Get ready for those travel dreams as it is the next in our Wanderlust Wednesdays series and today with the help of expert wedding planner Laura Dova, we are going to be exploring Bordeaux.
The Bordeaux region has everything you want: the city, the countryside and the sea. The city is gorgeous. Breathtaking 18th century architecture, a huge gothic cathedral, the imposing Grand Theatre square, magnificent city parks and an amazing promenade along the Garonne river. Cute and smart cafés with sunny terraces on amazing squares, and bright and plenty of farmers’ markets offer tempting homemade and local products.
A very modern tram system winds through it all, bringing you easily from one side of the city to the other. The tram and bus also connect you to Bordeaux’s airport, 20 minutes from the city centre and the train station Gare de Saint Jean, that will get you to any corner of France in a hurry on its high-speed rail system, the TGV (3h30 from Paris).
A bus also goes directly from the station the the airport every 30 minutes.
Things to do in Bordeaux Region:
If you are the kind of “active” honeymooners this activity is made for you. Harvest time is during September/October depending on the climate of the past year.
You’ll learn about the intricate process of wine making, and best of all, enjoy a family-style meal with the locals.
Make sure to contact your chateau of choice around August or earlier to plan your trip. Some chateaux offer accommodation as well, if you’re interested in enjoying the countryside a little longer. Simply call or email the chateau directly– most are eager to welcome extra pairs of hands!
Wine Tasting in Saint Emilion.
Saint-Emilion is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. It is just a short train ride away from Bordeaux city center and It is a very unique site were world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match.
Come and appreciate by yourself the spirit of Saint -Emilion and the quality of its fine wines thanks to different activities such as winery tours and tastings led by professionals, gourmet picnics and lunches in a wine estate or during a blending lesson that will allow you to create your own wine.
If you like better savoring your glass of wine with a nice course have lunch in one of the sunny plazas.
This is an easy trip for the more-relaxed wine-taster, taking the guesswork out of choosing particular wineries to visit.
More information can be found at Saint Emilion Toursime
Climb Europe’s largest sand dune in Arcachon.
Yes, you are reading right. The “Dune du Pyla” is the largest sand dune in Europe, and I promise, it is impressive. You can rent a bike from the beach town of Arcachon and follow the seaside road to the Dune. Don’t forget to bring good shoes because to get an amazing view you have to walk to the top of the Dune! The cool thing you can do with your newly husband/wife is to join the paragliders that sail down toward the ocean. There are several schools that offer tandem flights.
To come back to Bordeaux city centre there are plenty of things to do and see. But my favourite are:
The Water mirror:
Located across from Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, this spectacular pool, designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way.
The rhythmic changes in 2 cm of water on a gigantic slab of granite make this location truly magical. Children adore playing here and it is a meeting place for lovers as well as people who enjoy putting their feet into the cool water in summer!
Place de la bourse:
It took 20 years of hard work in the 18th century to build what has since become the city’s very symbol! The square represents a break with medieval Bordeaux surrounded by walls for centuries. The city was finally free to grow!
Place de la Bourse was originally separated from the river by railings, but these disappeared during the French Revolution. The statue of the king was briefly replaced by one of Napoleon, followed by the Fountain of the Three Graces in 1869. The latter has been much appreciated ever since and is photographed by tourists from all over the world.
This is definitely my favourite square and it is even more beautiful at night when the lights are on.
The best thing to do, is to go on the other side of the river and eat at Siman Restaurant – their terrace on the first floor has the most beautiful view on Place de La Bourse and on the Rock Bridge which have wonderful and romantic lights on!
Bordeaux and its surroundings have different markets every day. But the most famous one is the outdoor food Capucins market which is in the centre and the best time to go it’s Sunday as the atmosphere is magical ! All the smells, flavors, colors. Fruits and veggies are everywhere; they are delicious and a way cheaper than in a grocery shop! Everything’s fresh and all the farmers are nice and welcoming. You can either go there to shop or simply have some fresh oysters with lemon or a wine and cheese plate.
Bordeaux and its region are the best places for Foie Gras, Duck, Truffles and cheese. It is hard to end up in the wrong restaurant but for honeymooners I would suggest to try “Le vin Rue Neuve” it is a restaurant not in the very center but very romantic and absolutely delicious. It offers the gastronomic version of french cuisine.
For smaller budget there’s a very small restaurant in the city center (better book a table before going there) which offer the traditional french cuisine such as “boeuf bourguignon” – the food absolutely delicious and the place is intimate and informal. The restaurant is called “Le plat à Oreilles” (05 56 51 24 09)
If you liked St. Emilion I would definitely suggest you L’Hostellerie de Plaisance as a restaurant but also a place to stay.
As for hotels in Bordeaux l’Hotel the Sèze it’s definitely perfect for honeymooners as they offer an fantastic spa and “Marie-Antoinette” kind of room – Romantique à la française !
If liked best the sea side I would definitely recommend you to go to Le Cap Ferret. It is a small oyster village where the houses are too cute to be real and where you can have the best and freshest oysters you’ve ever had.
Take a walk there and have a stop at “Degrave’s Oyster house” to have a bunch of oysters and some wine and appreciate the view on the ocean and the Dune.
But if you are looking for real restaurant with all different sorts of seafood La Corniche is definitely the place you want to go ! Up on a hill it has a breathtaking view on all the coast and the Dune – you will love it !