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

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

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

Visiting wineries in the Bordeaux wine region
Bordeaux vineyards

How to get to Bordeaux’s wineries: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Château de la Rivière, Fronsac appellation

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

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

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

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

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

Château de Sales, Pomerol appellation 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chateau de Bernateau, Saint-Émilion Grands Crus

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

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

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

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

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

Château Cadet Bon,  Saint-Émilion Grands Crus

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

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

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

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

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

Chateau de Ferrand, Grand Cru Classé

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

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

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

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

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

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

Château La Croizzille, Grand Cru Classé

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Château Lamothe Bergeron in Medoc 

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

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

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

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

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

Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Leognan

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

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

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

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

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

Château de Cerons in Graves 

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

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

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

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

Address: 1 Latour, 33720 Cérons

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in the Sauternes appellation 

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

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

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

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

Book your tour in Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey here.

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

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

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

Château de Camarsac

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

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

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

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

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

Château le Grand Verdus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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*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 🙂 


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

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

the smallest village in France - castelmoron d'Albret

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

What to see in Catelmoron d’Albret?

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

the smallest village in France - castelmoron d'Albret

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

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

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

When to visit Catelmoron d’Albret? 

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

roses in castelmoron d'albret

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

What else to do around Castelmoron d’Albret?

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

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

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

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

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

Here are more photos from the beautiful Castelmoron d’Albret

When you visit Bordeaux, dedicating at least a day or two to its exquisite countryside is a must. Bordeaux is the capital of Gironde, the biggest department in France with a huge variety of places to visit and things to do.  Among others, the Bordeaux region is known for its beautiful villages.

I’ve already written in detail about the best beaches surrounding Bordeaux, the most beautiful parks in the city, and even about hiking trails in Gironde. Now it’s time to explore some of the most charming villages in the Bordeaux region!

In this article, I gathered some of the most beautiful villages in Gironde, the perfect places to discover the architecture and heritage of the region. My list includes villages in Cap Ferret, wine towns as well and medieval villages from the south of Gironde.

*Note – most villages on this list require a car to get to, in case you don’t have one, click here to get a rental car in Bordeaux.

Castelmoron d'Albret

If you’re traveling to Dordogne, read my article about the most beautiful villages in Dordogne. If you need more information about traveling in the region, be sure to join my Travel in the Southwest of France Facebook group.

Now let’s hit the road and discover the most beautiful villages in Gironde. 

The right bank – Saint Emilion and Pays Blayais

Saint Emilion 

You can’t really do a list of villages around Bordeaux without including Saint Emilion in it, can you? This medieval village is known all around the world for its splendid wine but it’s also undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux.

A day trip to Saint Emilion in the southwest of France

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. 

Its picturesque center, densely filled with wine shops and fancy restaurants, turns this little town into a prominent tourist attraction. If you’re visiting Saint Emilion in the high season of July-August beware that you need to book everything in advance, it gets very busy!  

There are plenty of things to see in and around Saint Emilion, and it requires a full-day trip to see all of it. I recommend reading my guide to Saint Emilion before heading there. Also, if you want to visit wineries in the Saint Emilion wine region, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. You can, of course, take a guided tour to Saint Emilion that will include both the town and the wineries. 

If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region

Blaye 

Blaye is one of the most interesting places in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km north of Bordeaux. This little town has a long military and strategic history and is mostly known for its remarkable Citadel. 

The Citadel and city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can easily spend half a day discovering them. 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.

The citadel of Blaye on of the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux

Blaye is also well known for its red wine which I really like and find reasonably priced. 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 region and the chateaux you can visit around Blaye.

How to get from Bordeaux 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, you can see all the details about the tariffs and hours in this link.

Bourg

Bourg (Previously called Bourg sur Gironde) is a picturesque village, located at the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers. Playing a key role in the region’s history, Bourg was fortified by the English and visited by several kings, such as Louis XIV in 1650. Just like its neighboring town of Blaye, Bourg also has a very impressive citadel called Château de la Citadelle.

Apart from the citadel, the historic part of the city has a cute central square with restaurants and shops, the market takes place every Sunday.

Bourg - a beautiful day trip from Bordeaux

Bourge is also known for its great wine, labeled under the Côtes-de-Bourg appellation. Don’t miss a visit to the Maison des Vins, a 19th-century former residence with a warm atmosphere that acts as a venue for exhibitions, talks, receptions, tasting classes, meetings with winegrowers, and more. You can also see the map of all the wineries here, it’s better to call them before your visit. 

Whether you decide to go to Blaye or Bourg, I highly recommend staying at the stunning Domaine La Corniche located in between the two towns.

How to get from Bordeaux to Bourg:
Two bus lines of TransGironde (201, 202) from Lormont pass through Bourg. However, unless you live or stay on rives droite of the Garonne it will take you some time to get to Lormont from the center of Bordeaux. So here too, going by car is recommended.

Beautiful villages in Arcachon, Cap Ferret, and Medoc

L’herbe

L’herbe is a traditional oyster-farming village located on the Cap Ferret Peninsula. Here you won’t find the typical French village, no central square with a bakery, no old houses or medieval gates. Nonetheless, it’s one of the most beautiful villages in the southwest of France, in my opinion at least.

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

There’s something raw and authentic about L’herbe. You get to stroll amidst the colorful huts of oyster farmers and see them in action on their special workboats. If you like oysters, you’re going to love this place. Charming cabanes de huitres spread along the beach with a tiny menu that mostly includes oysters, pork paté and white wine. This is a perfect destination for a sunny half-day trip from Bordeaux, or a full-day if you add a trip to the beach as well.

How to get from Bordeaux to L’herbe: by car is the best way to get here as the bus is not a direct one and it takes almost two hours to get to L’herbe from Bordeaux. But if you have no choice take bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center. 

If you want to discover all the other amazing places to visit around the Bassin d’Arcachon check out my article about a day trip to the Bassin d’Arcachon.

Cap Ferret 

Cap Ferret is a little town located in the south end of the Cap Ferret Peninsula in the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon. It’s 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 beach village atmosphere, especially if compared to Arcachon city.

