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Discover Bordeaux’s rich history and stunning architecture on this walking tour. From the elegant riverfront to the fancy Triangle d’Or district and the iconic Grand Théâtre, you’ll explore the city’s transformation through the ages, concluding near the ancient Porte Dijeaux with recommendations for the best local food stores and restaurants.

Why should you take Lost in Bordeaux’s audio tour?

Bonjour! My name is Ira, and I founded Lost in Bordeaux in 2018, shortly after moving here and falling in love with the city and its region. After exploring every corner of Bordeaux, I created this tour to share my unique perspective with you. Today, Bordeaux is considered one of France’s most elegant cities, but it wasn’t always this way. On this tour, you’ll discover how Bordeaux transformed into a beautiful gem in the 18th century. I’ll guide you to Bordeaux’s most stunning monuments and share my favorite spots, including many food shops and restaurants. Learn about Bordeaux’s fascinating history and its rich gastronomic and wine heritage.

Center of Bordeaux

What are self-guided GPS audio tours?

Classic Bordeaux is a GPS audio walking tour, similar to listening to a podcast about the place you’re visiting. It’s much more affordable than a guided tour, and you can do it at your own pace. After purchasing, download the tour, put on your headphones, and start exploring—even if your phone is offline.

What will you visit on this tour?

  • Learn about the golden age of Bordeaux and its significance as a major port city.
  • Discover the city’s medieval past and its transformation during the 18th century.
  • Splash in Bordeaux’s stunning water mirror.
  • Hear tales of the influential figures who shaped Bordeaux’s history and architecture.
  • Taste Bordeaux’s beloved pastry, the canelés in one of the best places in the city.
Bordeaux Audio tour mockup

For more information go to the Classic Bordeaux – Audio Tour official page.

If you’re traveling to the Olympics this year, carve out some time to explore France before or after the games. Paris is incredible, but there’s so much more to France. I recommend visiting Bordeaux, the stunning capital of the southwest of France. If you decide to make it a road trip, here are a few charming places to stop between Paris and Bordeaux. Each destination offers a unique experience with delightful activities, great restaurants, and cozy hotels for a restful night. Enjoy the journey through these picturesque stops between two bustling cities.

Where to stop between Paris and Bordeaux – plan your road trip

Blois and Château de Chambord

Located just 2 hours from Paris and easily accessible by train, Blois is a key town in the Loire Valley. This city is steeped in history, showcased at the Royal Château de Blois and its captivating sound and light show, held from April to September. Blois also boasts other cultural treasures like the House of Magic, the Foundation of Doubt, and the ever-changing art on the Denis-Papin staircase. A short drive from Blois takes you to the iconic Renaissance Château de Chambord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest castle in the Loire Valley.”

I recommend sleeping in La Maison du Carroir, which is a lovely B&B located in central Blois.

Amboise 

Amboise is a captivating town along the Loire River, ideally positioned between Paris and Bordeaux. Its charm lies in its rich history and stunning landscapes. The Royal Château of Amboise is a must-visit, housing the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci. Nearby, the Château du Clos Lucé, where da Vinci spent his final years, now serves as a museum showcasing his life and inventions. You can book your tickets here.

The town is known for its picturesque streets, vibrant cafes, and local markets. Don’t miss the Château Gaillard, a lesser-known gem with beautiful Renaissance gardens. For wine enthusiasts, Amboise offers delightful wine-tasting experiences, especially at Caves Ambacia. Amboise is a perfect stop for exploring historical landmarks and enjoying the serene beauty of the Loire Valley​. From Amboise, you can also take a fun guided day trip to the surrounding chateaux.

There are many great hotels in Ambois near the city center, like the B&B Le Clos de la Commanderie or Chambres D’hôtes Les Ambaciales

Chinon

Chinon, located in the Indre-et-Loire department of Centre-Val de Loire, is a charming and historically significant town on the banks of the Vienne River. Renowned for its rich history, Chinon features notable Renaissance châteaux, including the Royal Fortress of Chinon, a prominent historical landmark offering insights into the region’s royal past. Visitors can explore Chinon’s old town, enjoy scenic bike rides along the river, and indulge in the town’s vibrant cultural life, including local markets and cozy cafés. 

Chinon is also famed for its wine region, producing some of the finest wines in the Loire Valley. Notable wineries such as Cave Monplaisir offer a chance to sample the region’s celebrated wines. Another recommended winery in Chinon is Pierre & Bertrand Couly. With its blend of history, culture, and viticulture, Chinon is one of the best places to stop between Paris and Bordeaux.

You can stay at the lovely B&B Domaine de Givré situated on a 15th-century estate, The highly recommended Au Relais Saint Maurice, or at the cute Hôtel Rive Sud. 

Angles-sur-l’Anglin

Angles-sur-l’Anglin is a picturesque village nestled along the river Anglin, making it a serene stop between Paris and Bordeaux. Known for its medieval charm and well-preserved architecture, this village is labeled as one of the most beautiful villages in France

Angles sur l'Anglin one of the best places to stop between Paris and Bordeaux
The castle of Angles sur l’Anglin – by Lost in Bordeaux

Its most impressive landmark is the 12th-century Angles-sur-l’Anglin Castle (or its ruins to be precise), a rocky outcrop overlooking the village. Visitors can wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with timber-framed houses, visit art galleries showcasing local talent, or simply relax by the tranquil river banks. Angles-sur-l’Anglin promises a delightful blend of history, art, and natural beauty.

You can sleep in La Ligne, a great B&B t with its great breakfast, or the fabulous Montenaut guest house that sits in a 12th-century castle. 

Valencay

Located in the Indre department at the heart of the Loire Valley, Valençay is famous for the magnificent Château de Valencay. Once a residence of French royalty, including Napoleon’s foreign minister, the château boasts beautifully furnished rooms, expansive gardens, and a fascinating museum. The Château is open for visitors all year round, offering an exciting tour, punctuated with fun activities for children inside and in the gardens, such as the small farm and animal park with deer in the wild. During the summer season, you can take a candlelit tour of the castle, led by costumed actors.

The city has some other attractions you can visit, such as The Musee de l’Automobile, which showcases a remarkable collection of vintage cars, and of course, be sure to enjoy the local wine and Valencay’s well-known goat cheese (called Le Valencay)! 

For the night, stay over at the B&B Aux Portes du Château, or Villa Esperanza, both Situated just near the Château de Valencay.

Poitiers

Located halfway between Paris and Bordeaux, Poitiers, which is known as the “Ville aux cent clochers” (City of Hundred Bell Towers), is a perfect place to visit. The city’s historic center is full of ancient ruins, medieval palaces, and museums, such as the Poitiers Cathedral and the iconic Notre-Dame-la-Grande church. 

Poitiers, Église Notre-Dame la Grande
Église Notre-Dame la Grande in Poitriers. Credit: PMRMaeyaert

I recommend visiting Îlot Tison, the city’s renewed park, located on the banks of the Clain. It is the green lung of the city that offers lots of cultural events and activities. When the weather is good, you can swim at the natural swimming pool, try canoeing or paddling, and visit la Guinguette Pictave. You can read more about the water activities here

One of Poitiers’ main attractions is the Futuroscope theme park, located about a 20-minute drive from Poitiers, and there’s a direct train from! The park is open daily from February to October, on weekends during November and December. See all your ticket options here.  For more info about the park and accommodations near it, you can check my article “The best theme and amusement parks in Southwest France”.

For accommodation near the city center, I recommend Logis Hôtel de l’Europe or Hôtel Mercure Poitiers Centre. If you prefer a more luxurious experience, a bit far from the center, there is the 4-star hotel Chateau du Clos de la Ribaudiere

Saint Benoît du Sault

Located in the heart of the Val-de-Loire region atop a granite outcrop overlooking the Portefeuille River, Saint-Benoît-du-Sault enchants visitors as one of France’s designated Most Beautiful Villages. Its winding cobbled streets invite leisurely exploration, revealing the village’s timeless charm. Dominating the skyline is the Romanesque Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, a testament to its medieval heritage. Nearby, the ruins of the Château de Brosse monastery add to the area’s historical allure. Saint-Benoît-du-Sault is a great place to an interesting and easy stop between Paris and Bordeaux. captivating destination for history and culture enthusiasts alike.

For accommodation, I recommend Les chambres Fleuries, a cozy and quiet B&B. 

Coulon – Marais Poitevin

Nestled on the northern edge of the Marais Poitevin, famously dubbed ‘the Green Venice’ for its network of serene canals and waterways, Coulon stands as the bustling capital of this unique region. Originally a Gallo-Roman estate that evolved into a thriving rural town by the 11th century, Coulon today beckons visitors to explore its tranquil marshlands by renting a boat or canoe. Navigating the intricate maze of waterways is made accessible with maps provided at the docks, though guided tours offer an alternative for those seeking expert insight into this 

Coulon - Marais Poitevin - a great place on the road from Paris to Bordeaux
Coulon – Marais Poitevin – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to stay the night in the region, Hotel au Marais, is a cute place located alongside the Sèvre Niortaise Canal. Another lovely opinion in the center of Coulon is Logis Le Central

Saintes 

Nestled on the serene banks of the Charente River, Saintes is a charming ancient town renowned for its rich Roman heritage. Visitors can explore remarkable archaeological sites such as the iconic Arch of Germanicus, a testament to Roman engineering, and the well-preserved Gallo-Roman amphitheater. Another highlight is the Abbaye-aux-Dames, founded in 1047, which now serves as a cultural hub known as the Cité de la Musique. This impressive monument hosts a variety of musical activities for both children and adults, including guided tours and educational programs starting in March. Annually, the Abbaye hosts a classical music festival, attracting renowned artists for a weekend of enchanting performances.

Abbaye-aux-Dames in Saintes
Abbay aux Dames in Saintes – by Lost in Bordeaux

Hôtel Des Messagerie is a good hotel in the city center.  Another great option is to take a room at the Abbaye itself (Les Chambres de l’Abbaye).

Cognac

Located in the South West of France, not far from Saintes, Cognac is a great place to visit if you are traveling between Bordeaux and Paris. Cognac is, of course, known for its luxurious spirit but beyond its renowned distilleries, the city offers lots of other things to see and do. The charming Old City has impressive architecture, great local cuisine, and warm hospitality. You can discover the art of cognac-making, tasting, and blending with tours at esteemed distilleries like Hennessy, Meukow, and Camus. Check out my article “Top 10 things to do in Cognac” in case you decide to stop there. 

There are many recommended hotels in the center of Cognac, such as Logis des Tourelles, Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa or the more simple Hôtel Quai des Pontis.

That’s it for my list of the best places to stop between Paris in Bordeaux! Enjoy the Olympic season and I hope that you get the chance to discover at least a few sports along this beautiful road trip!

