I've spent a majority of my life traveling around Europe in a VW Campervan, and the only place I wish I had never left was this wonderful campsite south of Bordeaux. It's a prime location for surfers, foodies and hikers alike. The weather is beautiful throughout the summer - and you're allowed BBQs. And what's best, the beach is only a minute's walk, and thanks to the dunes, you can't hear a thing of the (rather tame) beach parties in the night. Fresh fish it served at the local restaurants at a very reasonable price for such good French food.
A cafe/bistro just next door to the Musee d'Aquitaine. Friendly service, bright, pleasant decor and an excellent lunch menu.
It's possibly the coolest place I've ever been. Sitting in my VW campervan, surfboards everywhere, drinking cold beer and listening to the ocean crash a few metres away - you can't go wrong. I made friends at this place that I'll have for the rest of my life. It's less than a minute walk to the beach where you can see that most spectacular sunsets and eat fresh fish until you explode. Although it's off the beaten track and basically unknown to most people, it really is a wonderful place where everyone will feel at home.
Had a fantastic long weekend in Bordeaux recently and spent a day touring vineyards with Caroline of Bordeaux Uncorked.
It felt like the obligatory thing to do (when in Rome, etc) but the wealth of local knowledge and personal service provided by Caroline really made the whole trip for us. I don't think we would have had access to many of the vineyards on our own and having Caroline greeted everywhere by first name made us feel like we were visiting old friends, with very impressive chateaux and wine cellars!
Highlights of the trip: Chateau Figeac and it's ancient cellars. Also recommend lunch in the courtyard at L'Envers du Décor in Saint Emilion.
In Bordeaux itself, pay a visit to Max Bordeaux - a must if you love wine but restricted by budget. Here you can taste some of the most expensive wines by the (small) glass. Taste the liquid gold of Chateau Yquem for under €15? Not a problem. Thanks Bordeaux Uncorked!
We spent a fantastic week in September on a wine lover's tour with cyclebordeaux.co.uk. Not being seasoned cyclists, we did do some mild training beforehand, but were still a little nervous before we started. Our worries were unfounded; we started gently with a long cycling path which led us through countryside studded with chateaux and the occasional and welcome old railway station converted to a pub. We also came across a jazz festival in a field with stalls selling food, gorgeous cheeses and wine; whole families were gathered with bikes in the hundreds - amazing! The remainder of the tour was mostly road based but we were directed through small villages with sleepy squares and through myriads of vineyards waving their luscious grapes as we passed. The terrain was moderate and we managed it surprisingly easily and were gutted when the week was up.
We have just returned from a 10 day holiday at this park. Firstly some couples and families were arriving, without hiring a car, after flying over. You need a car for this one. Excellent site though. Lovely clean pool with water slides, unheated. Also a heated pool on the other side of the camp. Staff were all friendly, especially the Canvas staff (Rochin and Rocco) helped us out whenever we asked.
The on camp shop can be a little expensive so make sure you are stocked up although it is handy for the fresh baguettes and croissants every morning. The on site bar and restaurant is ok if you can't be bothered cooking one night. Again you need a car to explore the local area. Biarritz is fab for beaches and surfing. It can be a little more expensive to eat out there so take supplies onto the beach if you’re there all day for the sun and surf. St Jean de Luz is also a lovely town to visit. Lots of old architecture, golden beaches and restaurants to explore.
We have just completed our second tour with this exceptional company. They organised us a convertible car this time around to add a little extra fun.
Their knowledge of wine and gastronomy of the area is unparalleled and their high level of attention to detail and tailoring the tour to your specific requirements is why we returned a second time.
This time we focussed our wine discoveries in the Medoc area as we didn't have time to visit it properly the first time. We also enjoyed a day's private cookery class which was fantastic fun. If we ever return I think we'll go the full hog and ask for their chauffeured services when we go vineyard hopping.
Wine tasting holidays aren’t just for wine buffs with a lot of money to burn! Last year, my girlfriend and I drove around Bordeaux with a tent and a stove and managed to eat great food and taste a lot of excellent wine on a very little budget.
The vineyard owners welcome you in with open arms and at no point did we feel pressured to buy the wines we tasted. If you let on your ignorance, rather than sneering, most owners proudly launch into a long presentation about their wines, their grapes and their history.
If you are on a budget, going around Bordeaux and France’s other wine regions is probably the best way to taste wines that usually you wouldn’t be able to afford.
The tourist centre is amazingly helpful and will provide you with all the maps, routes, or any other information you might need.
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