Cap Ferret one of the most popular destinations near Bordeaux

Cap Ferret is shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches. It’s also known for its ostréiculture industry, which produces some of the best oysters in France. Dozens of colorful oyster huts adorn the bay side of the town of Cap Ferret, giving it a unique character. 

If you want to profit from the day, rent a bike and cycle along the beaches and through the pine forest that covers a large part of the Cap Ferret peninsula. There are plenty of bike rentals in Cap Ferret, Beach Bikes is a good one to check first.  

For a perfect weekend in Cap Ferret, check out Les Chambres du Phare, a cozy B&B within walking distance from the beach.

How to get from Bordeaux to Cap Ferret:
Bus 601 will bring you to Cap Ferret but it’ll take you at least two hours to get there, so a car is definitely a better option here. You can also take a ferry from Arcachon or le Moulleau beach, you can see the schedule here.

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 area, about 90 km from Bordeaux.

If you ever had the chance to visit the town of Arcachon, you will find Soulac sur Mer a bit familiar, and many actually call it “little Arcachon”. The city center with its market and restaurants resembles Ville d’été in Arcachon. The northern part of the town with its charming 18th-century villas is similar in style to the impressive villas of Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon. 

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 shrimp.

Soulac sur mer - a beautiful village in Medoc, France

Every June Soulac hosts one of my favorite events in Gironde, called Soulac 1900. A celebration of music, dance, ancient cars, and costumes from the beginning of the 20th century.

Entre deux mers and South Gironde 

I finish my list with the Entre Deux Mers region and the South of Gironde, my go-to places when I’m in the mood for beautiful medieval towns. This is one of the most beautiful parts in the southwest of France, embodying the historic and cultural richness of this region. 

Most of the villages on my list are located close to one another so you can visit them all in one weekend. Public transport is not extremely developed in this part of Gironde so it’s better to travel by car or bike if you like cycling a lot. I did, however, add public transport routes to these places just for completeness.

If you fancy a romantic weekend in that part of Gironde, check out Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, one of the best wine hotels in the region.

Saint Macaire 

First on my list is Saint Macaire, a little medieval town located on the banks of the Garonne River. Located about 50km from Bordeaux, Saint Macaire is an attractive destination for those interested in history and beautiful architecture.

What today seems like a sleepy town in the Entre Deux Mers wine region was once an important city under British rule and declared the “Ville royale d’Angleterre” (An English royal city) in 1341. During the 13th and 14th centuries, it was one of the most prosperous cities in Aquitaine due to its significant agricultural and trade activities.

Saint Macaire - one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux

When there take the time to discover its rich heritage, the narrow streets, and beautiful old houses and monuments. Place Mercadiou, surrounded by beautiful medieval houses is the main square of the village, where the market takes place every Thursday morning. Another monument not to miss is Porte de la Benauge, the main gate to the old city whose historic center is surrounded by ramparts. 

The most important monument of the village is Eglise de Saint Sauveur et Saint-Martin. The big church, built in the 12th and 15th centuries has impressive murals that are worth seeing. Every year at the end of August, Saint Macaire hosts one of the best medieval festivals in the region. 

How to get there from Bordeaux to Saint Macaire:
There’s usually only one or two trains a day going from Bordeaux to Saint Macaire, so getting there by public transport is not very practical. However, you can take a train to Langon and then cross the Garonne to the other side and bike or even go for a nice hike along the river until you reach Saint Macaire.

Cadillac

Cadillac is a little town located on the right bank of the Garonne River in the Entre Deux Mers wine region. It’s quite a popular destination attracting many tourists, especially during summer.  Cadillac is hard to miss when driving the D10 route to the south of Gironde. You will be greeted by a big defensive wall and the main gate into the old medieval center built in the 13th century. 

However, its undeniably most famous monument is the Château des Ducs d’Épernon, built by the Duke of Épernon in the 17th century. The chateau is very impressive and is best known for being a women’s prison starting from the French Revolution up until 1950. 

It now 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 still see the cells and a small exhibition about the prison.

Cadillac - medieval village in Gironde, France

The town is also known for its wine, the Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. You can visit the Maison des vins of Cadillac to learn about the wine of this region and taste it of course 🙂

How to get from Bordeaux to Cadillac:
You can get there by bus number 501 from the Bastide neighborhood in Bordeaux, see the schedule here.

Rions

About 5km from Cadillac you will find Rions, a medieval village located on the banks of the Garonne river. Like other towns in this region, Rions is also characterized by cute narrow streets and medieval houses.

During medieval times it was an important town that was greatly affected by the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. In 1295, Rions, which was at the time under British rule, was conquered by the French Charles of Valois who took down its defensive walls. In 1313, England was able to take the city back and surround it with ramparts, making it one of the Fortified English cities of British-ruled southwest of France (Guyenne).

Rions - a medieval town in the South of Gironde

It went back into French hands right before the end of the long war and, despite all the turmoil, was left with its impressive architecture and charm, perfect for a few hours trip. If you want to make the best of your day trip to the region, you can go on a 5km hike and see the beautiful surroundings of this medieval town. 

Read more about the hiking trail from Rions, in my article about hiking around Bordeaux.

How to get from Bordeaux to Rions:
You can take bus number 501 from the Bastide neighborhood in Bordeaux, see the schedule here.   

Castelmoron d’Albret

This tiny medieval village is brimming with charm! Almost every house here is covered with colorful roses and other beautiful flowers spilling from eclectic pottery that is made here in the village. 

No house here looks the same, every window and door has its particularity. There are almost no signs of modern life here, no cars, no sidewalks, just a beautiful village frozen in time. Only about 50 people are living here and only three businesses operate in the 3.5 hectares village so the atmosphere is incredibly relaxing. I think my kids were the loudest thing this village has experienced in a while. 

Castelmoron d'Albret - the smallest village in France

It will take you about an hour of a scenic drive over the hills and along the vineyards of Entre Deux Mers to reach the little town from Bordeaux. If you want to combine the visit with any other activity, I recommend visiting the impressive bastide town of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, which is located just a few minutes drive from Castelmoron d’Albret. 

