - one of the best tours to do in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

The tour is led by a friendly local guide who loves to spread his love for Bordeaux. Discover the city’s key attractions at night and immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of this splendid city. On this tour, you also get to taste a canelé, which is Bordeaux’s most famous pastry

You can book the Bordeaux by-night tour here

Discovering Bordeaux by bikes 

Bordeaux is a perfect place for cycling! The city is flat and has many designated cycling paths in the center and the suburbs, which makes locals cycle everywhere around Bordeaux. That’s why a cycling tour in Bordeaux is such a great option!

best bicycle tours in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Historic Center & Chartrons District Bicycle Tour

The Monsieur Bacchus Bike Tour company offers a great biking tour of the historic center and the Chartrons district. Casually cycle through the street of Bordeaux while learning about its main monuments, high-class French culture, and modern life. If you love history but don’t love walking too much, a cycling tour is an easy way to explore Bordeaux. 

The three hours tour will bring you to parts of parts of Bordeaux, that you will not see on a regular walking tour. You get to visit the posh Chartrons district as well as the more hip right bank of the Garonne River. The tours are offered from March to November. You can book them here

Food Tours in Bordeaux 

Did you know that apart from its notorious wines Bordeaux is also known for its exceptional culinary scene? Boasting the highest number of restaurants per capita, it’s no wonder the capital of the southwest was crowned the best food city in France.

Some of Bordeaux’s specialties include oysters from Arcachon, duck products and canelés. However, being new to the city, choosing the best spots to taste these delicacies can be tricky. Taking a food tour is a great way to taste Bordeaux while exploring the city. 

Puits d’amour - Bordeaux specialty
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

There are many food tours in Bordeaux however many of them feel more like historic tours with a snack, so it’s important to choose right. There are a few that I particularly like. 

NO DIET CLUB – Unique food tour in Bordeaux

NO DIET CLUB is the best gastronomic group tour for real foodies! It’s a 3.5-hour tasting tour in a warm and friendly atmosphere with a group of 12 people max. You’ll be offered plenty of tasting, ranging from savory snacks like cheese, burgers, and mussels to Bordeaux’s sweet treats. 
You can book the tour here

The best food tours in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux traditional food tour

Another great option is the Bordeaux Traditional food tour, offered by Do Eat Better Experience. This tour is a great mix of food and history, two important features in Bordeaux. You will be tasting plenty of local bites in Bordeaux’s best spots while learning the secrets of the city along the way.  The tour starts with wine tasting and ends with a delicious lunch in a classic French Bistro. An absolute treat! 

If you’re a foodie visiting Bordeaux in high season, be sure to book the tour in advance as it’s likely to sell out.

A food tour in the center of Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Gourmet Food Tour

If you’re looking for a more high-end private food tour in Bordeaux, you should check out Aquitaine Travel Guide. The company is run by Anne who is a chef and also a brilliant guide that offers a deeper glimpse into the gastronomic culture of this region. 

If you don’t have time for a proper food tour in Bordeaux, you can also use my articles to build a self-guided food tour:
What to eat at the Capucins market in Bordeaux 
The best markets in Bordeaux 
The best foodie streets in Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s food specialties you have to try

Take a River Cruise in Bordeaux

For centuries, the Garonne River, among the longest rivers in France, has served as a lifeline to the heart of Bordeaux. In the past, it was the main route for trade, helping Bordeaux become a flourishing port and trading center. The Garonne had an immense economic impact on the city and is considered the key factor in the rise of Bordeaux as a global power in the wine business. 

Today, the riverside remains a vibrant and vital part of Bordeaux’s landscape that serves as a space for many social events (especially in summer). Along the riverfront, you can see some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful architecture. So Taking a River Cruise in Bordeaux is a cool way to experience the city!

Best cruises and extortions in Bordeaux

 River Garonne Cruise with Glass of Wine

This relaxed 1,5 hours cruise on a yacht named Luna will help you discover Bordeaux from the river. And, it comes with a bonus—a complimentary glass of wine! Doesn’t it make everything better? 

