Tag

medoc

Browsing

September is hands down the best month to visit Bordeaux! It’s still hot enough to go to the beach, many summer bars are still open, and don’t even get me started with how beautiful the vineyards are this time of the year. So you don’t really need events to enjoy the SW of France in September, but I’m going to tell you about them! And that’s because I believe it’s the best way to discover the hidden gems of Gironde.

So this September we have everything from the Medoc Marathon to the European heritage days and Latin music festival. If you’re reading this in August, don’t forget to check out my article about the best things to do in August as well. 

Also, I update about many more events taking place every weekend in Bordeaux in my newsletter, so don’t forget to subscribe to my email list if you’re not on it yet. If it’s your first time in Bordeaux free to also join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

Here are some of the best things you can do in Bordeaux in September 2022!

What to do in Bordeaux Metropole in September 2022? 

Discover the Chartrons neighborhood

There’s no specific event taking place here in September, but I dind’t want you to miss one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Bordeaux on your visit. Elegant buildings with flower-covered balconies, chic coffee places, some of the best pastry places in Bordeaux, and many antique shops are only some of the things you can find in Chartrons. See all the best things to do in Chartrons in my article

Antiques chartrons Bordeaux

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 2-4) combines concerts, wine, and gastronomy with biking routes taking you to places like Créon, Frontenac, Sauveterre de Guyenne and more. See more details here.

When: September 2-4 / Where: Different places at the  Entre-Deux-Mers region (check out the program)

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? Pique-Nique des quartiers, taking place on September 2 will give you the chance to socialize with your neighbors. The picnics are organized by the local associations operating in the neighborhoods. Find the event near you in the list published by the town hall and on the Facebook page of the event

When: September 2 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux, check out the program

Climax Festival 

Darwin will host its annual Climax festival on September 9-11. The festival focuses on environmental issues and climate change and its program include conferences debates and many cultural events and concerts. This is one of the biggest festivals in the center of Bordeaux located in one of the hippest places in the city. Take a look at the site of the festival for the full program.

When: September 5-8 / Where: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. For more details and the full summer program click here.

When:  August 7,  21, 28 Sept 11, 18 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

ODP Music Festival in Peixotto

ODP is an annual music festival taking place in Parc Peixotto in Talence. This year the festival will take place on September 8-11. That’s one of the best music festivals in Bordeaux metropole and always has a great lineup. For more details and tickets go to the festival’s website and their Facebook page.

When: September 8-11 / Where: Parc Peixotto, Talence

The Big Scooter Race

The Nire Laguna Thomas association organized a wonderful event to help raise funds for research on pediatric cancer. A kid’s scooter race will take place on September 10 on the Quai of Bordeaux, starting from la Maison Eco-citoyenne. The race is open to kids aged 5 -10 years old, register here.

When:  September 10 / Where: la Maison Eco-citoyenne , 33000 Bordeaux

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

The European Heritage Days are a great opportunity to discover some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful and interesting buildings. During the weekend of September 17- 18, many public and private places will open their doors and allow you to peek into parts of this city’s history otherwise hidden from our daily view. Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are the Opera of Bordeaux, the Grosse Cloche, and many more. You can see the full list of the places that will be open for visits here.

Grosse Cloche - Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche

You can also see the program all over France here

When: September 17-18 / Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.

Echo a Venir –  an electronic music festival

The big visual art and electronic music festival will take place this weekend in Bordeaux (September 15-18). The program of the festival includes a lineup of DJs, a screening on one of Bordeaux’s churches, an exhibition, and more. See all the details here

When: September 15-18/ Where: several locations in Bordeaux

 Summer Rock in Bouliac

The annual “Bouliac on the Rock” event will take place this year on September 17. The program of the event includes an American car exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs, and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.

When:  September 17 / Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac

Latin Music Festival 

Corazon Latino, a Latin Music and dance festival will take place this weekend (September 23-25) in Rocher de Palmer in Cenon. The Program includes music concerts, dance shows, three Latin parties and international dancers that came especially to teach you some moves. For more info and tickets to some of the concerts check out the website of the event.

When: September 23-25 / Where: 1 rue Aristide Briand, 33150 Bordeaux, France

Festival Arts Mêlés

Arts Mêlés is a festival of magic and supernatural experiences organized by the town of Eysines. As always the program is full of magic shows, illusionists, acrobats, and more, making it super fun for kids. The event is free and will take place on the weekend of September 24-25. Check out the full program here

Festival Arts Mêlés in Eysines

When: September 24-25 / Where: Different locations in the center of Eysines

Vélotour Bordeaux

Discover Bordeaux by bike through places where bicycles are usually not allowed: museums, sports centers, cultural and historic places and more. More than ten places have opened their doors for this unusual experience. The tour will take place on September 25 and will start at the Maison Écocitoyenne Bordeaux. For tickets click here and for more info about the event click here.

When:  September 25 / Where: Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux

A similar event will take place in Saint Emilion on September 10, see all the details here

See other things you can do in Saint Emilion in my article about a day trip to Saint Emilion

Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars

Many of the outdoor bars of Bordeaux are still open this month and many of them have fun musical programs over the weekend. Don’t miss the last month of a proper Bordolais summer! Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Dance at la guingette chez Alriq

La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern in the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. During the summer the place is full with locals who escape the more touristy rive gauche and come to enjoy live concerts on the river bank. The Guinguette is open from Thursday to Sunday. For the concert program for September click here.

When: every weekend during September / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

What do in September in Gironde and other parts of SW France? 

Visit the Vineyards of Sauternes and Barsac

Bordeaux is mainly famous for its red wines but a small part of this huge wine region is actually dedicated to white sweet wine. The Sauternes and Barsac AOC produce some of the most prestigious sweet wines in the world. But what makes the visit there even more interesting are the beautiful chateaux in which these wines are produced. See my latest article about wineries to visit in Sauternes and Barsac

The Medoc Marathon

Running 42km is only a small part of the Medoc Marathon experience. It’s mostly about enjoying the amazing scenery accompanies by great wine and food. This year the celebrated Marathon will take place on September 10. 

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.

See all the other things you can do in Medoc in my article about a weekend in Medoc

When: September 10 / Where: the Marathon will start in Pauillac

Festival Teste à Têtes

The Teste à Têtes festival, organized by the circus school Komonò Circus, will take place on September 9-11 in La Teste de Buch. For three days you can enjoy plenty of activities dedicated to street arts and music concerts. For more details click here.

When: September 9-11 / Where: Different locations in La Teste de Buch, see the program.

See my other recommendations about places to visit in Arcachon in my article about a day trip to Arcachon.

The Vino Voce festival

The vino festival in Saint Emilion is a celebration of voices in all forms, from singing voices to the voice on the radio, voices of actors, and more. The festival (September 9-11) includes a rich program of music concerts, movie screenings, singing master classes and other platforms where voice plays an important role.  For more info about the festival click here

When: September 9-11 / Where: Different locations in Saint Emilion

Anglet Jazz Festival 

If you don’t mind traveling a bit south, don’t miss the Anglet Jazz festival which will take this place on September 15-18. This big festival attracts every year many people to this beautiful area. Anglet is just a few minutes drive from Biarritz so you can enjoy some amazing beaches on the way. For more details and ticket prices click here

When: September 15-18 / Where: Different locations in Anglet

Festival Cadences d’Arcachon

Festival Cadence is a dance festival taking place every year in Arcachon. The program of the festival is known for its diversity including classic, contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco, and more. The festival will take place on September 21-25, for the full program click here, and see more info here.

When: September 21-25 / Where: Arcachon

A day of Harvest at Château Grand Baril

Come spend a beautiful day in the vineyards at the heart of the Montagne Saint-Emilion appellation and participate, just for a little bit, in the harvest season. The event will take place on Saturday 24 at the Lycée Viticole de Montagne Saint Emilion. To see the full program and the registration form click here.

When: September24 /Where: Lycée Viticole de Montagne Saint-Emilion, 38 route de Goujon, 33570 MONTAGNE

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

I really love the summer in Bordeaux! And although I have a full guide to the best things to do in Bordeaux as well as a guide for a weekend in Bordeaux, I decided that I must dedicate an article to all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer. This list mostly includes my favorite summer places as well as activities that you can do all summer long in Bordeaux and more generally in Gironde. If you want to discover all the best events taking place in the region, you must read my monthly lists and subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things happening in the city every weekend. 