There are also several hiking and cycling routes you can do in this part of Entre deux Mers.  In this link, you can find a great hiking trail that starts from the village itself.

How to get there:
Getting there by bus is fairly complicated and I would advise going only by car. The closest train station to this village is La Reole but the bus from there to Castelmoron d’Albret is not very regular.

La Réole

La Réole is a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne River about 50 km from Bordeaux. 

The town originally developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century however its golden era was in medieval times when it became the second-largest city in the region after Bordeaux. Still today, it’s one of the biggest towns in the south of the Gironde department with plenty of interesting events and a very lively weekly market on Saturdays. 

La Reole a beautiful town around Bordeaux

There are quite a few impressive houses and monuments to see in this little town. Just to name a few are the historic 12th century Town Hall, the Saint Pierre church and the Benedictine abbey, the old ramparts of the city, and more. Wander through the enchanting narrow streets of the historic center and let the beautiful architecture take you back in time. 

If you happen to arrive in La Reole when the tourist office is open, be sure to take a map of all the monuments in the city.

How to get from Bordeaux to La Reole:
This is a great destination for those who don’t own a car. You can get to La Réole in 40 minutes by train from Bordeaux. The train leaves from Gare Saint Jean every two hours.

If you want more ideas for trips by train from Bordeaux check out my full article about day trips from Bordeaux by public transport.

Bazas

Bazas is one of my favorite towns in the south of Gironde not only because it’s a beautiful place but also due to its rich heritage embodying the Gascony culture. It’s located at the eastern edge of the Gascon Landes forest, about 65 km from Bordeaux. 

A leisurely walk through the historic center unveils the city’s remarkable architecture and its past role as an important bishopric. The main square of Bazas is home to its famous gothic Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste which appears on the UNESCO world heritage list. When strolling the historic center don’t miss the charming old houses on the smaller streets as well as the gardens.

Bazas - heritage and Gastronomy in the southwest of France

Architecture is not the only attraction of Bazas which is quite famous for its gastronomy, especially its meat. You can enjoy the Bazadaise meat in one of the restaurants 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 in Bazas is an expert on everything related to food in the region. She knows all the farmers and chefs around Bazas and her guided farm-to-table tours are an unforgettable experience. Check out her website.

How to get from Bordeaux to Bazas
This is the most complicated place on my list to get to by public transport and I wouldn’t recommend doing it. If you want to get to Bazas from Bordeaux, renting a car is a must!

We came to the end of my list of the most beautiful villages in the Southwest of France, Gironde (at least until I find another treasure that has a place on this exclusive list :)). There are of course more charming villages around Bordeaux such as le Canon in the Cap Ferret Peninsula or Monsegur in Entre deux mers, but I narrowed down the list to the ones I find most special. 

If you’re interested in day trips in the region there are a few other articles you might like:
Best day trips from Bordeaux
10 day trips from Bordeaux by train 
Two days in the Medoc wine region
The most beautiful villages in Dordoge

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 🙂 

I started writing this article mostly for myself about a week before the end of confinement. I wanted to come up with a long enough list of places I could go to with my kids or even alone (if that’s ever possible) where we can enjoy the wonders of the region but still keep social distancing. (If you’re reading this in 2050, we were all locked in our houses for two months, just google COVID-19).

Gironde is one of the most beautiful departments in France with an impressive number of hiking options. You can discover the parks and lakes around Bordeaux metropole or combine your trips with some heritage in Entre Deux Mers, or the vineyards of Saint Emilion.

There are long hiking trails for fit walkers and shorter ones for families with kids. I had so many ideas that I just had to come here and share them with you. I included hiking trails from every part of Gironde to give a big landscape variety.

I also publish quite a lot of my daily trips on social media so you are of course invited to follow me on Facebook/Instagram. Now let’s start! 

Hiking in Bordeaux Metropole

Let’s start with destinations closer to Bordeaux and its suburbs. There are dozens of big and small parks in the metropole that can be perfect for a nice and easy hike, so you don’t even need a car to be able to enjoy the green areas of Bordeaux.

The ones I particularly love are Parc de l’Ermitage in Lormont, Parc Majolan in Blanquefort, and Parc Bordelais in Bordeaux. There are of course many more green and lush places in the city and I’m working on an article with the full list which will be published soon. But for now, I wanted to introduce you to a few great hiking trails in Bordeaux Metropole through which you can discover the towns and forests surrounding the city. 

Parc Majolan

Au fil de l’eau bourde – From Talence to Gradignan

I live in Talence so the first one on the list is close to my home, a 5km trail through some of the green areas of Talence and Gradigan. It’s important to mention though that while most of your hike is going to be accompanied by green scenery, this is not a classic nature trail, meaning that you will have to walk through some urban areas to get from one location to another. Having said that, it’s a beautiful path and you will be surprised by some of the parks and monuments located in the footsteps of Bordeaux.

 Parc du Moulineau in Gradignan

The starting point is Bois de Thouars, a forest located on the border of Talence and Gradignan (it’s recommended to enter the forest from Avenue de Thouars in Talence). Don’t be in a rush here, take your time strolling around the lake, it feels more unspoiled here than many of the other lakes in the area.

From this point, you can follow the markup of GR® métropolitain throughout the entire route. But just to make sure you’re in the right direction, here are a few interesting points you should check on the way.

From the forest cross the bridge of the rocade (highway) to get to Gradignan (you should reach rue de Bénédigues in Gradignan). After a few more minutes walk, you’ll be on rue Saint-François-Xavier and will enter a green area that follows the Eau Bourde, a little stream of the Garonne river.

Your second destination on the trail is Parc de Pelissey in Gradignan. From there continue along the Eau Bourde to enter one of the biggest parks in this town – le Parc du Moulineau. This park is a gem for kids. Not only can they enjoy a big playground but it’s also home to the Maison de la Nature that inhabits nearly 50 different animal species from rabbits to the black and white goat of the Pyrénées. The animal park is unfortunately still closed due to Covid 19, but that should not bother you to enjoy the vast green Parc du Moulineau (or Le parc René Canivenc by its other name).

