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Bordeaux is located in one of the most beautiful areas in France, surrounded by charming villages, impressive chateaux, vineyards and sandy beaches. When visiting the city, many are looking for day trips from Bordeaux that will allow them to discover the area without driving for hours. And you can indeed easily fill your visits here with amazing day trips from the city. However, many of these places are hidden secrets to most tourists and information is not easy to find online. That’s why I decided to make this list of places to visit around Bordeaux. I tried to make it as diverse as I could to help anyone find its perfect spot for a day trip. It’s important to notice that most of these locations are not very accessible by public transport, so renting a car is recommended. For those of you that prefer not to go by car, be sure to check up my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train.

Wine related day tips around Bordeaux

Saint Émilion

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous wine related day trip from Bordeaux. Its picturesque center, densely filled with wine shops and fancy restaurants, turns this little town into a prominent attraction for tourists in the area. Saint Émilion is mostly famous for its wines so a visit to one of the châteaux (wineries) is a must. The charming town, however, is worth a visit even if you’re not a wine lover. Important historical monuments can be found in abundance in this medieval town, some of which date back as far as the 11th and 12th centuries. One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, carved from a limestone cliff, it’s the largest underground church in Europe.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

There is a direct train from Bordeaux to Saint Émilion however if you want to visit some of the distant chateaux in the region, coming by car is recommended. There is just one problem is Saint Émilion, there are just too many beautiful spots to visit and it’s really hard to choose just a few! In my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion, I cover both the most interesting chateaux and the most welcoming wine producing families in the area so check it out!

The Medoc Wine Route

The Medoc is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, attracting many wine enthusiasts to the Medoc wine route. The famous route is a never-ending road (the D2) leading from the northern part of Bordeaux Metropole (start in Blanquefort) to almost the northernmost point in Gironde. An infinite landscape of vineyards adorned with mesmerizing châteaux. A view that will leave you speechless even if you don’t like wine.

Chateau d'Arsac in the Medoc
Chateau d’Arsac by lost in Bordeaux

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. 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 Siran, Château Beychevelle and Château Cos d’Estournelle. If you don’t mind going a little further to the north I highly recommend visiting the last chateau on the trail, Château Loudenne. This charming (it’s pink!) old château has a huge garden and its own port so apart from the wine visit, you can have a lovely picnic or take a boat tour. Make sure you book your visit to the wineries before going there as it can get quite busy in the summer.

Cognac

Tasting Cognac
Tasting Cognac – Lost in Bordeaux

Wine is not the only alcoholic drink the Southwest of 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 town of Cognac, located in the Charente department, is a charming and interesting place that’s worth a visit even if you’re not a big fan of Cognac. The old center of the city is characterized by narrow paved streets with houses dating from the 16th and 17th century. 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. You can read more about Cognac in my post about the 10 best things to do in Cognac. While it’s possible to get to Cognac by train, it’s quite a long journey so going by car is recommended.

Discover the sandy beaches around Bordeaux

Arcachon

dune du Pilat - one day trips from Bordeaux
Dune du Pilat – Lost in Bordeaux

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 drive from Bordeaux you get  to swim in the ocean, eat oysters and see beautiful villas. A day trip from Bordeaux to Arcachon can easily take a whole day but many tend to combine it with a visit to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe and one of the most popular destinations in France.

I recently wrote a post about the best things to do and see in and around the town of Arcachon, which is one of the main tourist destinations on the Arcachon Bay. So take a look at it before you head to the area. You can reach Arcachon by train, however coming by car will allow you to easily access the dune and to visit other places on the bay, such as Gujan Mestas and the Teich bird reserve.

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, with the city center looking like Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas that look just like Ville d’Hiver. Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimps.

Villas in Soulac sur Mer
Villas in Soulac sur Mer

When there, take a map in 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.

Cap Ferret

oysters in Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret is a charming town located on the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon (Arcachon Bay) and has been traditionally known as a summer getaway for the French upper class. Although it’s been recently gaining popularity among tourists visiting the south of France, it has yet to lose its relaxing, uncrowded beach village atmosphere.

Cap Ferret is shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic ocean and a view on the eastern side of the Bassin. It’s also one of the main producers of oysters in France due to its location on the bay that creates perfect conditions for the ostréiculture industry. Dozens of oyster cabins and restaurants with a view on the Bassin give Cap Ferret a unique character that’s worth a visit and a taste.

The Biscarrosse lake

Lac de Biscarrosse
Lac de Biscarrosse – lost in Bordeaux

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. As it’s so big there are several beaches to choose from, some of which 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.

A day trip to beautiful villages

Bazas

Bazas is a beautiful 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. Its beautiful architecture includes the gothic cathedral (recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO), old mansions, gardens and historic monuments.

Bazas
Bazas by lost in Bordeaux

Heritage is not the only attraction of this charming town, it’s actually quite 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, there’s one tour you shouldn’t miss. Anne, an American living is 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. Check out her website.