If it’s your first time 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.

So now let’s dive into all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer!

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

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. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. You can see their program here

Dance on the Quai – learn to dance

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dance genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country, and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events are taking place for several weeks every summer at Placette de Munich.  For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

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. 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. 

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. 

Have a drink at the terrace bar of the Bordeaux design Museum 

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. It has a large collection of furniture, porcelain, and art objects, dating to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This museum is a cute cultural gem but what makes it even more attractive is the new terrace café that has been operating there for the last few years. The little outdoor restaurant is owned by Julie, who’s also the owner of one of my favorite coffee shops in Bordeaux. If you’re dreaming of a glass of wine on a terrace in a beautiful location, this is the place for you! Café Madd by Sip is open from Wed to Sun, see more details here

Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux
Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux

Fun beach activities in Bordeaux

You will be surprised to discover that you don’t need to leave the city to go to the beach in Bordeaux, instead just catch a tram to Bordeaux Lac! Plage du Lac is open from June to August and during the summer offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, SUP, and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00, see the schedule here

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.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

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

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. In the summer, the rooftop is open daily 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.

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

Little red strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes, you saw them all in market photos uploaded to social media by people visiting France 🙂 Now go 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

Summer sales

Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from June 22 to July 19.

Go to the pool

There are several great pools in Bordeaux, two of them are located not very far from the city center. Next to the Meriadeck shopping center, you’ll find the piscine Judaique which is located in a beautiful art deco building. A bit farther from the center is Piscine du Grand Parc. Both are very kids friendly with facilities like a kids pool, water slides, floats, and more. If you have a car you can enjoy other outdoor pools in the region, like the Stade Nautique in Pessac or the new Centre Aquatique “La Calinésie” in Libourne. 

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

Bassin d’Arcachon (the Arcachon Bay), located about 50 km from Bordeaux is one of the most popular summer destinations in France, and rightfully so. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers’ villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids are part of what you can enjoy at this destination on the Atlantic ocean. A day trip (or a weekend) 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 Arcachon Bay.

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

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

Spend your Sunday at Bel Ami 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you probably know that this is one of my favorite summer places in the region. If you don’t, let me introduce you to Bel-Ami, a summer outdoor restaurant/ bar located in the cute little village of Plassac on the Estuary of Gironde. Now try to imagine, sitting on comfy sofas, eating a delicious meal, and drinking a Lillet cocktail, with the impressive Gironde estuary calmly flowing in front of you. Every Wednesday and Saturday they also have live music in the evening, so be sure to book ahead as the place gets busy. If this tranquility is not enough for you to make an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, you should know that Plassac is also known as the mosaic village so there’s a lot to discover. See more info here

Bel Ami - summer bar in Gironde

Do a weekend in Medoc

Medoc is one of the most interesting and beautiful regions in Southwest France, and luckily it’s located an hour’s drive from the center of Bordeaux. It is, of course, known for its wine, and the Medoc wine route is indeed one of the best ways to discover the Bordeaux wine world. However, the Medoc peninsula is much more than just winery visits! You have amazing beaches on the Atlantic ocean, plenty of markets with fresh local food, little ports on the Gironde estuary where you can go for a drink, and amazing lakes with beaches and water activities. So even a weekend is not enough to enjoy this amazing region. See all the things you can do there in my article about the Medoc region.
If you have time, don’t miss the Saint Emilion wine region as well, here are a few chateaux I recommend visiting in Saint Emilion

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. 

Canoe and kayak on the Dordogne river

Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne by Lost in Bordeaux

You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on Arcachon Bay. 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 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. 

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.  

Castelmoron d'Albret - the smallest village in France

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.  

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

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 in history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. 

Château de Roquetaillade - chateaux in Gironde
Château de Roquetaillade by lost in Bordeaux

Discover the Labyrinth of the region

Labyrinth is a really fun summer activity for a group of friends with or without kids and there are two cool places to do it close to Bordeaux. The first is Popcorn Labyrinth, a huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is open in July and August and usually also offers night sessions. You can see the hours and prices in this link. 

The other one is Parc Mysterra in Montendre, which is set in a beautiful location but is recommended for slightly older kids (more than 8 yo). See more details here

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. The hot summer in Bordeaux, however, 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 and a plate of oysters. 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 which 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 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

There are a thousand châteaux in the Bordeaux wine region which makes it almost impossible to choose just a few when you visit this region. However, if your timing is right, you might be visiting during one of the open doors weekends taking place at the wineries of Bordeaux throughout the year. There are around 60 different appellations in the Bordeaux wine region with many of them hosting “Portes Ouvertes” (open doors) weekends at least once a year. These events are usually hosted by the wineries of each appellation and include free tastings, tours, and activities for kids. In this article, I will be listing all the open doors weekends in the wineries in chronological order. Don’t worry If you’re visiting outside of these specific dates, many of these châteaux offer tours and tastings (by appointment). In the article, I will also recommend my favorite wineries to visit in each appellation of Bordeaux wine. The list is long so let’s go!

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival is usually the first event to start the wine festivals season in the Bordeaux region. The event takes place at the Blaye citadel at the beginning of April, bringing together more than 80 winemakers from the Blaye appellation. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing, and food and wine pairing), guided visits to the citadel, and more. For the full program and tickets click here.

Open doors in the Médoc wine region

The first open doors event of the year is always the Portes Ouvertes weekend in Medoc, taking place in April. During the festive weekend, you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. I usually update about the event and the wineries you can visit in this article. This year the event takes place on April 8-10.

If you wish to make this trip an unforgettable experience, you should go on the Medoc wine road trip that includes all the wonders this area of Gironde has to offer. I personally did the Medoc wine route a few years ago and wrote a very detailed article about it, read it here

Medoc portes ouvertes - open doors in the chateaux of Bordeaux
Chateau d’Arsac

Recommended wineries in Medoc you can visit all year long 

Château du Taillan (book a visit here), which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux. Château d’Arsac, is one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here). Closer to Margaux you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here), Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here), or the beautiful Chateau Marquis de Terme (book a visit here). 

Open doors at Lalande de Pomerol

Another Open doors weekend in April is taking place at the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. A neighbor to the highly prestigious wines of Pomerol and Saint Emilion, this appellation produces some great wines you’d really enjoy discovering. Some of the Lalande de Pomerol properties are owned by famous wine families, such as La Fleur de Boüard, which is owned by Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus. If you want to learn more about the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and its châteaux, click here. This year the event takes place on April 23-24.

Recommended wineries in Lalande de Pomerol you can visit all year long 

Château Siaurac is one of the best wineries to visit in that part of Bordeaux’s wine region (check out their website). A bit less famous but also a great estate to visit is Château Tournefeuille (Book your visit here).

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

Saint Emilion, the most famous wine appellation in Bordeaux, celebrates its open doors weekend at the beginning of May. 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. This year’s open doors weekend takes place on April 30-May 1.

Chateau La Croizzille - portes ouvertes in Saint Emilion
Chateau La Croizzille in Saint Emilion

Recommended wineries in Saint Emilion you can visit all year long 

I tend to visit the Saint Emilion region quite often so I have many recommendations for wineries to visit there. I put some of them in my article about the best chateaux to visit in Saint Emilion

Grand Crus Weekend

One of the most anticipated events in Bordeaux’s wine world is the Grand Crus Weekend that is usually taking place in June.  This event, organized by the Union des Grands Crus (the regional wine classification), aims to create an international meeting of wine lovers. The highlight of this weekend is the major wine tasting event with more than 100 Grand Crus where you get to meet different chateaux owners. Read more about the event and the full program here. This year the event will take place on June 17-19.

If you want to visit some of the Grand Cru châteaux in Bordeaux, here are a few recommended ones:

In Saint Emilion: Chateau Franc Mayne (Book your visit here) and Chateau Beau Sejour Becot (Book your visit here).

In Pessac and Leognan: Château Larrivet Haut Brion (Book your visit here), Château Pape Clement (Book your visit here) and Château Latour Martillac (Book your visit here).

In Medoc: Château La Tour Carnet  (Book your visit here), Chateau Fourcas Hosten (Book your visit here) and Chateau de Camensac (Book your visit here). 

Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation

Ô Chais is the annual open doors event taking place at the Côtes de Bourg appellation situated on the west end of the Dordogne river before it flows to the Gironde estuary. It’s less known than the renowned Saint Emilion or Medoc appellations but it’s an excellent wine you should try when visiting the Bordeaux wine region. This year the event is taking place on May 7-8. See more details here

Château le Clos de Notaire  in Bourg
Château le Clos de Notaire

Recommended wineries in Bourg you can visit all year long 

One of my favorite châteaux in Bourg is Château le Clos de Notaire with its amazing view (see their website).

Bordeaux Wine Festival

Bordeaux Fête le Vin is the biggest wine event in Bordeaux! Once in two years in June, the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux are taken over by wine enthusiasts celebrating the Bordeaux wine festival. Apart from wine tastings, you should expect plenty of music, good food, and activities for kids. See more details here. This year the event takes place on June 23-26. 

Sauternes Fête le vin

Sauternes is a prestigious wine area famous for its sweet white wines. This is the only wine appellation in Bordeaux that hosts two open-door events every year. The summer event is the Sauternes wine festival, which this year will take place on June 18. For more details click here

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book you visit here). Also don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here).

Open doors at the châteaux of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Another smaller and less known appellation in Bordeaux wine is Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. This appellation has a very active Maison du Vin which organizes an annual open doors event every June, with close to 50 participating chateaux. This year the event will take place on June 4-5. See the list of participating Chateaux.
When there, don’t miss the beautiful Château de Cadillac, one of the most important historic monuments in Gironde. Check out other beautiful towns you can visit in that part of Gironde in my article about the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux.

Portes Ouvertes de l’Appellation Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation hosts its annual open doors event in early September and it’s usually a great event to start the Autumn with. Contrary to other appellations where you get to visit different châteaux, this one is a rather small appellation and the event usually takes place at the beautiful Château de Pitray, with many stands of smaller producers. See more info here.

Château de Pitray- Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux - open doors
Château de Pitray- Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Les châteaux de l’appellation Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

Another hidden gem in Bordeaux wine is Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, located near the Blaye citadel in the north of Gironde. I already mentioned this wine appellation in the first event of the year, however, in September, there’s a real Open doors weekend where you get to visit the winemakers in their châteaux. Many of them are family-owned wineries and the visit there feels very cozy. The information about their next event will be published here

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves

Graves is another famous sub-region of Bordeaux wine, located on the left bank of the Garonne river. It’s a huge appellation that includes within itself a few other appellations like Pessac Leognan, which often participate in the Open doors weekend as well. The event usually takes place in October with more than 70 participating chateaux. See more info here

If you want to visit Graves at any other time, one of the most interesting wineries to visit in that appellation is Chateau de Portets (book your tour here).

Portes ouvertes in Fronsac

Another great wine to try in Bordeaux is Fronsac & Canon Fronsac and their Portes Ouvertes is a good opportunity to do just that. The event usually takes place at the end of October with more than 30 chateaux hosting people for free tastings, guided tours, and more. One of the main events is taking place at the magnificent Château de la Rivière. The info about the next event will be published here

Château de la Rivière in Fronsac - vin de Bordeaux
Château de la Rivière in Fronsac

Recommended wineries in Fronsac you can visit all year long 

Château de la Rivière is probably one of the most interesting wineries to visit in the region (Book your tour here) however there are other great places to visit such as Chateau de la Dauphine with its impressive vat room (book your visit here) and Chateau George 7 with their fun summer terrace (see all the info here). 

Open doors in the Chateaux of Sauternes et Barsac

The second event of Sauternes et Barsac wine appellations takes place in November. This wine area is famous for its sweet white wines and some of the chateaux look like historic monuments and are worth a visit. You can find the full program here closer to the event. 

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book your visit here). Also, don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here). Another amazing vineyard to visit in Barsac is Chateau de Myrat (book your visit here).

Portes Ouvertes in Pomerol

Pomerol is probably the most prestigious wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, however, for some reason, its Open doors weekend is not as well known as the other ones. The event usually takes place at the end of October and it’s a rather straightforward one. Most of their chateaux don’t offer tours or special activities during the event because they really only want you to taste their wine. But it’s Pomerol, so amazing wine is guaranteed! The list of the participating chateaux is usually published here.

Château Beauregard - Pomerol- portes ouvertes
Château Beauregard – Pomerol

Recommended wineries in Pomerol you can visit all year long 

Château Beauregard has one of the most impressive Vat rooms I have ever seen and is one of the best places to visit in Pomerol (see info about visits here). Château de Sales is another magnificent chateau to visit, and they offer many different activities on and around their property (book a visit here)

les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras

les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras is a great opportunity to get familiar with the sweet wines of Loupaic, meet the farmers of the department, and taste their gourmet production. The event always takes place on the last weekend of November. See the list of participants here.  

Open Doors in the Châteaux of Pessac-Léognan

The Pessac-Léognan appellation is usually the one closing the year with its Open doors weekend in December. This event includes tens of wineries that offer wine tastings, tours, gourmet food, and activities for kids. All the information about the event is published on this website. Pessac is a beautiful little town near Bordeaux so if you want to spend the day there, check out my article about it

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau pape Clement

Recommended wineries in Pessac and Leognan you can visit all year long 

Château Larrivet Haut Brion (Book your visit here), Château Pape Clement (Book your visit here), and Château Latour Martillac (Book your visit here), as well as the renowned Château les Carmes Haut-Brion (info about visits here).

I gave you a lot of information to process hoping it will help you choose the best time to come to Bordeaux. If you’re interested in more events taking place in Bordeaux, don’t forget to check out my monthly lists and also subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things to do in Bordeaux and the region every weekend. 

Cheers everyone! 

*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 🙂

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.

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 Bordeaux wine route is one of the most visited attractions in the southwest of France. It’s actually not one but five different wine trails around Bordeaux and one of them is the beautiful Medoc region. “Route des chateaux” is the unofficial name of this magnificent wine trail, which combines nature, history, and culture in one beautiful road. If you have more than a day to spend on a wine trip in Bordeaux, you should definitely consider Medoc. In two days, you can see a wealth of beautiful chateaux, taste some of the best wines in the world, go to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the local cuisine. The list of things to do in Medoc is quite long and you can easily turn it into a weeklong vacation if you like. However, as most people go to Medoc for a weekend, I decided to write a two-day itinerary. I tried to cover the most important things to do and places to visit in the Medoc Peninsula, so apart from wine-related activities I also included recommendations of beautiful villages to visit, beaches, markets, hotels, restaurants, and more. I truly hope this article will help you plan your wine trip in the area and will make you fall in love with the marvelous region of Medoc.

If you’re interested in doing more than just one wine route while in Bordeaux, you should check my list of châteaux to visit in Saint Emilion

The Medoc wine region in numbers

The Medoc wine region consists of eight appellations (AOC) covering 16,500 hectares, which include Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Saint-Estéphe, Moulis and Listrac. The Medoc wine is classified according to the Bordeaux wine official classification of 1855 with five levels of Grand cru classé, Premier cru classé being the highest of the five. There are five chateaux classified as Premier cru classé in the Bordeaux area, four of them being in the Medoc area: Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild. The fifth one is Château Haut-Brion from the Graves wine area. Visiting the Medoc Premier cru chateaux can be complicated as they are usually open only to professionals or by appointment. But you don’t really need these four to make it an unforgettable trip. There are 60 Grand cru classé wineries, craft and cooperative chateaux, and many other incredible wine chateaux that you can visit on the Medoc route. Now it’s time to discover them, so let’s dive into the two-day itinerary in the Medoc wine route. 

Day one – Châteaux along the Medoc wine road

Start your day from Bordeaux on the D2 road, which is essentially the famous wine road called “Route des châteaux”. It starts at Blanquefort and continues all the way to the top of the Medoc Peninsula. All along the D2 road, you will pass through tens of km of vineyards and châteaux and through towns like Margaux and Pauillac, names you may know from the labels of Bordeaux’s wine bottles. The Medoc wine route is beautiful and you will enjoy it even if you don’t plan to taste any wine at all. Take your time to admire (and take photos of) the breathtaking châteaux that you will randomly see by the road. Some of them are so magical that you start feeling as if you’re on a movie set.

