Friday, October 4, 2013

At Least Six Reasons to Visit Bordeaux

Renowned for its wines, Bordeaux, the capital of the Aquitaine region in southwest France is fun to discover many times over.  Here are at least six reasons to make Bordeaux your destination of choice.

Architectural Beauty 

Bordeaux boasts a magnificent 18th century architectural ensemble that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site .  The Port de la Lune  stretches some 1 kilometer  along the quay of the Garonne river.  Bordeaux' exceptionally rich cultural patrimony can be explored on foot - other notable 'must see" sites include:  Saint Michel church and its pointed bell tower so distinctly visible in the  city's skyline; the gothic  Cathedral St. Andre built under English rule between the 13th and 15th century; the medieval St. Pierre district and its handsome Cailhau Gate and the Gros Horloge - bell of the medieval townhall bellbry.

Attractive River Bank
Since its ancient quays have been renovated, it is such a pleasure to stroll along the River Garonne. Decrepit warehouses have been replaced by colorful plantings and a "mirroir d'eau" was installed for everyone's delight.

Grand Theatre de Bordeaux
Designed by Victor Louis in 1773, Bordeaux opera house sits prominently in the center of Bordeaux . Its facade resembles a Greek temple adorned by a row of Corinthian columns on top of which statues of goddesses and muses oversee the Place de la Comedie.  Its jewel-like auditorium and sumptuous marble staircase are delightful to visit -- the latter was copied by Charles Garnier for Paris Opera house . When visiting, treat yourself to  a concert, opera or ballet performance.

Wine Tasting
At the center of the prolific wine region, Bordeaux offers many opportunities to sample the fruit of the vine.  Sit at a cafe terrace or visit a bistro a vin to sample the many AOC's of the region.  You can also use Bordeaux as a base to visit the vineyards that surround the city  -- such as the Medoc, St Emilion, Graves, Entre deux Mers and others.  Did you know they are 57 AOC among which are the prestigious Margaux, St. Estephe, St. Julien, Pauillac, St. Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes to name the very best?.  At the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux on you can sample well known and less known vintages. (3, cours du XXX juillet)


Bordeaux has many great restaurants serving local specialities like the lamb of Pauillac, oysters and  other shellfish from  Arcachon Bay and the Atlantic coast and the foie Gras from nearby farms of the southwest.  For desert try the speciality of Bordeaux - canele - a small pastry in a shape of a mold with a golden caramelized crust and filled with a vanilla and rum flavored custard.

For luxury shopping head for the Golden Triangle, an area bordered by the Cours de l'Intendance, Allees des Tourny and Cours Clemenceau where you will find many fine boutiques and luxury band names.  For more affordable shopping, you can stroll along the lively pedestrianised rue Saint Catherine. The department store,   Galleries Lafayette and smaller boutiques selling, clothing, shoes and other fashion items line the street.

visit to arrange your trip to Bordeaux.

Tags: Bordeaux, France

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