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laura Jul 28th, 2001 07:21 AM

a family trip to the bordeaux area
our family of 5 (3 teen agers and parents) will be starting in the bordeaux area in mid sept. we will be renting a car, have any suggestions for sites and towns in the area? or is it better to drive out to a different area and focus our touring there? thanks in advance for all suggestions. <BR>laura

Luis Aug 6th, 2001 04:05 AM

Laura: <BR> <BR>The area around Bordeaux is lovely, the heart of some of the world's greatest vineyards: Medoc, Libourne, Blaye, St. Emilion etc. If you had a mind to do some tastings, be aware that Sept. is harvest time and the vintners are all working at a frantic pace, hence some do not give tours or tastings. But I'm sure if you call ahead, some wineries would be happy to accomodate. The city of Bordeaux itself has it's charms. the Garonne River bisects it and there are some museums, etc to see. However, if you dont mind driving about 90 mins out of the city itself, you can head east of Bordeaux to the Dordogne valley and become spellbound with the beauty o the lakes, valleys and forests with which the area is teeming: towns like Bergerac, Domme, Sarlat, Perigueux, etc. IF you wish to head southeast toward Toulouse and adjacent towns like Cahors, Agen, and Montauban. Drop me a line if I can be of further help. <BR> <BR>Luis

Wendy Aug 6th, 2001 08:46 AM

Hi! <BR> <BR>We went to St. Emilion last year. It's a lovely, medieval town with lots of small shops- wine and otherwise. We went on a tour of a few vineyards which was quite interesting, although in September, most of the vineyards are hard at work, and you may not be able to do this. The town is very walkable and pretty. We then drove to La Rochelle, on the Atlantic Coast. I remember it being about a two hour drive from Bordeaux, and well worth it! Lots to do there, (we went in time for mussel harvesting) and excelllent sea food, as well as a very interesting old town with medieval ramparts etc. You can also take a tour of the old town at night. It's led by costumed actors who recreate the history of La Rochelle from the 1600s on. It was really fun! E-mail me if you have ??? Good luck!

Pat Aug 6th, 2001 08:55 AM

With three teenagers, you may also consider going once to the beach. The ocean coast near Bordeaux is one of the greatest recreation areas in Europe. The beaches are huge and the surf is mighty. The bay of Arcachon is a 30' to 1 hour drive from Bordeaux (depending on traffic conditions). Beware however that the whole area is very crowded in August. <BR> <BR>If you follow the coastline north from the bay of Arcachon, you end up at the estuary of the Gironde, which is guarded by a magnificent light house (Phare de Cordouan). It can be visited.

StCirq Aug 6th, 2001 09:55 AM

Laura: It would be helpful to know how much time you have to spend in the area. Bordeaux itself merits a day or two (I have a file on what to do and see in the city and can e-mail it to you if you let me know if this is your *real" e-mail address). The wine towns are interesting, especially St-Emilion (it's more like a half-hour from Bordeaux), if you are a serious wine person. The Arcachon/Cap Ferret/Dune de Pyla (your kids will love this last one!) area is also worth a day trip. But the real attractions lie to the east, in the Périgord. If you have a week or more, definitely head straight east out of Bordeaux to a base somewhere near Sarlat. From there you can visit bastide towns like Monpazier, Lalinde, Belvès and Domme; Hundred Years War castles like Beynac and Castelnaud; prehistoric sites like Font-de-Gaume, La Roque-St-Christophe, Combarelles, Cap Blanc, Rouffignac, Bara-Bahau; fantastic marchés de France in Sarlat, Le Bugue, St-Cyprien, Montignac, Domme, and elsewhere; and beautiful villages like St-Léon-sur-Vézère, Coly, Tamniès, Limeuil, etc. Not to mention you can go canoeing and kayaking on one of the world's most beautiful rivers, or horseback riding through some of France's most lovely scenery. And should you happen to like foie gras and truffles, you'll be in gastronomic heaven.

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