Traveling to Bordeaux

Old Jul 21st, 2014, 05:09 PM
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Traveling to Bordeaux

Traveling in a few weeks. Need info on great small villages etc. my wife and I like markets, antiques. We have experienced Paris many times and are looking towards a smaller France this time around. Planning on going to St Emilion , Cognac, Margaux. Also looking for a great coastal location. Merci!
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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 06:24 PM
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I would suggest Arcachon for the coastal location and St Emilion for a day trip or overnight. You do not say if you were staying in Bordeaux or looking to stay outside in a smaller village. In the 3 times we stayed in the area we always stayed in Bordeaux for a few days.

First trip we went to the Medoc area in 2005 and not very impressed with the towns up that way - seemed more business orientated though the enjoyed walking through Arcachon and the Dune du Pilat. 2 days trips and wine tasting in St Emilion was enjoyable and if you are not staying in Bordeaux, I would suggest staying there. Nice restaurants and shopping, though very small village.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2014, 01:05 AM
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Well St Emilion is tourist hell, very steep and bustling with chinese, american, british, germans etc etc, it is pretty but so are many other French towns in the area. As a world heritage wine town you kinda have to go but trust me Tokjai is far nicer.

The Bordeaux coast is fantastic but the towns on it are far from wonderful and tend to the sand castle and sea brigade (go figure). Arcachon is the obvious target but I'm still not over excited.

Over the years I've tended to enjoy the bastides more but they may be a little small for your interests. The place I do like is Bergerac, which while having a few too many restaurants, still has a good traditional market.

Bordeaux itself, apart from the amazing station (which is almost worth leaving Paris for alone), is a bit meh. Too busy, too business and has more or less turned its back on the river.

Another option is to go further north and stay in La Rochelle which is sooooo much nicer. Even the ancient town of Rochefort is nicer that Bordeaux.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2014, 01:17 AM
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You may want to go to Paulliac, if possible don't take the train as it takes forever. However it does eventually get there. The town is a ribbon development with the station to the north and the Tourist Info building to the south (a fair walk) which can be taken along the river bank. TI is very good and can arrange tastings etc. I would check the website to pre-book if possible. The Haut Medoc does not open itself to people who wander in off the street for tastings as it is far too serious for that, though, if in a car, you will stumble across degustation signs in the odd place. I guess you know the etiquette is to buy something if the tasting is free?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Thanks! we are actually flying into Pau and staying in Mont de Marsan for a few nights are there any villages/towns south of Bordeaux that are worth going to?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 10:25 AM
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Trying to avoid the dodgy Condom jokes.

There is Cahors, probably a bit too far to the east. Cadillac is a little walled place, I think there are some old fashioned places down towards Ch d'Yquem but the name eludes me.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Auch was recommended when we were staying in Toulouse but we did not go there. An interesting area would be in the Sauterne area. We visited after a tour of Chateau d'Yquem and noticed there were wineries open for tasting as well as in the center of Sauternes - which was very small in 2005.
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