This 5-day itinerary is the perfect introduction to Bordeaux—hub of the famed wine-growing region in southwest France. Known for its stunning architecture (both old and new), this lively UNESCO-listed city will be your base for a series of tours to markets, vineyards, beaches, and beautiful chateaux around the region which you'll explore with the help of friendly English-speaking guides.

Highlights

  • Sample Bordeaux's hip coffee shops, food trucks, restaurants, and wine bars
  • Rub elbows with chefs doing their morning shopping at the farmer's market
  • Bike around Saint Emilion while viewing prestigious vineyards and estates
  • Enjoy several tours and tastings in the Bordeaux and Medoc wine regions
  • Climb the biggest sand dune in Europe followed by locally-caught oysters

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bordeaux Bordeaux
Day 2 Farmer's Market Tour & Wine in the City Tour Bordeaux
Day 3 Wine & Bike Tour in Saint Emilion Bordeaux
Day 4 Beaches & Vineyards Tour Bordeaux
Day 5 Depart Bordeaux  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bordeaux

Bordeaux's location along the Garonne River
Bordeaux's location along the Garonne River

Welcome to Bordeaux—the French capital of wine! Upon arrival, you'll be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.

From here you can check into your hotel and start exploring on foot. This pedestrian-friendly city is among France's most exciting, vibrant, and dynamic places. At least half of the city is UNESCO-listed, making it the largest urban world heritage site on the planet with a number of gothic and medieval highlights.

It's not all about the past though: Modern architects have designed a bevy of striking new buildings, including the Herzog & de Meuron stadium (2015), the decanter-shaped La Cité du Vin (2016), and Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge (2018) across the Garonne River.

As for atmosphere, Bordeaux is bolstered by its college-aged student population and growing tourism trade (it receives about 5 million visitors a year), so make sure to sample the barista-run coffee shops, food trucks, impressive restaurants, and, of course, outstanding wines produced in nearby vineyards.

Day 2: Farmer's Market Tour & Wine in the City Tour

Hit the streets of Bordeaux with a local guide
Hit the streets of Bordeaux with a local guide

Today involves two distinct half-day tours for an exciting introduction to this fascinating city!

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll meet the first guide for a 2.5-hour private excursion involving Capucin Farmer's Market to feast your eyes on fresh local fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, bread, and pastries. Your guide will help you navigate between the stalls and vendors as you rub elbows with locals and chefs who are doing their morning shopping. In addition to the superb food quality, the market is full of characters from vendors with big mustaches and weathered hands to gentlemen wearing berets. The tour is a treat for the senses and a true French experience.

Following the farmer's market, you'll have time for lunch on your own before meeting up with another private guide. The Wine in the City Tour begins at the Place Royale—home of the famous wine classification of 1855. This is where you'll learn about Bordeaux's historic riverfront port and the role it played in the wine trade from the Middle Ages till modern day.

You'll also hop on the city's sleek, modern tram to go visit the wine museum called Le Musée du Vin et du Négoce, housed in the wine cellar of an 18th-century building that once served as wine merchant's home. Finish the tour with a stroll through the historic Chartrons neighborhood—a district used by wine merchants and barrel makers for the past 300 years—as well as a tasting at a lovely wine bar offering a broad selection of Bordeaux wines.

Day 3: Wine & Bike Tour in Saint Emilion

Bike around the vineyards in Saint-Emilion
Bike around the vineyards in Saint-Emilion

Today, after breakfast, you'll begin a full-day guided Wine & Bike Tour in Bordeaux's nearby vineyards!

Begin the tour with a beautiful 45-minute drive through the countryside to Saint Emilion where bike rentals will be waiting. Then, enjoy a fun dose of exercise while viewing prestigious properties in the area, including two beautiful chateaux where you'll partake in tours and tastings.

You'll also get to discover the mythical village of Saint Emilion—another UNESCO World Heritage site—while ambling through its medieval streets with time to explore on your own. Included in today's tour are entrance fees, tastings, bike rentals, and a chic picnic lunch in the gardens.

In the late afternoon, you will make the return trip to Bordeaux where you'll have the rest of the evening to explore the city on your own.

Day 4: Beaches & Vineyards Tour

Spend some time at the beach in the Bay of Arcachon
Relax at the beach in the Bay of Arcachon

This morning, it's time for another exciting guided excursion outside of the city! This full-day tour includes the discovery of two beautiful landscapes of the Bordeaux region: the stunning Arcachon’s Bay along the Atlantic coast and the famous vineyards of the Medoc region.

First, you'll drive to the bay where there will be time to climb Pyla's Sand Dune (the biggest sand dune in Europe), then check out the area's beaches and forests, and finally, taste fresh oysters at a local producer.  

After lunch, you'll begin the second half of the tour with a drive through the "Chateau Route" of the Medoc. Your guide will provide all the information about the Bordeaux and Medoc wine regions including visits to family-run estates. In fact, you'll tour a Great Classified Growth estate—one of the most prestigious chateaux of Bordeaux. This is where you'll receive detailed explanations about their winemaking process while enjoying a tasting of the estate's wines served with some French delicacies. 

In the early evening, return to Bordeaux where you'll have the rest of the evening to explore on your own.

Day 5: Depart Bordeaux

Take a sunrise stroll and shop for last-minute souvenirs
Take a sunrise stroll and shop for last-minute souvenirs

It's time to say goodbye to Bordeaux! If there's free time in the morning, take a sunrise stroll, order a café au lait, or perhaps shop for last-minute souvenirs. At the designated time you'll be transferred to the airport or train station for your departure home or onward journey. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Bordeaux for Wine Enthusiasts - 5 Days
Map of Bordeaux for Wine Enthusiasts - 5 Days