Gironde

 

 

 

 

Gironde looks like a miniature of France in that it offers many of the aspects tourists love in general in France:

a great coastline, one of the most famous vineyards in the world, culture and heritage with Bordeaux, a beautiful city listed as a Unesco site, a gentle rural landscape, and a renowned gastronomy.

The year round set of activities is therefore part of the appeal for the Gironde department.

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Coastline and outdoor activities:

Gironde shares with its neighbour Landes the magnificent coastline named ‘Côte d’Argent’ (Silver Coast) which stretches on 226 km (respectively 126 km for Gironde and 120 km for Landes). The coast is much alike the Landes coastline, with long sandy beaches bordered by dunes and maritime pine forest and inland natural lakes. Gironde is therefore along with the Basque and Landes coastline a surfers’ paradise. The impressive ‘dune du Pyla’ stretches over 3 km and culminates at 117 above sea level and commands great views on the Ocean on one side and on pine forest on the other side. There you can enjoy the thrill of paragliding. The ‘Bassin d’Arcachon’ is a huge natural bay ideal for sailing and offers a safe environment for safe swimming along with long sandy beaches. Like in every bay on the Atlantic coast the tide is more perceptible which has its drawbacks but also its advantages, namely oysters beds and all type of shell collecting at low tide, which is part of the fun and culture on this part of the coast. Like in Landes, Gironde shelters part of the ‘Parc Naturel Régional des Landes de Gascogne’ and activities such as horse riding and cycling on dedicated tracks in the shade of the maritime pines. In the entre-deux area a number of circular cycle tracks have been designed to provide exercise and sightseeing.

Culture and heritage:

Combination of great outdoor activities and refined cultural or historical environment is generally rare enough to be highlighted. The Bassin d’Arcachon offers as stated above many outdoor leisure but also boasts the most stylish resorts on the Southern Atlantic coast. Some of them date back to the XIXth century when going to “les bains de mer” was already trendy for the happy few. Therefore you can find many charming examples of Belle Epoque architecture in Arcachon and Lège-Cap Ferret, 2 resorts very sought after by the well to do Bordelaises families.
Culture and heritage can of course be found in Bordeaux which is a magnificent city with a beautiful classical XVIIIth century architecture, recently reinvigorated with the happy issue of being listed as a Unesco World Heritage and classified as a City of Art and History. Bordeaux is an affluent, young, dynamic and vibrant city that provides plenty of cultural events, shopping in ‘chic’ boutiques and eating out in trendy but serious places. The charm of heritage can also be found in the many quaint golden stone villages and ‘châteaux’ scattered in a green gentle and hilly landscape of vineyards.
 

Wine and gastronomy:

Part of the pleasure of visiting or leaving in a region is the opportunity of tasting good food, and generally what goes along… a good wine! Of course these two characteristics are met here in Gironde. One of the best known wine growing area could not do without a great gastronomy. And here you will find an amazing proportion of gastronomic restaurants and Michelin starred chefs but you can find very good food in many other places!!