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As you can imagine, wine tasting is one of the best attractions the Bordeaux wine region has to offer. In Bordeaux, you don’t really have to leave the city in order to taste some of the best wines in the world. There are quite a few places in the city center where you can enjoy a variety of wine-tasting experiences. 

In this article, I gathered a list of the wine bars, boutiques, and guides that offer the best wine tastings in Bordeaux. So if you don’t have time to visit wineries or you just want to taste many different wines in one place, this article is for you!

How to do wine tasting in Bordeaux
Wine tasting in Bordeaux

If you want to visit a winery in Bordeaux and do your wine tasting there, I highly recommend Chateau Pope Clement. The winery is located in Pessac, one of Bordeaux’s suburbs, and is reachable by public transport. 

If you’re looking for more information on visiting wineries in the Bordeaux wine region, I’ve written extensively about my favorite chateaux to visit.

See other wine-related articles here:

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion 
A guide to the Bordeaux wine region 
The best wine tours from Bordeaux
A day trip to Saint Emilion
How to visit wineries in the Bordeaux wine region without a car
A weekend in the Medoc wine region 
Best wineries to visit in Sauternes 
Best wineries in Bordeaux to visit with kids 

Now let’s dive into wine tasting in Bordeaux!

Wine-tasting workshops in Bordeaux 

Wine Tasting Experience in Bordeaux with Snacks – by Olala

Olala is a wine tour company that offers private and group tours to Saint Emilion and Medoc. Additionally, the company also hosts great wine-tasting workshops in Bordeaux to help you learn about Bordeaux wine without ever leaving the city. 

This beginners’ workshop aims to introduce the participants to concepts of terroir, grape varieties, and wine appellations. It includes a tasting of three Bordeaux wines (one white and two reds), one of which is a Grand Cru (great growth). Throughout the tasting, you will learn about the different tasting techniques and get wine pairing tips. Charcuterie and cheese boards are also included so you won’t drink on an empty stomach. 

Olala Bordeaux - wine tours and tastings
Olala wine tasting in Bordeaux

Olala Bordeaux is located on rue Mably, two minutes walk from the Opera building of Bordeaux. 

The wine-tasting workshop takes place daily in the afternoon and the price is 29€/per person. 

You can book their tasting session at this link.

Discover Bordeaux vineyard: special wine tasting with two cellar men brothers

This wine-tasting workshop is taking place at a very chic wine boutique, Le Pied à Terre. The wine cellar and tasting workshop is run by two brothers, Pierre and Geoffroy,  who love drinking, talking, and educating about wine.

During the atelier, you will taste three Bordeaux traditional grape varieties and learn about winemaking in the region. The tasting also includes a platter of Basque cheese and ham and practical tips for wine tasting.

Wine tasting in Bordeaux - learn about Bordeaux wine from two brothers
Le Pied à Terre – by Lost in Bordeaux

The workshops are offered from Wednsday to Saturday. They tend to be full quite fast so be sure to book in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the weekend. 

Book your wine tasting here

The shop is located on rue Judaique, one of the most foodie streets in Bordeaux

Where: 22 Rue Judaïque, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine-tasting workshops at La Cite Du Vin 

La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s famous wine museum hosts daily wine-tasting workshops in French, English, and Spanish. All their workshops and wine-tasting events take place in their stunning modern tasting rooms. 

The English workshops are mainly dedicated to Bordeaux wines while those in French are varied. You can choose workshops about specific wine regions or learn how to match wine with cheese or chocolate. One of the workshops I had the chance to attend was red wine and chocolate tasting. 

Check out what are the next tasting workshops to take place at the Cité du Vin.

Read my article about my latest visit to La Cité du Vin.

wine tasting at the modern tasting room of La Cite du Vin in Bordeaux
Tasting wine at La Cite du Vin -by Lost in Bordeaux

Wine and cheese pairing at Château Bouscaut

Château Bouscaut is located in Cadaujac, a little town about 20 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux. The winery, which is ranked as Grand Cru Classé de Graves produces both red and white wines. 

Château Bouscaut offers several wine experiences, however, one of the more special ones is their wine and cheese pairing atelier. The cheese they choose every season changes according to the color and vintage of their wine. If you’re looking for a special experience while in Bordeaux, this wine tasting is for you. 

You can enjoy the wine tasting from Tuesday to Saturday, the price is 25 € p/p.

You can book the wine tasting here

Where: 1477 Av. de Toulouse, 33140 Cadaujac

Wine tasing in bars in Bordeaux 

Bordeaux wine tasting by Les Trois Pinardiers

Les Trois Pinardiers is a chic wine bar and shop located a few steps from Place Gambetta in Bordeaux.

During a 1.5 hours session, you will taste four Grand Cru Bordeaux wines: three reds and one white. You’ll learn about the blending and appellation of each wine. The experience also includes a charcuterie and cheese plate. If you’re a beginner and are looking for a lighter experience, this is a great one to try. 

The tasting experiences are offered from Wednsday to Friday, the price is € 40/ person. 

You can book your Bordeaux wine-tasting experience here

Le Bar à Vin

Located in the 18th-century residence of the Bordeaux Wine Council, le Bar à Vin is an established Bordeaux institution. 

Nevertheless, don’t let the fancy decor fool you, it’s more affordable than you think. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest places for drinking Bordeaux wine in the city center.

At le Bar à Vin their goal is to expose their clients to the widest variety of Bordeaux wines. Here you can order half glasses and taste many different types of wines without breaking the bank.  

The menu offers a selection of Bordeaux wines, from famous appellations like Medoc and Pomerol to less-known ones like Blaye and Cadillac. To that, you can add delicious snacks like cheese, charcuterie, and local chocolates. 

This is not a formal tasting experience, meaning that nobody accompanies you. But all their waiters and bartenders are very knowledgeable in wine and will be happy to answer all of your questions. 

This is one of my favorite things to do in Bordeaux

wine tastings in Bordeaux
photo by lost in Bordeaux

Le Bar a Vin is open daily except Sundays. 

Address:  3 Cours du 30 Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine shops in Bordeaux that offer wine-tasting

Vintage Wine Tasting with Charcuterie Board -Cousin et Compagnie

Cousin et Compagnie is a beautiful wine shop located just next to Place du Parlement offering a large selection of Bordeaux wines. They also offer a variety of tasting experiences at their shops and other parts of town.

wine tasting in the historic center of Bordeaux
vintage tasting in Bordeaux

The most popular is Vintage Wine Tasting, an experience that includes tasting four Grands crus wines paired with local charcuterie and cheese.  All the vintages presented are at least 10 years old, French wines from the 70s, 80’s, and 90’s decades. 

The tasting session is guided by one of their wine professionals the price is 80 € p/p. 

You can book your Vintage tasting here

*If you speak French you can enjoy a very similar workshop in their shop every Saturday (12:00 – 14:00). The price of this tasting is 49 € p/p – check out the details here.

Croisière Dégustation : Bordeaux Au Naturel

During the summer months, you can also take their tasting on a boat experience. Croisière Dégustation takes place in the afternoon two days a week. You go on a two hours boat trip where you get to taste three wines, accompanied by cheese and charcuterie. 

wine tasting on a boat by Cousin et Compagnie
Cousin et Compagnie – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s limited to 12 people so book in advance to ensure a spot. See all the details here

Address:  2 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux

Self-service and workshops at – Max Bordeaux 

Max Bordeaux is a wine shop with a neat concept – The Grands Crus Classés de Bordeaux is within everyone’s reach! A visit to this special bar allows you to autonomously taste prestigious Bordeaux wines without paying for the whole bottle. 

At the bar, you’ll discover huge wine columns with built-in Oenomatic machines containing more than 45 Great Bordeaux Wines. Latour, Margaux, Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, and Angélus are just a few examples. You can choose between two glass sized 2.5cl and 10cl and the prices range from 2euros to tens of euros for more expensive wines. 

Max Bordeaux wine tastings
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Even though it’s not a guided experience, the advantage is that it allows you to discover Bordeaux wines at your own pace and budget. 

 Wine tasting workshops

The other option is to join one of their wine-tasting workshops. This is a unique opportunity to discover the most representative appelations in Bordeaux and learn their characteristics. Among the wines, you’ll taste are red wines from AOC Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, and Graves or/and white wines from AOC Graves, Pessac-Léognan, and Entre-deux-mers.

Book your workshops here

Address:  14 Cours de l’Intendance, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine Tasting at La Vinotheque 

La Vinotheque is one of the most emblematic wine cellars of Bordeaux. Their wine experience starts with a presentation of the different appellations of Bordeaux and a visit to their vintage collection. 

You then proceed to wine tasting (2-3 wines) and learn about the wines you chose to taste. The wine tasting is offered on Saturday, the price is From € 35.

Book your wine tasting here.

Where: 8 Cr du 30 Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux

Emile & Marguerite

This article is about wine tastings in Bordeaux but I had to add one place where you can taste other spirits that this region is famous for.

Emile & Marguerite is a charming shop in the heart of the center of Bordeaux specializing in made-in-France alcohol. They have everything from Whisky to Gin, vodka and a huge selection of local beers. 

But what’s more interesting is their large selection of Cognac and Armagnac brandies originating from the Southwest of France.  If you don’t have an extra day to go to Cognac or Armagnac this can be an opportunity to taste and gain more knowledge about these two exceptional French spirits. 

Emile & Marguerite Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

You don’t have to make reservations, just pass by and you’ll be welcome anytime. The shop is open daily, check out their facebook page for more info. 

Address:  13 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux

Pin this article, so you can use it on your visit to the Bordeaux wine region!

First time visiting Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out 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.

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

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

If you’re looking for amazing wine tours and wine-related experiences, Bordeaux is your city! This shouldn’t come as a surprise in a region that is considered by many as the world wine capital. 

If you’re confused and don’t know what are the best wine tours to take in the Bordeaux wine region, I’m here to help. After years of traveling and trying different tours, guides, and winery visits I gathered a list of the best experiences the Bordeaux region has to offer.

If you’re a wine lover or just interested in visiting several wineries on your trip to Bordeaux, keep reading as there’s a lot of important information here for you.

Self-guided tours in the wineries of Bordeaux 

In the last few years, I wrote many articles about visiting wineries in the Bordeaux wine region. So if you want to go on a self-organized tour, you can find all the info on this site. 

Here are a few wineries that I recommend for English speakers: Château de Pressac in Saint Emilion, Château Pape Clément in Pessac Leognan, and Château du Taillan in Medoc.