For the full wine route experience, you need to actually visit one or several wineries and taste their wines. However, as you will witness, there are so many of them on the D2 road that choosing one or two to visit is practically impossible without some guidance.

Visiting a château in Medoc – how to go on a wine tour?

Visiting a wine château in Medoc is a marvelous experience providing you with a glimpse into winemaking in one of the most prestigious wine areas in the world. Most guided visits in the wineries will start with a tour of the properties, many of which carry historic value. Often this includes the story of a wine-making family over several generations. Some châteaux also hold little art museums with family collections. Others display impressive exhibitions of art in their gardens or even in the cellars themselves. In some cases, the property won’t be very impressive but the warm welcome of the family will make it an unforgettable visit. 

Chateau Siran
Château Siran private collection – by lost in Bordeaux

The second part of the visit deals with the wine itself. You get to visit the vineyards and hear the characteristics of different types of grapes and blends. In most tours, you will continue to the cellars and see some old and new techniques of winemaking. And there’s always the fun part, the tastings, where you get to taste two or three different wines of the château. 

There are many wineries that welcome visitors to their wineries but it’s important to know that they usually require prior reservations for the tour. However, if you come spontaneously and ask to have a quick look at the property and taste some wine, many of them will happily welcome you inside (if they’re not in the middle of a tour). Don’t try to run and see tens of chateaux, there are just too many of them, just take your time to enjoy a few. I recommend visiting two or three châteaux just for the sake of comparison. 

Here are a few of my recommended wineries to visit in Medoc that are not far from Bordeaux

Chateau du Taillan (book a visit here) which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux.
Chateau d’Arsac, one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here).
Closer to Margaux itself you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here) and Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here). 
If you prefer to go on a tour with a guide, here’s a great wine tour company that will take you on a half-day tour, with two winery visits – click here for all the details.

Chateau d'Arsac
Château d’Arsac by Lost in Bordeaux

The town of Margeaux

Margaux isn’t very impressive on its own, but there are several reasons for a quick stop there during your trip. The first one is Mademoiselle de Margaux, a chocolate shop and factory with chocolates you can find only in the region. The factory was created in Margaux in 1969 and produces delicious chocolates that are inspired by wine. If you’re looking for an original present to bring back home from Medoc, this is one of the best options. Also, Margaux is home to one of the most famous châteaux in the world, Château Margaux. They don’t offer visits to individuals but you can still take a walk around some of their facilities and see the magnificent mansion through the gate. If it’s lunchtime, there are a few restaurants in the center. Remember, in France all the restaurants close for a break at 14:00 so try not to miss the lunch slot!

Pauillac

Next on our route du vin is Paulliac, one of the main wine destinations in the Bordeaux area. It’s a very nice town with a charming riverfront where you’ll find plenty of restaurants. If you want to stop for a nice meal of mussels and wine, les Moules du Cabanon on the riverfront is the perfect place. Pauillac is also home to the famous Café Lavinal, one of the most renowned dining institutions in the area. If you wish to discover the traditional food of Medoc, this is the place for you. 

Château cos d'estournel on the Bordeaux wine route
Château cos d’Estournel by Lost in Bordeaux

After lunch, head to the Tourist Office and the Maison du Vin which is located on the riverfront. Contrary to many tourist offices, this one is a very informative resource for all you can do in the area. They have recently launched a new interactive activity for kids and adults where you get to practice your wine smelling skills. They can also advise you on the closest wineries to visit in the afternoon.

Wineries to visit in Medoc – neat Pauillac

There are plenty of impressive chateaux to see in the northern area of Medoc, both in Pauillac, Saint Julien, and Saint-Estéphe. Some of the most impressive and interesting ones are Château Beychevelle, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château lamothe Bergeron (book your visit here) Château La Tour de By, Château la Tour Carnet (you can book your visit here), Château Lafon-Rochet and Château Pichon Longueville Baron. As mentioned above, many of the wineries require you to book the visits in advance.

If you have only one day to dedicate to visiting the Bordeaux wine region, you go on a tour that takes you to both Medoc and Saint Emilion – see the details here.

Château Loudenne for a special experience!

Château Loudenne was one of my favorite experiences in the region. It’s a 17th-century mansion, known as château rose, the pink house, which you get to explore during the visit.  The château is located almost at the end of the wine route and is the only château in Medoc that has a private port, with a beautiful view of the Garonne Estuary. Apart from the impressive property, they have a beautiful garden where you can take a walk after tasting their divine wine. They offer two free tours at 11 am and 2 pm during the touristic period and will welcome you without reservation when it’s less busy.

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

If you arrive for the morning visit (11am) you can spend the whole day at the château. They offer an amazing picnic basket (which you should order ahead) so if the weather is nice you can have a picnic on the river banks. There are boats that pass by the port several times a week, proposing a guided tour of the Gironde estuary. Book the boat tour on the same day as it will depend on the tide. Chateau Loudenne is open from Tuesday to Saturday, check out their contact details on their website.

Have dinner on the Port of Saint Vivien de Medoc 

The northern part of the Medoc peninsula is a magical place most travelers don’t get to see. Starting from Château Loudenne the vineyard landscape starts to change into a completely different scenario of little ports on the Gironde Estuary. Several little port villages lay between the last châteaux and Le Verdon sur Mer, the northernmost point of Medoc. One that I found especially charming was Saint Vivien de Medoc, with a cute little port with several restaurants and bars perched along the river. My favorite one was la Cabane du Port, a charming tapas bar with comfy chairs, great food, and a great view of the docking boats. The Kayak Café is also great for a more substantial meal. 

The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc
The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Visit Phare de Richard and the traditional fishing houses

Phare de Richard is an old lighthouse turned into a nice museum telling the story of the Estuary and the fishing industry around it. If you come during the opening hours you can climb to the top and see a beautiful view of the Estuary. However, the site is worth a visit even without entering the lighthouse just to see the Carrelets, the traditional fishing cabins. The site also has a very nice picnic area with a small playground for kids.

 Carrelets in Medoc
Carrelets in Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Second Day – from wine to the ocean – discovering Medoc Atlantic

Soulac Sur Mer – the Arcachon of Medoc

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region, located at the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. Soulac sur mer looks like a little Arcachon, with the city center resembling Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas have a similar architectural style of Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon (For more details about Arcachon click here). 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. While there, don’t forget to visit the amazing covered market of the region that sells all the delicacies of the area. Also, if you want to stop for a coffee, Livres Et Cornets is a cute chic cafe on the main pedestrian street. 

Soulac sur mer
Soulac sur mer by Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday Market at Montalivet les Bains

The Montalivet market is not to be missed if you happen to be there on Sunday morning. This is one of the biggest markets in the area, hosting more than 200 merchants all year long. Here you will find all the delicacies of the region, the Medoc wine, oysters from Cap Ferret and Île de Ré, cheese from the Basque country, and more. But the real attraction of the market is the oyster stands where plenty of people gather to sip white wine accompanied by this local delicacy. By 11 am it gets really crowded so try to make it as early as possible. 

The Montalivet market
The Montalivet market by Lost in Bordeaux

Due to its location on the Atlantic coast, Montalivet les Bains became a popular destination for surfers. The city center, which is located close to the main beach, looks like a typical surf resort town with plenty of surf and water equipment shops. All along the main street, restaurant owners will invite you to have a drink or lunch on their terraces. The highlight for me was the gallery café, located just in front of the market, which is both a very chic coffee place and a vintage shop. They serve delicious fresh food and it’s a perfect spot for a brunch. The address is 49 Avenue Brémontier, 33930 Vendays-Montalivet.  If you’re traveling with kids, this town can be a nice break for lunch but I didn’t find the beach very kids friendly. 

Visit Vertheuil – an old beautiful village

If you’re done with wine and the ocean (if that’s at all possible) there’s one last stop to make on the way back from your Bordeaux wine route. Vertheuil is probably one of the most charming little towns in the Medoc area. It’s located somewhere in the middle of the peninsula so it can be on your way whether you still have some wineries to visit or want to go back straight to Bordeaux.  It’s a very small village surrounding the Abbey of Vertheuil that dates back to the 12th century (and reconstructed in the 18th century). At the back of the Abbey, there’s a lovely garden with a terrace cafe and even a little playground for kids. The Abbaye of Vertheuil is open from Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoon in July and August. 

the Abbey of Vertheuil
The Abbey of Vertheuil by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re hungry there’s a nice little Italian restaurant right in the center of the village called Casa Trogarra.