What sets this cruise apart is the combination of sightseeing and wine sipping, the best way to enjoy Bordeaux. The cruise starts from the city center and passes by iconic landmarks like the Place de la Bourse and the Saint Pierre Stone Bridge. If you’re looking for a laid-back adventure with a light touch of luxury, don’t hesitate to book this Bordeaux-guided cruise

Bordeaux Lunch Cruise

If you’re planning to take the tour around lunchtime, which not take a Bordeaux lunch cruise. A guided cruise where you get to see some of Bordeaux’s fabulous monuments while enjoying a classic French lunch. The 2-hour cruise starts at noon at  Quai des Chartrons. Book your table here

Wine tour to the vineyards of Bordeaux

When traveling to the most famous wine region in the world, a trip to the vineyards is kind of a must. There are thousands of vineyards to visit in the Bordeaux wine region, some of which you can find in my article about wineries in the Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Sauternes regions. So you definitely plan a self-guided tour in one of Bordeaux’s wine appelations. 

Best wine tours to visit Bordeaux wineries
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

However, there’s something about a good wine tour (especially a more intimate one) that can elevate the whole experience. Also, the fact that they drive you, choose the wineries, and do all the scheduling is a big advantage. 

Here are my recommendations for the two best wine tours from Bordeaux. You can read all my other recommendations in my article about Bordeaux’s best wine tours

 A full day to Saint Emilion 

Go on the Saint-Emilion Full-Day Wine Tour from Bordeaux for a comprehensive and enriching wine adventure. This tour takes you through the picturesque vineyards of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its exceptional wines. The 8-hour tour includes a visit  (and wine tasting of course) at 3 Châteaux and also Free time to discover Saint-Emilion.

A wine tour from Bordeaux to discover the wineries of Saint Emilion
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Throughout the day, you’ll get to witness the artistry behind the production ‘from wine to bottle’, sharing the secrets of the winemaking craft and making the technical details accessible and enjoyable for participants of all levels of wine expertise.

Perfect for wine enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive and immersive experience, this tour provides historical and cultural explanations, tasting, and exploring of the rich culture of Saint-Emilion. You can book the full-day tour from Bordeaux here. 

A half day to Medoc 

The half-day wine trip to Medoc will allow you to visit two wineries from different appellations in Medoc and observe the differences between the more prestigious chateaux and smaller family-owned properties. All the chateaux on the tours are either Grand Cru classé or Cru Bourgeois, so good wine is guaranteed. 
The tour is usually offered in the tourist season in the morning and the afternoon. You can book the tour here.

Best wine tour from Bordeaux to Medoc
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

A street art tour of Bordeaux 

Bordeaux prides itself on a very dynamic street art culture and talented artists that decorate many murals in the city. In the city center, which is a UNESCO site, painting on most of the buildings is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, the city does a wonderful job of incorporating street art where it’s possible. That’s why you will find the huge animals of AMO, the colorful faces of Alber, and the expressive characters of Nasty on hotel buildings and shutters in the city. 

However, if you want to discover the real richness of Bordeaux’s street art you need to leave the city center and explore other neighborhoods. There you will discover vibrant murals and eye-catching graffiti, showcasing the creativity of local and international artists. 

A Street Art Guided Tour in Bordeaux is the perfect way to dive into this lively street art scene. During this 1,5 hour tour, you’ll see the urban landscape of Bordeaux through its most colorful creative side. The advantage here is that the guide helps you uncover hidden gems of art you might miss on your own.

A street art tour in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re curious about street art and want a relaxed and enjoyable way to explore Bordeaux, this tour is for you. No art degree is required—just an open mind and a love for urban expression. Book your tour 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 🙂 

The southwest of France is probably one of the best places in Europe for a retreat! I know I’m not very objective as I live here, but let’s just look at the facts. The stunning landscapes, historic villages with their weekly markets, amazing food, and world-renowned wine, should I continue? 

Luckily, there are quite a few great retreats in the Bordeaux region. So whether you’re a foodie who wishes to embark on an in-depth discovery of the gastronomy of the region. Or a tired mom who needs a relaxing time without cooking. Or maybe you just want to get into meditation but do it in a very beautiful relaxing setting. This region has something for everyone!