Discover wineries in Bordeaux on self guided tours in the Bordeaux wine region
Discover wineries in the Bordeaux wine region – by Lost in Bordeaux

And this is a full list of all Bordeaux wine-related articles with more winery recommendations, that will help you plan your Bordeaux self-guided wine tour:

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion 
A guide to the Bordeaux wine region 
A day trip to Saint Emilion
How to visit wineries in the Bordeaux wine region without a car
A weekend in the Medoc wine region 
Best wineries to visit in Sauternes 
Best wineries in Bordeaux to visit with kids 

If you’re planning on a wine road trip with several winery visits, I highly recommend renting a car. You can find good prices for rental cars in Bordeaux here.

If you’ve already decided what chateaux you’re planning to visit and you just want a driver to take you there, you can find one here

In this article, however, I want to help those who don’t want the hassle of organizing a wine tour. Even though self-organized tours are fun, there are a few big advantages to taking a guide.

First, you get a lot of knowledge about the history of the Bordeaux wine region and about winemaking in Bordeaux. But also, it enables you to drink a lot of wine without worrying about driving back to Bordeaux.

The best wine tours in Bordeaux
The best wine tours in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to take a wine tour in Bordeaux

Wine tours are probably the main attraction Bordeaux has to offer. So as you can imagine, there’s no shortage of guides and tour operators offering wine tours in the region. Some of them are very professional and knowledgeable and others less so. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re booking. 

best wine tours in Bordeaux
Wine tour in Pomerol – by Lost in Bordeaux

There are several types of wine tours you can find in Bordeaux. 

A private wine tour with a guide who takes you straight from the doorsteps of your hotel to visit several wineries in one day. A more popular option is the semi-private wine you, where a small group is going to visit 2-4 wineries in one or two wine regions in Bordeaux

Then you have the big group tours with 10 to 50 participants. These are less recommended in my opinion but they are very well-priced. And lastly, you have more unique experiences that include food tasting, cycling, and more.

In this article, I summarized the best wine tours and experiences in each of these categories. All the tours on my list leave from Bordeaux which is great for anyone staying in a hotel in the city center

Wine tours with kids

Most of these companies do not welcome kids on the tour, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Bordeaux wine region with your kids. All you have to do is choose a château from my article about the most kids-friendly wineries in Bordeaux

Wine tours with kids in Bordeaux
Visiting wineries with kids in Bordeaux – by lost in Bordeaux

I also added a few recommendations for guides that offer kids-friendly tours – continue reading. 

A semi-private wine tour to Saint Emilion or Medoc

Semi-private tours are small group tours of 6-8 people. These tours feel quite intimate even though they are not private. They’re usually not too expensive, considering the fact that it saves you transportation costs. So all in all, that’s the tour I recommend taking if you’re not into self-guided tours.  

take a semi private tour in Saint Emilion
A semi-private tour in Saint Emilion

There are quite a few companies offering private and semi-private tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion or Medoc. Here are a few I recommend. 

A Saint Emilion wine tour

One of the best travel companies to offer wine tours to Saint Emilion is Ophorus. Their tours include guided visits to some of the best wineries from different classifications of Saint Emilion. They also take you on a tour of the village of Saint Emilion where you get to visit some of the main landmarks.

The first option is a full-day trip to Saint Emilion and its wineries. I you have time, I highly recommend taking that tour so you can properly explore this world-renowned wine region, which has so much to offer. This tour includes a visit to three wineries from 1ᵉʳ, 2ᵉʳ, and 3ᵉʳ Saint Emilion wine estates (different growth classifications). You can book the full-day tour here.

If you don’t have the time for a full-day trip, there is also the half-day wine tour option with a visit to a one-classified growth winery and the village itself. The company offers daily tours in the morning and the afternoon. You can book the tour here.

Take a tour in Saint Emilion
A small group tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

*See recommended wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Medoc Full Day Wine Tour, from Bordeaux

One of the tours I highly enjoyed was the one offered by Ophorus, a reputable company in wine tourism in this region. 

The full-day wine tour to Medoc includes a visit to three different wineries, all carefully chosen by their team. The tour allows you to visit wineries from different appellations in Medoc and observe the differences between the more prestigious chateaux and smaller family-owned properties. All the chateaux on the tours are either Grand Cru classé or Cru Bourgeois, so good wine is guaranteed. 

There are two great options for guided tours to the Medoc – A full-day tour and a half-day tour. I really enjoyed the full day, but I think that half a day is enough to get a taste of the Medoc.

visiting wineries in Medoc
Wine tour to Medoc – Lost in Bordeaux

Saint-Émilion Food and Wine Tour

If you want a full-day trip to Saint Emilion I recommend taking the one offered by Olala Bordeaux. Their tour lasts about six hours and includes a visit to three châteaux in Saint Emilion as well as a fun picnic. Book it here

*See recommended wineries to visit in Medoc

From Bordeaux: Afternoon Saint-Emilion Wine Tasting Trip

If you want to start the morning in Bordeaux and get to Saint Emilion later in the day, this tour might be perfect for you. The afternoon wine tour offered by Bordovino includes a visit to two wineries and a tasting of four Saint Emilion wines. 

As you get to visit one small family estate and a big Grand Cru winery, you have the chance to compare their wines and see the differences in their wine-making techniques. You’ll finish the day with an early evening tour of the medieval town. 

You can book the tour here

Discovering wineries by bike – biking wine tours in Bordeaux 

There are a few companies offering biking tours in Saint Emilion.

Cycling from one winery to another while enjoying the landscape of Saint Emilion’s lush vineyards is a beautiful experience you don’t want to miss. 

Both companies I mention here offer only electric bike tours and that’s because Saint Emilion is a very hilly wine region which makes cycling hard.

E-bike wine tours in Bordeaux
E-bike wine tours in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux: St-Emilion Vineyards e-Bike Tour with Wine & Lunch

This Saint Emilion full-day bike trip is offered by Bordovino. You start the day in Bordeaux and the company takes you to Saint Emilion where you’ll get the e-bikes. 

You then get a bit of time to tour the beautiful medieval town before you head on your cycling journey. 

The unique part of the tour starts once you get out of the center of Saint Emilion. You’ll cycle on the beautiful chateaux route, passing by famous estates like Petrus or Château Cheval Blanc. 

On this tour, you get to visit two Saint Emilion wineries and taste their wines. The visit to the first château also includes a light lunch in their garden. 

Their bike tours are offered only during the tourist season, starting in April. 

Book your bike wine tour here

Rustic vines – e-bikes tours

This is another recommended wine e-bike tour, offered by Rustic vines, a company that specializes in biking tours. 

In this small tour, you get to visit two wineries and taste delicious local specialties during your lunch. You get a short walking tour of Saint Emilion at the end of the day and even have an extra wine tasting at a wine boutique.

Like in the previous tour I described, here too you start your tour in Bordeaux and the company takes you to Saint Emilion. 

If you’re already in Saint Emilion you can start straight from there, and get a reduced price. 

Book your tour here

Group tours in the Bordeaux wine region 

While I highly recommend taking a semi-private wine tour, their prices range from 90 to 160 euros p/p. It’s not extremely expensive for a wine tour, however, it’s not an affordable price for a lot of travelers to the Bordeaux region. 

That’s where the group wine tours come in handy. 

group wine tours in the Bordeaux wine region
Group wine tours in the Bordeaux wine region – by Lost in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux tourism office offers tours to most wine appellations around Bordeaux, including the less-known ones. You can choose between a day trip to Saint Emilion with a visit to one winery and a wine tour to areas like Medoc, Blaye, Graves, and Sauternes where you get to visit two wine properties. 

These tours are guided by professional guides who are generally quite charismatic 🙂 The main advantage of taking a group tour is the price which is usually under 50 euros p/p.

If you have the Bordeaux city pass, you get another discount of 15% – you can purchase the city pass here

The downside of these group tours is the number of people allowed on a tour which can easily get to around 40. 

Here’s the schedule of the group wine tours in Bordeaux: 

Monday: Saint Emilion or Fronsac 
Tuesday: Medoc
Wednesday: Graves and Sauternes 
Thursday: Bourg and Blaye
Friday: Entre Deux Mers (the white wine region of Bordeaux)
Saturday: Medoc
Sunday: Saint Emilion or Fronsac 

Some useful information: 

  • All the tours start at the Tourist office of Bordeaux at 13:30 and last for five hours. 
  • During the winter the tours are offered only on weekends
  • Kids under the age of 5yo cannot join their tours 

You can book your tours directly on their website

Private wine Tours from Bordeaux 

Another option is private wine tours from Bordeaux. These tend to be quite expensive as you hire a person to accompany you the whole day. But if you find the right guide, a private tour can be an unforgettable experience.

The best guides in this region are personally familiar with many wine markers and can take you to unique places. 

Here are a few of my recommendations for private guides in Bordeaux.

If you’re looking for a tour in Saint Emilion, I highly recommend Nicolle from Sip. Her tour focuses on small independent producers in Saint Emilion. She also wrote a great book about Bordeaux wine which I highly recommend.

Nicolle from SIP wine private tours in the Bordeaux wine region
Nicolle from SIP wine tours – by Lost in Bordeaux

As she has been working as a wine guide for more than two decades she can organize tours to Medoc, Pessac Leognan, and other parts of the Bordeaux wine region. This is her Medoc private tour, for example. 

If you’re interested to discover the Sauternes world, I highly recommend Anne from Aquitaine travel guide

wine and food tours in Gironde
Aquitaine Travel Guide – wine and food tours in Gironde

If you’re looking for kid-friendly experiences, Anne is great at that too. 

Drop her an email with all your questions: aquitaineguide@gmail.com

Two other great English-speaking wine tour guides in the region are Malgorzata Balaban-Delcros and Marie Hallier who also offers amazing tours to Cognac. 

Wine activity in Bordeaux 

Finally, if you’re in Bordeaux for a very short stay and have absolutely no time for a wine tour you have a few other wine-related activities in the city. 

Cité du Vin – visit the world’s biggest wine museum

La Cite du Vin is a unique cultural center, dedicated to the discovery of wine. Through its interactive exhibition, it offers a journey to both French and global wine history. 

Read about what to expect when visiting the museum in my article about my visit to the Cité du Vin. You can avoid the lines at the entrance by booking the tickets online – here

The ticket to the museum is quite pricy but you can enter the museum for free with the Bordeaux CityPass. To enjoy the free entrance you must enter the museum before noon.

Bordeaux Small-Group Wine Tasting class 

You can also take a morning wine-tasting class with a Professional sommelier guide. This is a two hours workshop where you’ll learn about and taste wines from different wine regions in France.

Book the class here

Pin this article, so you can use it on your visit to the Bordeaux wine region!

First time visiting Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out 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.