When you leave le Parc du Moulineau continue along the stream to get to Parc Mandavit. From here you will continue to the last destination of this trail – le Parc de Cayac, a historic monument on the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage road. From here you can take bus line number 10 to get back to the Thouars forest.
There’s also an option to continue to another 9 km hike through Gradignan. You can find more info about this and other hiking trails in the Metropole here

Réserve écologique des Barails

If you prefer to forget that cars exist for a couple of hours, this next trail is for you!  I’m happy to introduce you to the Réserve écologique des Barails, a beautiful natural reserve spreading over 156 hectares which also includes the beautiful Parc Floral of Bordeaux.

Located in the North of Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Lac district), it’s actually the biggest green space in Bordeaux. The reserve consists of different parts each with their own characteristics: the forest, the park, the meadows, the wetlands, and the ecological corridors. It’s so rich in nature that most visitors don’t cover it in one visit. 

Réserve écologique des Barails

There are three entries to the park. If you enter through Entree bois you’ll have the pleasure to discover more than 6km of hiking trails in the beautiful green forest. Enter the entree roseraie (next to the Golf de Lac) and you can enjoy a beautiful flower park with more than 500 varieties of roses. 

The reserve is also perfect for an easy stroll with kids and in fact, it was the first place I took mine after the deconfinement. Before heading there check out the information about the different entrances and parking on the official site of Bordeaux

Floirac – fil vert – the green path

Le Fil vert on the right side of the river has more than 25 km of hiking to offer, passing through Parc des coteaux, the green space that encompasses most of the parks of Floirac, Cenon, Lormont, and Bassens. There are numerous hiking trails you can do here, depending on what part of “rive droite” you want to discover. You can see some of the trails here.

Parc Castel in Floirac

In this article, I’ll focus on hiking in Floirac and Boulac, a trail called Boucle de Floirac – Bouliac, which starts at Parc Castel in Floirac. The park itself is very cute with an impressive chateau, which is the starting point of your walk.

Before you start the green path you can climb to the heights of the park to see the “belvédère” for a nice view. Then go down again to find the green loop path (boucle vert) in the le Chemin de Montagne.

After about  500m take a left on the main street (Chemin des plateaux) that you will have to follow to reach le Domaine de la Burthe, the biggest park of Floirac. Enter the park through Chemin de Beaufeu and follow the red and white markup in the park, this will lead you to Ruisseau de Jacotte (a little stream of water). You will then have to go down under the highway to cross to the next town – Bouliac. Continue following the markup until it leads you to the next destination –  le Bois de Loc Boué in Bouliac.

The final destination on this route is the 12th-century church of Saint-Siméon. From here you can start your way back to Floirac. To avoid repeating the same path, you can take a different route through rue de Bourg.

Before leaving rive droite you can also take a walk on Quai Deschamps and enjoy the beautiful view on the Garonne river. 

The Saint Emilion region 

Discover the lamprey capital of Gironde – Sainte Terre – 6.4 km

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the beautiful Saint Emilion region. Even if you haven’t had the chance to do any hiking there, most of you living here had the chance to drive through the stunning vineyards of the famous wine region.

This trail, however, is different from the usual view you see from Saint Emilion as it goes along the Dordogne river. This is a good opportunity to learn about another product the Saint Emilion region is famous for, the lamproie (lamprey in English).
The little village of Sainte Terre is the capital of Lamprey. Start your tour from Église Saint-Alexis, the church of Sainte Terre and walk on Rue du Parlement until you reach the river. Take a nice long stroll along the river until you reach the prohibited area sign, then turn left with the path. Follow the path until you reach the town again and then turn left on Rue du Parlement to reach the town center.

On normal days you can also visit the Lamprey’s garden, a small park and the museum of lamprey, however, I believe that it’s still closed for visits. You can see the map of the trails with the points of interest here

Sainte Terre

The chateaux and restaurants are still closed, but once they’ll re-open I really recommend combining this hike with a visit to a winery or a nice meal in one of the villages around Saint Emilion. If you want more information on what to do in Saint Emilion, check out my article with everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful village. 

Entre Deux Mers

Boucle de Rions heritage and hillsides

Entre Deux Mers is one of the most beautiful parts of Gironde. An abundance of medieval villages scattered along the Gironde river, centuries-old historic monuments, wineries and a lot of nature makes it a perfect place for day trips from Bordeaux. And above all, it’s also a great region for hiking with several paths mixing heritage and nature. Today I want to focus on hiking around one of my favorite towns in the region – Rions.

Rions

Rions is a small medieval town on the hills on the banks of the Garonne river that played an important role in the Hundred Years War and was occupied by England during the 13th century. Even if you come here specifically for hiking, don’t be in a rush and take some time to admire the beautiful houses with old shatters and the colorful flower pots decorating the narrow streets of the village. After you got inspired by the beautiful architecture we can start the hike. Leave the city center following rue Lavidon, through Porte Lavidon, and enjoy a pleasant 4.5 km path with a stunning view of the Garonne hillsides and vineyards. You will enter back through the most impressive gate in Rions, Porte du l’Hyan, the only gate that was kept fully preserved to this day. Before you leave, visit the old ramparts of the city, built in the 14th century and restored in the 18th century. You can find the map and all the details here

The South of Gironde

Hostens 

Hostens is one of the highlights of the South Gironde region. Domaine des Lacs d’Hostens is located at the heart of the Landes de Gascogne forest (50 km from Bordeaux) and offers some of the best hiking trails you can find near Bordeaux. The Domain consists of five different lakes with plenty of water activities as well as hiking trails, mountain bike trails, and more. If you’re after a good hike, head to the second lake, Lac du Bousquey. On the way you can see horses, butterflies and other wonders of nature. There are three trails in the Domain of Hostens:  8, 11 et 16 km long so there is something for both fit walkers and people who just want to enjoy a relatively short walk in nature. 

Hostens

In Hostens you will also find one of the best beaches in Gironde, this one located on the shores of another lake, the lake of Lamothe. So if the weather is good this would be the best way to end your hike. 

