Bordeaux, Dordogne & South West

This vast area nestled alongside the border between France and Spain is prosperous and unequalled.

Bordeaux elected as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, with its world famous wines, the perched village of Dordogne Region… all of which are examples of the richness of this delightful region. With Decouvertes you will discover the mixture of high green mountains, peaceful ancient villages and clean rivers and don’t miss the unforgettable images of this region full of nature and prehistory.

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On this land, where the Bordeaux vineyard has been blossoming for centuries, the architecture shows signs of a prestigious past and today alternates with nature waiting to be discovered.

The way of life in the South West is a combination of festivities, tradition and gastronomy in a land of contrast and cultures.

The great open spaces will be a change of scene for the more adventurous types.

Fifty-seven appellations in apporximately 120,000 hectares of vines, the Bordeaux vineyards are the largest "appellation d'origine contrôlée" vineyards in France, where an extraordinarily diverse and comprehensive range of wines cohabit harmoniously: reds, dry whites, mellow and sweet whites, rosés, clairets, Crémant de Bordeaus and Fine Bordeaux.



Bordeaux is a majestic setting along the banks of the Garonne which in June 2007 was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The capital of Gironde, a veritable jewel in the crown of 18th-century architecture, has been modernised over the centuries, without any adverse impact on its harmony and architectural riches.
Bordeaux owes the fact that it is the only city in the world to share its name with prestigious vineyards to the generations of wine traders who operated here.
A number of museums in Bordeaux will recount to you the odyssey of the wine trade.  As you stroll along, you will discover their heritage and culture of wine, on the façades of the beautiful stone buildings, on the city squares, on the imposing public monuments or in the parks.




A penisula.  A veritable land's end locked in between a tempestuous ocean and an estuary where the ocean currents sweep in and the river sweeps majestically out.
Medoc is home to Chateaux whose names are known in the four corners of the globe.  Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux...legenday Chateaux which over the centuries have managed to maintain all their aura. 
The prosperity of the grands crus has bequeathed to modern-day Medoc a whole range of architectural jewels in all manner of shapes and styles, most of which were built between the 17th and 19th centuries.
The gastronomy is part of Medoc heritage and it would be a shame not to try them.  The local specialities range from sweet to savoury.



The Graves

This is the birthplace of the Bordeaux vineyards.  It was here that the ancient vineyards were first planted, in the first century AD.  In the Middle Ages, this land was called "Graves", after the soil which predominates here, a mixture of gravel, pebbles, flint and other rocky debirs which for so many hundreds of years has been deposited by the Garonne.  Here, great red wines rub shoulders with great dry whites and with the sublime sweet whites of Sauternes such as Chateau d'Yquem.
The Sauternais region offers a gentle pace of life.  The villages all reamin humble, and the little ports along the Garonne invite you for a leisurely stroll.  



Saint Emilion

Bordered to the south by the Dordogne, to the east by the Ile, this is a land of hillocks and hillsides.  The vines hug the slopes, surrounding numerous villages an hamlets, Romanesque churches, Manor houses and mansions.  Saint Emilion, city of art and history, is the capital of this wine-growing region, and it is so perfectly integrated into its natural an human environment that the wine growing landscape of the Jurisdiction was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. 
The walled city of Saint-Emilion was built using the stones taken from its subsoil.  The result is 700,000 square metres of underground galleries; most of which are now used for maturing and keeping wines.