Blaye

Blaye
Blaye – by Lost in Bordeaux

Blaye is one of the most interesting places in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km (30 miles) from the center of Bordeaux. This little town has a long military and strategic history and today it’s mostly known for its remarkable Citadel and red wine. The Citadel and the city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can easily spend half a day discovering the old city walls. 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 is also known for its red wine. You can visit the Maison du Vin on the main street (12 Cours Vauban), where they would gladly introduce you to the wines of the area and the chateaux you can visit around 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.

Visit castles in the South of Gironde

South Gironde is a magical area with a landscape colored with history, tradition and character. It’s a rural area, abundant with beautiful medieval villages and ancient castles. One of the most impressive castles is Château de la Brede which is located only 30 minutes from Bordeaux. It is a 14th-century castle that was built in a Gothic style. The house has a historic importance as it was the residence of Montesquieu. The château is open for visits from April to November (consult their opening hours here).

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Another interesting castle to visit is château de Cadillac located in a charming little town that goes by the same name. The chateau is very impressive and 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.

Bergerac

Bergerac is one of the main cities in the Dordogne area, quite close to the eastern border of the Gironde department. While it’s not as appealing as some of the small beautiful villages in Dordogne, it’s a lively city with a lot of charm to it. In the city center, you will find plenty of restaurants, a great market and long shopping streets. Bergerac is seated on the banks of the Dordogne giving it a beautiful view of the river. You can take a tour on the traditional boats (les gabarres) and discover the history of the city as well as the natural reserve around it.

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

Château de Monbazillac
Château de Monbazillac – lost 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.

Finally, if you are looking for a fun and delicious activity in Bordeaux, check out my food tours in which I’ll take you through a three hours journey in the culinary scene of the Southwest of France.

Lost in Bordeaux helps you enjoy the city and region in many ways so be sure to follow us on facebook /Instagram for more daily updates on things to do and see. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

April is such a fun month in Bordeaux! It starts to be warm outside, everything is blossoming and a lot of places are slowly opening up for the summer season. It’s also one of the best months to discover the surrounding of Bordeaux before they become too crowded during the touristic season. To help you do that I have a few articles you should read:

My detailed guide to Saint Emilion as well as my list of recommended chateaux to visit are two articles that have helped many tourists to properly discover this amazing little village. You should also take a look at my list of the best places to visit in Bassin d’Arcachon and the Guide to the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux. Also, before visiting Bordeaux make sure to read my article about the best 50 things to do in Bordeaux. Finally, if you have questions about other parts of the Southwest of France, be sure to join my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest of France

If you live in the region or planning to visit soon, you’d love to know that there are many fun and interesting events taking up this month so let’s discover what are the best things to do in Bordeaux in April 2022!

The best events in April in Bordeaux and its surroundings 

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival will take place on April 2-3 at the Blaye Citadel. The annual wine festival brings together more than 80 winemakers. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing, and food and wine pairing), guided visits of the citadel by train or horse and more. For the full program and tickets click here.

When: April 2-3/ Where: Citadelle de Blaye, 33390 Blaye

Marché des Créateurs Recycleurs

Recyclerie Atelier D’éco Solidaire is hosting a market of recycling artists and creators on April 2-3.  At the market, you will find plenty of interesting stands of accessories, pictures, toys for kids, carpets, furniture, and more, all made from reused objects and materials. The program also includes workshops for kids and adults. For more info click here

When: April 2-3 / Where: 7 rue de la Motte Picquet, 33300 Bordeaux

Big Vide Dressing event

A big event of vide-dressing (second-hand clothes sale) will take place on April 2-3 at Les Vivres de l’Art. Come and refresh your closet with the most famous marks at affordable prices. See more details here.

When: April 2-3 / Where: 4 Rue Achard, 33300 Bordeaux

Open doors in Médoc

To celebrate the beginning of the spring the Maison du Tourisme et du Vin de Pauillac will hold an open doors weekend on April 8-10. During the weekend you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. For details about all the participating chateaux click here.

If you want to know more about the event you should read my post about the Open doors weekend.

When: April 8-10 / Where:  different locations (see the site)

Tauzia Fête les Jardins

Tauzia is a gardening festival that takes place on April 9-10 at the Tauzia chateau in Gradignan. The event, which received a great amount of interest from the Bordelaise public last year, is full of events and activities for gardening enthusiasts. It will bring together more than 80 exhibitors specialized in the world of plants: plant producers, landscape designers, artists, collectors, horticulturists, and in general people with exceptional knowledge of plants. See more details here.

When: April 9-10 / Where: Château de Tauzia, 216 Cours du Général de Gaulle, 33170 Gradignan

Esclave du livre (literature festival)

Esclave du livre is a literature association whose goal is to promote reading and support the creation of new literature. They invite you on April 8-10 to take part in a literature festival that will bring together authors and illustrators for debates, public readings, performances and discovering pieces that haven’t been published yet. For more info click here.