Lac Vert and Lac Bleu

Lac Vert

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

Saint Symphorian

Did you know that the largest man-made forest in Europe is located just an hour’s drive from Bordeaux? The huge Landes forest has a few hiking trails, one of them starting in Saint Symphorien, a village located about 50 km south of Bordeaux. The route starts from the center of Saint Symphorien, which by itself is not very interesting. But it’s nice to dedicate a few minutes to see the town hall, the gothic Saint Symphorien church, and the cute little Maison Cammunale, which was built during the great depression. To start the walk, leave the city center and walk about 5 minutes on Cours de Verdun until you reach Le Chalet Mauriac. In this house the famous novelist, Francois Mauriac used to spend his vacations as a child. The chateau itself is probably closed right now, but the nice park around it might be open.

Le Chalet Mauriac

Your next destination is Moulin de Marian, an old windmill standing close to the Hure river. This is a nice walk that should take you about 30 minutes. From here continue on the path until you reach the department route number D220. Don’t turn to D220, instead continue straight on D115 until you reach Landes de Lassus, turn left here. Then continue north until you get to l’Atelier des Chemins de fer économiques de la Gironde. The building, built in the 19th century is a testimony of what was one of the main economic activities of this village. The site was closed in 1978 but you can still see some of the machines they used back then. You are now almost back to the center of Saint Symphorien, where our tour ends.

Arcachon

Lanton

Lanton on the Arcachon Bay

One of my favorite hiking places in the region is Lanton on the Arcachon bay. There are of course many other great places for a promenade around the Bassin but I love the fact that you rarely see any people in Lanton and that the drive is not very long.  You can start your walk from Plage de Suzette, which is a little port with a few restaurants on it, from there just follow the trail surrounding the little port. If you’ve ever been to the Bassin d’Arcachon you know that the view changes a lot depending on the tide. This trail goes along the bay and that’s why, depending on the time you arrive, it may feel like walking along the beach or in an apocalyptic desert. The scenery and tranquility are just magical and it’s less than an hour from Bordeaux!
To discover more places in Bassin d’Arcachon go to my article about the best day trips to Arcachon Bay.

Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon 

Here’s an idea for those who like urban trails. The touristy city of Arcachon currently feels very different from its usual lively vibes. Tourists are yet to flood the region and the restaurants will stay closed until at least June. Why not use this opportunity to discover the beautiful architecture of ville d’Hiver in Arcachon city. The winter city of Arcachon was mainly built in the 19th century and among its 300 villas, you can find some architectural treasures. Here are a few villas you don’t want to miss: Teresa, Toledo, Brémontier, Trocadero, Alexandre Dumas, Bayard, and Athena. Before you go, don’t miss the beautiful Parc Mauresque which separates the winter city from the summer city. If you can read some French, here’s a site with a short history of the most famous villas in the winter city. For more info on what to do in Arcachon city check out my article about Arcachon.

Ville d'hiver Arcachon

There are of course many more hiking routes in the region. We are surrounded by forests, lakes, parks, old villages, and a lot of heritage, so there’s an endless amount of ideas for a walk. But I wanted to release this article as soon as possible so you can start enjoying the weather and the deconfinement. I will add more ideas for walks in this article in the next few weeks, so I invite you all to return to this page. If you enjoyed reading the article, you can always share it with friends and make them go on a hike instead of the crowded city center 🙂 

Before I go, I just wanted to let you know about all the other places you can get my information about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France. 

  1. My Travel in the Southwest of France Facebook group – where people from all over the Southwest of France share their favorite places to visit in the region.
  2. My Facebook/Instagram pages where I share almost all my travels and experiences in the region on a daily basis.
  3. Newsletter – I decided to go on a little break with my emails during the confinement being that most of the content there is about villages, restaurants, museums, and heritage sites, which is not content anyone currently needs. But I’m coming back with my weekly emails soon so you are all welcomed to join me there – subscribe here

Until just a few months ago I used to publish monthly posts with plenty of suggestions for things to do in Bordeaux every month and then like the rest of the world I had to stop. So I can’t even describe how good it feels to finally write this article. Those who live or have ever visited Bordeaux know that there are plenty of fun events taking place here every summer. This summer most events were obviously postponed to the summer of 2021 but luckily there are still plenty of great summer places that will be open, allowing us to enjoy this lovely season. In this article, I gathered 15 places and things you can do in Bordeaux this summer (2020). For specific events and other ideas for things to do every weekend, I invite you to subscribe to my email list here

If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

Go see the amazing Gustave Klimt exhibition – D’or et de couleurs

The long-awaited Gustave Klimt exhibition at the Bassins de Lumières (previously known as the Base sous-marine) was finally opened on June 10th. This is one of the most stunning exhibitions to ever arrive at Bordeaux and a visit there is a must! Whereas previously the quays of the Base sous-marine were used only to access the exhibition, this time all four pools, the quais, and the bridges are all used to screen the animated paintings of Klimt and his friends in the Vienna Secession movement. The result is mesmerizing! Important information: tickets must be bought in advance (here’s the link) and masks are obligatory. 

Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq

The Guinguette is a tavern on the right banks of the Garonne hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid back party atmosphere. You can see their program here. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. If you’re a group of people you can book a table – see all the details here

Bordeaux museums are free this summer 

Yes, you heard it right! Five main museums in Bordeaux are going to be free all summer long! This is the list: le Muséum d’histoire naturelle, le CAPC, le Musée d’Aquitaine, le Musée des Arts Décoratifs and le Musée des Beaux-Arts. If you’re coming with kids, the natural history museum of Bordeaux is fantastic! 

kids museums in Bordeaux

Read more about these and other museums of Bordeaux in my article about the museums of art, wine, and history in Bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is free for kids this summer!

la cite du vin in Bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. The extraordinary building, inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass, 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, culture and knowhow. One of the downsides is that the visit is quite expensive, the entry price for an adult is 20 euros and 9 euros for kids, so a family visit there makes it a pricey experience. However, this summer la Cité du Vin is free for kids under 17yo so it’s a great opportunity to take them to one of the most entertaining museums in Bordeaux. You can read my article about my visit to the Cite du Vin to get a good idea of what to expect there. 