Meditation and yoga retreat near France
Photo by Patrick Malleret

If you’re looking for a  great way to start the next year, take a break from your daily routine and reconnect with yourself. Here’s my list of all the best gastronomic and yoga retreats in the Southwest of France (the Bordeaux region).

Gastronomy and wine retreats in Bordeaux and the southwest of France

7 Day Gastronomada – a Culinary and Wine Experience in Bordeaux Region

The Gatronomada retreat is all about gastronomical experiences in beautiful settings. During 7 days you get to enjoy a culinary tour, guided market tours, a meal at a 2 Michelin-star restaurant, and more. One of the most magical experiences of this retreat is the Cruise on the Garonne River with a private chef. 

This is a perfect retreat for those looking for a culinary vacation in the Bordeaux region in a small intimate group (up to 8 participants)

Gastronomada - gastronomic retreat near Bordeaux
Credit: Gastronomada

Family vibe
Hosted by Telmo & Eva, this retreat’s accommodation is at the ecolodge of Susanna – Telmo’s mother, which is located 25 minutes from Bordeaux. It is a charming guest house that combines luxury and ecology, a mix particularly liked by the French. 

To sum it up
Discover the southwest of France through the taste buds with the help of a wide variety of fine culinary experiences. The schedule sounds busy but offers room for flexibility and customization for you to have time to travel and enjoy the good life of Bordeaux!

The next retreat is about to take place very soon in December 2023, so hurry up and book it here

8 Day Spa, Cycling, and Wine Tasting Holiday in Lot-et-Garonne

This delightful retreat takes place in the small village of Moncrabeau in the Lot et Garonne department. You will be staying in the heart of rural southwestern France, just a 1.5-hour drive from Bordeaux. 8 days of sports activities (cycling, canoeing, and more) and culinary experiences in a picturesque setting. Add to that some spa treatments alongside a glass of wine from the region’s best wineries. And what else do you need really?

Cotes de bourg vineyards

The program includes several visits to local markets, which is one of my favorite activities. It’s a great way to get to know the local culture and discover the unique flavors and views of the region.

During the retreat, you’ll be staying at a beautiful 150-year-old farmhouse with an open-plan traditional kitchen where you can share meals. And did I mention that there’s also a pool, where you can relax after your sports activities? 

In conclusion
A good departure from the routine, an opportunity to move your body but also to rest well, and to experience particularly beautiful and delicious experiences.

The next retreat is in March, book the sports and food retreat here.

8-Day Intensive Cooking Course with a Michelin-Star Trained Chef

This is yet another fabulous gastronomic retreat taking place in the same farmhouse (Baron-Figuès) in Moncrabeau. It’s an 8-day journey to elevate your cooking skills through daily cooking workshops with the Michelin-Star Trained Chef, Jerome. 

This retreat is taking place in the heart of Gascony, a region famed for its agricultural richness, which makes it a perfect destination for a cooking retreat. You will be creating fish and meat dishes, sauces, pastries, and desserts using the best local produce this region has to offer. Jerome will guide you to choose the right ingredients, teach you cooking techniques, and equally important, the presentation itself (it’s a French chef after all).

A cooking retreat with a Michelin-Star Trained Chef
Credit: Tripaneer

During the week, you will have the chance to eat gourmet dinners with the best local ingredients, visit the village markets, and try wine and Armagnac from the region. 

In conclusion,
If there’s one thing the French are particularly good at, it’s living the good life. They love eating good food, sipping good wine, and taking long vacations, lots of them. So besides learning how to cook, which is the primary focus of this retreat, you can see it as an introduction to the French way of life. 
The next retreat starts on March 15, you can book it here.

Yoga and spiritual retreats in the southwest of France

Beginners Zen Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Dordogne 

This yoga and meditation retreat takes place in the heart of the Dordogne countryside, about 25 minutes away from the white city of Perigueux (130km from Bordeaux). The goal of the 4-day retreat, guided by Valerie, is to help you unwind and renew your energy for the year. 