When: April 8-10 / Where:  Place Renaudel – Quartier Ste Croix , Bordeaux
Treasure hunt - easter in Bordeaux

Treasure Hunt on Pâques Weekend

The third weekend of April is the long weekend of Easter in France and the area of Bordeaux offers plenty of activities to entertain you and your kids. Egg hunting, visits to beautiful chateaux, and chocolate workshops are only some of the activities you could do this weekend. I will be publishing all the best Easter events in my newsletter (subscribe here) and on the Lost in Bordeaux Instagram account

Territoires Sauvages – Nature festival

Territoires Sauvages is a nature festival that will take place at the Halle du Port in Teich (Arcachon Bay) on April 15-18. You’re invited to spend your Easter weekend discovering the natural treasures of the region. . For more info click here

When: April 15-18/ Where: Halle du Port, 33470 Le Teich

Salon Nautique d’Arcachon

The big Salon Nautique d’Arcachon will take place this weekend (April 16-19) at Port de Plaisance D Arcachon. More than 150 exhibitors will participate in the Salon, with 450 boats stationed all over the port. For more details click here

When: April 16 – 19/ Where:14 Quai Goslar, 33120 Arcachon

Search for beautiful antiques at the Brocante

The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants and craftsmen. It’s the biggest brocante event in the area and the selection is huge, from vintage home decor, to paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories, and more. The market is taking place from April 22 to May 8. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.

Brocate in Bordeaux
When: April 22 – May 9 / Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux

Open doors at Lalande de Pomerol

An open doors weekend will take place on April 23-24 at the châteaux of the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. During the weekend, the châteaux of this appellation will offer plenty of activities such as guided tours, tastings, markets, an old cars exhibition, and many other activities. If you want to learn more about the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and its châteaux, click here

When: April 23-24/ Where: Lalande de Pomerol (see the list of chateaux in the picture

Festival Animasia

Animasia is a festival of Asian pop culture that brings together many elements like Manga, karaoke, martial arts, and more. The event will take place on April 23 at L’Entrepôt du Haillan. The entry is free, for more details click here

When: April 23 / Where: 13 Rue Georges Clemenceau, 33185 Le Haillan

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

An open-door weekend will take place on April 30May 1st in Saint Emilion where tens of wine producers will open their chateaux to the public. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion.

best wineries in Saint Emilion
When: April 30- May 1st / Where: different locations around Saint Emilion

Fête de l’Asperge du Blayais

la Fête de l’Asperge du Blayais in Etauliers, that will take place on April 30- May 1, is all about celebrating the greatness of asparagus. More than 8000 visitors are expected to stroll along with the 50 exhibitors of local delights and enjoy the activities offered to both adults and kids (make-up sessions, mini farm, pony rides, and more). See the full program.

When: April 30-May 1st / Where: Place principale, 33820 Etauliers

Fete de la Lamproie

Saint-Terre, the world capital of the Lamproie, will celebrate this creepy jawless fish with a fun, festive weekend. The event will take place From April 30 to May 1st. See the program here.

When: April 30 – May 1st / Where: Saint-Terre

Exhibitions and concerts not to miss this month in Bordeaux

Picasso, l’effervescence des formes

From April 15 to August 28, Le Cité du Vin will be presenting a temporary exhibition, called Picasso, l’effervescence des formes. The exhibition will look into the role wine and alcohol, in general, played in Picasso’s works. For more info click here

Read about my visit to the Cité du Vin to learn more about one of Bordeaux’s modern symbols. 

When: April 15 – August 28 / Where: 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Itinéraires des Photographes Voyageurs – photography festival

The 31st edition of the “traveling photographers routes” festival is taking place on April 5-30. During one month, 18 photography exhibitions will be presented at the main cultural institutions in the city, among them, the Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, the Bibliothèque in Meriadeck, Espace Saint-Rémi and others. Get the full list of all artists and more info about the event here.

When: April 5-30 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux (see program)

La Collection Bernard Magrez

Bernard Magrez will be presenting his private collection at L’Institut Bernard Magrez from March 19 to October 2.  The exhibition is gathering some of the best works in contemporary art such as Michel Othoniel, JR, Salgado, Futura 2000, and more. The exhibition will be open on weekend only, for more details click here

When: March 19 – October 2nd / Where:  16 Rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux

Venise, la Sérénissime – Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières is hosting a new exhibition and it’s very exciting! This time the exhibition is dedicated to the city of Venice and its cultural and architectural treasures. If you’ve been to the previous two exhibitions at the Bassins de Lumières you know that it’s an amazing experience and if you haven’t check out my video from the last exhibition. “Venise, la Sérénissime” will be presented from February 11 to January 2nd, get your tickets here

When: February 11 – January 2nd / Where:  Imp. Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux

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

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

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

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