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

Hipster paradise is finally open again! For those new to Bordeaux, Darwin is an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. On Saturdays, you can enjoy an outdoor local produce market. It’s also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on each one of its buildings. Since the reopening, they added plenty of tables outdoors in what they call “Darwin Plein Air”, with some nice food stands for snacks. It’s not clear if Darwin Plein Air will continue throughout the summer but Darwin is a fun place to hang out in any case.

darwin graffiti

It’s also one of the places I like to go to on rainy weekends and it’s on my list of the things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux, so take a look. 

Free beach activities in Bordeaux

This summer (until August 31) Bordeaux Lac will offer FREE activities such as kayaking, SUP, zumba and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00 and registration is taking place on the beach starting from 13:30. Please read the content in this link as it includes instructions for some documents you need to present to be able to register as well as the schedule of the daily activities.

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

Go to the IBOAT beach 

Well, it’s not really a proper beach where you can swim but it’s definitely one of the coolest places in town. La Plage de L’IBOAT is a fun outdoor space with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBgFvl0qmFD/

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district

Have a drink at Mama Shelter

This is one of the best places for drinks in Bordeaux, a rooftop bar on top of the Mama Shelter hotel in Bordeaux center. The rooftop is currently open every day from 12:00 to midnight, however, hours may change so check out their website before going. This place is very popular and tends to get busy in the late evening, so booking a table is recommended. 

Mama Shelter is only one of the cool rooftops in Bordeaux Metropole, if you want to discover more hip rooftops and fun terrace cafes check out my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Summer sales

Don’t we all need to refresh our closet after this long period of being stuck at home? Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electric supplies, toys and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from July 15 to August 11.

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

You know how you always see people uploading beautiful pictures from French markets, with piles of strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes? Why not have the same fun touristic experience here, in one of Bordeaux’s numerous markets. The most popular market in Bordeaux is of course Marché des Capucins but there are plenty of amazing open-air markets in different neighborhoods in the city. Even if you live here you’ll probably discover a few new markets in my article about the best markets in Bordeaux

Sunday market in Bordeaux

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

If I had to make my top “good life in the Southwest of France” list, oysters, white wine, and beautiful beaches would probably be in my top 5. The Arcachon Bay is located about 50 km from Bordeaux and offers some of the best summer experiences in France. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids. A day trip (at least) to the Bassin d’Arcachon is an absolute must when visiting Bordeaux. To help you decide where to go I wrote an article about the best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay.

oysters arcachon

For a perfect summer afternoon gateway, head to Dune du Pilat and finish with a drink in La Corniche. Sounds splendid, isn’t it? Read more about these places in my article about the southern part of Arcachon

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river

Bordeaux is surrounded by many big and small rivers, it’s not a surprise then that there are quite a few places for Kayaking and Canoeing in the Bordeaux region. One of the biggest rivers near Bordeaux is the Dordogne, which splits from the Estuary of Gironde some 30 km north of Bordeaux. The low flow in most parts of the river makes it ideal for a kayak or canoe trip as you can easily descend and visit many beautiful villages and impressive chateaux on the way. I wrote an article about some of the best Kayaking clubs on the Dordogne river, some of which are located close to Bordeaux. You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on the Arcachon Bay.

Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne
Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne by Lost in Bordeaux

See more details about that in my guide to what to do with kids in Arcachon

Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Gironde 

Being close to the Atlantic ocean and surrounded by lakes are some of the best things about being in Bordeaux in the summer. We have an incredible amount of beautiful beaches with white fine sand, amazing views and nice beach facilities. You can surf in the Atlantic ocean, enjoy the kids’ friendly beaches of the Arcachon Bay or go to one of the beautiful lakes (and even hike around them!). If you’re here for a short period of time, it’s hard to choose where to go. To help you out I wrote an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux. 

Cap Ferret - one of the best day trips from Bordeaux to Arcachon

Discover the most charming villages in Gironde

Bordeaux itself is a beautiful and lively city but some of the best architectural treasures are spread around Gironde. The biggest department in France has some of the most charming villages in the Southwest of France. Bastide towns with arched squares, medieval towns with narrow streets, historic chateaux and citadels are all part of the incredible heritage of this region. In my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde, I listed all my favorite villages around Bordeaux.  

the most beautiful villages in Gironde

Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature

Besides impressive heritage and beautiful beaches, the Bordeaux region is also rich with nature reserves, forests, and parks. If hiking is your thing, the options are endless. If you need some ideas for fun and interesting hiking trails, check out my article about hiking in Bordeaux.  

Réserve écologique des Barails

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

Dordogne earned its reputation as the queen of Chateaux in the southwest of France, but did you know that some of the most beautiful chateaux (castles) in this region are actually located in Gironde? Château Royal de Cazeneuve, Château de Roquetaillade and Chateau Villandraut are all located in the south of Gironde. These three are rich with history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. This summer the tourist offices of the South of Gironde offer a special chateaux pass giving you a discount if you visit more than one chateau. The pass can be bought in the tourist office in Langon and at the reception desk of all three chateaux. You can see more details here

A new huge Labyrinth in Gironde

Popcorn Labyrinth is a new huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is about to open its doors on July 11th. During the summer the Labyrinthe will be open every day and even has night sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. You can see the hours and prices in this link. 

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. However, I think that the hot summer in Bordeaux is a great opportunity to discover the white wines of Bordeaux. The largest sub-region in Bordeaux is Entre Deux Mers, the area located between the Dordogne and the Garonne river. While both red and white wines are produced in this region, only the white ones can get the AOC label of the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The wine is usually drunk young and is absolutely perfect for the Bordelais summer. In this link, you’ll find many of the wineries you can visit in the Entre Deux Mers region. 

If you need more advice about the wines of the region and about the best wineries to visit, you can visit the Maison des Vins that is located at the La Sauve Majeure Abbey, about 30 minutes drive from Bordeaux.

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

You 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

It was soooo hot today that I could barely write or think, but somehow I made it to the end of the list and I have some great weekend plans for you 🙂 So what do we have this week? Fun activities for kids, a beautiful exhibition at the Opera, and plenty of outdoor activities. Now let’s just hope that the weather will go easy on us! 

