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A visit to Bordeaux vineyards

The quality and diversity of Bordeaux wines are recognized around the world. The wine region of Bordeaux Vignoble produces each year around 800 million bottles of wine, some of them considered the most prestigious in the world and that’s why, occasionally, one gets to pay exorbitant amounts of money. With absolute devotion of its wine growers and thanks to the accumulation of excellent climatic conditions for the growth of the vine, Bordeaux is associated with winemaking excellence.

In the same city, we will find the quartier des Chartrons , which has been traditionally wine merchants’ neighborhood and home of local business, with its warehouses and stores. During the eighteenth century these traders built here beautiful palaces and stately homes that still conserve. And you should get into its Sunday market and taste, alongside the Bordeaux people, a plate of oysters accompanied by white wine.

From the city of Bordeaux , you can visit the vineyards of Bordeaux, the largest vineyard in the world . Real dreamy places like Merloc – with its stunning castles – Blaye Bourg – and its beautiful hillsides covered with vineyards and charming stone villages with Romanesque churches , Dordogne – and the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, famous for its excellent wines and the numerous historical monuments in there – orEntre-Deux-Mers – the largest wine region of Bordeaux bounded by the Garonne and Dordogne rivers – .

To raise awareness of this wine’s treasure, Office Bordeaux Tourist Information regularly organizes trips to various wine regions , in which you can taste their wines and that it will delight oenophiles or amateurs , who want to understand better the wine.

Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!

Picture by Olivier Aumage

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Bordeaux – 10 Essentials in the Wine Capital

Scarcely an hour’s flight away from Barcelona, Bordeaux is the perfect spot for a short getaway. This is an “easy” city to visit – it’s small, pedestrianised centre invites you to stroll among its stone buildings which exude the same leisurely character as its inhabitants. Well-pleased with its wines, its new Herzog & de Meuron stadium, its future venue as the City of Wine Civilizations and the advent of Joël Robuchon (with his 26 Michelin stars, next after La Grande Maison), Bordeaux gives off its touristic charm nonchalantly, in its defining elegant, bourgeois fashion. Here are some gourmet guide pointers:

1. L’Intendant – A Stunning Wine Shop

Four storeys linked by an architectural spiral staircase houses some 15,000 bottles and 600 epitomes of Bordeaux wine. The ground floor contains the labels of small producers, while the most expensive ones are accommodated on the top floor. The dearest of all – Yquem, at €6,000. Here are some good wines for far less – just allow yourself to be guided by the experts.

2. Taste Initiation at Le Boutique Hotel Wine Bar

The bar à vins (wine bar) at this charming, 27-room hotel offers excellent tastings for venturing into the world of French wines, and their sommelier, Martín Santander, speaks Spanish to wit. His “Tour de France” blind wine tasting features five bottles, prompting guests to ascertain the different French types and varieties. This is the only venue in the city that specialises in natural wines.

3. Where to Have Some Wine – the CIVBBar à Vins

The headquarters of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux boasts a wonderful wine bar. The bar counter dates from the 19th century and the stained-glass windows from the 20th, while the design is 21st century. You can only order wine by the glass from the wine list, at very reasonable prices – most average between €2 and €3.50, with the odd €8 option from among the Grand Cru.

4. Alliance in a Fashionable Restaurant – Garopapilles

Designer wines and cuisine in one. The chef, Tanguy Laviale, and the wine connoisseur, Gaël Morand, hold out promise of a great experience in this pretty locale, where food and drink form an inseparable tandem. The wine bar is in the entrance, while the intimate, magical restaurant is concealed at the back. In a sole, surprise, deftly combined tasting menu, the chef deploys his imagination in dishes such as foie gras on a bed of cabbage and shiitake, or velvet crab consommé. Highly recommendable haute cuisine sans tablecloth. The menu, without wine, works out at €32 at lunchtime and €62 for dinner.

5. The Best Fish – Le Petit Commerce

A fish restaurant and genuine bistro, unpretentious but with the sort of French charm that captivates. What’s more, here the lunch menu costs just €14. The cuisine of the restauranteur, Fabien Touraille, has become so popular that, with his three restaurants, he’s taken over Parlament Saint Pierre street. His goal – to popularise fish; his fish is even good on Mondays.

