3 reasons to go to the Médoc to enjoy the Indian summer

Lesparre-Médoc
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The sun is still there! It's the end of the school holidays , but many of you are still hoping for a taste of the sun on your skin, a little sand between your toes and long weekends ... You want the sun , the beach , of rest , why not go for a weekend or more in the Médoc? To give you a little help (is it really necessary?), We offer you 3 good reasons to go to Médoc and Haut Médoc at the end of summer, beginning of autumn!

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1-) The vineyard and the gastronomy!

As you could imagine, it's impossible to talk about the Médoc without mentioning its vines . Médoc , that sounds like the promise of a good vintage , it is the perfect note of harmony for a tasty meal … You have the choice in the region, because it is not less than 60 classified grands crus on 8 appellations which this exceptional wine-growing territory is shared. But what gives the vines the opportunity to produce such a characteristic and unique wine? 600 châteaux (we cannot visit all of them!), Well-known bourgeois wines and high- quality artisanal wines , there are categories of bottles for all budgets and for all food / wine pairings. This is thanks to the climate , to the location between two bodies of water (the estuary and the nearby ocean), as well as the particular and rich geology which offers the vines a majestic terroir for the blossoming of the grape varieties .


Bunch of grapes in Pauillac


For the visits , a guide is at your disposal (in french) , to know which castle can receive you for a walk, a tasting ...

You can also take the Médoc Wine Route . By bike it's a fantastic route, bathed in sunshine and superb wine-growing landscapes . It is a friendly destination , dotted with interesting encounters! Do it independently or for a truly complete experience, do not hesitate to ask professionals who will guide you and organize a tailor-made trip for you. See our section on wine tours to find a provider.

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2-) The discovery of the estuary

An estuary is quite a story. It is a place with a particular geology , it is the meeting of several river currents , here the Dordogne and the Garonne , which together form the Gironde . Before reaching the great ocean waters, the river winds, widens, takes on character and erodes the banks , taking on stories and sediments . The flora and fauna are interesting to discover in the Médoc, thanks to the diversity of habitats on land and in the river. Deer, wild boar, roe deer roam the forest , while semi-aquatic species such as otter, mink, occupy the banks in cohabitation with bats . Birds , which love wetlands to reproduce and nest, are a joy to observe in the region. There are also many species of toads, frogs, turtles, newts, lizards ... connoisseurs will find them!


The Gironde estuary


The largest estuary in Europe is also the vacation spot for many fish , some sixty species. Eels, mules, white shrimps, but also fish from the sea, as you approach the ocean: sea bass, soles, meager ... Fishermen must find out before practicing, because the estuary is classified as a maritime domain up to Bec d'Ambès, beyond, is the responsibility of the Gironde fishing federation . Have fun !

There are pretty towns to discover, to walk, eat in a restaurant, drink a coffee. Go see Port Macau , its pretty homes, the tidal bore, the small islands which, for the most part, belong to the coastal conservatory. They are wild, populated with species of birds and some vines. The small port of Issan is also worth a detour, it borders the vineyards of the prestigious castles of Margaux , opposite there is also the " Little island of Margaux ", eponymous! Pleasant walks await you ...

Take advantage of your stay in the Médoc to take the ferry at the Port of Lamarque and visit the Citadel of Blaye on the other side of the estuary. The journey is pleasant.


Bas de Blaye
The Blaye ferry

3-) Shellfish and crustaceans, on the abandoned beach ...

Abandoned yes, but for your greatest pleasure! The beaches of Gironde are a real paradise in the off-season. The water is still hot , the entertainment is still numerous, the restaurants open and all that, just for you ...

Take the towel , park and set off to storm the dunes (on marked paths, you must not walk on the dunes to avoid damaging the flora which holds back the erosion of the sand massif).

Lovers of wild nature will appreciate the beaches of Le Porge . Surrounded by dunes for 13 kilometers, they are supervised in summer (beware of the baïnes do not swim anywhere) and also offer many hiking trails for lovers of sea walks . These are 2 beaches which are close to Bordeaux . On Jenny's beach, you can practice naturism next to a very large naturist holiday center, one of the largest in France!


Porge beach
Gressier Le Porge Beach

Further north is Lacanau Océan , a name that all beach and party lovers know. It is a dynamic seaside resort and very popular for surfing . How pleasant it is to sit on the terrace of a café by the beach and admire the surfers catching the waves! 16 kilometers of beaches await you richly assorted shops, apartments for holidays, restaurants ... A little secret: if you prefer a quieter than the beach location on main, go to the beach of the Lion, which does is accessible only by bike from the cycle path, it is located further south, halfway with Le Porge.

The town center of Lacanau

Lacanau beach

We go further north, to arrive at Carcan Plage , which is also a landmark for surfers, ideal for sunbathing and partying in the evening . Until mid-September, the beach is well supervised. It is easy to access with ample parking and facilities. It is an ideal place for camping , there are bars and shops in summer.

We continue north, to arrive at Hourtin Plage , a charming family seaside resort . It is also a surf spot, less coveted therefore more suitable for beginners. We bathe there in the summer in a supervised area. I like Hourtin a lot, which is quiet in the latter part of the year, it is an ideal place to quickly access the beach , because the car park adjoins the access to the beach. By bike , it's a treat, take the bike path and walk the forest trails, you can go to the lake, everything is well signposted.


Hourtin Beach
Hourtin beach, ocean side.

Naturists appreciate the privacy and beauty of the beaches of Vendays-Montalivet . The beach is surrounded by greenery and pleasant.

At the tip of the Médoc , is Soulac-sur-Mer . It is an ideal place for a few days of vacation. You are well located , not far from the estuary, shops and there is Royan which is accessible by ferry, a perfect stopover for an urban day! 3 beaches will appeal to 3 types of holidaymakers: The central beach for those who like to be at the center of entertainment and see the world. The Amélie beach for surfers and those who like to watch them or go body boarding. The south beach for walkers, those who like to be quiet. Soulac is a very beautiful city to visit: stroll through its alleys with beautiful villas, discover the Basilica which is classified by Unesco.


Soulac-sur-Mer

The ferry to Royan in Verdon


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3-) Everyone to the lakes!

Today, is there too much wind , too many waves ? The ocean doesn't want you? Go to the lakes! The Médoc lakes are magnificent, well laid out, perfect for a bike ride , a walk or the discovery of water sports such as windsurfing, boating, canoeing, SUP ... These wetlands are a preserved natural environment and privileged for the observation of fauna. Come early with your binoculars, when the sun rises and the mist emerges from the waters ...

There is the Lacanau lake , which is animated with cabins where you can rent boats or organize activities in season. 2000 hectares and supervised beaches for swimming and enjoying the water with the little ones! There are restaurants for lunch or dinner, magnificent views of Bird Island .


Read our article on a nice mountain bike ride in Lacanau


The largest freshwater lake in France awaits you at Carcan-Hourtin ! With its eight supervised beaches, it is a haven of pleasure. The water is clear and soft , on windy days there are even waves, which is to say if the body of water is large! Come to Hourtin port to walk, see the boats, slide in the skate park , cycle and have lunch. Water sports await and you can see kitesurfing on windy days!

Hourtin lake



Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Bordeaux Gironde Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebordeauxgironde.


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