When you choose Bordeaux as your travel destination, its famous wine region is likely one of the main attractions. Visiting wineries is a must, but staying in a vineyard hotel elevates the experience to something truly special. If that sounds appealing, keep reading to find the best places to stay in the Bordeaux wine region.

Around Bordeaux, you’ll find an array of fantastic wine hotels. Cozy spots nestled in the vineyards, run by passionate winemakers eager to share their craft. This experience doesn’t have to be luxurious or expensive. My list includes everything from five-star hotels to family-owned B&Bs. Each offers stunning views and welcoming staff, ensuring an unforgettable stay. For more articles about visiting wineries in Bordeaux click here. Let’s start.

Luxury accommodation in the vineyards of Bordeaux

Les Sources de Caudalie – the Pessac Leognan wine appellation

If you’re ready to splurge on a heavenly stay, Les Sources de Caudalie is perfect. Nestled in the luxurious Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyards, this property blends rustic charm with modern comfort, thanks to owners Alice and Jérôme Tourbier. Each suite is uniquely designed with antique furniture and mood lighting.

You won’t need to leave for good food, as the hotel offers a two-star Michelin restaurant, a bistro, a bar, and a grocery store. For an unforgettable experience, enjoy wine tastings, spa treatments, bike rides, and kid-friendly forest adventures. For a sophisticated yet cozy atmosphere in the stunning Pessac-Léognan area, Les Sources de Caudalie is the place to be –  book your stay here.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Hôtel & Restaurant Lalique in Sauternes 

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey offers the perfect blend of vineyard charm and golfing elegance. This five-star hotel also features a Michelin-starred restaurant, making it a top destination. One of the highlights is the warm welcome from the “Maitresse de Maison,” who tailors each guest’s stay to their preferences. This personalized touch ensures a memorable experience.

Le Grand Noble, the Michelin-starred restaurant designed by Mario Botta, offers not only gourmet cuisine but also breathtaking vineyard views through its wall-to-wall windows, creating a dining experience like no other.

Guests can also enjoy traditional wine tours, including discovery tours, food and wine pairings, and private visits. Check all their tours here
Book your luxury stay here.

Château Prieure Marquet in the north of Gironde

Château Prieuré Marquet is a luxurious hotel just 20 minutes from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. This gem, crafted by talented designers and antique enthusiasts, offers uniquely decorated living rooms with distinct ambiances. The château features a central courtyard surrounded by four narrow sides, providing a royal experience. With only six rooms, each guest enjoys a spacious and unique stay.

The property boasts an outdoor pool, gardens, and terraces. Guests can rent bikes, play billiards, enjoy the baby grand piano, or arrange horseback riding, off-roading, and helicopter rides. There’s also a world-class spa and an on-site restaurant. Book your stay here.

And now to more affordable accommodation in the Vineyards of Bordeaux!

Best wine hotels and B&Bs in Saint Emilion 

I have a full article dedicated to hotels in Saint Emilion, perfect for a weekend getaway. Here, though, I want to spotlight two incredible hotels surrounded by stunning vineyard views.

Chateau Troplong Mondot

Nestled amidst the lush vineyards of Saint Emilion, Chateau Troplong Mondot is one of the most luxurious accommodations in the heat of the wine region. This esteemed chateau provides four types of rooms, each exquisitely designed, alongside an elegant living area perfect for gatherings. Perched on a hilltop, Troplong Mondot offers breathtaking views of rolling hills, the valley, and the charming village of Saint-Emilion. The Chateau is also home to one of the best restaurants in the region, called Les Belles Perdrix. Book your stay here.

Château Croix de Labrie

This charming château is located at the entrance of the historic village of Saint Emilion. It has a countryside atmosphere, making a stay there warm and relaxing. There are two suites available, both with luxury bathrooms that overlook the inner courtyard of the property and the vineyard.

The owners, Axelle and Pierre Courdurié give tours of the property and tastings. The proximity to the historic center of St. Emilion doesn’t hurt either. The two suits on the property can be booked here.

Château du Palanquey & Spa

If you’re going on a romantic weekend in the Saint Emilion region, this is the place for you! Château du Palanquey & Spa is a luxury B&B, overlooking the vineyards of Saint Emilion and Castillion.  The property has a large spa that you can freely use during your stay, featuring a heated indoor pool, sauna, and jacuzzi. It also has a nice outdoor pool for the summer months with a stunning view of the vineyards.

The Château offers a Table d’hôtes service with the chef of the hotel introducing you to the best French specialties. The property is open and receives guests all year long, an idea for a cozy winter vacation. Book your stay here.

Other great wine hotels in Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion is one of the most famous wine regions in the world so you can imagine that there are quite a lot of options of vineyards accommodations in this part of Gironde. Including them all would make this list too long but I still wanted to add a few wine hotels/ B&Bs that really love in Saint Emilion. The very romantic rooms of Chateau de Ferrand, the cute Relais de Franc Mayne with a pool and a tree house, and the very elegant Aux Ducs de Sienne.

A romantic winery accomofdation - Chateau de Ferrand in Saint Emilion
Chateau de Ferrand in Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

Best wine hotels in Pessac Leognan

Château Pape Clément

Château Pape Clément, one of the oldest Grands Crus in Bordeaux, offers a truly exceptional stay amidst the lush vineyards of the Pessac-Léognan region. Established in 1252, the château’s rich history and exquisite charm create an unforgettable experience. The château features five luxurious suites, each exuding French elegance and historic charm, ensuring guests feel a sense of intimacy and nobility.

Visitors can enjoy tea time in the classical Salon des Boiseries, adorned with wood and magnificent chandeliers. The magnificent winery offers tours where guests can discover the secrets of the vineyard and taste the Grand Cru Classé wine. The enchanting gardens provide a magical setting, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and art. Book your stay here.

Château Le Pape B&B

The B&B of Château Le Pape is in the heart of Bordeaux. The château hails from the 18th century and was carefully renovated with the preservation of its heritage in mind. The château includes a pool, a living room, and a terrace where you can enjoy your coffee or a glass of wine. Consider visiting Haut-Bailly, the wine property that hosts the château. They offer tours in both French and English. You can book a tour hereRooms can be booked here.

Château Le Pape B&B - one of the best wine hotels in Bordeaux
Château Le Pape B&B – credit Booking

Best wine hotels in the Medoc

Château Chasse Spleen

Château Chasse-Spleen is a high-class winery that feels like you’ve stepped into the Alice in Wonderland books. The centerpiece of their gardens is a giant pair of galoshes and is surrounded by other surreal sculptures and water pieces. There are guesthouses on the property and each opens to its library and its exhibition spaces. To add to the ethereal feeling of your stay, the minimalist decor and bright colors of each bedroom serve to relax.

The chateau is also home to a cute wine bar that operates during the summer season from April to November. During your stay there you can visit the magnificent winery and enjoy one of their toursBook rooms here.

Château Chasse-Spleen - one of the best wine hotels in Medoc
Château Chasse-Spleen – Lost in Bordeaux

Château 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. Château du Tertre is one of the closest hotels to Bordeaux (in Arsac), so if you want to visit Bordeaux and the Medoc area without changing your accommodation, this is a great option. 
Book your room here.

Château Pierre de Montignac 

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

Vineyard accommodation in other parts of the Bordeaux wine region

Coup 2 Foudres – Château de Bonhoste

The Château de Bonhoste keeps their accommodations under a separate name – the “Coup 2 Foudres”. “Coup de foudre” in French translates to “love at first sight”, and the word “foudre” by itself means vat. Why did they name it like that you ask? Well because the owners converted the traditional wine vats into the most romantic guest houses. The accommodations are in the middle of the vineyards, giving you an absolutely unique experience. Each vat is made completely of wood and is modernly decorated. Book your stay here.

Coup 2 Foudres - Château de Bonhoste - a unique stay in the vineyards of Bordeuax
Coup 2 Foudres – Lost in Bordeaux

Hotel du Château d’Arche in Sauternes

Sauternes fans are die hard. And if you’re a sauternes fan, the Château d’Arche is a grand cru classé, meaning that it has received the highest quality classification in France for wine. Guests stay in tastefully decorated rooms overlooking the vineyard.

There are 8 bedrooms available, ranging from simple double rooms to a suite. Guests note the friendliness of the staff and their willingness to help, the peacefulness of the stay, and the fact that the property is dog-friendly. Book your stay at the chateau here.

Château d'Arche in Sauternes - wineries in Bordeaux

Château de Claribès

Château de Claribès is owned by Helen and Nick, two British wine enthusiasts who have been making wine at the chateau for almost 20 years. Their property is located in the lovely village of Gensac and the winery is labeled under the Sainte-Foy-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. The holiday house has been redone with sustainability in mind. While tastefully decorated, every piece has been recycled, made locally, and is designed to use as little energy as possible, while still giving you a cozy stay. 

Helen is an incredibly welcoming host who can regale you with stories about the woodland part of their property that they re-wooded, the transformation of the vineyard into organic wine-making, and the hidden Roman-era caves on the property where they’ve discovered ancient artifacts. You can contact Helen to book the place.

Château de Claribès - lovely house with amazing guests
Château de Claribès – by Lost in Bordeaux

Is it your first time visiting Bordeaux?

I have a few articles that will help you to get the best out of your first stay. Start with my 50 favorite things to do in Bordeaux followed by my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, which will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visit 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.

Here’s a partial selection of my articles about the Bordeaux wine region:
Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Where to stay in Saint Emilion
The Medoc wine route
Best wine tours in Bordeaux
Best wineries to visit in Medoc
Best family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux
Bordeaux wine region – the full guide
All the Open door events in the wineries of 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

Liked the article? Want to read it again when you’re planning your trip to Bordeaux? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Dining out with kids in France can be a delightful experience when you choose the right spots! French restaurants are known for their delicious food and sometimes even offer special kids’ menus, but the real challenge is keeping the little ones entertained while waiting for their meals. To help, I’ve compiled a list of the most family-friendly restaurants in Bordeaux, ensuring both great food and a fun atmosphere for the whole family.

For more kids-related places and activities check out my article about the best things to do with kids in Bordeaux.

Kid-friendly restaurants in Bordeaux 

Max a table 

Situated in the heart of Bordeaux, Max à Table stands out as a great family-friendly option in Bordeaux.  What sets this restaurant apart is its interactive touch tables that allow children to order and play games while you wait! Alongside this unique concept, Max a table offers a gluten-free and 100% homemade menu, so it’s a perfect choice for eating outside! 

Max a table - a kids friendly restaurant in Bordeaux
Max a Table – Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 2, Place St Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux/ Open from Tuesday to Saturday between 12:00-14:30/19:00 – 22:30 and Sunday between 12:00-14h30. You can make a reservation right here.