6. Hipster Organics – Darwin

These once derelict barracks have been transformed into a top-notch complex of sustainable, creative co-working firms, a large organic restaurant, a sports centre and soon… an eco-lodge.

7. Tempting Chocolateries – Saunion, Cadiot-Badie, La Maison Darricau

It is worth visiting at least these three vintage localities for their great chocolatier tradition – at Saunion, do try Le Gallien (caramel and praliné) and the Guinettes (fresh cherries with alcohol syrup and fondant). A speciality of Cadiot-Badie is Le Diamant Noir (grape ganache), in addition to chocolate shoes and wine bottles which make the perfect souvenir. At La Maison Darricau, don’t miss out on the Pavé (praliné, wine, sugar and cinnamon).

8. The Canelé Tradition – Baillardran

A typically Bordelais confectionery made of flour, egg yolk and vanilla which is crunchy on the outside and smooth inside. The Baillardran chain, which you’ll come across everywhere, makes them on a daily basis.

9. Hotel, Drinks and Brunch – Mamma Shelter

The affordable design chain, which has the famous Philippe Starck as a partner, features a hotel in the centre of Bordeaux. An excellent choice for accommodation; otherwise, at least drop in and have a drink in this locale at night, or brunch on Sunday – it is very cool and all the rage. Rooms from €69.

10. Street Food – Chartrons Market

This open-air market is held every Sunday on the banks of the Garonne. You have a large choice of food stalls where you can have a casual meal. Our favourite were the oyster stalls, where the price was €6.50 for half a dozen oysters.

The Bordeaux Tourist Office organises excursions to some of the quaint viticultural châteaux, as well as other activities.

Come and discover Bordeaux for yourself! Check out our flights here.

Text by Isabel Loscertales / Gastronomistas

Photos by Isabel Loscertales / Gastronomistas

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Bordeaux in Seven Steps

Bordeaux can boast of having emerged from a sweet slumber, deservedly earning it the name of “the Sleeping Beauty”, later becoming the “Pearl of Aquitaine”. Here are the keys to enjoying a city that has become an irresistible tourist destination.

1. Taste Its Wines

Why deny it? Wine is the region’s economic driving force and the main reason for Bordeaux being famous all over the world. A trip to this city is clearly the perfect excuse for venturing into its extensive wine realm. The local tourist office has a roster of 60 different circuits for touring the viticultural region’s wineries that have edged their way onto the international scene. Needless to say, you don’t actually have to leave Bordeaux to discover its wines. All you need to do is head for one of the bars or bistros to find them. Here are our recommendations:

- The Bar à Vin du CIVB is a city classic and has an extensive Bordeaux wine list.

- For those who prefer to accompany their wine with some good cheese, Bistrot du Fromager is their best option.

- Those on a tasting tour who also want to take away the odd bottle as a keepsake should drop in on La Conserverie-Converserie.

- And, you can even sign up for a course in wine tasting at L’École du Vin.

2. Be Dazzled by the Largest Water Mirror in the World

The Place de la Bourse (Bourse Square). also known as the Place Royale, is undoubtedly one of the major landmarks in Bordeaux. It was designed by Jacques Ange Gabriel, royal architect to Louis XV, and built from 1730 to 1755.This square heralded the moment when the city broke out of its medieval walls, marking the start of its age of splendour. Rectangular in shape, one side opens onto the river Garonne, while the centre is taken up by the Fountain of The Three Graces. The main attraction, however, is Le Miroir d’Eau (Water Mirror), one of the largest in the world, with a surface area of 3.450 m2. The interplay of reflections is fascinating and highly photogenic – if you’re travelling with children, it is sure to delight them.

3. Enjoy Its Heritage

After Paris, Bordeaux is the city with the largest number of protected monuments in France. One example of this is its harbour, known as the Port of the Moon, which was listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 2007. Set on a meander of the river Garonne, its nickname is derived from its crescent-moon or croissant shape. Most of the buildings in the harbour and environs reflect the ideals of the Enlightenment. Be sure to stroll through its streets and admire their unique beauty.

4. Take a Boat Ride Along the River Garonne

The river Garonne has long been a lynchpin of the city’s development. Indeed, in the 18th century, it was one of the most important ports in Europe. A novel way of viewing the city of Bordeaux is by taking in the different angles of it afforded by the river. All you need to do is turn up at the Port of the Moon and go on one of the available cruises. Of the myriad options to choose from, we recommend one that includes wine tasting and snacks while soaking up the views.

