A Magellan Odyssey World Tour Destination

Bucket List Destinations | A Tour of Beautiful Bordeaux

July 20, 2022

Bordeaux, France, is a well-known and incredibly beautiful city that often gets overshadowed by its more famous neighbor to the north, Paris. 

Many consider Bordeaux to be a smaller version of Paris, as it is just as breathtaking and enchanting. The architecture is very similar, the food is just as mouth-watering, the museums and sites are unforgettable, and the wines are just heavenly.

Although Bordeaux doesn’t have its own Eiffel Tower, a large part of Bordeaux has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

What to Do When Visiting This Beautiful French Wine Region

There is a lot to see when visiting this beautiful region and its surrounding areas – from wine-related activities, to cultural and heritage sites, to world-class museums, so don’t rush your trip, and give yourself the time to take this beautiful destination in. Here are some of the top attractions within the area to help you get started.  

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

Abbaye de La Sauve-Majeur

Situated 15.5 miles from Bordeaux in the countryside of the Entre-Deux-Mers region, travelers can find Abbaye de La Sauve-Majeure, a marvelous UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The abbey nestles in a scene meadow, surrounded by 200 hectares of densely wooded grounds. Dating from the 11th to 13th centuries, the abbey was built as a place of spiritual worship for the pilgrims on the Way of Saint James route Santiago de Compostela. 

The abbey is renowned for its finely carved capitals, which are considered to be among the finest examples of Romanesque art. 

The Abbaye de la Sauve-Majeure is open every day from mid-June all the way to September and every day except for Mondays from October through to May. 

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

Esplanade des Quinconces

A large public space in central Bordeaux, the Esplanade des Quinconces is a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city, just a few blocks away from Le Grand-Théâtre. Flanked by the Quai Louis XVII alongside the river, the esplanade offers peaceful waterfront views. 

Built between the years 1818 and 1828, the square’s spectacular fountain that honors the Girodins, the group of republican politicians from the départment of the Gironde who were deputies in the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. 

The original fountain was destroyed in World War II, but fortunately, was renovated years later. There are also statues of Montesquieu and Montaigne. 

Travel Tip : While in the area, keep an eye-out for another noteworthy attraction, Jardin Public, an area where you can visit the botanical gardens and the natural history museum. The 11 hectares of Jardin Public is listed as a “Jardin Remarquable de France” (“Remarkable Garden of France”).

The grounds include a picnic area, a tea salon, and L’Orangerie that serves upscale bistro cooking, in a trendy dining room, with tables set under the shade of trees on the outside terrace. 

 

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

Place de la Bourse

Lining the quays of Bordeaux for a half mile are the palatial buildings from the Age of Enlightenment. The most magnificent examples are found at the Place de la Bourse, which epitomizes the elegance and harmony of neoclassical 18th-century architecture. These graceful monuments overlook the banks of the Garonne River. 

Between the Quai de la Douane and the Quai Louis XVII, the Miroir d’Eau (Water mirror) is a decorative pool that reflects the Place de la Bourse building facades. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site could be called an “elegant puddle” or a “masterpiece of creativity.” 

A fountain system alternates between mirror and mist effects. The reflection changes with the time of the day or the weather.

 

Enjoy what you’re reading? Check out Magellan’s other beautiful destinations.

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

Bordeaux Cuisine

Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage
Bordeaux, Magellan Odyssey, France,by Art in Voyage

Arcachon Bay Oysters

Oysters from the Arcachon Bay have been savored since Roman times, but it was not until the 19th century that the Arcachon oyster industry really took off. 

Rich in minerals and vitamins, this shellfish with delicate and tasty flesh, particularly popular at New York’s Eve, is eaten raw, plain or with a squirt of lemon, and paired with buttered rye bread and a glass of red wine. 

In Gironde, during the holiday season, it is traditional to serve oysters accompanied by crépinettes, a local kind of small, flat sausages. 

Throughout the year, many of the Arcachon Bay oysters farmers open their huts to the public for tastings and sales of their products. A most enjoyable destination where you can sample fresh oysters in a friendly atmosphere!

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Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage

Grilled duck breast (Le magret de canard grillé)

A true magret de canard is the breast meat of force-fed ducks raised to produce foie gras. The breasts are extremely thick and have a much beefier taste than ordinary duck breasts. 

Although this dish is a specialty of the south-western provinces of France, today magrets are served in restaurants throughout the country. 

Like steaks in France, they are served rare, but unlike beef, they are often served with a slightly sweet and sour sauce and/or fruits, to counteract the natural fattiness of the meat. 

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Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage

Bordeaux lamprey

Originally reserved for only the wealthy, today the lamprey dish is a popular delicacy in the Bordeaux region. 

The dish consists of lamprey stewed with cured ham, red wine, various fresh herbs, and vegetables such as leeks, onions, and garlic. 

Tip : When preparing the dish, one must be careful to first hang the lamprey by the head before cutting its tail, in order to collect the blood. The blood is used in combination with Armagnac and wine sauce, and the lamprey is briefly flambéed in the mixture before being served, usually accompanied with garlic bread croutons and a glass of local red wine.

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Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
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Where to Stay in Bordeaux

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Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage

Les Sources de Caudalie

At luxury French hotel Les Sources de Caudalie, excellent regional wines can be found in bottles, barrels and infused into facials, scrubs, massages and more. 

Designed to look like a country village from an antique postcard, each of the hotel’s elegant rustic buildings has a new treat for guests to uncover (there’s even Château du Thil, five minutes’ drive away, available to book exclusively). 

Start in the Vinothérapie Spa – the birthplace of Caudalie’s world-famous, grape-based beauty products – then follow a winding pathway past outcrops of wild flowers and wander by the lake to reach bar Rogue, where fruits of the house vines can be sipped and savored.

Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage

La Course

This 19th century mansion in the elegant part of Bordeaux around Le Jardin Public, provides the city’s fresh air, and is just a short walk from the Chartrons neighborhood, where foreign wine traders have been meeting for centuries. 

The five rooms and suites offer spaces of comfort, relaxation and well-being, as the rooms are distributed around the staircase, which in itself is a masterpiece. 

With its spacious, homely feel, this 19th century luxury guest house is an opportunity to step out of the race against the time. The lounge, fireplace and comfortable sofa invites guests to relax and socialize. 

Fun Fact : The kitchen is open to everyone to try fine, local products. There is a tasting area that is great for after work get-togethers, wine tastings and cookery courses. 

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Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
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Art in Voyage

Domaine de Raba

Domaine de Raba is a spirited estate with youthful looks, oak-studded grounds and a trio of enticing restaurants – and it’s only 20 minutes from the bustling heart of Bordeaux!

The honey-stone mansion was whisked into the present when it was treated to a top-to-tail refurbishment, its 19th-century bones reclothed with design that evokes British country clubs, bucolic boltholes and Asian tea houses alike. 

Outside however, new buildings allow for luxurious like safari-style lodges, an indoor pool and a wine bar that can get lively on the weekends.The location makes day trips to the city center and old-world wineries a breeze. When getting there, you might find it difficult to ever leave. From sipping wine on the sun-soaked lawns, sampling gemstone-infused beauty treatments and dining on dishes by award-winning chef Flora Mikula, this property truly emcompasses what luxury accommodation is all about.

 

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