If you missed it, this week I released a list of all the night markets taking place this summer in Gironde, Dordogne and Lot et Garonne. So if you don’t find anything interesting in this weekend list you can always go to one of these fun events. For more ideas of things on these hot summer days check out my article about things to do in Bordeaux this summer. If you want to read about my weekly idea for a day trip in the region, subscribe to my email list here. Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (July 31 – August 2):

Quai des Sports

I’m happy to tell you that even this summer the annual Quai des Sports was opened at the Parc the Sports in Saint Michel. The Quai des sports is a continuous sportive event for kids and adults where you can take part in many sports activities for free. The event this year will take place until August 23. For more info click here

When: until August 23 / Where: Parc des Sports Saint Michel, Bordeaux

Open-air cinema in Talence

This Friday (July 31) the city of Talence invites you to an open-air cinema event. The movie “astérix – le secret de la potion Magique” will be screened at Parc Peixotto at 21:00. For more details click here

chateau peixotto
chateau peixotto in Talence
When: July 31, at 21:00 / Where: Parc Peixotto, 33400 Talence

Un été au Grand Parc Rivière

For several weeks this summer, Parc Rivière in Bordeaux is hosting daily events with different concerts and workshops. The next evening will take place this Friday (July 31) starting at 16:00. For more details click here.  

When: July 31, starting 16:00 / Where: Parc Rivière, Bordeaux

Costumes exhibition in the Opera of Bordeaux

A beautiful exhibition called “Plus que Parfait” is currently presented at the Opera of Bordeaux. The exhibition presents the incredible world of theater costumes and includes many items from shows that were previously played at the Opera. The exhibition will be presented until September 6 and is free for kids under 12yo. For more info and reservations click here

When: from Tuesday to Sunday until September 6 / Where: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Run & Yoga à Bordeaux

This Sunday (August 2) Darwin is hosting a Run and Yoga practice – apparently, there’s such thing. The activity will be guided by Yosi Goasdoué who is the French semi-marathon champion for 2015. The event is free but you must register in advance. For more info click here.

When: August 2, at 10:45 / Where: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Marché des Créateurs

A creators market is taking place this Sunday (August 2) at Campus Atlantica in Artigues-près-Bordeaux. For more about the market click here.

When: August 2, 10:00 to 21:00 / Where:  24 Avenue Virecourt, Artigues-près-Bordeaux

Night Market in Arcachon 

During the summer the city of Arcachon is hosting a night market with music, a small creative market, and plenty of food stands. The market is taking place from Tuesday to Friday until August 20. For more info click here

When: Tuesday to Friday until August 20 / Where:  Place des Marquises, Arcachon

Picnic at the vineyards

vineyards in Saint Emilion

This is the last weekend of the Picnic at the vineyards events. The picnics are a great initiative by the Bienvenue à la ferme en Gironde association- every Friday 16 wineries in Gironde are hosting visitors for an event that includes wine and tapas of different local producers at a price of 7 euro per person. The visit has to be booked in advance directly from the winery – you can see the list of the chateaux here

Visit the Cité du Vin 

If the pricey ticket to the Cité du Vin has deterred you from visiting it so far, this summer is your chance! The interactive wine museum reduced its ticket price from 20 euros to 10 euros for the residents of Bordeaux Metropole and free for kids under 17yo. You must show proof of residence to get the discount. 

If you want to know what to expect in the museum, read my article about the Cite du Vin before going.  

Go to Blassimon Lake

If you live east of Bordeaux, getting to the beaches of Arcachon can be a long journey. Luckily there are a few lakes in the region where you can find beautiful spots that are perfect for a family day at the beach. One of them is Lac Blasimon in Entre Deux Mers. You can read more about it here

Free beach activities in Bordeaux

This summer (until August 31) Bordeaux Lac will offer FREE activities such as kayaking, SUP, zumba and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00 and registration is taking place on the beach starting from 13:30. Please read the content in this link as it includes instructions for some documents you need to present to be able to register as well as the schedule of the daily activities. For more events and activities taking place this summer in Bordeaux check out my article about things to do this summer in Bordeaux

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

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

The rentrée is on! with plenty of stuff happening in the city this weekend! if you’re looking for a big event check out the climax festival taking place this weekend. If you’re into more of a local vibe, this weekend is a paradise of activities, from a picnic with your neighbors to a plants sale and a furniture building event. Don’t even get me started on all that is happening around Bordeaux this weekend: the Médoc marathon, a food truck festival, music and cycling festivals and plenty more. Enjoy and please subscribe to my newsletter if you don’t want to miss more of my updates about things to do in Bordeaux.

Events in Bordeaux 

Climax Festival 

The Climax festival taking place in Darwin focuses on environmental issues and climate change. Conferences and debates will take place throughout the four day festival (September 6-9) and will be accompanied by art and cultural activities. Every night, a rich lineup of electronic music will make the festival more attractive and dynamic. This is one of the biggest festivals in the center of Bordeaux and its location only adds to its attractiveness. Take a look at the full program on the site of the festival, for tickets click here.

When: September 6-9
Where: CASERNE DARWIN (87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux) and ROCHER PALMER (1 Rue Aristide Briand, 33152 Cenon)

The March for the Climate

Bordeaux’s Climate March will take place this Saturday (Sep 8) at 12:00. The event will start at le Miroir d’eau with a light picnic. The march itself will begin at 13:00 and will finish at Darwin. The dress code for the event is a white short. For details and updates click here.

When: September 8
Where: Miroir d’eau

Vign en Ville

This is the 3rd edition of Vign en Ville, an event dedicated to the know how of wine making. During the weekend of September 8-9, wine makers from the Bienvenue à la ferme network will teach you all about wine production through a series of workshops and activities. The event will take place in Jardin Public and besides wine activities will include a special lunch (on Sunday) with products coming from different farmers in the area.  The event is free and open to everyone. For more info check out the facebook page of the event.