5. Be Inspired by Museum Offerings

Art lovers have a must-visit in the shape of the Museum of Fine Arts, noteworthy for its fine collection of Dutch paintings. If you’re an enthusiast of the latest in art trends, the place to be is the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, located in a former warehouse for colonial goods. The Museum of Decorative Arts, housed in the Hôtel Lalande, is a showcase of bourgeois life in the 18th and 19th century, as seen through their decorative objects – furniture, sculpture, engravings, ceramics, cutlery and glassware.

6. Enjoy Nature in One of the Parks

Bordeaux has many parks where you can get a breather. The best known is the Jardin Public (Public Garden), set in the heart of the city. It was opened in 1755 and styled along the lines of Versailles, but subsequently re-styled as an English garden. It features an old carousel which children will love.

7. Eat Oysters in the Market

If you happen to spend a weekend in Bordeaux, make sure you head for the Marche des Capucines. This magnificent market offers top-notch produce and has a wonderful atmosphere. There, you will find stalls where you can taste oysters, seafood and fresh fish.

Book your Vueling here and see all the hidden charm of Bordeaux for yourself.


Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr, Yann Chauvel, Bistro du Fromager

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Time Stands Still in Périgueux

History has been generous with Périgueux. This town, emblematic of the Aquitaine region, is fortunate enough to boast well preserved remains of its Gallo-Roman and medieval past, making it a unique spot. Situated on the banks of the river Isle, Périgueux makes for a great getaway, on account of both its stunning heritage and as a place to indulge in culinary delights, notably its foie gras. Périgueux, the ancient Vesunna Petrucoriorum, was one of the most important Roman centres in southern France. This is evinced in the extant remains of that civilisation, noteworthy being the Roman wall and the amphitheatre, with a capacity of 20,000 spectators, which must have rivalled Nimes or Arles. Well worth visiting is the Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum, built around a grand Roman villa from the 1st century AD, the so-called domus des Bouquets (Domus of Vesunna). Judging by its sheer size – it covers an area of 4,000 square metres – it must have belonged to a high-ranking official of the region. Thanks to a system of walkways, the interior of the villa can be viewed from above, without impinging on the original surfaces.

A few metres from the old Gallo-Roman wall, which had some buildings set on top of it, lie vestiges of the town’s medieval past, including those of the 12th-century Château Barrière, destroyed in a fire in the 16th century, and the church of Saint-Étienne de la Cité, Périgueux’s original cathedral – up until the Wars of Religion – during which two of its four domes and the campanile were destroyed.

Touring Medieval and Renaissance Périgueux

It seems that God Himself stopped on the summit of Le Puy-Saint-Front, where man ended up building a cathedral of the same name over a former Merovingian and Carolingian church. This formidable cathedral, which rivets your gaze upwards as soon as you get near it, is a compulsory stopover for pilgrims on the Road to Santiago. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1998. Saint-Front Cathedral is unique in that its fabric reveals exotic Byzantine flourishes at times, as well as the legacy of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre, Paris, at others. Its interior is not quite as striking, although it does harbour the odd exceptional detail, such as the chandelier that lit the wedding of Napoleon III and countess Eugénie de Montijo in Paris.

Medieval Périgueux, with the Mataguerre Tower as the last bastion of its ancient wall, is also graced with Renaissance buildings featuring such characteristic elements of this style as inner courts and staircases. Among the most emblematic buildings is the 16th-century House of the Patissier and the Saint Front Residence, a mansion located on the Rue de la Constitution.

Gastronomy in Périgueux

At the foot of the Cathedral lies the Place de la Clautre where local farmers sell their produce in a street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A few streets away, two open-air markets feature two of the products that are never in short supply in the pantries of Périgueux’s inhabitants – meat and foie gras.

It is a delightful experience to wander through the maze of medieval alleyways and then book a table at one of the small bistros or restaurants where you can treat yourself to local fare. One such eatery is the refined L’Eden, on Rue de l’Aubergerie, one of the most picturesque thoroughfares in the capital of the former Périgord.

Ready to discover the charm of Périgueux? Check out your Vueling to Bordeaux here.

Text and images by Tus Destinos

Photos by Tus Destinos and Alban GILBERT - CRTA

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