Backyard Brick House 

Located in Place de Quinconces, Backyard Brick House is a vibrant hub where flavors and fun meet. Inspired by US pop culture, it offers generous dishes and craft beers in a lively 90’s atmosphere. Perfect for kids and adults, it features table football, games, and a colorful, spacious layout that welcomes families with open arms. You can book a place here

Address: 40 Allées d’Orléans, 33000 Bordeaux/ Open from Monday to Wednesday between 09:00 – 00:00, Thursday to Saturday between 09:00-01:30, and Sunday between 09:00 – 23:00.

Monzu 

Pasta and coloring pages 🙂 What more do you need?

If your kids love Italian food like mine, this is the perfect place for you. Specializing in Neapolitan pizzas and Franco-Italian cuisine, Monzù brings the flavors of Italy to your table with a touch of French gastronomic influence. Warmly welcomes families, each table in Monzùis set with coloring pages and a small pencil box, ensuring that little ones are entertained throughout the meal. With two convenient locations in Bordeaux – Monzù des Grands Hommes and Monzù Promenade Ste-Catherine – you’re never far from a delicious Italian meal. 

Monzu  - a great kids friendly Italian restaurant in Bordeaux
Coloring pages in Monzu – by Lost in Bordeaux

See all the details on their website. Open every day between 12:00 and 22:30.

Darwin 

Nestled on the right side of the Garron River in Bordeaux, Darwin is not your typical restaurant, but an entire eco-conscious urban space, surrounded by vibrant street art adorning the buildings, and offering families sustainable meals made from locally sourced ingredients. Le Magasin Général is the main eating area at Darwin, with plenty of dining options, including a pizzeria and a boulangerie, a cozy Café-Pub, and a delicious chocolate shop.

Darwin is so accessible for kids, as it is spacious, with big sofas, long wooden tables, a beautiful corner of wooden games for children to play, a skate park, and some big games outside for the older kids. Perfect in every season, Darwin is also one of the best places for rainy days in Bordeaux.

Darwin in Bordeaux with its kids area
The playing area in Darwin – by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux/ For info on the Opening hours of Darwin click here.

Les Chantiers de la Garonne

Nestled on the board of the Garonne River, Les Chantiers de la Garonne is an old hangar turned into a sailing club and a restaurant with amazing summer vibes. Perfect for families it offers a beach-like outdoor space, complete with low wooden tables scattered across fine white sand. Children can play freely in this relaxed setting while parents enjoy fresh seafood, cold white wine, and organic beers from the on-site LALUNE Brewery. 

The restaurant’s focus on local, seasonal, and homemade dishes ensures a flavorful experience for everyone. While reservations aren’t taken, families can drop by during opening hours to enjoy a leisurely meal or sip drinks while watching the sunset over the river. Les Chantiers de la Garonne Is one of The best outdoor bars in Bordeaux.

Les Chantiers de la Garonne - beach like restaurant
Les Chantiers de la Garonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 21 Quai de Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux/ Open from Wednesday to Sunday between 17:00- 22:30, more info here.

La Piscine 

Previously known as Nature et des Courgettes, La Piscine in Bègles is a charming and quirky restaurant set in a beautifully restored 1930s Art Deco swimming pool. In the heart of the restaurant, there’s a large play area, ensuring that children can play around safely while parents relax and enjoy their meal. The menu features organic, local, and seasonal products, served buffet-style by weight which can be easier with kids as you can take just the amount they’ll actually eat! 

Address: 2 Rue Carnot, 33130 Bègles/ open during lunch time only, see info here.

Arkose Cantine

Situated in the Tatry Gallery in the Chartrons district, Arkose is a great restaurant with a twist, as it is also an urban climbing wall! Arkose offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for kids to run around, and explore the climbing wall in the special “kids-zone”.

Address: Galerie Tatry, 170 cours du Médoc, 33300 Bordeaux/ Open daily from lunch and dinner, see info.

POF 

POF, short for Poffertjes, which are delicious Dutch Mini Pancakes, brings the charm of Amsterdam to Bordeaux. As the name suggests, you’ll find these tasty pancakes alongside original Amsterdam flavors on the menu. Meanwhile, the ambiance, crafted by TV set decorators Laurence and Frédéric Cerato, exudes the cozy atmosphere of a modern Dutch tavern.

POF has a Kid-Friendly Atmosphere, offering a dedicated children’s play area, where little ones aged 3 to 12 can enjoy interactive games. While parents eat and drink cocktails kids can enjoy a super cool Interactive playground! For reservations tap here

The virtual games roon in POF, Bordeaux
The virtual games room in POF – by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 36 Quai Virginie Hériot, 33300 Bordeaux / Open daily

La Boca Foodcourt 

Perfect for families seeking variety and a lively atmosphere, La Boca Food Court offers plenty of food choices in a spacious and family-friendly environment. With 13 local restaurants serving everything from seafood to Asian cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The place is big and spacy, and the tables are comfortable for a family meal in a convivial setting. Also, kids can enjoy running around in the outdoor terraces, equipped with games like pétanque and vintage pinball machines. 

Address: 190 Quai de Paludate, 33 800 Bordeaux/ Open daily, see all the info and opening hours here.

La Ferme de Bruges

Located within a few minutes walk from Bordeaux’s Lac, La Ferme de Bruges offers a picturesque dining experience suitable for families. The tranquil rural setting, complete with fountains, ponds, and friendly farm animals, makes it perfect when arriving with kids. Serving delicious traditional cuisine, La Ferme gives a magical feeling of natural and countryside vibes, mere minutes away from Bordeaux’s city center. The space is big and unique, and you’ll easily find children’s favorite dishes on the menu, so it is a truly memorable experience! 
Address: 9 Avenue de Chavailles, 33520 Bruges / Open daily, see opening hours here.

Family Friendly bars and coffee places 

Moxy 

Located near Les Halles and the Cité du Vin, Moxy is a dynamic hotel bar that offers an ideal spot where locals and visitors come together to enjoy the lively atmosphere. Open 24/7, Moxy offers local street food and industrial-inspired decor. It’s a real child-friendly place: in the heart of the bar are shelves full of children’s books, various games from dolls to board games, and even a swing hanging from the ceiling. Kids can also join in on the fun with games like ping-pong or table football, while adults can have a coffee or a beer. 

Address: 25 Quai du Maroc, 33000 Bordeaux/ Open 24/7

Jabot Bordeaux 

Jabot’s is not just a coffee place or a bar, but an innovative space that combines an eco-responsible grocery store, a charming tea room, and a venue for various events. Spearheaded by Karim Ouerdi, a former digital executive turned eco-entrepreneur, Jabot’s embodies social and ecological values, with a kid-friendly ambiance. A slide, a wooden house, and a mini kitchen stand in the heart of the space, making it a welcoming spot for children of all ages. 

Jabot's - a perfect spot of little ones in Bordeaux
Jabot’s playing area in Bordeaux

Address:193 Rue Fondaudège, Bordeaux/ Open Tuesday to Friday, see info here.

Kfe des Familles 

Located in Bacalan, the northern district of Bordeaux, Kfé des Familles is more than just a café; it’s a community hub created by and for locals. Since 2012, it has been a beacon of intercultural and intergenerational conviviality, where friends can mingle over coffee, games, and books for all ages. Volunteers prepare a delightful monthly menu with fresh seasonal ingredients, and when the weather permits, the café extends its services to Place Buscaillet, transforming the public space into a vibrant gathering spot with games and relaxation areas.

Address: 46 Rue de New York, Bordeaux/ Open every second Friday between 12:30-14:00, see info here.

Here are a few more kids-related articles you might find useful when visiting Bordeaux:
Best things to do with kids in Bordeaux
Kids-friendly hotels in Bordeaux
Family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux
Hiking with kids around Bordeaux
What to do in Arcachon with kids
The best theme and amusement parks

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

Arcachon is the perfect summer destination, offering mesmerizing beaches, great restaurants, and general inexplicable tranquility. I have quite a few very detailed articles about Arcachon Bay, from My Guide to a Day Trip to Arcachon City and Cap Ferret, to a list of all the best places to visit on the Bay. But in this article, I just wanted to create a short easy-to-use list of all the best outdoor activities you can do in Arcachon in the summer. So let’s start!

Best activities in Arcachon

Climb the Dune 

Dune du Pilat, with its 60 million metric cubes of sand, is one of the wonders of this region. The gigantic dune, is Europe’s tallest sand dune, rising to an impressive 110 m high.  It’s also 500 meters wide and 2.7 km long so you’ll have plenty of room to wander. You can climb the dune by stairs that are installed from the end of May to early November. If you come during the low season or just feel energetic, you can just climb straight up the sandy slopes.

Once you reach the top, a stunning panoramic view will be revealed in front of you. The Cap Ferret peninsula on one side, a huge pine forest on the other, and the magnificent Banc d’Arguin nature reserve just in front. 

Paragliding

Experience an unforgettable adventure near Arcachon with a tandem paragliding flight over the Dune du Pilat. Soar above Europe’s highest dune, enjoying panoramic views of the Banc d’Arguin, Cap Ferret, and the Landes forest. Guided by state-qualified instructors, this 10, 20, or 30-minute flight offers both serene and thrilling options. Discover the stunning landscape from a unique perspective and create lasting memories. Book your experience here

Discover Arcachon by Bike

There are many bike paths and roads with very little traffic in the Bassin d’Arcachon which makes it a perfect place to discover by bicycle. One of my favorite circuits is from the center of Arcachon to Dune du Pilat. To follow the path see the map here. There are many bike rental places in Arcachon where you can rent a bike for a few hours or for the whole day, one of my favorite ones is Beach Bikes

Another fun way is taking an electric scooter tour, which also offers different circuits like the Dune du Pilat and Fujan Mestras. See all the details here.

Where to stay with kids in Arcachon
Arcachon – a kids friendly vacation

Jet ski excursion in Arcachon

Discover the beautiful coastline of Arcachon with Jet 33’s jet ski excursions, ranging from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Explore the basin, the Dune du Pyla, the Cabanes Tchanquées, and Bird Island on a Seadoo GTX jet ski, whether you have a boat license or not. Perfect for family or friends, these guided tours ensure a fun and safe experience. Enjoy breathtaking landscapes and create unforgettable memories. Book the trip here.

Boat cruise on the bay of Arcachon

Explore the renowned bay of Arcachon with a private pinasse (a traditional Arcachon boat). Sail along Cap Ferret, visit Ile aux Oiseaux, and relax in the sun on an authentic pinasse. A professional skipper ensures a safe and memorable journey, sharing insights about the region. Perfect for family and friends, this tour accommodates up to 12 passengers for an unforgettable adventure. Book the boat here.

A boat trip in Arcachon -one of the best activities on Arcachon Bay
Boat trip in Arcachon – by Lost in Bordeaux

Surfing on the Ocean beaches

Arcachon has quite a few amazing surfing beaches both in the south part and along the Cap Ferret Peninsula. If you’re an experienced surfer you’ll probably enjoy beaches like La Salie Sud, Grand Crohot and Porge Océan. 