Just take a look at this relaxing program: a morning meditation session, followed by yoga practice and a daily guided forest walk. Nutrition-wise, this retreat offers a daily vegetarian brunch and dinner.  

You’ll be staying in a traditional farmhouse with a stunning view of the Dronne Valley in northern Dordogne. You can also choose to spend a beautiful afternoon canoeing along the river or receive a spa treatment. It is a safe and cultivating space for you to re-discover yourself.

A yoga retreat in southwest France - near Bordeaux
Photo by Manja Vitolic

Good to know
The yoga practices here are of a zen type: it is a practice of consciousness and slow movements that provide an opportunity to go deeper and become stronger. You don’t have to be an experienced YOGI to go on this magical journey, this retreat is actually best for beginners. 

A Weekend of Slowing Down
It sounds a little counterintuitive, but the truth is that most of us could benefit from learning how to slow down, and it’s much harder than we think. This retreat will allow you to put aside the stress and noise of the outside world and take time for self-discovery and rejuvenation. 

So if you need to fill your cup, this is the retreat for you! The next opening is in April 2024, book it here.

Boutique Yoga Holiday in a château near Bordeaux

The Boutique Yoga Holiday is a 5-day retreat in the countryside of Bordeaux (about 100km from the city). The program brilliantly combines yoga and meditation sessions with other delights this region has to offer. You will enjoy wine tasting, a cacao ceremony under the stars, a day in Bordeaux, and more. As a bonus, you even have a private jacuzzi to enjoy at the end of the busy day.

“It’s all about YOU” they say about this retreat, which I think is a message most of us forget in our daunting daily routines.  We all need a break sometimes to recharge, clear our thoughts and just be in the present. And that’s exactly why one needs a retreat!

Sleeping in a Châteaux is something to experience at least once in your life!
You’ll stay in the beautiful Château de Grenier. The 17th Century Château is nestled in the heart of the South-West of France, about one hour away from Bordeaux. It’s a wonderful way to explore the gastronomy, the vineyards, and the rich heritage of southwestern France. 

The next Boutique yoga retreat will take place on April 2-6, book your place here

7 Day Family and Postnatal Fitness Retreat

This Fitness Retreat is the perfect break after the arrival of a new baby to the family. True, it is mainly us moms who need a break. I mean, we’re in desperate need of physical and mental recovery after giving birth. But recognizing that fathers also need some self-care time, this retreat’s plan is suitable for the entire family. It will allow you to simply- take a break and breathe together. 

7 Day Family and Postnatal Fitness Retreat
Family and Postnatal Retreat – Credit: Manoir La Croix de La Jugie

Stunning location
You’ll be staying in Manoir La Croix, a beautiful 18th-century family manor house, located near Limoge (about 3 hour’s drive from Bordeaux). Prepare yourself for breathtaking landscapes of fields, meadows, and orchards providing a calming setting both for you and the little ones

So what’s the plan? 
Get back in shape, feel better, eat better, relax! From mindfulness workshops to massage treatments, fitness workouts with personal trainers, and excellent meals (that you didn’t have to cook!). This is a great opportunity for new parents to take good care of themselves! 

So if you’re waiting for a cute baby to join the family soon, you can book the retreat now as the next one will be taking place in June 2024.

Hope you treat yourself to a magical retreat in the Southwest of France 🙂

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 🙂 

When visiting Bordeaux, you absolutely must leave yourself at least a few days to explore the magical Gironde region. The wine capital is surrounded by charming villages, impressive chateaux, vineyards, and sandy beaches. There are plenty of amazing day trips from Bordeaux however they are not very easy to find online.

In this article, I created a list of some of my favorite favorite day trips from Bordeaux. I tried to make it as diverse as possible and to include everything from famous wine areas to medieval villages and oyster farms. So I promise you that everyone can plan a perfect excursion from Bordeaux using this list.

It’s important to note that most of these locations are not very accessible by public transport, so renting a car is recommended. If want to avoid driving be sure to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train.