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

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

There are a thousand châteaux in the Bordeaux wine region which makes it almost impossible to choose just a few when you visit this region. However, if your timing is right, you might be visiting during one of the open-door weekends taking place at the wineries of Bordeaux throughout the year. There are around 60 different appellations in the Bordeaux wine region with many of them hosting “Portes Ouvertes” (open doors) weekends at least once a year. These events are usually hosted by the wineries of each appellation and include free tastings, tours, and activities for kids.

In this article, I will be listing all the open-door weekends in the wineries in chronological order. Don’t worry If you’re visiting outside of these specific dates, many of these châteaux offer tours and tastings (by appointment). In the article, I will also recommend my favorite wineries to visit in each appellation of Bordeaux wine. The list is long so let’s go!

Most of these wineries in the Bordeaux region are reachable by car only, so if you want to learn how to visit wineries in Bordeaux by public transport, read this article

*Before you decide what wineries you’re going to visit I recommend reading my article about the Bordeaux wine region where I explain what to expect in every wine sub-region.

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

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

In 2024 le Printemps des Vins de Blaye will be taking place on April 13-14.

Open doors in the Médoc wine region

The first open-door event of the year is always the Portes Ouvertes weekend in Medoc, taking place in April. During the festive weekend, you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. I usually update you about the event and the wineries you can visit in this article. In 2024 the event will take place on April 6-7.

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

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

Recommended wineries in Medoc you can visit all year long 

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

Open doors at Lalande de Pomerol

Another Open Doors weekend in April is taking place at the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. A neighbor to the highly prestigious wines of Pomerol and Saint Emilion, this appellation produces some great wines you’d really enjoy discovering. Some of the Lalande de Pomerol properties are owned by famous wine families, such as La Fleur de Boüard, which is owned by Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus.

If you want to learn more about the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and its châteaux, click here.

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

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

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

Saint Emilion, the most famous wine appellation in Bordeaux, celebrates its open-door weekend at the beginning of May. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion.

In 2024 the open-doors weekend takes place May 4-5.

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

Recommended wineries in Saint Emilion you can visit all year long 

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

Grand Crus Weekend

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

In 2023 the event will take place on June 9-11.

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

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

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

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

Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation

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

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

Recommended wineries in Bourg you can visit all year long 

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

Bordeaux Wine Festival

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

In 2023 the event takes place on June 22-25. 

Sauternes Fête le vin

Sauternes is a prestigious wine area famous for its sweet white wines. This is the only wine appellation in Bordeaux that hosts two open-door events every year, one in June and the other in November. For more details click here

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

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

Open doors at the châteaux of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

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

In 2023, the open-door event in Cadillac will take place on May 27-28.

Portes Ouvertes de l’Appellation Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

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

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

Les châteaux de l’appellation Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

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

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves

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

In 2023 the event is taking place on October 14-15.

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

Portes ouvertes in Fronsac

Another great wine to try in Bordeaux is Fronsac & Canon Fronsac and their Portes Ouvertes is a good opportunity to do just that. The event usually takes place at the end of October with more than 30 chateaux hosting people for free tastings, guided tours, and more. One of the main events is taking place at the magnificent Château de la Rivière. The info about the next event will be published hereIn 2023 the event will take place on October 21-22.

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

Recommended wineries in Fronsac you can visit all year long 

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

Open doors in the Chateaux of Sauternes et Barsac

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

 In 2023 the event will take place on November 11-12.

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

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

Portes Ouvertes in Pomerol

Pomerol is probably the most prestigious wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, however, for some reason, its Open Doors Weekend is not as well known as the other ones.

The event usually takes place at the end of October and it’s a rather straightforward one. Most of their chateaux don’t offer tours or special activities during the event because they really only want you to taste their wine. But it’s Pomerol, so amazing wine is guaranteed! The list of the participating chateaux is usually published here.
In 2023 the event will take place on November 19.

Château Beauregard - Pomerol- portes ouvertes
Château Beauregard – Pomerol

Recommended wineries in Pomerol you can visit all year long 

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

les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras

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

In 2022 the event will take place on November 25.

Open Doors in the Châteaux of Pessac-Léognan

The Pessac-Léognan appellation is usually the one closing the year with its Open Doors weekend in December. This event includes tens of wineries that offer wine tastings, tours, gourmet food, and activities for kids. All the information about the event is published on this website.

Pessac is a beautiful little town near Bordeaux so if you want to spend the day there, check out my article about it

In 2023 the event will take place on December 2-3.

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau pape Clement

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

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

See other wineries in Pessac Leognan reachable by public transport from Bordeaux.

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

Cheers everyone! 

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

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

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

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The Bordeaux wine route is one of the most visited attractions in the southwest of France. It’s actually not one but five different wine trails around Bordeaux and one of them is the beautiful Medoc region. “Route des chateaux” is the unofficial name of this magnificent wine trail, which combines nature, history, and culture in one beautiful road.

If you have more than a day to spend on a wine trip in Bordeaux, you should definitely consider Medoc. In two days, you can see a wealth of beautiful chateaux, taste some of the best wines in the world, go to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the local cuisine.

The list of things to do in Medoc is quite long and you can easily turn it into a weeklong vacation if you like. However, as most people go to Medoc for a weekend, I decided to write a two-day itinerary. I tried to cover the most important things to do and places to visit in the Medoc Peninsula, so apart from wine-related activities I also included recommendations of beautiful villages to visit, beaches, markets, hotels, restaurants, and more. I truly hope this article will help you plan your wine trip in the area and will make you fall in love with the marvelous region of Medoc.

If you’re interested in doing more than just one wine route while in Bordeaux, you should check my list of châteaux to visit in Saint Emilion. Also, I recommend reading my detailed guide to the Bordeaux wine region to understand the differences between the different wine areas.

The Medoc wine region in numbers

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

Day one – Châteaux along the Medoc wine road

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

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

While I recommend renting a car to visit the Medoc wine area, you have quite a few chateaux in this region you can visit by public transport.

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

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

Chateau Siran
Château Siran private collection – by lost in Bordeaux

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

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

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

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

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

The town of Margeaux

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

Pauillac

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

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

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

Wineries to visit in Medoc – neat Pauillac

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

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

Château Loudenne for a special experience!

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

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

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

Have dinner at the Port of Saint Vivien de Medoc 

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

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

Visit Phare de Richard and the traditional fishing houses

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

 Carrelets in Medoc
Carrelets in Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

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

Soulac Sur Mer – the Arcachon of Medoc

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region, located at the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. Soulac sur Mer looks like a little Arcachon, with the city center resembling Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas have a similar architectural style to Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon (For more details about Arcachon click here).

Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimp. While there, don’t forget to visit the amazing covered market of the region that sells all the delicacies of the area. Also, if you want to stop for a coffee, Livres Et Cornets is a cute chic cafe on the main pedestrian street. 

Soulac sur mer
Soulac sur mer by Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday Market at Montalivet les Bains

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

The Montalivet market
The Montalivet market by Lost in Bordeaux

Due to its location on the Atlantic coast, Montalivet les Bains became a popular destination for surfers. The city center, which is located close to the main beach, looks like a typical surf resort town with plenty of surf and water equipment shops. All along the main street, restaurant owners will invite you to have a drink or lunch on their terraces.

The highlight for me was the gallery café, located just in front of the market, which is both a very chic coffee place and a vintage shop. They serve delicious fresh food and it’s a perfect spot for a brunch. The address is 49 Avenue Brémontier, 33930 Vendays-Montalivet.  If you’re traveling with kids, this town can be a nice break for lunch but I didn’t find the beach very kids-friendly. 

Visit Vertheuil – an old beautiful village

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

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

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

Where to stay in the Medoc area?

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

Hotels in Medoc

Château de l’Isle

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

Relais de Margaux

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

Sleeping in a wine Chateau

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

Hotel Rollan de By

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

Château du Tertre

chateau-du-Tertre
credit Chateau-du-Tertre

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

Château La Tour Carnet

If you want to feel like you’re staying in a real castle, this is your best option. Château La Tour Carnet is a famous winery located in one of Médoc’s oldest estates, a former medieval fortress. The chateau’s room decoration highly contributes to the amazing experience. There are only two rooms in the chateau so it’s almost private. The stay here is not cheap but it’s truly exceptional!
Book it here 

Château Pierre de Montignac 

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

Soulac sur mer – for a more lively stay

Au cœur de la station et de la plage 

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

Villa Le Cid 

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

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in Bordeaux. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred location.

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

Enjoy Medoc!!

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

Wine enthusiasts don’t need an introduction to Saint Emilion. The small wine appellation (comprising only 6% of the vineyards in the Bordeaux denomination ) has long gained a reputation as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. However, when people plan their day trip to Saint Emilion they’re surprised to discover that it’s also one of the most fascinating villages in the Southwest of France.

For many decades this picturesque town has been an economic and religious center attracting royals, winegrowers, and pilgrims. Every square in the small village center is packed with history and some incredible architecture. Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. Today the stunning Saint Emilion is listed as a heritage site by UNESCO

Planning your first-day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, I want to give you all the information about what to do and see in Saint Emilion, where to eat, and how to get there. While you can still take guided tours, I hope this complete guide to Saint Emilion will make you want to do it by yourself and at your own pace. 

If you decide to stay the night in Saint Emilion (which I highly recommend), here are my hotel recommendations. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

A day trip to Saint Emilion- what to do
Discover the vineyards of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

Car / Public transport 

Generally speaking, I always recommend renting a car when you visit vineyards because it gives you a lot of flexibility to visit any winery you want. And driving in between the small wine villages surrounding Saint Emilion is just magic by itself. If you decide to rent a car, check out this website for good deals

However, if you rather avoid driving just know that it’s very easy to visit Saint Emilion or other wine areas in Bordeaux by public transport. Here’s a detailed explanation of how to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux. If you prefer taking a guided tour of the vineyards I have a few recommendations in this article, you can click here if you want to read it now.

day trip to Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion from above by lost in Bordeaux

I have another article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion so if you want to jump straight to wine tasting, simply click here. Also if you’re traveling with kids here are some of my recommendations for the most kid-friendly wineries.

What to do and see in Saint Emilion

A little touch of history

Saint Emilion has an integral part in the history of Bordeaux and the region. The history of wine in Saint Emilion (or Ascumbas as it was called back then) can be traced to the 3rd century BC, when the Romans planted the first vines in the region. It originally had a mere 200 hectares dedicated to vineyards, clearly not the wine empire it is today. 

the streets of Saint Emilion
The Streets of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

In the 8th century, a monk named Emilian arrived in the little village in search of a quiet simple life and decided to make it his home. He lived in a little cave, receiving the many followers who traveled all the way to Saint Emilion to get his blessing. That’s actually how the village received its name, Saint Emilion.