However, a vacation in Arcachon can also be a great opportunity to learn to surf and for that, you have quite a few great surfing schools on the Bay. One of the best surfing schools in Arcahon is located near the La Salie Sud beach, see all the details here. If you rather do your surfing lessons in Cap Ferret, I recommend this school

Kayaking in Arcachon

With such a beautiful setting as Arcachon, my list had to include a kayaking or canoeing experience. There are quite a few places for kayaking on the bay, one of the best is on the Leyre River. The tropical river, which got the nickname La Petite Amazone (little Amazon) flows through three towns on the Bassin d’Archachon:  Le Teich, Biganos, and Mios. Here’s one of the best kayak operators located close to Arcachon. Another great place to Kayak is in the Bay itself, you can actually do a a fun guided kayaking trip to l’île aux Oiseaux. See more details here.  

kayaking on the L’Eyre river next to Arcachon
Canoe on the L’Eyre river – Lost in Bordeaux

Tree Climbing at Bassin Aventure

Another super fun sportive activity in Arcachon is accrobranche (tree climbing) which is offered by Bassin Aventure in Gujan Mestras. It’s one of the only sports activities that you can do with little kids (starting from 3 years old). The place has 22 different tree-climbing circuits and 250 different games on and around the trees. Reservations are recommended, you can see all the prices here.

Stand Up Paddle near the Cap Ferret Peninsula

SUP is one of the best water activities you can do in the calm waters of Arcachon’s Bay. If that’s something you fancy trying on your vacation in Arcachon, I highly recommend going to l’Herbe, one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Ferret. During the tourist season, you’ll find the cabin of Glisse en Herbe, which offers everything from SUP to inflatables and canoe renting. 

Find the Treasure with Terra Aventura

Terra Aventura is a great way to discover Arcachon through geocaching games. The app offers games in different parts of Nouvelle Aquitaine, five of which are in Arcachon. The game requires you to find characters well hidden around monuments and nature by answering different riddles. All you have to do is download the free app of Terra Aventura and start treasure hunting. You can find all the details about the starting points here

And a bonus for the adventurous ones: Helicopter Scenic Flight over the Bay of Arcachon and the Vineyards Bordeaux

Experience the Bay of Arcachon and Bordeaux region from the sky with a thrilling helicopter tour. Fly over the stunning Dune du Pilat and other breathtaking landscapes of the Landes. Choose between a 30-minute tour of the Arcachon Basin or an 80-minute flight that includes the Bordeaux vineyards. Enjoy the ride in a comfortable Écureuil AS350 helicopter, offering spectacular views and an unforgettable adventure. See more details here.

That’s it for our activities list in Arcachon. If you’re looking for accommodation in Acachon check out my articles about where to stay in Arcachon and Cap Ferret

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

So what’s happening in the Bordeaux region in July 2024, you ask? Events like Summer Music in Medoc, Dansons sur les Quais, and La Bataille de Castillon are only part of the long list you’ll find in this article. Every Friday I send an email with all the best events taking place over the weekend in Bordeaux, you can subscribe to my list here. Before you start! If it’s your first time in Bordeaux, check out my new Self guided Tour in Bordeaux.

The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in July 2024

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 at 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.

Bordeaux Food Truck Festival

The Bordeaux Food Truck Festival is back! This year the event will take place on July 5-7 at the Hippodrome Bordeaux – Le Bouscat with a great program of games, music, and street food! See all the details here.

Sacré Boucan 

Sacré Boucan is a free music festival taking place at Quai Deschamps (the Bastide neighborhood) on July 5-7. Apart from the long lineup of DJs, you can enjoy plenty of food trucks and different activities for kids. See all the details here.

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 festival is taking place on July 1-11. See the full program here.

Before going check out my guide to the Medoc region to discover other places that are worth a visit on the way to your concert 🙂 

Les Escapades Musicales

Les Escapades Musicales is a big classical music festival that takes place in different natural and historic sites around the Bassin d’Arcachon. During five weeks (from June 20 – to July 20) plenty of international musicians will take part in this festival, aiming to concert the unique sites of Arcachon with the elegance of classical music. See the program here

If you need more ideas on things to do in Arcachon, check out my article about a day trip to Arcachon.

La Co(o)rniche - luxury hotel in Arcacachon
The infinity swimming pool at La Co(o)rniche

Don’t miss all the other amazing places to visit in Arcachon – it is the perfect summer destination.

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 25 to July 4. See more details here.

Festival Rues et Vous

This is the 16th edition of Festival Rue et Vous, a performance art festival taking place every year in the charming medieval town of Rions. This year the festival will take place on July 5-6 and will include a rich program of theater, dance, circus, and music shows for both adults and kids. For tickets and the full program check out the website of the festival.

Rions is one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux and is totally worth a visit.

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 5-6. For more details check out the website of the festival.

Les 24h du Swing

This is the 34th edition of ‘les 24h du Swing’, a swing festival taking place on July 5-6 in Monségur. More than 40 concerts will take place at different locations like Bastide Monséguraise, des Tilleuls à la Halle, and different bars and restaurants in Monségur. For more info and tickets click here

Le Festival des Hauts de Garonne

This is an annual music festival taking place on the rive droite of the Garonne. On July 4,5,11,12, plenty of music concerts will take place in different parks in four towns in Bordeaux Metropole (Floirac, Lormont, Bassens, and Cenon). See all the details here.

Les Nouvelles Saisons – music festival

Les Nouvelles Saisons is a classic music festival taking place in Bordeaux on July 6-12 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.

Bordeaux in the summer
Bordeaux in the summer

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 26 to July 23.

Talence Estival 

Talence Estival is a series of fun events, taking place every Friday from July 5 to August 30 at Peixotto Park in Talence. It’s a chill event with a concert, food trucks and many families coming to start their weekend in a fun way 🙂  For more info click here.

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. I will publish a list of the best events taking place that day in this article closer to July.

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. 

All the dance classes will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux. The classes are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The event will take place on the quai almost daily on July 11-28. Many of the lessons and events this year require prior reservation, for more details and the full program see here.

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. Between July 15 and August 29, more than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus, and gastronomy will take place around the Metropole. Check out the full program of events here.

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, workshops of medieval art, and more. For more info and tickets click here.

Andernos Jazz Festival 

One of the best Jazz festivals in the Gironde region is taking place this weekend (July 26-28) in Andernos les Bains. For more details about the Andernos Jazz Festival click here

Andernos les Bains Jazz Festival
Andernos les Bains Jazz Festival

Nuits Atypiques Festival

This multidisciplinary festival in south Gironde has been taking place every summer since 1992.  From June 2 to July 21, plenty of events will take place in 12 towns in the Gironde department. The program includes a variety of activities such as concerts, theater, films, debates, tours to discover the towns, and more. Check out the full program here.

Big events in other parts of the SW of France – July 2024

Blues Passions in Cognac

Every July, Cognac hosts one of the biggest music festivals in the region called the Cognac Blues Passion. The festival, which will take place on July 2-6, includes some of the biggest names in the Blues world in its program. See the full program here

Le Festival de Saintes

This big music festival is taking place in the famous Abbaye-aux-Dames ( la cité musicale) in Saintes, a pretty town in Charentes Maritime. Le Festival de Saintes is an established classical music festival, bringing all the biggest names in the genres to one magical weekend every year. This year the festival will be taking place on July 13-20, See the program here

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 18 to August 4) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. Check out the full program here

Jazz in Sanguinet

Another amazing Jazz festival in our region takes place in Sanguinet, just next to Biscarrosse Lake. This is a fun and free event with plenty of concerts and exhibitions. This year the event will take place on July 12- 21, for more info click here

Fêtes de la Madeleine

Fêtes de la Madeleine is the big festival of Mont de Marsan, in the Landes department, celebrating the Gascogne culture. The five-day event transforms the city into a big carnival with plenty of concerts, traditional food, and activities for kids. The festival is taking place on July 17 – 21. Check out the long list of events here

Festival Musicalarue

The Musicalarue is a big music festival taking place in Luxey (about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux) on July 26-28.  See the lineup and ticket prices here. More info here.

Fête du Cognac

The Cognac festival celebrates the spirits of the region, the Cognac, Pineau des Charentes, and wines of the region. This is a fun and happy event with plenty of drinks and good music. And it’s an opportunity to discover one of the best destinations in the region, the town of Cognac

The event will take place on July 25-27 in the center of Cognac. See the full program here.

Vesere Festival 

The Vezere festival is a classical music festival taking place every summer in the Brive region. A long list of concerts will take place between July 8 and August 12 in the different theatres and chateaux in the region. See the program here

Brive is located on the border between the Corezze and the Dordogne departments and is a great destination for anyone traveling in the region in the summer. 

The Sarlat Theatre festival

The Sarlat Theatre Festival is one of the biggest theatre festivals in the region. From mid-July to the beginning of August the medieval town turns into a big theater stage with plenty of performances in different parts of the city center. This year the festival will be taking place from July 20 to August 5. See the program here

Is it your first time in Bordeaux?

Be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, which will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visit 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

If you made it to Bordeaux this summer, welcome! Whether you live here or staying in the region this summer, you’re lucky, because August in the Bordeaux region feels like a nonstop party. Most of the events in mid-August are taking place outside the center of Bordeaux and some might require renting a car to get there. But it’s definitely not a must, you can enjoy Bordeaux without going anywhere. Every Friday I send an email with all the best events taking place over the weekend in Bordeaux, you can subscribe to my list here.

Before you start! If it’s your first time in Bordeaux, check out my new Audio Tour in Bordeaux.

The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in August 2024

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 from 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.

Go to the beach

If you’re coming here for the summer I’m sure that going to the beach is on your list. This area is abundant with beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic coastline as well as on the many lakes surrounding the city. If you want to discover some new beaches around Bordeaux check out my article about the best beaches near Bordeaux

For more ideas for activities with kids, check out my article about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux.

Fête de la Presqu’île in Cap Ferret

Every year in August Lege Cap Ferret celebrates its oyster farming with a big event called Fête de la Presqu’île. The three-day event includes plenty of oysters, concerts, activities for kids, and fireworks on the last night. The event will take place on August 1-4 in Claouey. For more info click here.

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

The 24th edition of this fun reggae festival will take place on August 2-4 at the Domaine Equestre de Nodris in Vertheuil, which is located in the Medoc area (about an hour drive from Bordeaux). The impressive long lineup includes tens of performers from the reggae scene. You can check out the full lineup here.

