Day trips from Bordeaux?

Old Jun 7th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Day trips from Bordeaux?

Hi! My husband, 5 year old son and I will be in Bordeaux for 8 nights in June visiting family. We have a car and want to do some day trips (just my husband, son & I).

Any suggestions on:
1) Beaches/coastal towns? We will definitely go to Biarritz one day...maybe Bayonne.
2) Area North of Bordeaux?

We would like 1-2 beach days (we were told it is hot in June) and 1-2 villages/small towns. I think the most we would want to drive total in one day is 3 hours (1.5 hrs one way, 1.5 hrs return).

I will mention we visited our family in Bordeaux over New Years and were able to go to St Emilion. Everything there was closed, so we will definitely venture back for a day during this trip. We also got to see quite a bit of the city of Bordeaux. This time we'd like to venture out of Bordeux and see the surrounding areas.

We enjoy beaches, small villages, markets, good food, shopping, etc. We also enjoy pictureque drives.

Any suggestions would be helpful...Thank you!

PS - Our son is a good traveler and well behaved - maybe not by French standards, but well enough behaved for us... =) He went everywhere will us in Paris and Bordeaux, including fine dining restaurants & museums. So don't hold back on recommendations!
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Try a trip to Cognac.It's a nice town with good restaurants and you can visit the Cognac houses along the river. Martell, Hennesssy and others do guided tours, but you may have to book them in advance.

Last time we were there, we booked when we arrived in the morning for an afternoon tour.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Biarritz and Bayonne are awfully long daytrips from Bordeaux with a 5-year-old. And driving through Les Landes, while intriguing for the first few miles, gets really old really quickly...sand, pine trees, sand, pine trees, sand, pine trees mile after mile. You can get to Arcachon in about a half-hour, or Cap Ferret, and visit the beaches there. You should also see the Dune du Pylat while there, Europe's largest sand dune. You can go a bit farther south to Biscarosse-Plage or Mimizan Plage (the latter being the tackiest beach scene I've ever seen in Europe, so wouldn't actually recommend it except for good sand and water and cotton candy).

To the north, Cognac and Saintes and the area between them and Bordeaux make nice daytrips.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Lifeman - thanks for suggesting Cognac...I'll definitely look into it.

StCirq - I do think Biarritz & Bayonne are a bit far (2 hrs on mapquest) - we will probably check them out on the way back to Madrid. Thanks for the tip about Les Landes...it sounds lovely but a bit too much of the same thing. Arachon was recommended by my father-in-law and I will look into Cap Ferret & Dune du Pylat. I will also look into Cognac as you and Lifeman both have suggested.

Many thanks!
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Old Jun 11th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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I second Arachon and the surrounding area...Dune du Pylat etc.....easy-short drive from Bordeaux.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Thank you to everyone and the wonderful suggestions. We had a wonderful time in Bordeaux. The weather was fabulous in June - cool in the mornings and evenings and warm in the afternoons. We were visiting and staying with family in Bordeaux which limited how much time we had for day trips. We did visit Arcachon and Cap Ferret. The beaches were lovely --- too cold to go in (I'm used to Miami beaches!) but we spent over an hour walking along the water on the sand picking up shells. We also visited the Dune du Pylat. What an impressive sand dune...it was certainly worth the visit. We also did our usual day trip to St Emilion, where we enjoyed a nice lunch and some fabulous wines. I do love walking around the town and just getting lost. We truly had a wonderful time...thanks again to my fellow fodorites!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 07:02 AM
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triangled
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Hi psy

http://www.arcachon-tourisme.com/

They have a lovely old merry-go-round and great oysters.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 10:20 AM
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ira, the OP's been back for 3.5 years.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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ira - Thank you anyway...I'm actually going back this June. And my son did go on the merry-go-round.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 04:38 PM
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Better than Cognac itself is visiting individual producers who advertise along the side roads. Cognac mainly the big internationally known companies (Hennessy, Remy Martin, etc.), although small producers can also be found.

There is a store in Bordeaux dedicated to Cognac exclusively. This might be even better than visiting producers.

I second the Arcachon area. You might want to take a look at my trip report that starts in Bordeaux and includes Aquitaine in its title; click on my name to find it. There is an Ecomusee dedicated to farming and sheep herding in the Landes
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