In the following decades, many religious orders would follow the steps of the monk and move to Saint Emilion to build their churches and convents. That explains the abundance of religious buildings in such a small village. The city became an important landmark for many of the pilgrims following the Camino de Santiago pilgrim way to Spain. The cave of Saint Emilion inspired the construction of the most impressive monument of Saint Emilion, the monolithic church. 

Monolithic church in Saint Emilion
Monolithic church in Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

In the middle ages, during the 300 years of British rule, Saint Emilion was an autonomous city with a lot of financial and governmental power. In 1199 the British king established the Jurade, a group of magistrates governing the city. In return for the economic and political autonomy, the British received in return the best wines of Saint Emilion. That’s how the wine of Saint Emilion become so popular in England. 

The rich history of this little town left many traces in the city center. Many books have been written about its historic monuments, but here I want to share with you a few places that are, in my opinion, a must on your day trip to Saint Emilion. 

Take a tour to discover the underground of Saint Emilion 

Probably the most famous monument of Saint Emilion is the 12th-century Monolithic church that as its name suggests is carved from one stone. It’s the largest Monolithic church in Europe and its construction required the extraction of 15 000 mof stone. When looking at its modest front, it’s hard to imagine how big it is from the inside. I saw many pictures of the Monolithic church before going to Saint Emilion for the first time but I was still amazed when I saw this masterpiece firsthand. 

As it’s a preserved site, to visit the church you will need to take the tour proposed by the tourist office. I know that many people are not big fans of guided tours but this one is really worth it. During the tour, you get to also visit other underground sites which tell some of the history of the city.

Take a tour in Saint Emilion
A small group tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Apart from the church itself, you will visit the catacombs, where the important people of Saint Emilion used to be buried in the middle ages. You will get to sit on a fertility chair in the original cave of Saint Emilion (according to the tourist office many babies have been born following this ritual) and see the impressive paintings on the 14th century Chapelle de la Trinité.

Two English tours are offered two times a day. At 11:00 you can take a general tour of Saint Emilion which ends with the underground tour. While the 14:00 tour is dedicated only to the underground sites. Times may change according to the season. See more details on the official tourist office page. 

What to do in Saint Emilion

The bell tower of the Monolithic church. 

While the church itself is well hidden in the rock, its bell tower is standing tall and can be seen from every spot in the city. If you’re interested in architecture, the tower is a fascinating monument by itself, built in both Romanesque and Gothic styles. You can climb the bell tower and see a magnificent view of Saint Emilion from the highest point in the city.

The Collegiate church

The Collegiate church is a beautiful monument built between the 12th and 15th centuries and you can visit it all by yourself, without taking a tour. Here again, you can see an interesting mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, reflecting the long period of its construction.

The west door of the church was built in a pure Romanesque style during the 12th century while the north door is a Gothic one from the 14th century. It’s located behind the tourist office and you can enter it through one of the two doors or through its beautiful cloister. If you pay close attention to the walls of the cloister you will see quite a lot of interesting items such as graves, statues, and even a little dragon. 

The Collegiate church in Saint Emilion
The Collegiate church – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Tour du Roy

The 13th-century King’s Keep is one of the most famous military architectural monuments in Gironde. There’s still a debate among historians on who ordered its constructions but one thing is sure, it’s a beautiful monument well worth a visit. It’s also a great spot to see the view of the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The tower is open daily for visits, consult the opening hours and prices here

Les Cordeliers – drink sparkling wine in an old cloister

Red wine is not the only famous product of Saint Emilion, you can actually find here sparkling wine as well. The wine is called Cremant de Bordeaux and it’s produced in a beautiful old cloister that is worth a visit even if you’re not a fan of bubbly wine. 

The Cordeliers cloister was established in the 14th century by the Franciscan brothers. For several centuries that’s where they used to live, pray and grow vegetables in their beautiful garden. Most of the building was destroyed during the French Revolution and was later sold to private owners. In the 19th century, the new owners of the place decided to use the enormous underground galleries to produce and store sparkling wine.

Today the production has moved to a remote location but they still store their bottles in the caves underneath the cloister. The Codeliers offers daily tours where you get to visit the caves and taste the sparkling wine of Saint Emilion. Although the tour is nice, it’s not a must unless you really want to see the underground galleries. 

They also have a nice bar outdoors where you can grab a glass of Cremant de Bordeaux (the sparkling white or rosé) accompanied by a picnic basket and sit in the beautiful garden. For more details about the tours and the history of the place click here.
Address: 2 Bis Rue de la Porte Brunet, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Les Cordeliers - the sparkling wine on Saint Emilion
Les Cordeliers – sparkling wine produced in a Cloister

Enjoy the vibes of the Local markets

The markets in the Southwest of France are a treat so visiting at least one should always be on your list. Unfortunately, there’s no market in the center of Saint Emilion but one of the best markets in the Bordeaux region is just within a few minutes drive!

Libourne market is a must for anyone who wants to visit a big regional market with tens of stands of local cheese, wine, charcuterie, oysters, and other local delicacies. The market is taking is taking place every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday in the center of Libourne.

If you’re about to visit Bordeaux on your trip, don’t miss a chance to visit Bordeaux’s main market, Marché des Capucins. It’s truly one of the liveliest markets in France and a great place to try local food. There are plenty of restaurants at the market and you can read about the best ones in my article about where to eat at the Capucins market.

Try regional sweets 

If you’re tired of wandering around soaking history and sipping wine it’s time to stop for some local sweets! Yes, the Bordeaux region has its special sweets that you can’t find anywhere else in France and one of them is coming straight from Saint Emilion. 

macarons of Saint Emilion

Did you know that the original Macaron was actually born in Saint Emilion? The macaroons of Saint Emilion are produced there since 1620 when the Ursulines sisters established their convent in the village. The recipe is being passed from generation to generation and hasn’t been changed ever since. 

You can get a box of macarons at the little sweets shop “Fabrique de Macarons” ( Address: 9 rue Guadet). Or have a cup of tea with a great variety of local sweets and pastries at Au Parvis des Thés, a nice coffee shop, located behind the tourist office (1 Place Pioceau)

The Saint Emilion wine route – visiting wineries 

How to visit wineries in Saint Emilion 

We’re finally getting to the topic most visitors come for – how to visit the wine chateaux of Saint Emilion. If you just want to drive around the Saint Emilion area and taste and buy some wine directly from the wineries, it’s quite straightforward. Many of them will happily welcome you to the chateau and let you taste their wine.

However, if you’re interested in a tour (even a basic one), you usually have to either make an appointment or book online. I highly recommend visiting at least one chateau when in the region. Here I want to facilitate the planning part for you with some tips.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

Here’s a good tip for those of you who don’t like to plan and would just love to visit a few properties. The tourist office in Saint Emilion publishes a list of two to four chateaux on a daily basis that are open for a visit without prior reservation. It allows you to be both spontaneous and to discover some wine chateaux you may have never heard of. You can see the daily list of wine chateaux here

Having said that, I know that most people traveling such a long distance to the southwest of France would love to know ahead what chateaux are the best ones to visit. There are more than 130 wine producers in the great Saint Emilion area, many of which are open to visitors. So obviously choosing only one or two is not easy.

As I had the chance to visit many chateaux in Saint Emilion since moving here, I’ve gathered a list of some of the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. This list is very limited and there are of course many other excellent wineries in the region but I found those to be particularly friendly to visitors.

Most of my list is dedicated to small family estates rather than big wineries owned by big companies. I personally prefer these kinds of visits as they feel more personal and allow you to discover the passion and history stretching several generations of winegrowers in one family. 

Note– Most of the wineries are reachable only by car. If you rather using the train to get to Saint Emilion, check out my article about wineries you can reach by public transport.

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

Most of the winery owners and their employees speak English so contacting them should not be a problem. However, If you don’t want the hassle of contacting the chateaux you can always book a visit through Rue des Vignerons

Discover the Pomerol Appellation 

If you’re really passionate about wine, you should also visit the luxurious neighbor of Saint Emilion, the Pomerol Appellation. Pomerol is one the most prestigious appellations in the area, even though it’s not included in the official classification from 1855. It’s the smallest wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, covering roughly 800 hectares of vines.

Chateau Petrus is the most famous one in Pomerol. Unfortunately, most of us cannot visit this chateau as they are open only to wine professionals and honestly, most people can’t afford it either. 

Visit wineries in Bordeaux Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol
Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol

But there are several Pomerol wineries that will be more than happy to welcome you to their estate. Two of the most impressive ones, in my opinion, are Chateau de Sales (book a visit here) and Chateau Beauregard with the most impressive wine tanks I’ve ever seen. Other smaller family-owned properties I love include Château du Tailhas (book a visit here) and Chateau Bel Air.

Even if you don’t have the time to visit a winery in Pomerol you can still taste it in one of the wine shops in Saint Emilion. It’s really a great wine so I strongly recommend it. Many call it a ladies wine because it’s easier to drink than a Saint Emilion, but don’t say that to a Pomerol producer, they don’t like that label 🙂 

Taking a guided tour of Saint Emilion 

While I believe that Saint Emilion is a great trip to do on your own, I know that many visitors love to take guided tours. So if you rather avoid planning or driving, here are a few recommended tours you can take from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. For more options for wine tours in the Bordeaux region check out my article about the Best wine tours in Bordeaux

From Bordeaux: Afternoon Saint-Emilion Wine Tasting Tripone of the most popular half-day tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. The tour takes you from the center of Bordeaux to visit two wine chateaux. You can find all the details of the tour and book directly here.

Full-Day St Emilion Wine Tasting Tour – This tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion allows you to visit three different chateaux in the region as well as the town itself. This is a great option if you want to see different techniques of winemaking and taste different wines from the same area. You can see all the details and get your ticket here.

Guided wine tour in Saint Emilion
Ebike wine tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint-Emilion Electric Bike Day Tour with Wine Tastings & Lunch – one of the best ways to discover the vineyards of Saint Emilion is on E-bikes. Rustic Wines is a company that offers amazing full-day ebike tours in Saint Emilion. The tours include a visit to two wineries, a lunch, and a visit to the village. Book the tour here

Private wine tours– there are quite a few amazing guides here in the region that can take you on a private tour to Saint Emilion. Three I particularly like are Olala wine tours, Niclolle from SIP, and Anne from Aquitiane travel guide.

What to eat in Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion takes itself very seriously when it comes to gastronomy with plenty of restaurants in the city center as well as at the vineyards of the region. Saint Emilion is a very popular touristic destination which means that if you’re traveling in the summer season, reserving a table is a must!  