A day trip to the vineyards of Bordeaux

Visiting Saint Émilion and its wineries

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous day trip from Bordeaux. The world-renowned wineries and its picturesque center abundant with wine shops and restaurants attract more than a million visitors each year.  

The charming medieval town is worth a visit even if you’re not a wine lover. Important historical monuments, dating back as far as the 11th and 12th centuries can be found here in abundance. One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, the largest underground church in Europe carved from a limestone cliff.

You can plan a perfect day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion with my detailed guide.

Saint Emilion - the best day trip from Bordeaux
The Medieval town of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

The Saint Emilion region is however most famous for its fabulous wine. So if you made it all the way there, I highly recommend visiting at least one winery. I have a list of some of my favorite wineries to visit in Saint Emilion, that I’ve built following many numerous visits there. 

It’s quite easy to organize a self-guided day trip to Saint Emilion but I know that many people rather take a guided tour. In this area, there are quite a few companies specializing in tours to the wine region. One tour that I highly recommend is a full-day trip to Saint Emilion offered by Ophorus. The tour includes a visit to three wineries and a walk in the medieval city center. 

How to get there: My personal recommendation is to rent a car. It will allow you to visit any chateau you like and not only the ones that are close to the center of Saint Emilion. Having said that, Saint Emilion is one of the easiest places to get to by public transport from Bordeaux. A direct 40-minute train from Gare Saint Jean in Bordeaux will take you to the train station of Saint Emilion. You can buy the tickets online or at the train station.

The Medoc Wine Route – La route des châteaux 

La route des châteaux in Medoc is the most scenic route in the Bordeaux wine region. The famous wine route (on the D2 road) starts at the northern part of Bordeaux Metropole (in the town of  Blanquefort) and continues to the northern part of Gironde. All along the way you can admire captivating châteaux embellishing the endless landscape of lush vineyards. 

There are about 600 châteaux along the Medoc wine trail. You probably won’t have time to visit most of them, but luckily, some of the most beautiful ones can be seen from the road so all you have to do is stop for a quick photo. 

Château Cos D’estournel - one of the most beautiful wineries to visit in Medoc
Château Cos D’estournel – Lost in Bordeaux

The most famous wine houses (like Château Margeaux and Château Mouton Rothschild) are open only to professionals but don’t worry, there are plenty of beautiful properties you can visit. Some of the prettiest and more interesting are Château d’Arsac, Château Lamothe Bergeron and Château Cos d’Estournelle

I have a list of all my favorite wineries to visit in Medoc that can help when planning your day trip. Some wineries have restaurants or wine bars for a drink in the summer (like Château Marquis de Terme and Château Chasse-Spleen). Make sure you book your visit to the wineries before going there as it can get quite busy in the summer.

Personally, the Medoc is one of my favorite areas to visit around Bordeaux and I think it deserves at least a weekend. If you have the chance to spend more time here, read my article about a weekend in Medoc

How to get there: Just like Saint Emilion, I believe that wine routes are best discovered by car. Here’s a good website to look for car rentals in case you don’t have a car. However, there are a few great wineries you can visit by train from Bordeaux – here’s my article with all you need to know. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of organizing the trip, you can take a great half day guided tour to Medoc and visit two wineries.

Cognac – the town and the Brandy

Wine is not the only alcoholic drink Southwest France is known for! Bordeaux is located about 120 km (75 miles) from Cognac, an area that produces one of the most luxurious spirits in the world. 

The charming town of Cognac, located in the Charente department, merits a visit even if you’re not a big Cognac lover. The old center of the city is characterized by narrow paved streets with houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. You can read about the best places to visit and where to eat in my article about Cognac

Tasting Cognac
Tasting Cognac – Lost in Bordeaux

Some of the most famous Cognac houses are located right in the city center, among them, you’ll find Hennessy, Martell, and Rémy Martin.  All of them offer tours which normally include a visit to the cellars and Cognac tastings. Here’s my article on the best distilleries to visit in the Cognac region. 

How to get to Cognac: you can get there by train but not a direct one. You’ll have to change trains in Saintes or Angouleme, depending on the time of your departure. You can book your tickets here. You can also take this excellent private tour from Bordeaux to Cognac. On this tour, you get to visit the town as well as three Cognac distilleries.

