What destination you’ve been to has surprised you the most?
This is a question I only think about once I am already on the trip thinking: Wow! How did I never come here before? In the case of Bordeaux I had exactly that experience.
Some backstory first. In 2017 I was offered a job helping Bordeaux wines with their social media on the German market and since I love all things wine and France I was quick to jump at the opportunity. After all I figured I couldn’t go wrong working for a product I already loved. Plus, the prospect of drinking amazing wine and occasionally traveling to Bordeaux was a win in my book. Fast forward two years and I’ve been able to go to Bordeaux 4 times already and every time seems better than the last. I am slowly beginning to feel like an expert and I think it’s time I wrote down my favorite things to do in Bordeaux, for you guys. Get ready – here come my top 10 favorite experiences in the Bordeaux region!
1. Have a wine tasting at a vineyard
The obvious first. You can’t come to Bordeaux and not try any of the wine. That’s like going to Japan and not having sushi. Wine-tastings in Bordeaux are usually quite special experiences because they happen where the wine is actually produced, often as part of a stunning vineyard. More often then not visitors have the possibility of getting a tour of the property, learning about wine-making and storing in the process. I guarantee you that incredible smell of a cellar filled with red wine ageing in oak barrels will become your favorite for life.
The choice is yours when it comes to picking the right vineyard for a tasting, after all there are over 6000 of them in the Bordeaux region. Some of my personal favorites include, but aren’t limited to
2. Attend a wine festival
Every summer the city of Bordeaux throws a huge party along the Garonne, it’s river running right through the center of town. In 2018 that was
3. Spend a day in Sauternes
Sauternes has gained notoriety for being home of Bordeaux famous sweet wine and many estates in the area pride themselves on the production of this delicate dessert wine. If you’ve never tried I strongly recommend you use your Bordeaux trip as an excuse to do so for the first time. Especially paired with cheese it has become of my favorite things to have after a nice meal. But it doesn’t stop there. Sauternes, albeit very small, is a truly adorable and extremely walkable little village and the type of place you plan on visiting for a day which then turn into a week.
I highly recommend checking into
End your evening in Sauternes with a drink at
4. Have a wine-tasting in a tree
Since we are in Sauternes, don’t even think about missing out on one of the most unique wine-tasting experiences in the world, available at
5. Rent a boat in Arcachon
You though Bordeaux was all vineyards? Think again! Just an hour drive from Bordeaux airport lies the stunning seaside town of Arcachon, a popular destination for both Bordeaux locals on a weekend escape and international visitors who love the unusual combination of wine country and beaches. There are various boat rentals here, including options of getting
6. Enjoy a seafood lunch at Cap Ferret
Got your boat? Then head straight to the beautiful peninsula of Cap Ferret, separating the Bassin d’Arcachon from the Atlantic Ocean. Swap water for beach and find “
7. Sign up for a cooking class
French cuisine is world famous and in Bordeaux you will never not eat well! It’s a perfect place to take part in a cooking class and
8. Stroll around Saint Émilion
Another highlight in the Bordeaux region is a visit to Saint Émilion, a tiny village with a big history. These days Saint Émilion along with its surrounding vinyards was declared UNESCO world cultural heritage in 1999. Just seeing the beautiful buildings, wandering the cobbled stones and marveling at the views is time well worth spent but don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn some more about the history as well. You could explore the caves of the
9. Spend the night at a Château
It’s easy to feel like a princess in a place that has a castle at nearly every corner but nothing beats actually living in one! OK, technically you might just be spending a couple of nights, but that’s close enough to the read deal, if you ask me. While I haven’t tried all the châteaux which let visitors spend the night, I can certainly recommend one I loved and that was
10. Explore Bordeaux by bike
Finally, no trip to Bordeux is quite complete without some time spent in the actual city of Bordeaux. The entire city is very bike friendly and many places rent them out at very reasonable rates. Tour the town and make sure you cross the river to see what’s on the other side. I recommend you have a visit at
Just a few minutes from Darwin is
I’m hoping you got a first taster of what Bordeaux has to offer and see for yourself why Lonely Planet has listed Europe’s wine capitol as 2018’s hottest destination to travel to.
*Disclaimer: As mentioned in the text I work for Bordeaux Wines and was invited on these trips. This post was however written purely out of personal desire and all opinions are natural my own.