Fête de la Ruralité et Festival du Bois

Fête de la Ruralité et du Festival du Bois is an annual feast of rural traditions taking place in Biganos on Arcachon Bay. The program includes a craftsmen market, demonstrations of past know-how and traditions (threshing machine, bread oven), an animal farm, a local products market, activities for kids, and more. The event will take place August 3-4, for more details click here

The Fest’Arts Festival

The Fest’Arts festival in Libourne was created about 30 years ago to honor street performing artists. On August 8-10 the center of Libourne will be turned into a big promenade and plenty of performances will take place on the pretty streets of the city. Check out the full program here

You can combine this event with a visit to Saint Emilion, here’s my article about a day trip to Saint Emilion

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. Between July 15 and August 28, more than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus, and gastronomy will take place around the Metropole. The program will be published soon here.

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, workshops of medieval art, and more. All the events will be taking place between July 18 and August 17, for more info and tickets click here.

Go to a night market in Arcachon

A night market is taking place in the center of Arcachon every night (Tuesday to Friday) from July 2 to August 30. For more details click here.
Check out my full guide to Arcachon before going. You can also combine it with a guided tour in Arcachon, click here to book a tour.

See other night markets taking place in Gironde this summer, read my article about night markets in 2024.

Gujan Mestras en Fêtes

This weekend Gujan Mestras, the oyster capital of Arcachon is hosting a big summer celebration. The four-day festival (August 15-18) includes plenty of concerts, oysters, games for kids, and fireworks. For more details click here.

Les Fêtes de la Mer in Arcachon 

It’s that time of the year when sailors and Arcachon lovers gather to celebrate the sea with les Fêtes de la Mer. During the two-day festival, you can enjoy plenty of activities in the center of Arcachon, from music concerts on the beach to flea markets and a huge picnic. It’s also a religious event so a few big masses will be held on both days. The event is taking place on August 14-15, for more info click here

Caraïbos Lacanau Pro

Le Caraïbos Lacanau Pro is one of the most famous events in the surfing world, taking place in Lacanau-Océan. Every year, professional surfers from around the world arrive in the region to participate in the Championship tour. More than a surfing competition it’s a beach festival with plenty of activities, concerts, craft stands, sports and surfing lessons, and more. The festival will take place on August 12 -18. For more info click here

You can also turn it into a nice weekend discovering the whole region which also includes Lacanau lake. One of the most fun hotels on the lake is called O Lac and you can book it here. If you’re traveling with kids, Lodging le Lac is a really fun family experience, with tents in the trees. 

Fete de l’herbe Cap Ferret 

On August 23-25, the village of L’herbe will host its annual feast with concerts, games on the beach, and food. L’herbe is an oyster-farming village and one of the most magical places on Bassin d’Arcachon. For more info click here.

Black Bass Festival

Black Bass Festival is an independent rock festival taking place every year at the Domaine de la Paillerie on the Gironde estuary. This year the festival will be taking place on August 22- 24, see the full program here

Festival Musical’Ocean 

Festival Musical’Ocean is a Jazz and classical music festival taking place at Lacanau-Ocean, a beautiful coastal town, about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux. This year the festival will take place on August 23-28. For more info click here

Paille & Ripaille Festival 

Paille & Ripaille is a local gastronomy festival taking place every year in Langon. The objective of the festival, which will take place from Aug 30 to Sep 1 in Parc des Vergers, is to support local food producers. The program includes concerts, farm animals, and a lot of local specialties. See more details here.

Festival Balterno!

Festival Balterno is a music festival taking place from August 30 to September 1st in Parc de Mussonville in Bègles. Three days of non-stop music in one of Bordeaux’s most charming parks. For more info click here

Discover other parks in Gironde in my article about the most beautiful parks around 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.

Big events in other parts of the SW of France – August 2024

A beautiful 4D show on Chateau de Duras

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the summer (July 2 to August 29) 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. See more details here.

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.

Ete Musical en Bergerac

The Musical Summer in Bergerac is an annual event taking place in the first two weeks of August. All the concerts and shows are taking place in different castles in the Bergerac region such as Château de Biron, Château de Saint Germain, Église de Monpazier, and more. This year the festival takes place on August 3-18, see the program here.

Duras fête son vin 

The wine festival of Duras will take place on August 19 in the center of Duras, next to the famous chateau. It’s a great opportunity to discover the excellent red, white, and rosé of Côtes de Duras. For more details click here.

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 18 to August 4) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. Check out the full program here

Vesere Festival 

The Vezere festival is a classical music festival taking place every summer in the Brive region. A long list of concerts will take place between July 8 and August 12 in the different theatres and chateaux in the region. See the program here

Brive is located on the border between the Corezze and the Dordogne departments and is a great destination for anyone traveling in the region in the summer. 

Beau C’est Festival

Beau C’est Festival is a music and theater festival happening on August 9-11 in Bosset, a little town close to Bergerac. See the full program and more details here

This is also a great opportunity to visit other beautiful villages around Bergerac.

First time in Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, which will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visit 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

Arcachon, with its stunning coastline, boasts an abundance of beautiful beaches waiting to be explored. While the central beach in Ville d’Été (summer city) boasts vibrant energy and proximity to amenities, those seeking tranquility may prefer the southern beaches,  in Ville de Printemps (spring city) and the majestic Dune du Pilat.

By the way, if you have no idea, what are these seasonal cities I’m talking about. That’s what different parts of Arcachon City are called 🙂 You can read all about it in my Arcachon guide

In this article, I’ll be talking about my favorite beaches in the southern part of Arcachon  Bay.  If you’re planning to go to the Cap Ferret peninsula, you should check out my article about the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret

Let’s dive into the best and most beautiful beaches of Arcachon!

The most beautiful beaches in Arcachon 

Plage Pereire

Plage Pereire with its scenic views stands out as a favorite among Arcachon’s beachgoers. Accessible via public transport, it offers convenience and scenic views. This wide beach, beloved for its safety and family-friendly atmosphere, stretches along the coastline, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the sun. Club Plage Pereire, a beachfront restaurant, adds to the allure, providing a delightful dining experience amidst the coastal beauty. 

Plage Pereire is accessible by a short bus trip from the center of Arcachon which makes it very accessible and convenient to get to. However, the best way to get there and most beaches on my list is by bike (you can find plenty of bike rentals everywhere in the center). 

Plage Pereire – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage des Arbousiers

For those seeking a peaceful getaway, Plage des Arbousiers welcomes you with its tranquil atmosphere and vast coastline. My favorite part is the southern stretch of this beach provides a serene escape. The northern section,  called Plage des Abatilles, is a part I don’t particularly love but it offers excitement for adventure seekers with SUP rentals and kite schools. With its laid-back vibe and convenient amenities like the Bikini bar, Plage des Arbousiers ensures a delightful beach experience to remember.

Plage du Moulleau

Often dubbed the beach of the Parisian affluent, Plage du Moulleau charms visitors with its family-friendly vibe and scenic surroundings. Whether arriving by car, bus, or bike, it’s effortlessly accessible, making it a favorite spot for families and beach enthusiasts alike. While summer days may draw bustling crowds, the charm of nearby bars and ice cream shops adds to the allure of a leisurely seaside retreat.

Plage du Moulleau - one of the liveliest beaches in Arcachon
Bars near Plage du Moulleau – by Lost in Bordeaux

So far, we’ve explored the beaches within Arcachon city limits, but now let’s venture to some hidden gems nestled in neighboring Pyla sur Mer, a charming part of La Teste de Buch town. Close to the iconic Dune du Pyla, these coastal treasures await discovery.

Plage Daniel Meller

Located near Pyla-sur-Mer, Plage Daniel Meller offers a serene escape with stunning views of the iconic Dune du Pyla. Ideal for families, it features a playground and grassy areas, providing options for both beachside relaxation and recreational activities. With its picturesque setting and family-friendly amenities, Plage Daniel Meller is a hidden gem awaiting discovery.

Plage Daniel Meller - one of the most beautiful beaches in Arcachon
Plage Daniel Meller – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage de la Corniche

Tucked away from the crowds, Plage de la Corniche is a true hidden gem of the Bassin d’Arcachon. Accessible via stairs in Pyla-sur-Mer, adjacent to La C(o)orniche hotel, this beach offers a secluded retreat for those seeking tranquility. Surrounded by natural beauty and offering a serene ambiance, Plage de la Corniche is perfect for a peaceful day by the sea.

Le Petit Nice 

Le Petit Nice stands out as a top choice for families seeking a relaxed beach experience. With easy accessibility and free parking, it’s a convenient option for a day of seaside fun. Surrounded by lush forest, it offers picnic areas and a serene atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a family outing.

A few minutes walk from the beach (next to the parking) you can find a restaurant and a snack bar called Restaurant Le Petit Nice. 

Le Petit Nice  - the most kids friendly beach in Arcachon
Le Petit Nice  – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage de Salie Sud 

Venturing beyond Arcachon, Plage de Salie Sud awaits on the Atlantic coast, offering an entirely different beach experience. With its crashing waves and surfer-friendly conditions, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts. While less suitable for young children, this beach promises an exhilarating adventure for surfers and beachgoers alike.

Le  Salie Sud Beach also has a great surfing school and you can use it as an opportunity to take surfing lessons. You can book a group lesson here.

Whether you seek vibrant energy or secluded serenity, Arcachon’s beaches offer a diverse array of experiences, inviting visitors to explore the beauty of the coastline and create cherished memories by the sea.

If you’re lucky enough to have a few days in Arcachon, here are a few other articles you might find useful

A detailed guide to Arcachon
Best day trips to le Bassin d’Arcachon
15 best things to do with kids in Arcachon
Where to stay in Arcachon
What to do in Cap Ferret
The Best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best camping sites in Cap Ferret and Arcachon

If you’re also visiting Bordeaux be sure to check out my post about the best things to do in the city and the best hotels in Bordeaux. Arcachon is not the only day trip you can do from Bordeaux. The area is full of historic villages and beautiful nature. If you want to discover some of them, I invite you to read my article about the best day trips you can do by train from 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:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in! 

Delicious food, beautiful natural valleys, famous castles, exquisite gardens, some of France’s most beautiful small towns, outdoor activities in abundance, and prehistoric discoveries – those are just some of the reasons to visit Dordogne. If you’re planning a trip to France’s famous and historical Dordogne region this summer, I’ve got an incredible list for you. It’s one of my favorite vacation spots in all of France and I’ve compiled a list of no less than 40 of the best things to do while you’re there.

I also have a separate article on the best things to do with kids in Dordogne which you should check out if you’re traveling as a family! There are plenty of fun attractions and activities for young and not-so-young. Also, if you’re confused about where the best places to base yourself to discover Dordogne – my article will help you choose the right place

I divided the list into categories like gastronomy and heritage for you to easily find what you’re looking for. Let’s dive into the best things to do in Dordogne.

The best places to visit in Dordogne – Heritage and charm 

Visit Sarlat-la-Canéda – the most beautiful town in Dordogne

Sarlat-la-Canéda is one of France’s most stunning medieval towns with incredible sights, food, and history. It’s one of the liveliest destinations in the Dordogne region with plenty of attractions and important landmarks. The town is thought to have originated around the 11th century and many buildings still standing today are from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. It’s a history aficionado’s paradise! But also a foodie heaven with an incredible amount of restaurants and gastronomic shops.