I gathered a shortlist of good restaurants in Saint Emilion, which includes both high-end gastronomic institutions and more simple but very good restaurants.

Logis de la Cadene – I dare say that this one Michelin star restaurant is the most praised restaurant in Saint Emilion. If you’re celebrating a special event or just want to have a culinary treat, this is the place for you.
Address: 3 Place du Marché au Bois, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’Envers du Décor – The first wine bar in Saint Emilion that has become one of the best restaurants in town. The place is a bit pricey but the food and the overhaul experience are worth it. Plus, they have a nice little garden which is super fun when it gets warm. It’s currently owned by the Perse family, the owner of the famous Château Pavie so perfect wine matching won’t be a problem. 

The restaurant is open daily. The address is 11 Rue du Clocher, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’huitrier-pie – a creative restaurant with great food. It feels very fancy but the prices are not too high compared to the more expensive restaurants in Saint Emilion. Address: 11 Rue de la Porte Bouqueyre, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Chateau de Candale – If you want to take full advantage of the wine region you can have lunch between the vineyards. Chateau de Candale has a nice gastronomic restaurant in their wine chateau and you can even combine it with a great wine tour. Click here to book a wine tour and a meal at Chateau de Candale.

The best events in Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion is a small but very lively town with plenty of events taking place throughout the year. This wine region celebrates everything from wine to gastronomy to Jazz music so check out if there’s an event lining up with your planned trip.

I write monthly posts about the events taking place in and around Bordeaux (including Saint Emilion) as well as a weekly newsletter I send to my subscribers. So all the events will eventually appear on my blog. But here are just a few of the major ones:

The open doors in Saint Emilion – a weekend at the end of April/ beginning of May with almost 90 wineries opening their doors to welcome the public for three days of free tours, wine tastings, exhibitions, concerts, and more. Here are more open-door events taking place in the Bordeaux wine region.

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion – a hot air balloon festival taking place every year in October above the vineyards of Saint Emilion. This event is absolutely stunning!

saint emilion hot air balloon
Saint Emilion hot air balloon festival- by Lost in Bordeaux

Ban des Vendanges – a ceremony taking place on the King’s Keep in September, officially starting the harvest season in Saint Emilion. 

Fête les Vins Kms de Saint-Émilion – The official marathon (and semi-marathon) of Saint Emilion, taking place every March.

What’s the best time to come to Saint Emilion 

In my opinion, the best time to visit Saint Emilion is from May to Mid July and then September and October (the harvest season). But that’s the short answer, it’s obviously it a bit more nuanced than that. You can find my detailed answer about when to come to Saint Emilion and when to avoid it here. However, I just want to highlight that it’s a huge and very popular wine region, so you’ll find a winery to visit no matter when you come.

harvest time in Saint Emilion
harvest time in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to get to Saint Emilion

My directions here mostly focused on people coming from Bordeaux for a day trip. I will just mention that the two closest airports to Saint Emilion are the Bordeaux Airport in Merignac and the little airport in Bergerac. 

How do you get from the center of Bordeaux to Saint Emilion?

Saint Emilion is one of the easiest destinations to get from Bordeaux as there’s a direct train from Gare Saint-Jean (Bordeaux’s main train station) to Saint Emilion. The station in Saint Emilion is located about 15-20 minutes walk from the city center. If you want to know in detail about the train’s time schedule, where to buy tickets, and how to get transport from the station to the city center, read my article about how to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion

Nonetheless, if your day trip to Saint Emilion includes a visit to more distant wineries I do recommend coming by car – if you need to rent one click here.

Where to park in Saint Emilion?

There’s the free parking lot of the Gendarmerie (police station). However, this parking is often full on busy days in which case you can leave your car at the free parking next to the train station. There are also several paid parking lots (about 2 euros/hour): around the collegiate church (the upper town) and Place Bouqueyre (the bottom town). 

Where to stay in Saint Emilion

I know that many visitors go to Saint Emilion only for a day trip but consider staying a night in the medieval beautiful city as it can really be a beautiful experience. Here are a few recommended hotels for those who decide to stay in Saint Emilion.

*You can also read the full article about where to stay in and around Saint Emilion, where I included luxury experiences as well and more simple and cute B&B in the countryside around the beautiful town.

Logis de la Cadene

This is one of the most recommended hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel, with an amazing view of the historic center, has a warm and elegant design to it. And as I mentioned above it also has one of the best restaurants in town. Book it here

Hostellerie de Plaisance 

One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel is located just next to the Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion and offers a magical panoramic view of the medieval village and the vineyards. Book it here.

Les Chambres d’Ovaline

Les Chambres d’Ovaline is a cozy and beautiful B&B located a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. The rooms are beautifully designed and you can enjoy your breakfast in their cute garden. It’s also much more affordable than the other options in Saint Emilion. Book a room here

Le Relais de Franc Mayne Saint Emilion

A magical B&B with the most beautiful view of the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The rooms are quite spacious and beautifully decorated. To book a room click here.

See the full list of my recommended hotels and B&Bs in the Saint Emilion region.

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Are you also planning to visit Bordeaux?

Here are a few articles to help you plan the best trip to Bordeaux:

50 best things to do in Bordeaux
My guide to a weekend in Bordeaux
What to do in one day in Bordeaux

And this is a full list of all Bordeaux wine-related articles with more winery recommendations, that will help you plan your Bordeaux self-guided wine tour:

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion Best wine tours in Bordeaux
A guide to the Bordeaux wine region 
How to visit wineries in the Bordeaux wine region without a car
A weekend in the Medoc wine region 
Best wineries to visit in Sauternes 
Best wineries in Bordeaux to visit with kids 

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 harvest season in Saint Emilion or the ”vendange” as the French call it, is an old tradition that attracts many locals and foreigners to the area. While the prestigious wine region enjoys a steady stream of visitors starting from early Spring, Saint Emilion’s harvest season in September seems to be the busiest time of the year. It’s hard labor no doubt, but it doesn’t stop the flock of mostly young locals and foreigners taking part in this beautiful tradition. These days, the wineries are reluctant to take volunteers because of strict working regulations and their desire to control the quality of the harvest. That doesn’t mean however that you cannot take part in events related to the harvest in Saint Emilion and Bordeaux. In this article, I want to help you explore all the harvest related activities and make the best out of the harvest season of Bordeaux wines. 
Some Cheateaux I’ve been talking to are still planning their activities so I’ll update here with more events as they become available.

The ceremony of the harvest in Saint Emilion – Ban des Vendanges

The ceremony that kicks off the annual harvest in Saint Emilion is called Ban des Vendanges, meaning ‘the harvest ban’. The exact term is actually lifting the ban of the grape harvest, which historically allowed the winegrowers to start collecting the grapes from the vineyards. The ceremony is held in front of the beautiful front collegiate church of Saint Emilion by the Jurade, winegrowers dressed in red caps and robes. The Jurade is a brotherhood of 140 Jurats (members) founded 800 years ago with the mission to supervise the production and making of fine wines. Today they have a more symbolic role of maintaining the traditions of the Saint Emilion wine area. 

This year the events of the “Ban des Vendanges” will take place on the weekend of September 21-22, as part of the European heritage days. The first ceremony of the Jurade will take place on the evening of September 21st (Starting at 22:15) at the Tour du Roy and will end up with a sound and light show. The second day of the ceremonies (September 22) is a celebration of the new vintage. 

The day includes the Jurade ceremony which will be followed by a lunch reserved for wine professionals, many of whom attend the event only for this great networking event. Learn more about the Jurades ceremony here

If you want to see how the harvest process is actually done you can join the Journée Vendanges at Château Mangot (September 28). It’s a half-day activity where you get to visit the vineyards accompanied by in-depth explanations about the “vendanges” and the tradition and history of the château. You will also visit the cellars and taste the 2018 wines from the barrels. The day includes lunch at the park of the chateau. The price is 39 euros per person and you can book it here

As it’s the patrimony days, it a good opportunity to discover some of Saint Emilion’s most emblematic sites. On September 21-22 you are offered free visits to fascinating places like the Monolith Church and the collégiale of Saint-Émilion, guided free tours in the city, tours for kids, light shows and more. You can see the full program for the weekend here

Chateau La Croizzille in Saint Emilion
Chateau La Croizzille – by lost in Bordeaux

If you’re going to spend the weekend in Saint emilion it is highly recommended to try and book a visit to one of the wineries in the area. Some of them will probably be busy with the harvest season but others have enough personnel to welcome you in their domain. To chose a chateau, go to my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Grapes harvest in Bordeaux – other activities

The harvest season celebrations in Bordeaux are not limited to Saint Emilion. Bordeaux will host the big “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” event on the weekend of September 12-15. On September 12, the Triangle d’Or district will host a jazz concert to celebrate the new harvest. On September 13-14 the city center will transform into a huge terrace with plenty of restaurants that will help you discover the different wines of Bordeaux. For more info about “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” click here

The grape harvest celebration will end with the Vign’en ville festival, hosting winemakers in Jardin Public that will teach you all about wine production through a series of workshops and activities. You can read more about the Vign’en ville event in my post about things to do in Bordeaux in September

Another great harvest event will take place at the Sauve-Majeure, the ruins of the 11th-century Benedictine monastery.  The site also hosts the Maison des Vins de l’Entre-deux-Mers, one of Bordeaux’s wine regions known for its white wines. 

This is a very kids friendly event with pony and tractor rides, collecting grapes and a musical aperitif. The Fête des Vendanges will take place on September 14 at Place Saint-Jean in La Sauve Majeure, starting at 14:00. Click here for more info and reservation details. 

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

If you’re a wine enthusiast and you want to discover more than just Saint Emilion, check out my guide to the wine trip in the Medoc wine region. It is a beautiful region with some of the most impressive chateaux in the area and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Bordeaux (even if you don’t like wine). If you don’t have enough time to discover all the wine regions of Bordeaux you can simply taste many of the wines at wine bars in Bordeaux. For that, you just have to read my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

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

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred location.Want more updates about things to do in Bordeaux and the area? All you have to do is follow me on facebook/Instagram ! Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

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

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

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

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

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

Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq

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

Bordeaux museums are free this summer 

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

kids museums in Bordeaux

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

The Cité du Vin is free for kids this summer!

la cite du vin in Bordeaux

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

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

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

darwin graffiti

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

Free beach activities in Bordeaux

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

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

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

Go to the IBOAT beach 

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

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

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

Have a drink at Mama Shelter

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

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

Summer sales

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

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

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

Sunday market in Bordeaux

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

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

oysters arcachon

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

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river

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

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

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

Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Gironde 

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

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

Discover the most charming villages in Gironde

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

the most beautiful villages in Gironde

Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature

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

Réserve écologique des Barails

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

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

A new huge Labyrinth in Gironde

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

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

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

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

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

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

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

Just like in the last two weeks, most events on this list are related to Christmas. As we get closer to December 25, more and more Christmas markets are popping up in and around Bordeaux. I covered some of them in my article about Christmas markets in Bordeaux. If you still haven’t finished (or started) you Christmas shopping, take a look on my post about where to shop for Christmas in Bordeaux. However, if you’re fed up with Christmas I have few other suggestions such as the Bordeaux wine tasting festival, the kids theater festival, a special effect exhibition and more. 

