Note: This is a guest post.
Bordeaux, considered by most to be the wine capital of the world, with it’s almost Mediterranean climate is a must visit location for a fantastic classic French holiday. Start your journey from South of London and stay at the Gatwick hotels from Travelodge to prepare yourself for your journey. Both British Airways and Easyjet fly direct from Gatwick to Bordeaux airport at competitive rates. Arranging accommodation in the city of Bordeaux won’t be difficult with many beautiful and quaint hotels to choose from.
photo credit: TempusVolat
Without a doubt you must visit some of Bordeaux’s 287,000 acres of wine producing vineyards and experience some of the fabulous wine tours. There are many chateaux to choose from, and visiting a few of them will open your eyes to the vast array of wines that are produced here. Whether you don’t know your Merlot from your Cabernet Sauvignon or if you consider yourself a seasoned oenologist, the vast array of choice of wine tours will give you an insight into the different grapes, what affects the aromas of the wines and how to
match a wine to your food.
France is of course a country with incredible food, ranging from delicious seafood including fresh oysters at the markets in Montalivet to the rich local duck recipes in the Dordogne department. French cuisine is simply irresistible and eating the local dishes is a must – with a great wine of course! One recommendation is the Michelin starred Le Pavillon des Boulevards restaurant. The decor is typically upmarket with French stylings and Chef Denis Franc has produced a fantastic menu, including Tartare Langoustines, Caviar d’Aquitaine and Turbot.
During your trip you must travel north east to Soulac sur Mer in the northernmost tip of the Medoc region and hire a bicycle and cycle south down the coast to experience the mouth of the Gironde River widening into the beautiful Bay of Biscay. All along from Soulac sur Mer heading south you’ll find endless sandy beaches and wonderful French lifestyle. France’s cycle paths meander through forests and are wide and uninterrupted to make for possibly the most tranquil bike ride you’ll ever have. Alternatively you could head further north and catch the Verdon to Royan ferry across the Gironde to see the capital of the Côte de Beauté. Royan itself has five sandy beaches and a beautiful marina with grand yachts.
photo credit: wiki
If you don’t mind heading further inland, you would be forgiven for wanting to explore the beautiful Dordogne department west of Bordeaux. There’s a big expat community there for very good reason – places like Périgueux are simply breathtaking. There are countless beautiful communes around the Dordogne, each with their own unique charm. Arguably the best way to experience the Dordogne is to hire a canoe and be free to take in the relaxing scenery as it gently passes you by. In the summer season, the river is even warm enough to swim in at places, so bring your swimming costume. Once you are done on the river, sample some local food at one of the many duck restaurants where you’ll find duck cooked in every way imaginable, including the department’s signature dish, Confit de Canard (duck confit) served with Sarladaise potatoes. Simply magnificent!