Welcome to Bordeaux
Surrounded by some of the world's most famous vineyards and France's second largest Atlantic port, Bordeaux is an elegant city with stunning 18th century architecture, tree lined boulevards and a culturally vibrant centre to rival even Paris.
With a history that is embroiled in the Romans, the fight with the English in the Hundred Years War, the wine trade and numerous Chateaux with stories of scandal between Royalty and the nobility, the Bordeaux region is one that is worth exploring. The city itself is beautiful, offering an outstanding architectural heritage and packed full of art galleries, excellent food, good shopping and wide boulevards which are largely pedestrianised.
Situated within the French Department of the Gironde, where the mouths of the rivers Garonne and Dordogne merge, Bordeaux and its wine region stretch from Soulac-sur-Mer and the Medoc in the north to the vineyards of Graves and Cerons in the south. The Cote d'Argent, Europe's longest beach, forms the coastline to the west and attracts many surfers to the Lacanau area and the coastal resorts of Arcachon, Pyla and Cap Ferret. Whilst to the east of the Department lie the vineyards of the Saint Emilion region that lead into the Dordogne.
This hilly region between the city of Bordeaux and the Saint Emilion wine region is named Entre-Deux-Mer (between two seas) because of its location between the two tidal rivers of the Garonne and the Dordogne. One of the most attractive regions in the area, Entre-Deux-Mers is scattered with ruined abbeys, attractive villages and expanses of vineyards. It was also home to the author François Mauriac and the artist Toulouse-Lautrec.
The city of Bordeaux houses a population of nearly 245,000 in 8 quartiers, which increases to nearly a quarter of a million if you include the population of the surrounding urban communities, the 27 communes of Bordeaux. It is often seen as a more reserved city, compared at least to its southern counterparts of Marseille and Nice, and the local 'Bordelais' can appear somewhat detached with their smart attire and strict observation of social rules and etiquette, but this increasingly cosmopolitan city is fast becoming a friendly and welcoming destination.