For my father's 60th birthday, my sister and I organized a family trip to Bordeaux. My sister studied here for a year with Erasmus, so we had the perfect guide.
We were looking for a location that would make an unforgettable impression and we ended up at Château Camiac . A beautiful castle, built in 1834, and perfectly located between Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion.
The two families each stayed in a family room. These rooms are located on the corner of the castle and the tower has been transformed into sleeping accommodation for the children. It was never easier to get them to bed.
The castle also has a restaurant but we personally did not like it that much. Fortunately, there are many good alternatives in the region.
For more tips on: luxury hotels in Bordeaux,
Things to do in Bordeaux
Dune du Pilat
If you are near Bordeaux, you must definitely visit Dune du Pilat. With a height of more than 100 meters, this is the highest sand dune in Europe. The name of the dune is derived from the word 'pilla', which means pile in the Gascons dialect (the region here is the Landes de Gascogne).
Be sure to climb the stairs because the effort pays off. On top of the dune you have a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and the bay of Arcachon. The kids made it their mission to get downhill as quickly as possible. Are you with your children at the Dune du Pilat? Place yourself downstairs on a terrace and see how the kids enjoy this giant sandpit. I can guarantee they sleep in the evening like a rose.
If it is really hot, definitely take a dip in the (cold) Atlantic Ocean.
When you think of Bordeaux, of course, you think of wine. Wine tasting was one of the main goals of our trip. As a true wine lover, there were of course a few visits to Châteaux on the program. The smaller wineries can be visited without an appointment. If you want to visit a Grand Cru Classé, you should arrange an appointment in advance.
We visited, among other things:
- Château Petrus (with the famous stoves to counter the freezing of the grapes)
- Cos d’Estournel (with a beautiful gate that was a gift from a sultan)
- Prieuré Lichine
Also a visit to Saint-Emilion is an absolute must. In addition to a fantastic wine region, it is a very charming medieval town. In 1999 it was even placed on the Unesco World Heritage List. Stroll through the cozy alleys, drink a delicious glass of Saint-Emilion on one of the many terraces, and enjoy!
Bordeaux is the capital of the Gironde and has two famous nicknames.
- Port de la Lune, the "moon harbor." This name is due to the shape of the river Garonne that runs through the city.
- La Belle Endormy, the 'Sleeping beauty'. This refers to the beautiful architecture of the past, but also to the quiet life in the city.
One of the most important sights of the city is the Place des Quinconces. This is the largest square in France. On the square is the monument aux Girondins, a column with two giant fountains.
Part of the city is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The foodies among us will love this region too. Bordeaux is renowned for its delicious goose liver pie and its canelés, small pastries in turban form. And for a good entrecôte à la bordelaise you can always wake me up.
If you like all the sweets that come out of the sea, you definitely need to go to Arcachon. Here they serve the most delicious plateau de fruits de mer.
If you can’t already tell, I'm a fan of this region. A delicious mix of nature, culture, and gastronomy, poured with the most flavourful French wines. What else could you want?
You are a real wine enthousiast? Read the following post to learn all about other wine travel destinations.
Do you have some tips on Bordeaux? Feel free to share them in the comments below.