Sarlat host one of th best markets in Sarlat
The market of Sarlat – Lost in Bordeaux

Head to the Sarlat market, the biggest and best food market in all of Southwest France! On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, the city center comes alive with bustling market vendors and smells of food fill the air. You can also take a market food tour, for the full gastronomic experience. 

If you want to learn more, check out my comprehensive guide on everything to do, eat, and see in Sarlat.

Explore the Lascaux caves and their prehistoric art

The Lascaux cave is an archaeological treasure unveiling captivating paintings and engravings dating back over 17,000 years. You should know that the original caves were closed to the public in 1963. This decision was made to protect the delicate and ancient cave paintings from harmful effects such as changes in temperature and humidity. However, the extraordinary replicas are very accurate and worth the visit.

Only a limited number of people can enter Lascaux so I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance. There’s usually only one tour in English a day so make sure you choose the right language when booking. Lascaux II is open from April to November. If you’re staying in Sarlat you can also take a guided tour that includes a visit to the Lascaux caves and the prehistoric town of Les Eyzies which is next on our list. 

Visit Les Eyzies and its prehistoric sites

Les Eyzies de Tayac is probably the best place to start to find out why Dordogne is so popular – it’s known as the prehistoric center of France! Set in the center of the Vézère valley in Dordogne, Les Eyzies is one of the most important towns in all of France. It’s known as the global prehistoric capital due to the many caves, underground dwellings, and drawings from that period. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, this town of less than 1,000 residents receives close to a million visitors every year. 

If you, like those one million tourists, are fond of history, then Les Eyzies – situated among 400,000 years of human history – is the place for you. It’s perfectly located for a day trip in Dordogne, just a 25-minute drive from Sarlat-la-Canéda and Beynac. If you’re staying in Sarlat, you can take a private day trip that will help you discover some of Les Eyzies’ highlights.

Discover some of the most beautiful villages in all of France 

10 of Dordogne’s villages are labeled as the official most beautiful villages in France by the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association. And even this impressive number doesn’t come close to the actual number of stunning villages and towns Dordogne has to offer. 

If you only have a few days in the region, think about taking a tour that will take you to some of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne. This half-day tour, for example, will offer you a visit to Beynac and Domme and a boat ride on traditional gabarre at La Roque Gageac.

Beynac et Cazenac on of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne
Beynac et Cazenac – by Lost in Bordeaux

I have a detailed guide to the most beautiful villages in Dorodge, but here are just a few highlights: Beynac-et-Cazenac is possibly the most famous village in the region offering breathtaking views, yellow-stoned houses, and cobblestoned streets soaked in history. La Roque-Gageac is a fairytale-like village built into the limestone cliffs cascading down into the river and goes back as far as the 12th century. Most of the kayaking trips on the Dordogne River pass through this La Roque-Gageac, which is another great way to explore it.

Domme is adored by locals and expats living in the region for its peaceful charm, beautiful architecture, and dreamy views. Dating back to the 13th century, Domme was once a strategic defense lookout during the Hundred Years War between France and England.

Visit some of the most impressive castles in the region

France is one of the best countries in the world for visiting castles, or châteaux in French. There are an estimated 45,000 castles, each holding a special place in the country’s history. Dordogne, famous for its medieval castles and fortified towns, is said to be home to 1001 châteaux.

Summers at the castles are wonderfully festive as many of them host events, child-friendly adventures and games, night markets, musical evenings, and even candlelit picnics. Whether you’re looking for romance or family fun, the châteaux of Dordogne have it all!

Château de Castelnaud - best castles to visit in Dordogne
Château de Castelnaud- Lost in Bordeaux

I have a detailed guide on the best castles in Dordogne where you can see photos and find ticket information, but here’s a summary of my favorite, not-to-miss châteaux in the region: Château de Beynac, Château de Castelnaud, Château de Milandes (more details on this fabulous castle down below), Château de Hautefort, Château de Commarque, Château et Jardins de Losse, Château de Marzac. The list goes on! See my full list here.

See the house Josephine Baker used to live in

Château de Milandes, a charming, dainty, Gothic château was built in 1489 by the Caumont family. In the 1940s, American-born dancer, entertainer, WWll resistance agent, and civil rights activist, Josephine Baker, bought the castle. She lived there with her husband and grew her family, adopting 12 children and working for the French resistance movement during the Second World War. 

Today, you can see incredible displays detailing Joséphine’s life at Milandes, including stage costumes and stories about her life. That’s what attracts most of the visitors to the impressive Château de Milandes. 

There is also a magnificent garden, a very pretty chapel, a parakeet aviary, and fantastic birds of prey shows. Children can do falconry workshops and feed exotic birds, play with swords in a musketeer workshop, and feed goats while adults can also participate in a range of fun, educational activities all summer long.

Visit Rocamadour

One of the most popular places to visit in the Dordogne valley is Rocamadour, an important pilgrimage destination. Located about an hour from Sarlat, Rocamadour is one of the most beautiful villages in France and is also famous for its delicious cheese.

Rocamadour - one of the best places to visit in tne Dordogne Valley
Rocamadour

Today, the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is very busy! There’s one main street in the village and it’s extremely touristy with plenty of restaurants and shops of local gastronomy and souvenirs. But in my opinion, it’s so moving and mesmerizing that you can still enjoy it even when it’s very crowded. There’s a guided tour going from Sarlat to Rocamadour, which is recommended especially if you want to avoid renting a car.

Go underground at Gouffre de Padirac

The Padirac cave is a remarkable natural wonder located near Rocamadour in the neighboring department of Lot. It is an immense underground chasm that offers a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors.  Descending into its depths, you’ll navigate an underground river and marvel at the stunning rock formations. The highlight of the visit is the Grand Dome, a vast cavern surrounding a serene underground lake.

Before you leave, don’t miss the “Cœur de Gouffre”, a heart-shaped chamber, creating a stunning window to the outside world. Buy your tickets and see opening dates and times here.

Uncover the Capital of Purple Perigord – Bergerac 

Bergerac is the capital of the southern part of the Dordogne, Périgord Pourpre, named after the colors of its wines. The town is considered one of the best places to base yourself while exploring the Dordogne region. The town boasts a beautiful medieval old town with winding lanes, charming squares, and cute boutiques. Not only does it have a stunning and very lively city center but Bergerac is also surrounded by an impressive number of medieval villages, castles, and wineries. 

You can’t miss my comprehensive list of what to do and where to eat in Bergerac.

Visit a famous French philosopher’s castle and get a free wine-tasting 

Michel de Montaigne, better known as simply Montaigne, was a French Renaissance philosopher and writer. The château where he lived and died is located between Bordeaux and the heart of Dordogne and is a wonderful visit for the whole family. Your ticket to tour the castle and the vast gardens also includes a free wine tasting of the wines made on the property.

There is a play area for kids, a place to picnic outside when it’s warm, various activities and workshops for adults and kids alike, and a wine shop to keep you entertained. Book your tickets here.

Chateau Montaigne - a beautiful castle to visit near Bergerac
Chateau Montaigne – by Lost in Bordeaux

A day trip to Eymet and the 1000 Games caste

Located in the Bergerac region about 100 km from Bordeaux, Eymet is less famous than some of the villages in the Sarlat region, but this cute little village with its picturesque houses and abundance of restaurants is a great option for a day trip.

Eymet is a rather lively little town with plenty of restaurants and a small cultural scene. I have an entire article about the perfect day out in Eymet – you should head over to the article and see what I recommend to do in the village.

Restaurants in Eymet Dordogne
Eymet – by Lost in Bordeaux

While you’re there, you can’t miss Chateau de Bridoire – the castle of games. Château de Bridoire is located at the heart of the Monbazillac wine region about 15 minutes by car from Eymet. The beautiful château is a private historical monument dating back to the 15th century. 

Discover the white city of Périgueux

Périgueux, nestled in the white Perigord area of Dordogne, is the official capital of Dordogne. I find this city particularly pretty and unique in the region and it’s one of my favorite places to go back to. Every Saturday the town hosts one of the best markets in the region. 

Perigeux one of the most beautiful cities in Dordogne
The beautiful Perigeux – Lost in Bordeaux

The city is a bit far from the main landmarks that first-comers to Dordogne tend to visit like Sarlat and many of the prehistoric sites. It takes about an hour to get to Sarlat, Lascaux, and Les Eyzies. But it’s an amazing base for discovering the less-known parts of the Dordogne department, especially if it’s not your first time in the region.

Take a trip to Brantôme – the Venice of Dordogne

The charming town, nicknamed the Venice of Perigord, is located in Green Perigord, the northern and less discovered part of the Dordogne department. Brantôme is home to the Benedictine abbey, which together with its 11th-century Romanesque bell tower is considered one of the most important sites in Perigord’s heritage.

Brantome en Perigord - the highlight of green Perigord
Brantôme – a stunning place in Perigord Vert – Lost in Bordeaux

The town is situated in the Dronne Valley where you can enjoy various activities from kayaking to beautiful villages and stunning castles. A famously charming town loved by tourists, Brantôme is busiest in July and August. Brantome is a great place to stay in the summer season, with plenty of fun summer activities.

Best parks and outdoor adventures in Dordogne 

A kayaking adventure on the Dordogne River

This is one of the most fun activities to do in Dordogne, whether you’re visiting as a family, a couple, or a group of friends. With its gentle currents and breathtaking surroundings, the river offers a perfect setting for a family-friendly water escapade. 

Kayaking on the Dordogne river - one of the best day trips in Dordogne
Kayaking / Canoeing near Sarlat – Lost in Bordeaux

Along the banks of the Dordogne River, you’ll find kayaking clubs dotted throughout the villages, offering an array of routes suitable for all ages. Explore the most enchanting villages near Sarlat, such as Castelnaud-la-Chapelle or Beynac, which also conveniently have kayaking clubs where you can pick one up. 

Here’s my article about the best kayaking clubs in Dordogne and if you’re staying around Sarlat/ Domme –  here’s a good one for canoe/ kayak rental

Discover exquisite French gardens

The French have a long history of exquisite gardens and have produced some of the most renowned landscape architects in the world. Dordogne is home to an astounding number of stunning gardens. In fact, there are so many to visit, I have an entire article on the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne.

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac on of the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac – by Lost in Bordeaux

Here are some of my personal favorites: Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, Eyrignac et ses Jardins, Les Jardins Panoramiques de Limeuil, Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire in Terrasson-Lavilledie, Château et jardins de Losse, and many more.

Cycle along the Vezere River

Starting from Les Eyzies, there’s a fantastic new biking route that follows the Vézère river called La Voie Verte. You can take an easy ride along the river to Le Bugue (another city worth visiting) or continue to Limeuil, one of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne. Here’s a bike rental place with a snack bar I recommend located in Les Eyzies near the river.