This is the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (December 14-16):

Taste the best French wines

This month you have a chance to taste some of the best French wines in one place at an event called “Bordeaux Tasting”. During two days (December 15-16) more than a hundred wine houses from Bordeaux area and other regions in France like Bourgogne, Rhône, Alsace and Loire will be there to present their best wines. The tasting will take places in six different sites around Place de la Bourse:
– Palais de la Bourse : les grands bordeaux / les cognacs / les grands invités
– Le Gabriel : Pomerol Séduction
– La Bulle : les bordeaux / bordeaux supérieur
– Le Musée national des Douanes : les grands étrangers
– l’Espace Saint-Rémi : les champagnes
– la Maison Darnozan : l’espace des vins bio

Tickets are 23-27€ depending on the day. For more details click here.

When: December 15-16
Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Drôle de Noël

For the 9th time the city of Talence invites you to their big Christmas celebrations taking place on December 14-30 in Park Peixotto. For two weekends in a row (December 14-16, December 21-23) a Christmas market will take place in the park and on December 24-30 (except December 25) the park will host plenty of activities for kids.  For more info click here.

When: December 14-30
Where: Parc Peixoto, 33400 Talence

Les lumières de la ville 2018

Les lumières de la ville is a great chance to discover how Bordeaux’s monuments look at night. It’s an hour and a half biking tour that will start at Place Pey-Berland and will finish at the Garage moderne for Christmas drinks. On the way you will get to see the most important monuments and all the beautifully decorated little streets of Bordeaux. The event will take place this Friday (December 14) at 19:00, it’s free and open to all. For more details click here

les lumiers de la ville
When: December 14, at 19:00
Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Christmas Concert

A special Christmas concert will take place this Friday (December 14) at the Notre Dame church in Bordeaux. The girls choir of Bordeaux will take the stage accompanied by soprano Romie Estèves and Jérémie Genet on a cello. The event is free. For more details click here

When: December 14, at 20:30
Where: 1 Rue Mably, 33000 Bordeaux, 33000 Bordeaux

Take your kids to Cirque Pardi!

Cirque Pardi! is a modern circus whose shows combine a lot of dance and humor and are very entertaining for both kids and adults. This year they are coming back to Bordeaux for the second time with their show BorderLand, which gained a great success on their last visit here in 2015.  Cirque Pardi! will perform 15 shows from November 30 to December 22. The temporary circus will be located on Quai de queyries, just next to Darwin. For all the dates and tickets click here.

When: November 30- December 22
Where: 86 quai des Queyries, 33 100 BORDEAUX

Xmas Market – Darwin

This market is gradually gaining a status as one of the main Christmas markets in Bordeaux. Like Darwin itself,  the Xmas market is an alternative event with craftsmen and regional creators. The market will include stands of clothes, jewelry, accessories, art objects, books, sport accessories and bio products. To make it more entertaining many activities will take place during these three days, among theme workshops for kids, tasting of bio products, concerts and other surprises. The market will take place on December 14-16, for more info click here.

xmasmarket darwin
When: December 14-16
Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Marché & Cuisine De Rue

This is the other market Darwin will host this weekend (December 15-16) to accompany the Christmas market. The “market and street cooking” event will hosts local producers of organic food that will allow you to taste and learn about eco-responsible cooking. The event will take place at the Caserne de Noël just in front of the Christmas market. For more info click here

When: December 15-16
Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Le Marché de Noël des Halles

Les Halles de Bacalan are holding their Christmas market this week (December 14-16). Tens of creators will participate in the market, selling products like soaps, jewelry, accessories, kids clothes and more. The rich program of the event includes activities like kids room with creative workshops, pizza making, pony tours, Raclette de Noël  and more. For more details click here

When: December 14-16
Where: 10 esplanade de pontac, 33300 Bordeaux

Festival « Sur Un Petit Nuage » de Pessac

The city of Pessac invites you to a fantastic kids festival with plenty of live shows. This is the 17th edition of the festival and this time the program includes circus, dance, music concerts, theater and a puppet show as well as artistic workshops for kids. The festival Sur un Petit Nuage, will take place on December 16-22 in different locations in Pessac. See the full program here

When: December 16-22
Where: different places in Pessac (check out the program)

Christmas Swing Party

Arbre de Noël is a Christmas swing party with a live band that will take place this Sunday (December 16) at La Salle Des Fêtes Bordeaux Grand-Parc. To get into the Christmas spirit, there is a dress code (white and red colors) and even a secret Santa game. if you want to take part in the Santa game be sure to bring a little gift (maximum 5€). Entry is 10€, for more info click here

When: December 16 at 15:30
Where: 39 Cours de Luze, 33300 Bordeaux

Noël 2018 à Bergerac

If you want to travel a bit this weekend, visit the Bergerac Christmas market. Bergerac is one of the best markets in the south-west region with tens of stands, beautiful decorations and activities. The market takes place at place Louis de la Bardonnie on December 8-24. For more details check out the website of the market. 

When: December 8-24
Where: place Louis de la Bardonnie, 24100 Bergerac

Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

The traditional Christmas market of Bordeaux will open its gates between November 30 and December 30. This is one of the biggest Christmas markets in the region with 150 pavilions selling all the traditional Christmas merchandise such as clothes, decorations, jewelry, toys and local products. Even if you don’t intend to buy any gifts at the market you can still enjoy the Christmas spirit with some hot wine and roasted chestnuts.  For more info click here.

When: November 30 – December 30 from 10:30 to 21:30
Where: Allées de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux

Le Marché de Noël Solidaire 

The Solidarity Christmas market is part of the Social Economy and Solidarity month. This is a unique market, organized by the city hall and the local social development fund aiming to support young local creators who founded their company thanks to microcredits. The market will take place at Place Pey Berland on December 7-24. See more details here.

When: Until December 23
Where: Place Pey Berland

Arcachon Christmas market

The official Christmas market of Arcachon will start this weekend (December 15) and will continue until January 6. Besides the traditional market this one includes an open ice skating rink on place Thiers. For more info click here.

When: December 15- January 6
Where: center of Arcachon

L’Arche de Noël – creators market

L’Arche de Noël is a creators market taking place in the Chartrons neighborhood every weekend until Christmas (December 22-23 is the last event). Each weekend a group of local talented craftsmen and artists will present their original creations. See more details here.

When: Until December 23
Where: 23 Rue Minvielle, 33000 Bordeaux

Interactive special effects exhibition

Do you ever wonder how the special effects you see in movies are made? A new exhibition for kids (older than 6 yo) by the name of “Effets speciaux” is taking place these days in Cap Science. It’s an interactive exhibition that allows you to see the behind the scenes of the cinema world and experiment with different special effects like the green screen. Entry prices range from 6.5€ to 9€ and free for kids under 5 years old. For more info click here.

When: until August 26
Where: Hangar 20 quai Bacalan, 33000 BORDEAUX

I hope this weekend will be more cheerful than the last one! And if you’re afraid to go to the city center I hope I gave you enough ideas for events outside the center of Bordeaux. 

If you want more tips on things to do and places to visit, be sure to subscribe here to my newsletter. 

Have a great weekend!

Just like in the last two weeks, most events on this list are related to Christmas. As we get closer to December 25, more and more Christmas markets are popping out in and around Bordeaux. I covered some of them in my article about Christmas market in Bordeaux. If you are still haven’t finished (or started) you Christmas shopping, take a look on my post about where to shop for Christmas in Bordeaux. However if you’re fed up with Christmas  I have few other suggestions such as Bordeaux wine tasting festival, kids theater festival, a special effect exhibition and more. 

This is the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (December 14-16):

Taste the best French wines

This month you have the chance to taste all the best French wines in one place at an event called “Bordeaux Tasting”. During two days (December 15-16) more than a hundred wine houses from Bordeaux area and other regions in France like Bourgogne, Rhône, Alsace and Loire will be there to present their best wines. The tasting will take places in six different sites around Place de la Bourse:
– Palais de la Bourse : les grands bordeaux / les cognacs / les grands invités
– Le Gabriel : Pomerol Séduction
– La Bulle : les bordeaux / bordeaux supérieur
– Le Musée national des Douanes : les grands étrangers
– l’Espace Saint-Rémi : les champagnes
– la Maison Darnozan : l’espace des vins bio

Tickets are 23-27€ depending on the day. For more details click here.

When: December 15-16
Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Drôle de Noël

For the 9th time the city of Talence invites you to their big Christmas celebration taking place on December 14-30 in Park Peixotto. For two weekends in a row (December 14-16, December 21-23) a Christmas market will take place in the park and on December 24-30 (except December 25) the park will host plenty of activities for kids.  For more info click here.

When: December 14-30
Where: Peixoto, 33400 Talence

Les lumières de la ville 2018

Les lumières de la ville is a great chance to discover how Bordeaux’s monuments look at night. It’s an hour and a half biking tour that will start at Place Pey-Berland and will finish at the Garage moderne for Christmas drinks. On the way you will get to see the most important monuments and all the beautifully decorated little streets of Bordeaux. The event will take place this Friday (December 14) at 19:00, it’s free and open to all. For more details click here

les lumiers de la ville
When: December 14, at 19:00
Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Christmas Concert

A special Christmas concert will take place this Friday (December 14) at the Notre Dame church in Bordeaux. The girls choir of Bordeaux will take the stage accompanied by soprano Romie Estèves and Jérémie Genet on a cello. The event is free. For more details click here

When: December 14, at 20:30
Where: 1 Rue Mably, 33000 Bordeaux, 33000 Bordeaux

Take your kids to Cirque Pardi!

Cirque Pardi! is a modern circus whose shows combine a lot of dance and humor and are very entertaining for both kids and adults. This year they are coming back to Bordeaux for the second time with their show BorderLand, which gained a great success on their last visit here in 2015.  Cirque Pardi! will perform 15 shows from November 30 to December 22. The temporary circus will be located on Quai de queyries, just next to Darwin. For all the dates and tickets click here.