Discover the best beach towns around Bordeaux

Arcachon

Arcachon is one of the most popular summer destinations in the southwest of France. A seaside resort town renowned for its beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and vibrant atmosphere. Within an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, you get to swim in the ocean, eat oysters and see extravagant villas. 

A day to Arcachon is best to be combined with a trip to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. To help you organize the trip I wrote a detailed guide about how to spend a day in Arcachon. There I included everything from restaurants, hidden gems, and ways to get there and to the dune. 

A day trip to Dune du Pilat
Pune du Pilat – Lost in Bordeaux

The Arcachon Bay is also home to many other smaller and undiscovered villages. So if you have a car and a bit more time I highly recommend visiting them too. Here’s my article about all the places to visit on the Bay

How to get to Arcachon: the town of Arcachon is one of the easiest day trips by train. However, if you want to easily visit some of the other places on Arcachon Bay, renting a car is highly recommended. 

If you don’t really want to visit another town and just wish to taste oysters and visit the dune, I recommend taking this tour.

For those who have more than a day to dedicate to Arcachon, I highly recommend spending the night there. Here’s my article about the best hotels in Arcachon.

Soulac sur Mer

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region. It’s located on the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. If this is too far for you, you can combine it with the wine trail in Medoc which I mentioned above.

Soulac sur Mer is a resort town that resembles Arcachon and is even nicknamed “little Arcachon”. The city center looks like Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas look just like Ville d’Hiver. The town has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. 

Villas in Soulac sur Mer
Villas in Soulac sur Mer

When there, take a map from the tourist office and go on a discovery tour of the most interesting villas. I highly recommend coming here at the beginning of June during the festive weekend of Soulac 1900, a really fun Jazz festival.

How to get to Soulac: If you don’t want to drive for 1.5 hours from Bordeaux, you can take a direct train from Bordeaux. You can buy tickets here.

Cap Ferret

The Cap Ferret peninsula is located in the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon (Arcachon Bay). Shaped like a narrow tongue it runs along a string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and small villages on the Bassin side.

Its most southern village, called Cap Ferret, has been traditionally known as a summer getaway for the French upper class. Despite its growing popularity among locals and tourists, it has yet to lose its relaxing seaside village atmosphere.

Cap Ferret - on of the best day trips from Bordeaux
The Cap Ferret peninsula – Lost in Bordeaux

Cap Ferret is also known for being one of the biggest oyster-growing areas in Frace. Its strategic location on Arachon Bay creates perfect climate conditions for the ostréiculture industry. You can find numerous oyster huts in every port in Cap Ferret and other oyster-farming villages like L’herbe and Le Canon. Having a plate of oysters with a glass of cold white wine is an absolute must! 

How to get there: You can get there by bus number 601, but honestly it’s a long journey that I wouldn’t recommend. The best way is to get there by car. It’s also possible to get there by boat from Arcachon town.

The Biscarrosse lake

This one is a great option for a day in nature. If you don’t mind driving a bit longer, the beautiful Biscarrosse Lake is located about 70 km (45 miles) from Bordeaux. It is one of the biggest lakes in the area with plenty of amazing beaches and pine forest surrounding it. If you need an idea for a day out of Bordeaux with kids, a trip to Biscarrose is perfect!

Plage de Caton - Lac Cazaux, Biscarrosse
Plage de Caton – Lost in Bordeaux

There are several beaches to choose from, some of my favorites are Plage Navarrose and Plage de Caton. Aquapark, the biggest inflatable water park in France is located on Plage Maguide. If you’re into surfing, head to the beaches on the Atlantic coast. You can also start the day with a biking trail on the canal, connecting the big and little lakes.

If you prefer ocean beaches head to Biscarrosse Ocean, a seaside town with a huge beach and plenty of restaurants. You need a car to get to all these beaches from Bordeaux. 

A day trip to the beautiful villages and towns around Bordeaux

Bazas

Bazas is a beautiful little town with lovely people and a great heritage embodying the Gascony culture. It’s located at the eastern edge of the Gascon Landes forest, about 65 km (40 miles) from Bordeaux. 

