bordeaux

BourseThe Place de la Bourse

The Grand ThéatreThe Grand Théatre

Chateau-LafiteBordeaux’s most famous product

Bordeaux, the capital of Aquitaine, is an impressive city beside the River Garonne that flows down from Toulouse. In Bordeaux it meets the Dordogne River and together they flow, as the Gironde, to the Atlantic.

It is an elegant town that became important in the 16th and 17th centuries. Narrow streets from that period are clustered together in Vieux Bordeaux at the centre of the town. Around Vieux Bordeaux and along the quais beside the Garonne are the elegant 18th-century buildings that were erected as Bordeaux became wealthy from its most famous export – the red wines of the surrounding countryside.

A full-day excursion from Ogeu is simple. The new autoroute from Pau takes you to Bordeaux in two hours. A walking tour of the Old Town finishes naturally at Le Vieux Bordeaux, an excellent restaurant close to the Grande Horloge. After lunch it is a short drive into the Médoc to visit one or two châteaux and taste their products. NOTE: to visit the grander châteaux, the Crus Classés, it is advisable to book as far as possible in advance. There is generally a charge of about 8-10 euros a person for a guided tour and tasting

Or, if you stay in the city, there is a wealth of things to see. The city divides into three main sections – beside the Garonne, the Old Town, and the area around the cathedral. Most of this can be covered in a day and a visit to the Maison du Vin can compensate for not heading out to the Médoc.