Where to stay in the Medoc area?

There are plenty of accommodation options in the Medoc area, you just have to decide on the setting and view. You can spend a night in the vineyards and enjoy the calm atmosphere, sleep in gorgeous chateaux on the Route des chateaux or have a more lively vibe in the center of Soulac sur mer. Here are some good options:

Hotels in Medoc

Château de l’Isle

An exceptional bed and breakfast in a beautiful 18th-century house, located between Margaux and the two lakes of Medoc Lacanau and Hourtin. The breakfast is served outside in the beautiful garden, just next to the pool. They provide their guests with bikes so you can even enjoy a bicycle ride in the vineyards of Medoc. They have only four rooms in the chateau so try and book as early as possible. 
Book it here

Relais de Margaux

A 4 star hotel located in a beautiful 19th century chateau in the heart of the Margaux vineyards in Médoc.  The hotel has beautiful and spacious rooms and offers a spa and an outdoor pool. There’s also a golf course but it’s currently closed for renovation. 
Book it here

Sleeping in a wine Chateau

You’re travelling on the wine road so why not make your hotel part of the journey and stay in one of the wine producing chateaux that also offer accommodations? Here are some options:

Hotel Rollan de By

A beautiful 3 stars hotel located in one of the most gorgeous areas in the Medoc, between the vineyards and the Gironde Estuary. The hotel is quite close to the little ports I’ve mentioned above meaning you have a lot of options for dinner. Rollan de By is an active winery so you can have a wine tour and tastings while staying at the chateau, how great is that?
Book it here

Château du Tertre

chateau-du-Tertre
credit Chateau-du-Tertre

This is a beautiful guesthouse, located in a 19th-century mansion. The rooms are elegantly decorated and have a view of the vineyards of the estate. You also get a free tour of the château and the cellars, which are quite remarkable. This is the closest hotel to Bordeaux, so if you want to visit Bordeaux and the Medoc area without changing your accommodation, this is a great option. 
Book it here

Château La Tour Carnet

If you want to feel like you’re staying in a real castle, this is your best option. Château La Tour Carnet is a famous winery located in one of Médoc’s oldest estates, a former medieval fortress. The amazing room decorations and the setting in a 12th-century castle is an experience like no other in the Medoc area. There are only two rooms in the chateau so it’s almost private. The stay here is not cheap but it’s truly exceptional!
Book it here 

Château Pierre de Montignac 

This is a more simple and affordable place if you want to stay in a wine chateau. The rooms are comfortable and clean and you get a nice breakfast in the morning. And you even get a gift bottle as a gift 🙂
Book it here

Soulac sur mer – for a more lively stay

Au cœur de la station et de la plage 

A charming apartment in the center of Soulac sur Mer, just a few minutes walk from the main beach.
Book it here

Villa Le Cid 

A guest house in one of Soulac’s most beautiful villas. The rooms are quite simple but the house is incredible and the staff is amazing. It’s located a few minutes walk from the market of Soulac.
Book it here

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.

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.

Enjoy Medoc!!

*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 🙂 

In the last few weeks, I’ve been writing a lot about places in Gironde, rather than Bordeaux itself and that’s because I really want to encourage you to discover the amazing area we live in. Gironde is the biggest department in France and one of the most varied ones in terms of what you can see and do. In my previous articles, I’ve written about the beautiful beaches surrounding Bordeaux, the best parks around Bordeaux, and some great hiking trails in Gironde. Now that you know all about the magnificent nature we’re surrounded by, it’s time to explore some of the most charming villages in France! So today, I am taking a short break from nature to invite you on a journey to discover Gironde’s beautiful architecture and heritage. In this article, I gathered some of the most beautiful villages in Gironde. If you follow my articles, you know that I really like variety and that’s why I included towns and villages from all over the department. Beach towns on the Atlantic coast, beautiful villages in the middle of Bordeaux’s wine routes, and plenty of medieval towns in 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 take my advice and visit these beautiful villages, I’d love it if you could use the hashtag #lostinbordeaux so I can share your photos on my stories on my Instagram page Lost_in_bordeaux. Also, come and share your experiences and get plenty of new ideas for day trips in Nouvelle Aquitaine in my Facebook group – Travel in the southwest of France

*Before we start I have an important announcement! I am upgrading my newsletter and from now on I will send a weekly email with suggestions of things to do every weekend. The email will be sent on Friday! So if you want to receive cool plans for the weekend (especially during this period without obvious events taking place in Bordeaux) be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here

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

Entre deux mers and South Gironde 

I decided to start my list with the Entre Deux Mers region and the South of Gironde as they’re usually my go-to places when I’m in a 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.

Saint Macaire 

First on my list is Saint Macaire, a little medieval town located on the banks of the Garonne river, about 50km from Bordeaux. Saint Macaire is a very attractive destination for those interested in history and beautiful architecture. What today seems like a sleepy town in the Entre Deux Mers wine appellation was once an important city under British rule and was 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

Visiting Saint Macaire can be a great half-day trip if you 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. Probably the most important monument of Saint Macaire is its Eglise de Saint Sauveur et Saint-Martin. The big church, built in the 12th and 15th centuries has impressive murals that are really 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:
It’s a bit complicated to get to Saint Macaire without a car as there’s no regular direct public transportation going there from Bordeaux (there’s one train a day to Saint Macaire). 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 at 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 and 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 actually still see the cells and a small exhibition about the prison. 

Cadillac - medieval village inGironde, France

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

How to get there:
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 small medieval town 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 which 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). 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

Rions - a medieval town in the South of Gironde

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

Castelmoron d’Albret

Castelmoron d’Albret is the smallest village in France and in my opinion one of the most charming ones in the southwest of France. 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 own particularity. There are almost no signs of modern life here, no cars, no sidewalks, just a beautiful village frozen in time. There are only about 50 people living here and only three businesses operating 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 two great hiking trails that start 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 tho this village in 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. Although the town developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century, it’s 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. There are quite a few impressive houses and monuments to see in this little town, among them is the historic 12th century Town Hall, the Saint Pierre church and the Benedictine abbey, the old remparts of the city and more. Get lost in the narrow charming streets of the historic center of La Réole 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. 

La Reole a beautiful town around Bordeaux

How to get there:
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 stroll in the historic center will allow you to discover the impressive architecture of the city and its past role as an important bishopric. At the main square of the town you will find 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 actually 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 there
This is the most complicated place on my list to get to by public transport and I wouldn’t recommend doing it. If you still want to go there by public transport you can take a train from Bordeaux to Langon and then bus number 512 to Bazas. 

Before we continue to our next region I just wanted to remind you that I also share plenty of day trips ideas on my Facebook/Instagram pages, so if you’re not there yet, what are you waiting for? Like/follow me on social media and you will never be bored on a weekend again 🙂 

The right bank – Saint Emilion and Pays Blayais

Saint Emilion 

You can’t really do a list about 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 attraction for tourists in the area. 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

Blaye 

Blaye is one of the most interesting places in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km north to Bordeaux center. 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

Blaye is also well known for its red wine which honestly is really excellent and very 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 there?
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. Beware that masks are currently required onboard the ferry.  There are also several bus lines going to Blaye – check all the info here

Bourg

Bourg (Previously called Bourg sur Gironde) is a picturesque village at the heart of the wine appellation of Côtes de Bourg located at the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers. Bourg has played a key role in the region’s history, it was built in Roman times, fortified by the English and visited by several kings, such as Louis XIV in 1650. Just like its neighboring town of Blaye, Bourg too has a very impressive citadel called Château de la Citadelle. While it’s not one of the main tourist destinations in the Medoc area, those who do get to visit this beautiful place, quickly fall in love with it. Apart from the citadel, the historic part of the city also has a cute central square with restaurants and shops, the market takes place every Sunday.

Bourg - a beautiful day trip from Bordeaux

Bourg is however quite known for its great Côtes de Bourg wine! Don’t miss a visit to the Maison des Vins des Côtes de Bourg, 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 prior to your visit. 

How to get there:
Two bus lines of TransGironde (201, 202) from Lormont pass through Bourg. However, unless you live or stay on rive 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. 