A stroll in the historic center will allow you to discover the rich history of the city and its past role as an important bishopric. On your stroll, you’ll see the Gothic cathedral (a UNESCO heritage site), old mansions, gardens, and historic monuments.

Bazas
Bazas by lost in Bordeaux

Architecture is not the only attraction in Bazas, it’s actually famous for its gastronomy, especially its meat. You can enjoy the Bazas meat in one of the restaurants that are perfectly located on the main square. True meat lovers could also buy meat in one of the many butcher shops in the center. 

If you’re looking for a full gastronomic experience to discover the cuisine of the region, I highly recommend this guided tour. Anne, an American living in Bazas is an expert on everything related to food in the region. She knows all the farmers and chefs around Bazas and a guided tour with her is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Blaye

Blaye is one of the most beautiful villages in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km (30 miles) from Bordeaux. This little town has a long military and strategic history and is mostly known for its remarkable Citadel. 

The Citadel and the city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entrance to the Citadel is free and you can explore the streets and ramparts admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top. 

Blaye
Blaye – by Lost in Bordeaux

Blaye is also known for its wine, which ia labeled under the Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. You can visit the Maison du Vin on the main street (12 Cours Vauban). They will gladly introduce you to the wines of the area and the chateaux you can visit around Blaye. Château Monconseil-Gazin is one of my favorite red wines from Blaye and you can book a visit there

How to get to Blaye: The easiest way to get there is by car or by ferry if you’re coming from the other side of the Gironde estuary. The ferry is leaving from Lamarque, see the schedule.

Visit castles in the South of Gironde

South Gironde is a magical landscape of history and gascon tradition. It’s a rural area, abundant with beautiful medieval villages and ancient castles. One of the most impressive castles is Château de la Brede, located only 30 minutes from Bordeaux. The 14th-century castle, built in a Gothic style was the residence of Montesquieu. Today the castle is a museum dedicated to the life and work of the famous French philosopher. The château is open for visits from April to November.

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Another castle to visit is Château de Cadillac located in a charming little town that goes by the same name. The impressive chateau is best known for being a women’s prison starting from the French Revolution until 1950. Now it serves as a museum that mostly displays the life of the royals who were occupying the estate before it became a prison. However, on the last floor, you can actually still see the cells and an exhibition about the prison.

Other stunning castles include Château de Roquetaillade, Château Royal de Cazeneuve, and Château de Vayres. You need a car to be able to visit the castles of Gironde. You can easily find a car from the center of Bordeaux here.

Bergerac

I can go on and on about day trips you can do from Bordeaux to the Dordogne region. You can visit stunning castles, gardens, and some of the most beautiful French villages in less than two hours drive. 

But for the purpose of this article I decided to choose one destination in Dordogne, the town of Bergerac. The charming capital of Purple Perigord is one located about 115 km from Bordeaux, about 1.5 hours drive, without traffic. When you decide to go there, take a look at my detailed guide to Bergerac to help you plan the day. 

Bergerac labeled as Ville d'art et d'histoire
Art in Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

Bergerac is seated on the banks of the Dordogne giving it a beautiful view of the river. You can take a tour of the gabarre (Dordogne’s traditional boat) and discover the history of the city as well as the natural reserve around it. In the city center, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, a great market, and long shopping streets. 

The area is also known for its wine and you can combine your trip there with a visit to a château. One of the most famous ones is the beautiful Château de Monbazillac, which is located only 15 minutes away. It’s known for its sweet white wine.

Château de Monbazillac
Château de Monbazillac – lost in Bordeaux

 If you’re going to Bergerac on a Saturday, don’t miss the great market in Sainte Foy la Grande which is just on the way from Bordeaux.

How to get to Bergerac: There’s a direct train from Bordeaux to Bergerac, the same one that stops at Saint Emilion. You can buy your tickets online or at the train station. 

It’s your first time in Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in Bordeaux. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux 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 location.

Before I end my article, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay
A weekend in Medoc- Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
A weekend 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

*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 🙂