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The Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

Visit the ancient chateaux

Wine is the lifeblood of the region

One of the many wine vineyards of the Gironde

The Nansouty area of Bordeaux is lively and cosmopolitan

The Pont de Pierre bridge was commissioned by Napoleon I

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France

 

The beaches and vineyards of Bordeaux

 

Situated between the Dordogne valley and the Atlantic coast in the South West of France, Bordeaux-Gironde is in the Aquitaine region and is the largest of the French Départements.  The Gironde faces the wild Atlantic sea with over 126 km of sandy coastline including the Côte d'Argent, which runs all the way down to Biarritz.  This seaside attracts lovers of watersports as well as French families on their vacances, while inland there are 3500 km of rivers, as well as large lakes, for those less adventurous but who still enjoy sports such as windsurfing and canoeing.

There are 12 golf courses in the Gironde. The wine-loving golfer can buy a Medoc Golf Pass to play in or around Bordeaux with three golf clubs available with three different styles of game. There is golf in the forest close to the sea and the famous surf spot of Lacanau Océan, the Golf du Médoc with its two competition links and the new Golf de Margaux. There are even hotels close or to or on the golf courses.

Thousands of people each year visit the Dune de Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune. It is 110 metres high and gives fantastic views of the Atlantic for those who can climb its steep sides. Fortunately there are also steps for the less fit!

Of course the area is most famous for its wines, particularly those from Bordeaux area. There are 57 wines labelled AOC in the region,  including  Bordeaux, Sauternes, Medoc and St-Emilion.

For those that can ignore the lure of the vineyards, the Gironde is also famous for its many ancient buildings built by Goths and Romans and designed for both military and religious use. The town of St. Emilion boasts a large church actually dug out from a cliff face and there are the famous Gironde bastides—Créon, Cadillac, Libourne—fortified towns built back in medieval times and centred around a busy market square.

All over the region you will find perfectly preserved examples of the religious heritage—La Sauve-Majeur abbey, Guîtres church, Bazas cathedral, the Temple du Hâ in Bordeaux or perhaps most impressively, Notre Dame de la Fin des Terres church in Soulac, rescued from the sands.

The people of the region love wine of course, but this is an area where gastronomy goes hand in hand with wine. The ocean provides a marvellous range of seafoods and the rich inland soil produces some of the best cheeses in France. You must also not miss a chance to try auillac lamb, Bordeaux cèpe mushrooms and Bazas beef.

 

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