Arcachon and Medoc

L’herbe

L’herbe is a traditional oyster farming village located on the Cap Ferret Peninsula. Here you won’t find the characteristics of a 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 walk between the colorful cabins of oyster farmers and see them in action on their special workboats. If you like oysters, you’re going to love this place. Plenty of oyster restaurants are spread along the beach serving only the freshest oysters, pork paté and white wine. This is a perfect destination for a sunny half-day trip from Bordeaux, or a full day trip if you add a visit 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 on the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon 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 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 on the Atlantic ocean and a view of the eastern side of the Bassin. Apart from its dreamy beaches it’s also known for its ostréiculture industry, which produces some of the best oysters in France. Dozens of oyster cabins and restaurants with a view on the Bassin give Cap-Ferret a unique character that’s worth a visit. If you want to really 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, one of them is Bike rental Cap Gyro (7 Boulevard de la Plage, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret).

How to get there:
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, 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”. Its city center resembles Ville d’été while 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 shrimps.

Soulac sur mer - a beautiful village in Medoc, France

Every year 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. 

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

If you missed my announcement from the beginning of the post I will repeat it again because I think it’s so cool 🙂 I am upgrading my newsletter and from now on I will send a weekly email with suggestions of things to do every weekend. The email will be sent on Friday mornings! So if you want to recieve cool plans for the weekend (especially during this period without obvious events taking place in Bordeaux) be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here!

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.

When staying for more than a weekend in the area, many tourists are looking for day trips from Bordeaux. And rightly so, as Gironde (Bordeaux’s department) is one of the most fascinating areas in France, rich with beaches, beautiful villages, nature and heritage. There are plenty of beautiful locations around Bordeaux and some are even accessible by public transport. Thus, in order to help those who don’t want to rent a car, I gathered a list of the 10 best day trips from Bordeaux you can do by train.

* If you do rent a car you have much more options for day trips around Bordeaux – check out my article about day trips with a car.

Before we start, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay
A weekend in Medoc- Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
You can also join my Facebook group “Travel in the southwest of France” where many enthusiasts of the region share their recommendations for places to visit and things to do in the southwest of France.

All the tickets to the suggested destinations can be bought directly at the Gare Saint Jean train station in Bordeaux. The only one I would recommend ordering ahead of time is Angouleme, only because it’s on the direct line to Paris and the tickets might be expensive if you buy them last minute at the train station. So let’s start discovering the Bordeaux area by train with this list of the 10 best day trips around Bordeaux.

Arcachon and Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat
Dune du Pilat by: 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. The town is divided into four districts, named after the four seasons. Ville d’Été, covering the touristic center, main beach, restaurants and boutiques. Ville d’Hiver – the historic center adorned with glamorous 19th century villas. Ville de Printemps in the west is closer to the most beautiful and less crowded beaches and Ville d’Automne is the amazing port area of Arcachon packed with great sea food restaurants. 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. Words can’t describe how impressive this sand monster is, you’ll have to climb it to fully appreciate its beauty.
For more info: www.arcachon.com
*If you want to learn more about Arcachon check out my guide to what to do and eat in the Arcachon.

How to get there by train? There is a direct train to the center of Arcachon from the Gare Saint Jean train station (or Pessac train station). To continue to Dune du Pilat, take bus number 1 from the train station in Arcachon. The train leaves Bordeaux every 30 minutes from 6 am to 11:30 pm.

Saint Émilion

Day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion by lost in Bordeaux

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous wine related day trip out of 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 Emilion is mostly famous for its wines, with four appellations d’origine controlee (AOC) – Saint Émilion, Saint Émilion Grand Cru, Lussac Saint Émilion and Puisseguin Saint Émilion. A visit to one of the châteaux and participating in some wine tasting is a “must” when coming to the area. If you’re having a hard time choosing a wine château for a visit, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

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. Check out the tourist office’s website for all the information about châteaux in the Saint Émilion area – http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/

How to get there by train? You can get to Saint Emilion by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. There’s a 15 minutes walk from the station to the city center.

Another option is to take a guided tour that picks you up from Bordeaux and brings you to Saint-Emilion and back. Here are some of the best guided tours from Bordeaux to Saint-Emilion:

La Réole

day tip from Bordeaux to La Reole
La Réole – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Réole is a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne river about 50 km from Bordeaux. Although the town developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century, it’s 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. Get lost in the narrow charming streets of the historic center of La Réole and let the beautiful architecture take you back in time.
For more info: http://www.lareole.fr/

How to get there by train? It takes about 40 minutes to get from Bordeaux to La Réole train station. The train leaves from Gare Saint Jean every two hours.

Wine tasting in Margaux

Visiting châteaux in the Médoc area is definitely easier by car, but if you prefer going by train that’s totally doable. You can always do this day trip the DIY way. A train from Bordeaux will bring you to the center of Margaux in the Haut Médoc wine making region. Margaux is also the name of one of the most famous wine appellation d’origine which includes châteaux in the village itself and several villages around it. Some of the wine châteaux are within a walking distance from the train station allowing you to have the route du vin experience without renting a car.

*If you do rent a car you should check out my article about a two-day itinerary in the Medoc wine region.

Here are the names of several recommended wine châteaux which are close to the train station (all require prior reservation):

  • Château Marquis de Terme: 3 Route de Rauzan, 33460 Margaux – you can book your visit here.
  • Château Ferriere: 33bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux- Book your visit here.
  • Château Les Barraillots: 4 Rue Corneillan, 33460 Margaux
  • Château Lascombes: 1 Cours de Verdun, 33460 Margaux

The beautiful Château Margaux is only a 25 minutes walk from the train station. Unfortunately their tours are only open to professionals but you can walk around the winery, see the beautiful vines and take photos of the famous chateau.

For more info: https://www.margaux-tourisme.com/

How to get there by public transport: There’s a train leaving Bordeaux to Margaux every couple of hours.

Saint Macaire

This is not a familiar destination to most people visiting Bordeaux, but it’s definitely worth a day trip. Saint Macaire is a medieval city located some 50 km from Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne river. In the 13th and 14th centuries Saint Macaire was one of the most prosperous cities in Aquitaine due to its significant agricultural and trade activities. This charming town with its narrow streets and beautiful old houses is a great place for those looking to get a sense of the region’s heritage.

Saint Macaire is also well known for its white wine. Guided tours are organized by the tourist office, including tastings of the Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire wines. It’s really worth visiting Saint Macaire at the end of August when the Fêtes médiévales takes place and the little town is getting very lively with amazing costumes, music, medieval games and more.
For more info: https://www.tourisme-sud-gironde.com/patrimoine/notre-territoire/saint-macaire/

How to get there by public transport? You can get to Saint Macaire by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. In the middle of the week, however, the train leaves very early in the morning and the next one leaves only in the evening. Several trains are running between Bordeaux and Saint Macaire on Saturdays so this is the recommended day to go if you want to get there by public transport. A more flexible option would be to get to Langon, from which there are more frequent trains from Bordeaux and then take a taxi (it’s a 10 minutes ride from Langon). Or if you have a bike you can take it with you on the train to Langon and then ride about 15 minutes to Saint Macaire.

Libourne

day trip to libourne
Libourne by Lost in Bordeaux

Libourne is a beautiful town located at the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers. The city was founded as a Bastide town in the 13th century and has been for many years an important port city central to the wine and wood trade done on the river. Surrounded by some of the world’s most renowned wine labels such as Saint Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac, it used to play an important role in the economy of the region. While it’s not as attractive as Bordeaux, it’s the main city in northern Gironde and it’s rich with history and beautiful architecture.

Due to its location, many people see it as a wine destination from which you can visit the numerous chateaux in the area. But this city has more to offer and is worth a separate visit. You can start your visits at Place Abel-Surchamp, the main square of the city hosting the outdoor market every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This is one of the main markets in the area, attracting people from all the little towns around Libourne. It’s recommended to visit the city on one of the market days as it really lifts the atmosphere. You can see a lot of interesting buildings on the little streets leading to the main square, some worth mentioning are Rue Victor Hugo and Rue Fonneuve. Don’t forget to take a walk on the beautiful quais of the Isle river.
For more info: http://www.tourisme-libournais.com/

How to get there by train? There’s a train from Bordeaux to Libourne every 20-30 minutes.