Take your kids to a history-themed amusement park

Take a voyage back in time to 1900 at Parc du Bournat, a theme park for the whole family built like a historical village. Through rides, activities, and games, you’ll discover the animal island with a petting zoo and a mini farm as well as how to bake in the old-fashioned way and craft a variety of handmade leather, metal, and pottery goods. There are also rides and a funfair as well as guided tours, or you can simply stroll through the ancient village and be transported back in time.

Buy your tickets and find out more information on the opening hours here. Read my article for more ideas for things to do with kids in Dordogne.

Le Bournat - one of the best attractions for kids in the Dordogne region
Discover how walnuts oil is produced- Le Bournat Park

Fly over valleys and rivers on a hot air balloon

A hot-air balloon trip in Dordogne is a once-in-a-lifetime magical experience for families and friends of all ages. The trip will take you up into the air and you’ll soar over the castles of Beynac, Castelnaud, Les Milandes, and La Roque Gageac, and go low over the rooftops of some of France’s most beautiful villages. Prepare for one of the most breathtaking, romantic rides you’ll ever experience!

At this link you can check out the trip details and book your tickets.

Go to one of the river beaches in Dordogne

Just because you’re not at the seaside, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, sunny beach days! Along the riverbanks of the Dordogne, you’ll find plenty of cute beach spots where you can cool down on a hot day. 

Here are some of the best beaches on the Dordogne River that you can visit from Sarlat: Limeuil, La Plage du Port in Creysse, Vitrac, Magali Plage, Meyraguet, Lanzac, Plage du Pont de Vicq.

Go to a river beach in Dordogne
A beach on the Dordogne river – Lost in Bordeaux

Skydive over the Dordogne Valley

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not jump from an aircraft at 3,500 meters over the Dordogne Valley? This tandem skydiving experience is bound to get your blood pulsing. Anyone over the age of 15 is welcome and it’s okay for all fitness levels. From the Sarlat-Domme airfield, in the heart of the Dordogne valley classified as a World Biosphere Reserve, you’ll take off on your half-day adventure.

You’ll enjoy the incredible sensations of free falling while looking over all the rivers, valleys, villages, and castles of the beautiful Périgord. You can even get photos and videos taken of your exploit. Book your tickets here.

Sky Diving in Dordogne France
Sky Diving in Dordogne – Credit: Manawa

Take an old-fashioned ride on a steam train

What’s better than a fun trip in an old-fashioned steam train with sweeping views over the Dordogne valley? Check out this great activity, where you get to ride a historical steam locomotive from Martel. Grab the best seat and get ready for a 13 km round trip along the edge of cliffs over 200m above the Dordogne valley. This is a very fun activity to do with kids. 

Historical steam locomotive from Martel - one of the best attractions with kids in Dordogne
Historical steam locomotive from Martel – Lost in Bordeaux

Get your heart rate up with wakeboarding, water skiing or kneeboarding

If you’re feeling adventurous, I could have just the activity for you this summer! Located in Lanouaille in the northern part of Dordogne, this leisure center has great water sports options. There is a cable that pulls you along the water and you can choose from different kinds of sports. You can also choose whether you just want to do one hour or get a half- or full-day session.

The bonus? One of the operators in this activity is the official French wakeboarding team’s coach! So you’ll get great tips and advice to improve your form and have the best time ever.

Let’s do a little break to pin this article to your interest so you can use it later!

The best gastronomic experiences in Dordogne 

Feast your way through Dordogne’s most delicious markets

Dordogne is home to some of the best markets in France and luckily for you, there are several of them happening daily in different villages and towns in the department. As I previously mentioned, Sarlat is seen as the best market in the region ( taking place every Wed and Sat) but there are many other amazing ones like the Saturday market in Perigueux, Terrasson-Lavilledieu on a Thursday, or Le Bugue market on Tuesday.

A typical morning market in Dordogne, France
A typical morning market in Dordogne – by Lost in Bordeaux

In the summer the region also hosts great night markets with one of the best ones happening every Friday in  Les Eyzies. 

Have fun and learn something new at a cooking workshop

At Sara and Ian’s old stone farmhouse in the heart of rural Dordogne, you’ll find a charming holiday spot with great cooking classes. As a former chef, Ian enjoys giving cooking classes using some of the region’s most famed and delicious delicacies. Anyone aged 5 and over is welcome! 

The cooking experiences/ workshops are offered daily from May to October – you can see details and book directly online here

Indulge your taste buds at a Michelin-starred restaurant

 If you’re a foodie, Dordogne is the place for you. Not only can you enjoy the countless local markets and wineries, but you can experience French haute gastronomie in one of the region’s many Michelin-starred restaurants.

The French are known around the world for their culinary genius, and in this region, you can taste some of the most skilled chefs in the country whipping up local delicacies. Use this link to search for restaurants and their menus – you can see where they’re located on the map and filter by price or type of cuisine.

Visit a working farm in Dordogne 

Visiting a working farm is a wonderful way to discover a new region, meet locals, and experience regional food and drinks.

This website is dedicated to helping you find the perfect farm to visit. You can choose whether you want to taste local food and drinks, sleepover, or participate in activities. You’ll also find information on current markets, fairs, and other events that the farms host during the summer months.

A visit and a picnic at a farm in Dordogne
A visit and a picnic at a farm in Dordogne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Attend one of Dordogne’s famous gastronomic events

Dordogne hosts plenty of fun events and festivals all year long, and they usually include good food and drinks along with the fun! Apart from different food festivals, Dordogne also hosts many music, art, and theater events you don’t want to miss. I have an entire article detailing the best events, but here are some of my favorites:

The truffle festival in Sarlat, the Châteaux En Fête across the region where many castles have pop-up festivals, the strawberry festival in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, and the flower festival in Saint-Jean-de-Cole. That’s just to name a few! Check out the full list here – including some bonus festivals for day trips from Dordogne.

Go wine tasting in the Bergerac region

If you have a couple of days in Bergerac, you absolutely can’t miss the surrounding wineries. While Bergerac wine is not as famous as the Bordeaux wine region, locals and wine professionals know all about the Bergerac wines. They are excellent value for money and great for a change from the more upmarket Bordeaux wines. 

Bergerac wines are often softer and easier to drink for everyday pleasure than wines you would age for a long time. Whether you like red, white, or rosé, you can find it all around Bergerac! Domaine du Haut Pécharmant is a great winery if you want to try different types of wine in one place. 

Here’s my article with the best day trips from Bergerac, where I included some of the best wineries to visit in the region. 

Learn how Caviar is made

If you plan on spending any time in between Bergerac and Périgueux, the small town of Neuvic has a great day trip I’d highly recommend. Caviar is one of France’s tastiest delicacies – here you can go behind the scenes to see how it’s made at a sturgeon fish farm and enjoy a caviar tasting led by professionals!

You can book this great guided 2-hour tour during which you’ll learn the ins and outs of local caviar production, with professional fish-breeders on hand to share their expertise. You’ll end the visit with a caviar tasting, sampling the estate’s local products—including sturgeon rillettes and caviar butter—over a glass of sparkling wine.

A visit to a Caviar farm in Neuvic Dordogne
Cavian de Neuvic – Lost in Bordeaux

Join a walnut oil workshop

Walnuts are one of the Dordogne’s most famous delicacies and the quality and taste are unparalleled. Spend a morning discovering the trade of the miller during this 2-hour workshop, during which you get to make your own walnut oil. You’ll learn authentic know-how and the entire process of transforming walnut shells into oil.

You can choose between a workshop near Périgueux or the same one near Sarlat-la-Canéda.

Discover local duck delicacies

Dordogne, like the rest of France, is famous for its gastronomy. You’ll notice that many of the points in this article are centered on food or drinks! Whilst it was the ancient Egyptians who discovered it, Foie Gras is considered an institution in the south-west of France. The Dordogne region is renowned for being the capital of this gourmet product, which is often served on special occasions.

Duck is considered a specialty in itself too, with the breasts, legs, and wings all claiming their rightful place at the table. The breasts (magrets de canard) are grilled to perfection whilst the legs and wings are preserved in the fat and served confit-style; both are a staple in Dordogne. There are tons of epiceries or delis and restaurants in every village where you can taste duck and how the locals cook it. You won’t be disappointed.

Art, yoga, antiques, and summer fun in Dorodnge

Shop at an antique market

France is known for its antiques, and the markets where you can buy all those fantastic vintage items are called brocantes. Dordogne is home to plenty of great antique markets! You’ll have a fun day out perusing the clothes, paintings, glassware, crockery, and silverware that dates back sometimes decades.

Check out this website to filter your search for brocantes near where you’ll be staying on your vacation.

Amazing brocantes/ antique markets in Dordogne
Cute stuff I find in brocantes in the Dordogne department

La Route des Métiers d’Art

Throughout the Périgord artists, artisanal creators, and designers work all year long. There is a website dedicated to showing you where they all are located along your vacation route – called La Route des Métiers d’Art. You can choose which ones you want to visit and make day trips out of the discovery. There are sculptors, jewelry designers, painters, glass blowers, potters, and many more artisans, all of whom invite you to visit their studios or boutiques.

One of the most beautiful villages on that route is Limeuil. Limeuil is a medieval town, built at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers and used to be an important port town. You can spend a full day here, exploring the stone houses on the small side streets rising from the banks of the river to the top of the hill.

A pottery market in Limeuil , Dordogne
A pottery market in Limeuil , Dordogne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Get in touch with your inner yogi – and with nature

If you’re looking for a zen, peaceful trip to calm your mind and relax your body, this retreat is made for you. A 4-day yoga and meditation retreat with nature walks in the Dordogne, this trip is sure to make you feel like a new person!

With daily morning meditation, 2 daily classes, a creative art and mindful group project, and guided forest walks, you’re sure to have a relaxing 4 days. And the bonus is you’ll discover a beautiful part of Dordogne between the villages of Tocane-Saint-Apre and Douchapt.

I recommend you book early and it’s usually booked way in advance!

Indulge in a spa day

Nuxe, one of France’s most loved pharmaceutical beauty and skincare brands, has a wonderful spa in Dordogne that would be a shame to miss. At Domaine de Rochebois, situated just a short drive from Sarlat-la-Canéda, you’ll find a beautiful hotel, golf estate, restaurants and the Nuxe spa.

Treat yourself to a day of tranquility and relaxation with wonderful treatments, delicious-smelling products, and a lovely lunch with sweeping views over the Dordogne Valley.

A relaxing day at the Spa of Domaine de Rochebois
A relaxing day at the Spa of Domaine de Rochebois – by Lost in Bordeaux

Enjoy Dordogne’s vibey night markets

Dordogne comes alive in summer and the fun doesn’t stop, even carrying on into the evenings with food and family fun. Night markets are a perfect way to discover small villages in the Southwest of France and get a nice dose of French rural vibes on the way. Stalls of regional delicacies, live music, and happy tipsy locals in a beautiful setting: an experience you don’t want to miss.