When: September 8-9
Where: Jardin Public

Get to know your neighbors at the Pique-nique des Quartiers 

Do you ever feel like you have no idea who is living around you? Well this is your chance to socialize a bit with your neighbors. This Friday (Sep 7) Pique-nique des quartiers with take place all around Bordeaux. The picnics were organized by the local associations operating in the neighborhoods. Find the event near you in the list published by the town hall.

Pique-nique des Quartiers 
Credit: Sud Ouest

When: September 7 at 19:00
Where: Different locations in Bordeaux, check out the program

The Pavillon d’été of L’Orangeade

The summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps on the right bank of the Garonne is a great way to enjoy your evenings during the hot Bordelaise summer days. The pavilion, organized by the Orangeade association, is hosting free music and gastronomy events every Friday and Saturday until September 22. Take a look at the program for this Friday (Sep 7) and for this Saturday (Sep 8).

When: September 7-8, starting 6pm
Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux

The Medieval Festival in Bouliac

The 20th edition of the Medieval Festival will take place this weekend (Sep 7-8) in Bouliac. The festival will kick off with a medieval night on Friday evening, an event that requires prior reservation (price is 25 euros). The festival which is free to the public will continue with two days of fun activities such as a camp of knights, a street theater, medieval games, a fire show, a market and much more. For more details check out the facebook page and the website of the festival.

medieval festival Bouliac

When: September 7-8
Where: Place Chevelaure, 33270 Bouliac

Fix your furniture or build a new one

Do you have a furniture you love and been wanting to fix for some time now? This is a good opportunity to learn how to do it.  This Saturday (Sep 8) les P’tits Gratteurs association will hold an event called L’ Hôpital des Meubles, where they invite you to come fix your furniture or even build new ones. The association will provide you all the materials you may need and guide you so you can easily realize your project. Fore more info click here.

When: September 8 at 10:00
Where:Place Pierre Renaudel, Bordeaux

The Big Plants Sale

Halle des Chartrons will hold a plants sale this Saturday (Sep 8), starting at 9am. The prices are guaranteed to be quite low (from 2€ to 10€) so it’s a good opportunity to fill your house with winter plants. For more details follow the facebook page of the event.

When: September 8 from 9am to 7pm
Where: 10 Place du Marché Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Buy clothes at the Grande Braderie

Le Relais Gironde will hold a clearance sale this Saturday (Sep 8) where you can buy clothes, shoes, bags and more. This event is quite big and you can find many interesting and useful item for very cheap prices. For more details click here.

grande braderie solidaire Relais Gironde

When: September 8 from 10am to 6pm
Where:517 boulevard Alfred Daney, Bordeaux

Have a drink at the night market

Have a drink at the night market of Halles de Bacalan to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. This Friday (Sep 7) at 18:00 the market will hold an event with music and long tables where you can have a drink and enjoy the tastes of this gastronomic market. Part of the menu (like a cheese plate, tartar and more) will be offered at the price of only 10 €.  For more details click here.

When: September 7 from 6pm
Where: 10 esplanade de pontac, 33300 Bordeaux

Events around Bordeaux 

Medoc Marathon

Running 42km is only a small part of the Medoc Marathon experience. It is mostly about enjoying great wine, food and the great scenery. No wonder that it’s considered the longest marathon in the world. This year the marathon will take place in the vineyards of the Médoc region on September 8 and will include plenty of activities such as: musical breaks, wine tasting stops and eating a steak at the 39th km (try finishing the race after that stop 🙂 ). You don’t have to run to enjoy this event, many activities will take place on the day of the marathon and the day before, follow the program here.  For more info check out the website of the marathon and the facebook page of the event.

When: September 6-8
Where: the Marathon will start in Pauillac

Bordeaux Food truck Festival

This is the biggest gathering of food trucks in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, with around 60 food trucks registered to participate in the five events of the festival, which are spread on different dates until the end of September. This festival aims to mix street food with the finesse of the wine world. As part of this gastronomic event, visitors can taste the wines of the hosting châteaux and specialty food coming from all corners of the world: French, Italian, Brazilian and much more. The next food truck event will take place this weekend (September 8-9 ) in Château Léognan. See all the details about the five weekends of the Bordeaux food truck festival here.

When: September 8-9
Where: Château Léognan 88, Chemin du Barp, 33850 Léognan

Ouvre La Voix Festival

Ouvre La Voix Festival gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Entre-Deux-Mers region in Gironde in a special way. The  three day program of the festival (September 7-9) combines concerts, wine and gastronomy with biking routes taking you to places like Créon, Frontenac, Sauveterre de Guyenne and more. Concerts and gastronomy events will take place in the towns on the bike trail. Most of the concerts are free, some activities (including the shuttle from Bordeaux to Créon) require reservation. See more details and the full program here and updates on the facebook page of the festival.

When: September 7-8
Where: Different places at the Entre-Deux-Mers region (check out the program)

Festival des Gueilles de Bonde in Macau

This is the 16th edition of the Festival des Gueilles de Bonde that will take place Friday and Saturday (Sep 7-8) in Macau, Médoc. The program of this free festival varies from music concerts, street theater and even a big gastronomic market. Check out the program of the festival here.

When: From September 7 at 18:30 to September 8 at 23:30
Where:place de la Mairie, MACAU, 33460

Festival des Coteaux Bordelais

Festival des Coteaux Bordelais is the annual music festival of Fargues Saint-Hilaire (a small town located just a few minutes ride from Bordeaux). The festival will take place this Saturday (Sep 8) at la Plaine de Fargues Saint-Hilaire. Check out the lineup of the performing artists here.

When: September 8 at 18:00
Where: Plaine de Fargues Saint-Hilaire (behind the salle du Carré des Forges)

Festival Teste à Têtes

Teste à Têtes festival, organized by the circus school Komonò Circuc, will take place this weekend (Sep 7-9) in La Teste de Buch. For three days you could enjoy plenty of activities dedicated to street arts and music concerts. You can see the full program here and more details here.

When: September 7-9
Where: Different locations, see the program.

If you want to plan ahead check out my general list of things to in Bordeaux in September 2018.

Hope you enjoyed the list! Now don’t be shy, share it with your friends!

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Have a great weekend!