Sainte Foy la Grande

Sainte-Foy-la-Grande
Sainte-Foy-la-Grande by Lost in Bordeaux

This beautiful bastide town, situated in the north east of Gironde, is one of the most charming towns in the Libournais area. The Dordogne river runs through the town, unusual for bastides which are typically situated on hilltops. Many of the buildings in the center of this medieval town date back to the 15th century and give St. Foy la Grande it’s charming look. It’s a small lively town with little cafés on the main central Place du Marché square. Although it’s not a very touristy destination it does get quite busy during Saturday’s market. The market is one of the biggest in the area and it’s the recommended day to visit Sainte Foy la Grande. If you want to spend the whole day there you can cross the river to the other side and visit a small river beach called Plage des Bardoulets.
For more info: http://www.tourisme-dordogne-paysfoyen.com/

How to get there by train? It takes about an hour by train from Saint Jean station to Sainte Foy la Grande.

Gujan-Mestras

Gujan-Mestras is a little town known as the capital of oyster farming on the Bassin d’Arcachon. It has seven oyster ports which you can visit and watch oyster farmers work. You can even join one of the farmers and take part in their work for a few hours. Find the list of farmers providing that experience on the tourist office website. One “must” stop is the “Maison de Huitre”, an interactive museum where you discover everything about oyster farming. And finally, don’t forget to taste the freshest oysters in one of the cabanes along the coast line, many of which are located at the famous Port de Larros. If you’re planning to spend the whole day there, check out the Plage de la Hume. For more info on what to do in
Gujan-Mestras check out: https://www.gujanmestras.com

How to get there by train? Gujan-Mestras is one of the stations on the way from Bordeaux to Arcachon. The train leaves every 30 minutes from Bordeaux Saint Jean or Pessac Centre stations.

Visit Châteaux in Bordeaux by tram or bus

Many people are looking for châteaux in the Médoc region or next to Saint Emilion, but actually there are some famous châteaux in Bordeaux metropole and you can easily reach them by tram or by bus.

Some of the more familiar ones are:
Château Pape Clément in Pessac
Take line B to Pessac Centre and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take a direct bus from Place Tourny in Bordeaux (line 4). You can book the tour online – just click here.

Château Haut brion in Pessac
You can reach it by bus 4 from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.


Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc
You can reach it by bus 5N from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.


Château Saint Ahon In Blanquefort
Take line C to the Blanquefort train station and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take bus 29 from the Blanquefort train station.
For more info click here.
All of them have amazing wine and are beautiful destinations, be sure to make reservations before you go.

Angoulême

One of the biggest cities in the south west region is Angoulme. The town is located on a plateau overlooking the Charente river, attracting many tourists thanks to its beautiful historic center and vibrant cultural life. Stroll the streets to explore the historic part of the city and the beautiful boulevards with their view on the original ramparts. It’s a vibrant city with plenty of cafes and restaurants, a big market, museums and historic monuments worth visiting. It’s also famous for its comics festival taking places in January and its interesting comics museum. You can admire the comics art by just strolling the streets. There are 20 murals of comics and illustrations on buildings in almost every neighborhood around the city. Discover the best murals in my article about street art in Angouleme.
For more info: http://www.angouleme-tourisme.com/

How to get there by train? The TGV train to Paris stops in Angouleme, so even though it’s located 130 km from Bordeaux, you can still get there from Bordeaux in about 35 minutes.

If you have more time and you’re looking for a weekend destination to go to by train check out my two posts about things to do in Biarritz and in Cognac.

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share a lot of info about the area – sign up here.

*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 🙂 

Le Week-end Portes Ouvertes (open doors weekend) in Médoc is an annual event that officially starts the tourist season in the wine region of southwest France.  This year the Medoc open doors weekend is taking place on April 8-10, and it’s a perfect opportunity to discover the beautiful wine region and taste a lot of wine. Also, if you’re planning to go to Medoc at any other time, here are a few wineries (located close to Bordeaux) that I recommend visiting: Chateau du Taillan (book a visit here) which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux. Chateau d’Arsac, one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here). Closer to Margaux you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here) and Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here).

Winery in Medoc, Bordeaux

If you want to discover this beautiful region beyond the wine, you can also read my article about a weekend in the Medoc region where I talk about beaches, beautiful villages, wineries, and all the other wonders of this part of Gironde.

Around 80 wine châteaux from eight different AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) usually participate in the Portes Ouvertes weekend:  MEDOC, HAUT MEDOC, PAUILLAC, SAINT ESTEPHE,  SAINT JULIEN, LISTRAC, MOULIS and MARGAUX. The AOC is the French certification for geographical indications of agricultural products such as wine and cheeses. Click here to see which châteaux are participating in the event.

While wine is still at the heart of the event, today the various chateaux try to attract visitors with additional activities such as music, workshops, food, art expos, and games for kids. If you don’t have a specific winery (château) in mind you can choose one according to the proposed activities. I gathered a list of activities to help you choose one:

Fine dining

Wines are not the only product the Médoc region does well, it is also famous for its gastronomic specialties, such as: l’agneau de Pauillac (Pauillac lamb), l’entrecôte cuite aux sarments (entrecote cooked with wine shoots), les chocolats de Mademoiselle de Margaux and more. In addition to in-house restaurants, some of the chateaux offer gourmet markets, food trucks, and bars. So, besides tasting great wine you are guaranteed to have a great culinary experience.  Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the ones offering dining options.

Art in the Châteaux

Some of the châteaux will host exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, and photographs of both local and international artists. Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the exhibitions displayed in every château.

Visiting with kids

Some châteaux try to make it a family-friendly event by proposing activities to entertain your kids while you are tasting wine. Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the activities they propose.

Some of the châteaux require a prior reservation for the wine tastings and cellar tours, so if you found a château you would like to discover this weekend, hurry up and make a reservation by email or phone.

If you’re coming to Bordeaux, especially for this occasion, be sure to check up my list of recommended hotels in Bordeaux center.

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

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

*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’m so excited to write this article because it’s the first time in two years that I finally get to include some of my favorite summer events in Bordeaux. Events like Bordeaux Open Air, Dansons sur les Quais and La Bataille de Castillon are back and you don’t want to miss them! As usual, most of this list includes specific events, so if you want to see fun places to visit during the summer, check out the article about the best things to do during summer in Bordeaux. Also, I update about many more events taking place every weekend in Bordeaux in my newsletter, so don’t forget to subscribe to my email list if you’re not on it yet. 

If it’s your first time 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. This time the list is long so I divided the list to things to do in Bordeaux and things to do in Gironde and other parts of SW. Let’s start!

What to do in July 2022 in Bordeaux Metropole? 

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. The first event this summer will take place on July 3rd at Parc aux Angéliques. For more details and the full summer program click here.

Bordeaux open air festival in Jardin Public
Bordeaux open-air festival by Lost in Bordeaux
When:  July 3, 17, 24  and August 7,  21, 28 Sept 11, 18 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

Vibrations Urbaines Festival

This is the 25th edition of the annual festival, Vibrations Urbaines, organized by the city of Pessac. The program is really cool and includes events like an international BMX contest, a skating contest, a hip hop dance battle, urban sports, workshops, street art exhibitions and more. The festival is taking place on July 5-10 at the Bellegrave sport complex in Pessac. See all the events on the website or facebook page of the festival.

When: July 5-10 / Where:  Pessac (see specific locations in the program)

Initial Festival

For the first time Bordeaux is going to host one of the biggest electronic music festivals in France. Initial Festival will take place on July 9-10 at the Parc des Expositions. The long program includes 3 stages and 28 artists that will make you dance non-stop for two days. See more details here and for tickets click here

When:  July 9-10 / Where: Parc des Expositions, Bordeaux

Dance on the Quai

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dancing genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events will take place on the quai almost daily on July 14-31. Many of the lessons and events this year require prior reservation, for more details and the full program see here.

When:  July 14 – 31 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Zinefest

Zinefest is a festival dedicated to comics, illustrations, photography, and poetry. The festival includes several expositions and concerts by both French and international artists and will take place in several venues in the south of Bordeaux. Check out the full program of events here.

When: June 25 – July 9/ Where: Different locations next to Marché des Douves in Bordeaux Sud (check out the program).