I have a whole article on the best night markets in the Southwest of France which you should definitely check out to get more details. There are usually at least 3-4 different markets taking place daily in different villages all around the Dordogne department, you just have to choose the ones closest to where you’re staying. You can find all of them on the websites of the Bergerac tourist office and Perigord Noir tourist office.

Best day trips from Dordogne

Take a day trip to Bordeaux, the world’s wine capital

No trip to Dordogne is complete without at least a stopover in Bordeaux. I’m biased because Bordeaux is my home, but it’s one of the most busy, beautiful, buzzing, alluring cities in all of Europe.

I’ve got a ton of articles dedicated to Bordeaux and its surroundings, including where to eat, events coming up, the best wineries to visit, and which museums to see. You can find my very detailed guide to a weekend in Bordeaux here.

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

Some of my most highly recommended things to do and see while you’re there include: a walking, cycling, or boat tour in Bordeaux, Visiting a famous Bordeaux winery, Trying local, traditional dishes at various markets and restaurants, and more. Here’s my comprehensive list of the 50 best things to do and see in Bordeaux.

Visit the world-famous Saint-Émilion and its wineries 

Saint Emilion, one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world, is home to more than 800 wineries. Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. But beyond the wine, the village is worth a visit because of its charming beauty, ancient architecture, and fascinating history. Today, the stunning Saint-Émilion is listed as a heritage site by UNESCO. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. 

I’ve compiled a detailed guide on what to do, where to eat, and what to see when in Saint-Émilion here. In the article, I also go into detail on how to visit wineries, plan tours, and experience wine tastings.

If you plan to spend a night in Saint Emilion, here’s my guide to the best hotels

what to do in Saint emilion
Saint Emilion – lost in Bordeaux

Check out distilleries in the beautiful Cognac

Renowned for its celebrated brandy, Cognac is definitely a highlight for alcohol enthusiasts. But Cognac is more than just its spirits – it’s a captivating region boasting picturesque landscapes, delectable cuisine, and a myriad of attractions waiting to be discovered.

If you’re there to taste cognac, once referred to as the ‘nectar of the gods’ by French writer Victor Hugo, you have to see this article about the best distilleries to visit. 

Discover the Lot department nearby 

The Lot department is located slightly southeast of Dordogne, but a very close drive from some of Dordogne’s most beautiful villages. If you’ve got some spare time during your Dordogne vacation, I recommend taking a day trip to discover Lot. I’ve already recommended the famous village of Rocamadour, but there are many more places to discover in Lot. 

The capital of the Lot department, Cahors is located within an hour’s drive from famous destinations in the region like Sarlat and Rocamadour. The town is known for its regional food delicacies, such as truffles and foie gras. Martel, the town with the steam train, is also a pleasant little town to visit.

If you prefer to take a guided tour, there’s this trip, which takes you on one of the best hikes in all of the Dordogne Valley. Starting with a guided tour of the picturesque village of Loubressac, you then move on to hike along the cliff of Autoire, passing along castles and waterfalls on your way. It’s a lovely day outdoors for the whole family.

Carennac - a stunning village in Lot, France
Carennac – a stunning village in Lot – Lost in Bordeaux

I hope you enjoyed my list of best things to do in Dordogne and no matter how much time you’re going to travel there just remember to pause and enjoy the charm and beauty this region has.

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

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

The wild Atlantic coast of Southwest France is a paradise for surfers, especially beginners. The long coastline offers a mix of beach breaks and a vibrant surfing culture. The hot summers and consistent waves make this region an ideal destination for both experienced and aspiring surfers.

In this article, I’ve included the best surfing spots on the Atlantic coast. My list features beaches near Bordeaux, the Basque Country, and the Landes department, along with the top surfing schools in each location. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro surfer, this guide will help you decide where to surf in Southwest France.

Best surfing beaches on the Atlantic coast – Basque country and Les Landes

Cote de Basques in Biarrtiz

Located in the Basque Country, Biarritz is a city steeped in surfing history that offers a variety of surf spots catering to different skill levels, from the powerful waves at Grande Plage to Marbella Beach’s challenges. The ideal beach for beginners in Biarritz is Cote de Basques an iconic surf spot, bustling with surf schools in summer and offering a sheltered location and gentle waves.

Surfing lessonsLa Vague Basque School offers exceptional surfing lessons on the legendary Côte des Basques beach. Whether you’re starting or aiming to refine your skills, La this school offers a range of lesson options, including group lessons for a social experience and private lessons for personalized attention. Book your surf lessons here

Surfing in Biarritz
surfing schools in Biarritz- Lost in Bordeaux

Bidard in the French Basque county 

Located between Biarritz and Guéthary on the Basque coastal path, Bidard offers over 5 kilometers of coastline with world-famous surfing spots. Spring and autumn are ideal for beginners, with consistent waves and fewer crowds. 

Among the most popular surfing spots in Bidard is Plage de l’Uhabia. Known for its long, fun waves, accessibility, and summer lifeguard presence, this beach is a favorite spot for beginners and families. The beach’s spacious layout and gentle waves offer a welcoming environment for learning and enjoying the surf.

Plage d’Erretegia is another great spot for surfing in Bidard. Surrounded by cliffs and part of a Sensitive Natural Area, this beach provides a picturesque backdrop for surfing in tranquility and beauty. It is easily accessible by foot or bike and there’s summer supervision, which ensures a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

Surfing school – Located at Chemin de Parlementia, Taiba Surf Club caters to all levels, from beginners to experienced surfers. Their certified instructors focus on safety, paddling techniques, and wave selection, so you can feel relaxed and safe to experiment. Book your surfing course here

Plage des Cavaliers in Anglet

Plage des Cavaliers in Anglet is a renowned surf spot for its powerful waves and international competitions. Despite its challenging waves, the beach is also suitable for beginners, especially during mid-tide. With nearby amenities and access to other surf spots along the Anglet coastline, it’s a popular choice for surfers of all levels and a must-visit destination for surf enthusiasts.

Surfing schoolGliss is a great school that offers surfing courses adapted to any individual level and includes personalized instruction, top-notch equipment, and small group sizes for focused learning. Book your course here

surfing schools for kids in the Basque country
Take surfing lessons on the Basque coast – by Lost in Bordeaux

Hossegor

Hossegor is one of the most renowned surfing spots worldwide. Known for its fast, hollow waves, vibrant après-surf scene, and acclaimed surf camps, it’s truly a surfer’s paradise. Hossegor features a three-kilometer stretch of sand and four distinctive surf spots. Among them is La Sud, the most beginner-friendly spot in Hossegor, offering good protection from big swells.

Surfing school – Surf Trip in Hossegor is a perfect place for beginners, with ideal conditions year-round and a one to six-day course for a group of up to 8 people. You’ll learn basic techniques, and surfing history, and gain confidence and autonomy. Book your surfing lessons here

Surfing in Hossegor, Southwest of France
Surfing school in Hossegor – by Lost in Bordeaux

Seignosse

Seignosse offers some of the most thrilling beach breaks in southwest France, capturing the full force of the Bay of Biscay swell. Though often overshadowed by neighboring Hossegor, Seignosse’s peaks feature wedgy, hollow waves that attract surfers of all levels.

Surfing schoolAuthentic Surf has a tailored beginner’s experience led by passionate instructors Michaël and Mikaël. You’ll receive theoretical guidance before hitting the waves, and enjoy personalized instruction in the water for rapid progress. You can book your surfing adventure in Seignosse here

Where to surf near Bordeaux and Arcachon

Lacanau Ocean

Boasting one of the oldest surf clubs in the area, Lacanau Ocean is a historic hub for surfing in France. With its sandy beaches, serene lake, and lush pine forest, It is one of the best surfing vacation destinations. Known for its quality waves, Lacanau offers safe learning conditions in shallow waters, which makes it perfect for beginners.

Where to take surfing lessons in Lacanau – BO & CO surf school offers tailored lessons to all ages and skill levels. They have advanced equipment, especially suitable for beginners, like surfboards that make learning in the water much easier. Out of your 2-hour lesson, 1.5 hours will be spent in the water! Book your surf lessons here

Lacanau Ocean is the perfect place for surfing near Bordeaux
Surfing at Lacanau Ocean – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Salie sud in Arcachon

Located near the Dune du Pilat, La Salie Sud in Arcachon offers year-round surfing with reliable conditions amidst stunning scenery. Summer is perfect for beginners, while the shoulder seasons provide punchier waves with fewer crowds. Overall, it is a great spot, ideal for both learners and experts.

Surfing lessons in Arcachon It’s On Surf School offers tailored lessons for all levels. Led by Stéphane and his certified team, enjoy this amazing surf spot with its stunning landscape, including La Salie Sud. Book your surfing lessons here

Plage Du Truc Vert in Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret offers a surfer’s paradise with 25 km of beaches and numerous surf spots, including Plage Du Truc Vert. Nestled between Arcachon Bay and the Ocean, it’s known for its unstable sandbanks, creating ideal surfing conditions for all levels, including beginners! 

If you want more info about Cap Ferret check out my articles Best things to do in Cap Ferret and The best beaches in Cap Ferret

Surfing lessons in Cap Ferret– Perfect for beginners, Cap Ferret Surf School offers a safe, dynamic intro to surfing. Choose group or private sessions, tailored to your level. With top-notch gear and expert instruction, you’ll have the best first surfing experience on this beautiful beach. Book your surfing course here

You can also join this amazing surfing campRemi’s Surf School offers an amazing opportunity to discover Cap Ferret’s surfing scene in a one-week surf camp. Their program includes a laid-back beach house stay, daily surfing lessons, and delicious meals. Perfect for social beginners and those looking to improve their skills in a warm environment. Book your place in the camp here

Surfing in Medoc - near Bordeaux
Surfing in the Bordeaux region – by Lost in Bordeaux

L’Amelie in Medoc Atlantique

Médoc Atlantique offers 124 km of beaches, 22 of which are supervised. They extend from Lacanau to Pointe de Grave and offer surfing spots for all levels. Summer welcomes beginners, while winter attracts locals with swells and empty peaks. L’Amélie Beach is a beautiful, supervised, sandy beach, located near the charming town of Soulac sur Mer. You can find reliable waves and a picturesque setting for safe swimming and family fun.

Where to take surfing lessons in Medoc AtlantiqueNouvelle Vague in Soulac-sur-Mer offers an exhilarating experience with spots suited to your abilities and expert guidance along Gironde’s Atlantic coast. Ideal for beginners, these small-group sessions ensure personalized attention from passionate instructors. There are also dedicated surf lessons for kids aged 3 to 10. You can book your surf lessons here. 

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in!