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Bordeaux - Aquitaine by train
The Aquitaine region, located in the south west of France, is bordered along the whole of its west coast by long sandy beaches and the Atlantic Ocean.
Aquitaine is home to the mythical city of Bordeaux, the famous vineyards of Saint Emilion, Médoc and Sauternes and the Basque country with its preserved traditions and language. You can visit a region rich of prehistoric sites (Dordogne) and travel through one of the world’s most famous wine region. Your trip simply won’t lack in variety.
Day 1 and 2
Bordeaux > Saint-Emilion / Bordeaux > Arcachon
Bordeaux, at the heart of Aquitaine, is only 3 hours away by TGV from Paris. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is the epicurean destination par excellence.
You can start your day by a walk along the Quais de la Garonne overlooked by the harmonious 18th century façades. Take a break on a terrasse in the quartier Saint-Pierre to sample some of the finest wines together with a Magret de canard and a cannelé (local pastry). Continue your day to the cathedral Saint-André and the nearby Pey-Berland tower for a panorama over the city. In the evening you can shop in the Rue Saint-Catherine and have a drink in the Allées de Tourny with a view over the Grand Théâtre.
On the second day you can choose from two equally interesting trips.
Wine amateurs can take a TER (30 min trip) to Saint-Emilion, one of the world’s most famous vineyards, or opt for a guided tour in a vineyard to taste one of the famous vintage wines of Margaux, Pauillac or Saint-Julien.
Nature lovers can reach the Bassin d’Arcachon (1h trip) to enjoy a moment of pure bliss on top of its Dune du Pyla (Europe’s highest sand dune) which has an imposing view over the Atlantic Ocean. With its charming 19th century villas and villages where you can indulge in oyster tasting, you will have no excuses not to relax.
Our tip: Bordeaux’s tramways are practical and easy to use. When in Bassin d’Arcachon have a ride in a pinasse (traditional wooden boat).
Bordeaux > Basque country
Discover the Basque country through Biarritz, a popular surfing destination only 2 hours from Bordeaux. A morning stroll along the Grande Plage is the perfect way to start the day. On the way you can drop in the waterfront casino and afterwards continue to the iconic Rocher de la Vierge. End the day perfectly in one of the excellent thalassotherapy centers along the coastline. Indeed Biarritz is a famous resort bathed in the atmosphere of a fishing village.
The next day, take the TER (10 min trip) to Bayonne, discover its red and green building façades (the Basque national colours) and plunge into the local culture. Taste specialities like the Axoa, sheep’s milk cheese or the Bayonne ham and bring back some piment d’Espelette (local chili).
Our tip: Basque lovers can participate in the very typical Fêtes de Bayonne which takes place in August.
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