Top Five Things To Do In Bordeaux
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably figured out I spent my birthday in Bordeaux a few weeks ago. Luckily I've been there a few times now because my boyfriend lives there, which means I have a great excuse to be a beach bum couple times every month. It also means that I am finally well versed enough (I hope!) to share with you some cool things for your to do list if you ever decide to make the trip.
1. Dunes of Pilat (not exactly in Bordeaux but so beautiful that I had to include them!)
I went to the dunes on my first trip to Bordeaux over the Christmas period last year. Although it was pretty mild weather wise by the time you start your trek along the dunes, you quickly work up a sweat, and of course trust it to have been the day where I was wearing a lambs wool sweater *face palm*.
Although I was a sweaty mess by the the time we reached the top, the views were so worth it. It's particularly beautiful because from the highest point on the dunes, which I was determined to reach after all that huffing and puffing, you could see a number of different elements. To the left we were surrounded by vast greenery from the forests below, straight ahead we could see the ocean and then of course we were standing in what closely resembled a desert on the dunes. I definitely saw a mirage or two the further I slogged along. As it's been a while since my trip I'm not too sure how long it took us to get to the top, but with the heat and uphill battle I would say that it was around 2 hours. This may seem like a long time but honesty it was very much worth it!
2. Cap Ferret
Cap Ferret (again) is not actually in Bordeaux but in the region of Aquitaine. It is a little part of paradise in the south west that if you have a car is worth a day trip to. Although the area boosts of residents like Marion Cotillard and Audrey Tautou, you would never guess. It remains a laid back, beach town stripped bare of the pretences that you come across in more commercialised areas of the South of France.
Cap Ferret, is insanely picturesque and while you are able to drive, everything is within walking distance making daytime strolls difficult resist. Or if you feel like being super French, pedal along on a bicycle with some freshly baked baguettes in tow ready for your afternoon picnic along the beach. Now, you're probably wondering 'why am I going to drive all the way out just to look at some pretty views?'. Well, actually there are things to do in Cap Ferret. It is a short journey to the Dunes du Pilat mentioned above and because of the beach it's a great opportunity to grab a board and go for a surf or simply kite surf. After which, you can feast on the region's infamous selection of seafood. With freshly caught oysters in abundance and a variety of seasoned mussels, what more could you ask for.
3. Pyla Sur Mer
Have you ever visited somewhere and thought to yourself, this place was just designed for me?... Well, that's how I feel about Pyla. Every time my boyfriend and I visit I'm constantly oohing and ahhh-ing and constantly stating how everything was basically designed with me in mind.
Again, like Cap Ferret, Pyla is a close to the beach BUT there is a fresher breath of life in Pyla. The streets are busy, the restaurants are full and you can't help but feel the energy of the town when you drive through it. Whether you're sitting on the beach, in a restaurant or eating gelato whilst glancing around the shops Pyla is always full of life.
It probably doesn't help that one of my all time favourite restaurants is based here, La Co(o)niche. Every time I go to Bordeaux, I try to squeeze in a trip to La Co(o)niche whether it is just to have a hot chocolate and watch the Sun set or treat ourselves to a delicious meal, it is always worth going.
I think that the reason I love it so much is not only because of it's stunning beauty as a venue but also because one of the first things that caught my eye was their fresh herb garden outside. Apparently, the kitchen uses freshly picked herbs from there each day, and as a massive fun of homegrown this was definitely a winner for me. So, with outdoor human sized chess boards, a view of the beach and amazing food and wine, La Co(o)niche is the perfect place to round off your day trip to Pyla or spend the night whilst watching the sun set.
4. M Le Macaron
I mean what is there to say about this place. If you like macarons, then you'll love it here.
Whenever I 'm in need of a sugar hit and can't fight it any longer, I go to Laduree or Pierre Herme (plus his boxes are so cute!) in London. However the macarons here are something else, maybe I had on my 'I'm in France so the macarons must be better' goggles on but either way I was in heaven and would definitely recommend it!
Do watch out for queues though. We went around lunch time (our fault really, I know) and the queue was insanely long, which I suppose gives you an indicator of just how good these macarons are.
5. Attractions in the actual city of Bordeaux!
Having read this through, I realised that many of my top things to do aren't actually in Bordeaux.... this is probably because whenever I am there I instantly drive out of the city to where I am staying which is closer to the likes of Pyla etc.
So in order to stay true to the title of this blog post, I of course had to include some things that you can do in and around town, although to honest I haven't explored the city as much as I would like so TripAdvisor may be more useful to you at this point.
If you're into the Opera, definitely visit the National Bordeaux Opera House located in the centre of town. The acoustics travel beautifully because of the insanely high ceilings making it a winner for opera fans, plus it is ridiculously beautiful with each wall and ceiling being had painted. We didn't get a chance to watch a show this time around, we did however enjoy a drink in the downstairs bar if it's any consolation.
If you're on a short visit you must see the Place de la Bourse. Nor necessarily because it is the best thing to see but simply because of the fact that it is Bordeaux's most famous landmark.
This is the centre piece of the city. You've probably seen it in people's holiday pictures from Bordeaux because it creates a really beautiful reflective effect that people always want to catch on camera. The square has a strong symbolic meaning to the people of Bordeaux as it represents when Bordeaux was able to finally grow as it played a major role in the city's development and trade.
Finish off your day in Place de la Victorie. A super busy square surrounded with bars and restaurants that provide the perfect atmosphere for the many pairs and events organised there!
The more I visit the more I can hopefully add to this list for you guys! I would love to do it for my previous travel posts but I have such a short memory that I probably won't be able to make such a comprehensive list BUT I will do it for my holidays from now on :)