The main regional hub, Bordeaux International Airport, doesn’t have that many direct international flights, so you will probably need to make a connection in another French city. If you prefer to arrive by train, you can take the TGV from Paris, Lille or Biarritz. If by private plane, you can land in a few smaller airports. Once you’re there, the best option for getting around is by car. Rent and drive your own if you want total flexibility, but if you are going for some serious wine tasting, a chauffeur might be safer — the legal blood alcohol limit on the road is 0.5 only.
Climate & seasons
If you are into wine, you might think late Summer and Autumn are the best times to visit Bordeaux. And you would be right. There are golden vineyards, grapes ripe for the tasting, and opportunities to take part in the harvesting. But if you have other interests besides wine, remember there are way fewer tourists in winter, so during those months you will experience the region in a more personal and authentic way. Summer is hot, but there are festivals and the beaches. In Spring, vines and other flowers are in bloom, so the landscapes are particularly beautiful.
Where to go
For wine lovers, a must is Saint Émilion, a medieval village one hour from Bordeaux. Here you will find producers such as Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc. A one-hour drive south from Saint Émilion will take you to Medoc, where among other wines you can taste Mouton, Lafite Rotschild and Chateau Latour. For something stronger, drive 1h45 north to Cognac. If you like seafood, go to Cap Ferret or any other spot on the Arcachon Bay — they have some of the best oysters in the world. There are too many historical sites to mention in the centre of Bordeaux, but if you like religious architecture, don’t miss the Church of the Holy Cross, the Basilica of St. Michael’s and the Basilica of St. Severinus. Outside of Bordeaux towns like Bazas and Blaye, and the castles in the south of Gironde, will delight lovers of history and culture.
What to do
Wine tasting, of course. But not only that: we can organize winery visits for you that include behind-the-scenes tours and meeting the producers. You can also float over the vineyards of Saint Émilion in a hot air balloon. Then there’s tasting cognac in Cognac, and fresh oysters in Arcachon Bay. Food-wise, there are many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bordeaux region, but also authentic rural restaurants worth the discovery. If you are really into wine, go to Cité du Vin in the city of Bordeaux — it’s a museum shaped like a decanter, where you can learn more things about wine than you ever imagined. Going beyond the pleasures of the palate, there are sandy beaches, castles and historical towns waiting for you, as well as the museums in the city of Bordeaux.