Jalles House Rock

Le Jalles House Rock is one of the biggest rock festivals in Gironde that annually proposes a rich program of local and international acts. The goal of the festival is to share the love for rock music with as many people as possible and that’s why the entrance is free (they do however encourage you to donate to the Estran association that organizes the event). This year the festival in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles takes place on July 7-9. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: July 7-9 / Where: 1, chemin de Cantelaude, 33160 Saint-Médard-en-Jalles

Summer sales

Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, and more. This summer Les Soldes d’été will take place from June 22 to July 19.

Celebrate the French National Day

July 14th is the French national day which is celebrated in every city in France. Like every year, Bordeaux will hold a series of popular events and parties. Apart from the traditional national day events, plenty of other parties will take place on July 13-14 in many parts of Gironde to celebrate this day. Follow my social media for updates about specific events. 

Les Nouvelles Saisons – music festival

Les Nouvelles Saisons is a classic music festival taking place in Bordeaux on July 14-21 at Cour Mably, la Cathédrale de Bordeaux and the main library of Bordeaux. The festival was created by the violoncellist Jeremy Genet and the composer Christian Lauba offering a great variety of musical styles (baroque, romantic, modern, and more). For more details and tickets click here.

When: July 14-21 / Where: Different location in Bordeaux

Talence Estival

Talence Estival is a series of fun events, taking place every Friday from June 24 to August 26 at the Peixotto park in Talence. It’s a chill event with a concert and some food trucks and many families coming to start their weekend in a fun way 🙂  For more info click here.

Talence - Parc Peixotto
Talence – Parc Peixotto – by Lost in Bordeaux

When: Every Friday from June 24 – August 26 / Where: Peixotto park, Talence

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events and activities. More than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus and gastronomy  will take place between July 16 and August 28. These events are so widely spread across the metropolitan area of Bordeaux that you are guaranteed to discover places (especially parks) that you have never heard of before. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from July 16 to August 28/ Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Braderie d’été

Every summer the main streets of Bordeaux are getting filled with stands of clothes, shoes, toys, house supplies and more – this is the Bordeaux summer Braderie. If you’re in town for winter sales take the opportunity to check out the stands of more than 250 merchants on rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils. The Braderie will take place on July 21-23. For more details click here.

When: July 21-23 / Where: Center of Bordeaux: rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils

Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars

Plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are surging all over the city starting the end of May/beginning of June. Some are more posh and chic, others simple and chill but they are all super fun to hang out in during the summer in Bordeaux. Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Les Planches Éphémères summer bar 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.

When: Daily during July – August at 16:00 / Where: Parc Bordelais

What do in July in Gironde and other parts of SW France? 

Festival Garorock

One of the biggest music festivals in our region is about to take place on June 30 – July 3 in Marmande (about an hour drive from Bordeaux). Garorock is an international festival with 5 big stages that will host more than 50 French and international artists. For more info and tickets click here.

When:  June 30 – July 3 / Where: Plaine de la Filhole, 47200 Marmande

If you want to discover other festivals taking place in the region, check out my post about the best music festivals around Bordeaux.

Festival Rues et Vous

Rue et Vous is a performance arts festival that takes place every year in the charming villages of Rions, Virelade, and Cerons. This year the festival will take place on July 7-10 and will include a rich program of theater, dance, cirque, and music shows for both adults and kids. For tickets and the full program check out the website of the festival.

When: July 7-10 / Where: Rions, Virelade, and Cerons

Baroque Festival 

Festes Baroques is a Baroque music festival taking place at different wine chateaux in South Gironde. So if you want to enjoy wine, beautiful music and some of the most interesting patrimony in this region, this event is for you. The event will take place from June 28 to July 12. See more details here

When: June 28- July 12 / Where: Different chateaux in South Gironde

Summer of Music in Medoc

Les Estivales de Musique en Medoc is the only music festival in France dedicated exclusively to young laureates of international competitions.  The festival was created in 2003 to discover new talents in classical music. The concerts are hosted in some of the most prestigious châteaux in the Medoc area and are followed by wine tastings. The concerts will take place from June 29 to July 15. See the full program here.

When:  June 30 – July 15 / Where: Different locations, see program above

If you want to combine it with a trip to the Medoc region here’s my article about a weekend in Medoc

Music O Teich

Music O Teich is a fun event taking place every year at the port of Le Teich in Bassin d’Arcachon. This year it will take place on July 14-17 and will include a big creators market and free concerts every night. For more info click here

When: July 14-17 Where: 33470 Le Teich, Aquitaine, France

For more places to visit around the Bay of Arcachon, check out my article about a day trip to Arcachon

Festival Les Plages Pop – the event is canceled

A magical pop festival will take place at Le Canon village in the Cap Ferret peninsula. A free music festival, taking place in one of the most charming villages in Arcachon. See all the details here

When: July 19 – 20/  Where: Place Ubeda – Village du Canon, Lège Cap-Ferret
Le Canon - Cap Ferret

Les Escapades Musicales

Les Escapades Musicales is a big classical music festival taking place in different natural and historic sites around the Bassin d’Arcachon. During five weeks (from June 23 – to July 23) plenty of international musicians will take part in this festival, aiming to concert the unique sites of Arcachon with the elegancy of classical music. See the program here

When: June 23 – July 23 / Where: Different locations around Arcachon 

Andernos Jazz Festival 

One of the best Jazz festivals in the Gironde region will take place on July 29-31 in Andernos les Bains. 18 concerts will take place in four different scenes in this beautiful town on Arcachon Bay.  For more details about Andernos Jazz Festival click here and the full program here

When: July 29-31/ Where: the center of Andernos les Bains

Durassic Festival

An electronic festival will take place in one of the most beautiful castles in our region, Chateau de Duras. The event will take place on July 15-17. For more details and tickets click here

When:  July 15-17 / Where: Chateau de Duras

A beautiful 4D show on Chateau de Duras

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the summer (July 3rd to August 30) the beautiful chateau of Duras is hosting an amazing 4D spectacle where they screen the history of the chateau and a fun story for kids at the end. The show is really well done and the location itself makes the drive from Bordeaux well worth it. The show starts at 22:30 but If you’ve never visited the chateau before, make sure to come earlier in the day so you’ll have the chance to visit the rooms and see the stunning view from the top. See more details here

When:  July and August / Where: Chateau de Duras

La Bataille de Castillon

La Bataille de Castillon is a spectacle taking place during the course of several weeks in the summer, replicating the famous fight from 1453. Castillon-la-Bataille, the town where the show takes place also hosts many activities and events revolving around the big show: tours of the city, exhibitions, and workshops of medieval art, and more. For more info and tickets click here.

When: July 21 – August 20 / Where: Association 1453, Mairie de Castillon, 33350 CASTILLON-LA-BATAILLE

Jazz in Marciac

Marciac is a nice little village in the Gers department (about 2 hours drive from Bordeaux) that hosts one of the biggest Jazz festivals in the region. The festival takes place for three weeks (from July 22 to August 6) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. The tickets are sold separately to each and every concert. Check out the full program here

When: July 22 to August 6 / Where: Marciac

Jazz in Sanguinet

Another cool festival this weekend (July 20-24) will take place in Sanguinet, just next to the Biscarrosse lake. This is a fun event with plenty of concerts and exhibitions. For more info click here

When: July 20-24 / Where: Espace Gemme, Avenue du Born, 40460 SANGUINET

Festival Musicalarue

The Musicalarue is a big music festival taking place every year in Luxey (about an hour drive from Bordeaux), this year the festival will be taking place on July 29-31.  You can see the lineup and all the other details here

When: July 29-31 / Where: Luxey

Nuits Atypiques Festival

This multidisciplinary festival in south Gironde has been taking place every summer since 1992.  From June 3 to July 23, more than 20 events will take place in different towns of south Gironde. The program includes a variety of activities such as concerts, theater, films, and more. Check out the full program here.

When:  July 3- July 23 / Where: South Gironde- check out the exact location of every event in the program

Exhibitions 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

Venise, la Sérénissime – Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières is hosting yet another 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

Rosa Bonheur Exhibition

This summer the Bordeaux fine arts museum is hosting a beautiful exhibition to Rosa Bonheur. The exhibition is taking  place at Galerie du musée et aile nord du musée des Beaux-Arts from May 18 to September 18. See more details here

When: from May 18 to September 18 / Where:  20 Cr d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, that will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visits in Bordeaux. To help you to 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 choose your preferred location.

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

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group