When: November 30- December 22
Where: 86 quai des Queyries, 33 100 BORDEAUX

Xmas Market – Darwin

This market is gradually gaining a status as one of the main Christmas markets in Bordeaux. Like Darwin itself,  the Xmas market is an alternative event with craftsmen and regional creators. The market will include stands of clothes, jewelry, accessories, art objects, books, sport accessories and bio products. To make it more entertaining many activities will take place during these three days, among theme workshops for kids, tasting of bio products, concerts and other surprises. The market will take place on December 14-16, for more info click here.

xmasmarket darwin
When: December 14-16
Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Marché & Cuisine De Rue

This is the other market Darwin will host this weekend (December 15-16) to accompany the Christmas market. The “market and street cooking” event will hosts local producers of organic food that will allow you to taste and learn about eco-responsible cooking. The event will take place at the Caserne de Noël just in front of the Christmas market. For more info click here

When: December 15-16
Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Le Marché de Noël des Halles

Les Halles de Bacalan are holding their Christmas market this week (December 14-16). Tens of creators will participate in the market, selling products like soaps, jewelry, accessories, kids clothes and more. The rich program of the event includes activities like kids room with creative workshops, pizza making, pony tours, Raclette de Noël  and more. For more details click here

When: December 14-16
Where: 10 esplanade de pontac, 33300 Bordeaux

Festival « Sur Un Petit Nuage » de Pessac

The city of Pessac invites you to a fantastic kids festival with plenty of live shows. This is the 17th edition of the festival and this time the program includes circus, dance, music concerts, theater and a puppet show as well as artistic workshops for kids. The festival Sur un Petit Nuage, will take place on December 16-22 in different locations in Pessac. See the full program here

When: December 16-22
Where: different places in Pessac (check out the program)

Christmas Swing Party

Arbre de Noël is a Christmas swing party with a live band that will take place this Sunday (December 16) at La Salle Des Fêtes Bordeaux Grand-Parc. To make get into the Christmas spirit, there is a dress code (white and red colors) and even a secret Santa game. if you want to take part in the Santa game be sure to bring a little gift (maximum 5€). Entry is 10€, for more info click here

When: December 16 at 15:30
Where: 39 Cours de Luze, 33300 Bordeaux

Noël 2018 à Bergerac

If you want to travel a bit this weekend, visit the Bergerac Christmas market. Bergerac is one of the best markets in the south-west region with tens of stands, beautiful decorations and activities. The market takes place at place Louis de la Bardonnie on December 8-24. For more details check out the website of the market. 

When: December 8-24
Where: place Louis de la Bardonnie, 24100 Bergerac

Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

The traditional Christmas market of Bordeaux will open its gates between November 30 and December 30. This is one of the biggest Christmas markets in the region with 150 pavilions selling all the traditional Christmas merchandise such as clothes, decorations, jewelry, toys and local products. Even if you don’t intend to buy any gifts at the market you can still enjoy the Christmas spirit with some hot wine and roasted chestnuts.  For more info click here.

When: November 30 – December 30 from 10:30 to 21:30
Where: Allées de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux

Le Marché de Noël Solidaire 

The Solidarity Christmas market is part of the Social Economy and Solidarity month. This is a unique market, organized by the city hall and the local social development fund aiming to support young local creators who founded their company thanks to microcredits. The market will take place at Place Pey Berland on December 7-24. See more details here.

When: Until December 23
Where: Place Pey Berland

Arcachon Christmas markets

The official Christmas market of Arcachon will start this weekend (December 15) and will continue until January 6. Besides the traditional market this one includes an open ice skating rink on place Thiers. For more info click here.

When: December 15- January 6
Where: center of Arcachon

L’Arche de Noël – creators market

L’Arche de Noël is a creators market taking place in the Chartrons neighborhood every weekend until Christmas (December 22-23 is the last event). Each weekend a group of local talented craftsmen and artists will present their original creations. See more details here.

When: Until December 23
Where: 23 Rue Minvielle, 33000 Bordeaux

Interactive special effects exhibition

Do you ever wonder how the special effects you see in movies are made? A new exhibition for kids (older than 6 yo) by the name of “Effets speciaux” is taking place these days in Cap Science. It’s an interactive exhibition that allows you to see the behind the scenes of the cinema world and experiment with different especial effects like the green screen. Entry range from 6.5€ to  9€ and free for kids under 5 years old. For more info click here.

When: until August 26
Where: Hangar 20 quai Bacalan, 33000 BORDEAUX

I hope this weekend will be more cheerful than the last one! And if you’re afraid to go to city center I hope I gave you enough ideas for events outside the center of Bordeaux. 

If you want more tips on things to do and places to visit, be sure to subscribe here to my newsletter. 

Have a great weekend!

The most beautiful event this weekend will surely be the flying balloons festival in Saint-Emilion. But with this amazing fall season outside, there’s no lack of great outdoor activities such as collecting mushrooms in the forest, the Bordeaux Fair and an Autumn festival in the Médoc. If you loved the open doors weekend in the Châteaux of Médoc, this weekend you can enjoy a similar event in the Graves wine area. Besides all of these, there are fun events like the swing festival, the ancient books salon and plenty of music and exhibitions. Here is the list of things to do in and around Bordeaux this weekend (October 19-21):

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion

Montgolfiades is an annual festival of balloon flights organized by Le Ciel est à Toi association. The flights will take place on October 19-21 above Saint-Emilion and the vineyards around it, so the sight is promised to be breathtaking. For more info click here.

When: October 19-21
Where: Bordeaux, Merignac, Talence, Pessac and more – check out the full program

Bordeaux Swing Festival

The international festival of Lindy hop (part of the Swing family) will take place on October 19-21 in the Bordeaux region and this year they have invited a special guest, one of biggest stars in the the New York swing scene – Gordon Webster. Two swing parties will take place at the beautiful le Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, with a battle between the Gordon Webster Hot Swing Sextet bands. The program of the festival also includes 7 hours of classes with 11 international teachers. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: October 19-21
Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the full program

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves wines

Graves, one of the wine regions in the Bordeaux wine area (appellation d’origine contrôlée) invites you to an open door weekend, allowing you to discover its wines and châteaux. During the weekend (October 20-21) 69 châteaux will open their doors to visits, wine tastings, wine workshops and different activities for kids and adults. See the full program of the event and the list of the participating châteaux here.

When: October 20-21
Where: Graves area – chose your chateau from the program

Fest’O’Tone 2018

The 4th edition of the Fest’O’Tone festival will take place this Saturday (October 20) in the Salle Socio Culturelle in Listrac Médoc. The festive evening will include a line up of concerts (JEKO, GOLDEN PARACHUTE, ALAM, TRIBALIZER), a sculpture exhibition, a bar and a wine tasting space. For more info and tickets click here.

When: October 20,  19:00 to 1:30
Where: Chemin du stade, 33480 Listrac-Médoc

FAB – International art festival

FAB is the annual International art festival of Bordeaux Metropole taking place this year on October 5-24. As one of Europe’s biggest art festivals it attracts some known names from the international contemporary art scene. During the three weeks of the festival more than 30 shows will take place in more than 20 different locations in Bordeaux, from the TnBA theater to the Opera of Bordeaux and the Base Sous Marine. Click here to see the full program of the festival.

 

When: October 5-24
Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the program,

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the fall edition of the traditional Bordelaise Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces  from October 12 to November 4. It’s a perfect activity for kids and for those who are young in spirit as La Foire aux Plaisirs de Bordeaux has it all: a big wheel, a roller coasters, ghost trains, bumper cars, donuts, crèpes, barbes à papa and more. The fair is open daily from 14:00, you are not required to pay any entry fee, only for some of the attractions. See more info about the fair here.

When: October 12 – November 4
Where:Place des Quinconces , 33000 Bordeaux

Explore the city on the National Architecture days

The National Architecture days are a great opportunity so discover the city in a more profound way and learn about the buildings you see every day in Bordeaux. One association that offers guided tours in different areas in Bordeaux are Tout Art Faire. During this weekend (October 19-20) they will offer 3 different guided tours: around Pey Berland, a thematic tour about art deco in Bordeaux and one on Neoclassic Bordeaux. For more details about the tours click here.

When: October 19-21
Where: See locations in the program

Sunday Party – Bordeaux Swing

This event is basically the after party of the Swing festival taking place in Bordeaux this weekend. The I-BOAT invites you to a swing party that will end the events of the festival in Bordeaux on October 21. The program includes 2 DJ sets on both floors of the IBOAT, live music, vintage dressing and more. The tickets are included in the Bordeaux swing festival pass, or 10€ without the pass. The IBOAT is one of the coolest concert venues in Bordeaux so if you haven’t been there yet, it’s a good opportunity to check it out. For more details about the event click here.

When: October 21, at 19:00
Where: Quai Armand Lalande, 33300 Bordeaux,

O’VIVES

Les Chantiers de la Garonne together with Darwin, two of the best places in Bordeaux to go to on weekends, invite you for the third edition of  O’Vives. The event revolves around environmental sensitivity and will include music, talks, an exhibition, yoga, DIY workshops and more. For details  and the full program click here. The event is free.

summer in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

When: October 20, from 14:00
Where: 21 quai des queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Take your kids to collect mushrooms in Pessac

This is the time of the year where you start seeing the little colorful mushroom heads in the forest. This Saturday (October 20) you and your family could join the mycologists of C.E.M.A. (Cercle d’Études Mycologiques en Aquitaine) in the field and explore the world of mushrooms. This fun activity will take place in Forêt du Bourgailh in Pessac and will of course include the collection of mushrooms, thus a basket and a knife are a must. The activity is open to kids over 8 years old, the prices are 8€ for adults and 3€ for kids. Reserve your place and buy tickets here.

When: October 20, at 14:00
Where: 160 Avenue de Beutre, 33600 Pessac (at the Jardins du Bourgailh)

Autumn in the Garden

As part of the “fête des jardins partagés” celebrations initiated by Bordeaux Métropole, the cultural center Saint-Exupéry organized a fun event called “Automne aux jardins” that will take place this Saturday (October 20). This colorful event will include culinary activities, a gardeners stand, flower plantation and more. The event is free. For more info click here.

When: October 20, from 14:00 to 18:00
Where: Impasse Yvon Mansencal, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon

The Salon of Ancient and Modern Books

The biggest book event in the South west of France will take place this weekend (October 20-21) in Halle des Chartrons. This salon of ancient and modern books proposes something for every genre lover from travelling guides, to kids literature, science books, comics and much more. This is a heaven for book worms as alongside the famous ancient and modern literature you can find rare editions, old newspapers, illustrations and plenty of other surprises. The entrance is free, for more details click here.

When: October 20-21, from 10:00 to 19:00
WherePlace du marché des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Jazz night in Cenac

Soirée Jazz360 is a music event that will take place this Saturday (October 20) in Cenac with a Jazz Quartet taking the stage of the Salle culturelle de Cénac. For more details click here.

When: October 20, at 19:00
Where: Salle culturelle de Cénac

Malmoré

d’Angélique de Chabot is a young artist who creates beautiful little monsters from a variety of materials and creatures, like crustaceans and feathered beasts. In the last few months she has been obsessively collecting branches fallen from trees, oyster shells and rare bird feathers to create this exhibition. The exhibition is presented in the beautiful Château Malromé in the entre-deux-mers area, which quite often hosts great art exhibitions. The exhibition will be presented until December 16. See more info on the facebook page of the event or the website of the chateau.

When: October 6 – December 16
Where: Château Malromé, 33490 Saint-André-du-Bois

Photography Celebration

This is the 6th edition of Fête de la photo  with more than 70 different photography exhibitions that will be presented  this Saturday (October 20) at Galerie François Mitterrand and salle Raymond Bonnot in Saint-Seurin-sur-l’Isle.  Besides the photos themselves, the event will include workshops and a photos sale. The event is free, for more details click here.

When: October 20, from 9:00
Where: Salle Bonnot et François Mitterrand. 33660 SAINT-SEURIN-SUR-L’ISLE

PROXIMA exhibition

The Proxima exhibitions is one of the main events of the space month in Bordeaux and will be presented at the Médiathèque de Mérignac from October 5th to October 26. Throughout the exhibition you will discover how astronauts prepare for their missions in space, the effects of weightlessness on their body and how their daily life looks like while they’re on mission. For more details check out the facebook page of the exhibition. Click here to see what other events are part of the space month in Bordeaux.

When: October 5-26
Where: 19 Place Charles de Gaulle, 33700 Mérignac

La générosité de Dorcas – dance show

The TNBA theater will host 2 dance shows by the French creator, Jan Fabre and his dancer Matteo Sedda. The show la Générosité de Dorcas will take place on October 19-20. For more details and tickets click here.

La générosité de Dorcas – Jan Fabre from TnBA on Vimeo.

When: October 19 at 21:00 and October 20 at 18:00
Where: Tnba, Place Renaudel, 33800 BORDEAUX

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

If you have kids and you have no idea what to do with them during the school break – check out my list of ideas for the fall break of 2018.

Subscribe to my newsletter if you don’t want to miss out on all the great things that are happening in Bordeaux.

Have a great weekend!

There are a few big events and festivals this weekend, among them the open doors weekend in Médoc, the wine festival in Blaye and the vide greniers of Bordeaux which will take place  all around the city. This is also a great weekend for art, there’s an exciting street art exposition, a planetarium and a lot of photography.

There’s definitely a lot to wait for so without further ado, these are the things to do in Bordeaux in the weekend of April 6-8:

Special events

Open doors in Médoc 

To celebrate the beginning of the spring the Maison du Tourisme et du Vin de Pauillac will hold an open doors weekend where you’ll be able to visit all chateaux of the Medoc region and do a lot of wine tasting. The events will take place April 7-8.

To learn about all the events and the chateaux that will participate in the open doors weekend read my post Portes ouvertes in the chateaux of Médoc.

When: April 7-8

Vide-greniers des Bordelais

One of my favorite things to do in France is to wander around vide greniers, discover what French people hold in their homes and buy a lot of stuff I don’t really need at ridiculously low prices. This weekend is a heaven for vide grenier fans. On April 8, more than 20 vide-greniers will take place all over the city. The vide grenier on Barrière Judaïque will take place April 7-8.

The locations are

Bordeaux maritime: Place Saint Martial, Place Jean Cayrol (Ginko), Place Buscaillet

Chartrons – Grand Parc – Jardin public: Place Paul Doumer, Quai des Chartrons, Centre social du Grand-Parc, Cours Xavier Arnozan (côté Jardin Public), Rue Matignon
Centre ville: Barrière Judaïque (Saturday and Sunday), Place Pey Berland, Place des Martyrs de la Résistance
St Augustin – Tauzin – Alphonse Dupeux: Place Gaviniès,  Place de la République, Rue Tanesse, Place de l’église
Nansouty – Saint-Genès: Square Liotard (jardin des Barrières), Rue Tanesse, Place Nansouty
Bordeaux Sud: Rue des Douves,  Cours de l’Yser (entre 213 et 232), Place Dormoy, Rue Tanesse, Place Ferdinand Buisson
Caudéran: Parvis de l’église Saint-Amand, Parc Stéhélin, Barrière Judaïque (Saturday and Sunday).

For more details.

vide greniers bordeaux 2018

Culture

Street Color at Institut Bernard Magrez

An extensive street are exhibition will be presented from April 5 to June 24 at the Institut Bernard Magrez. The expo will include some well known street artists (mostly French ones), such as MAD C (GER), Seth (FRA), d’Alexöne (FRA) and more. This institute is a historic monument dated to the 18th century, so the combination of an ancient chateau with street art will most certainly add to the atmosphere of the exposition.

For more info and tickets.

seth-street-art merapi indonesia
Seth street art-Merapi Indonesia

Address:  16 rue de Tivoli, Bordeaux

Itinéraires des Photographes Voyageurs – photography festival

The 28th edition of the “travelling photographers routes” festival is taking place April 1-29. During this month, 17 photography expositions will be presented in the main cultural institutions of the city such as the Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, the Bibliothèque Grand Parc, Espace Saint-Rémi and others.

This weekend you will have the opportunity to hear the stories behind the pictures. On April 6-7 all of the institutions will hold meetings with the participating photographers that will take you through their journey.

Get the full list of all artists and more info about the event here.

04_©Didier Bizet_01
Photo by: Didier Bizet

When: April 6-7

Movie screening of Babette Mangolte

The CAPC (museum of contemporary art of Bordeaux) presents the works of  the French-American cinematographer Babette Mangolte as part of its program dedicated to film and video on April 4-8. The program will include the screenings of the  Roof Piece (1973/2017) and Roof Piece on the High Line (2012), about the American dancer Trisha Brown. The films will be accompanied by an exhibition that will include her first films. For more info.

When: April 4-8
Where: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux

Artistes des 4 coins du monde

Hotel de ville de Bordeaux is currently presenting a photography exhibition of French artists originating from other countries around the globe, or as the name of the expo suggests from 4 corners of the world. For more details.

Artistes des 4 coins du monde

When: Until April 12.
Where: Hôtel de ville – Palais Rohan, Place Pey Berland33000 Bordeaux

Festivals and Salons

Festival Musical Écran

Festival Musical Écran ( April 1-8) is a very unique film festival all dedicated to documentaries about music. This year the program of the festival includes 20 films from four different countries.  While the festival already started last weekend there are still plenty of interesting films in the program for the upcoming weekend. The screenings of all the remaining films will be in Cinéma Utopia. 

Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution
Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution

When: April 1-8
Where: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux.
How much: up to 10 €

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival, will take place on April 7-8 at the Blaye Citadel. The annual wine festival brings together more than 80 winemakers with the goal to promote the diversity in the wine world. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing workshops and food and wine pairing), guided visits of the citadel, by train or horse and more. Childcare will be made available free of charge in order to allow also parents to enjoy this event.

For the full program and tickets.

When: April 7-8
Where: Citadelle de Blaye, 33390 Blaye

Esclave du livre (literature festival)

Esclave du livre  is a literature association whose goal is to promote reading and to support the creation of new literature. On April 6-8 they will hold a literature festival that will bring together authors and illustrators for debates, public readings, performances and uncovering of pieces that haven’t been published yet.

When: April 6-8
Where:  Place Renaudel – Quartier Ste Croix

Concerts/ Shows/ Games

Virginia Rodrigues in Cenon

Virginia Rodrigues, the Brazilian singer with the amazing voice will give one concert at Le Rocher de Palmer in Cenon on April 6.


When: April 6 / Where: 1 Rue Aristide Briand, 33152 Cenon

Ice Hockey match

Two Ice Hockey matches will be held on April 7-8 at the patinoire de mériadeck.

For more info and tickets.

When: April 7-8
Where:  95 Cours du Maréchal Juin, Bordeaux

Ensemble sax

More than 50  saxophonists will gather for four free concerts, conferences and masters classes at the “Ensemble sax” event  April 5-8.  Four of the 50  are famous personalities in the saxophone world: Dragan Sremec, Serge Bertocchi, Nicolas Prost, Frédéric Couderc.

The schedule of the event is the following:

April 5– 19h30- Conservatoire, salle Ravel : Sax Stories 
April 6– 20h00 – Marché des Douves 
April 7 – 19h30-  Marché des Douves : Les saxophones Nouvelle-Aquitaine 
April 8 – 17h00- Salle Saint-Maurice de Bègles

With Kids

Ludofestival in Canejan

The Ludofestival in Canéjan is a game festival, which will take place April 2-12 and will have an art theme. During the festival families can participate in various competitions, try different games, meet their creators and more. For more info and the schedule about the 12 days festival see here.

When: April 2-12
Where:  8 chemin de Barbicadge ,33610 Canéjan

Planétarium in Cap Sciences

For the next two weeks (April 7-22) Cap Sciences invites your kids to discover and learn about the biggest mysteries of the universe. The planetarium will make simulations of the sky in real time and will reproduce it with more the 3000 stars, planets and galaxies. The visit to the planetarium is limited to kids older than 8. For ages 3 to 5, they will offer storytelling sessions . It is recommended to reserve tickets online as the sessions for the planetarium are limited to groups of only 19 people.

stars
Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

When: April 7-22 (14h15, 15h, 15h45)
Where: Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Drinking/ Fooding/ Shopping

Per Kilo sale in Amos

Amos, the solidarity shop will hold its annual per kilo sale in April 5-7 in their Marignac shop. The price of a clothing article will be defined by its weight: 5€ per kilo. See more details.

When: April 5-7
Where:  208 Avenue d’Arès, 33700 Mérignac

Atelier de Boulangerie

Learn how to make different types of bread: pain de campagne, bread with nuts, cereals, figs and more. In this workshop, hosted by Kweezine on April 7, you will learn how to knead, weigh, shape and bake bread. you will discover all the tricks that will enable you to recreate the recipes at home.

For more details and tickets.

50s and 60s music party

On April 7 There will be a Vicious Soul party at Quartier Libre. The party will be dedicated to 50s and the 60s music. The lovers of the period can enjoy some Rhythm and Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Soul music and punk from the 60s.

For more details.

When: April 7 at 9pm
Where:  30 rue des Vignes, 33800 Bordeaux

 

Hope you’ll have a productive weekend full of wine, art and shopping! Have fun and share your impressions from the events in the comments below. Thanks!