Good idea : A weekend in the Libournais!

Libourne
Share Good idea : A weekend in the Libournais!
Good idea : A weekend ...
Are you tempted by a stay in Gironde? To change a bit from Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast, we take you to spend a weekend in the Libournais. In Libourne and in the surrounding villages, lovers of old stones will be delighted. In this wine-growing region, great estates come together : Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and Lalande-Pomerol, enough to titillate the taste buds of gourmets. Sportsmen or Sunday walkers will not be left out. On the banks of the Dordogne or in the heart of the vineyards, beautiful walks await you.

Opening photo : The confluence of the Dordogne and Isle at Libourne. Photo : patrickmiramont / Adobe Stock.com


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Day 1 : Discover the heritage of Libournais

Visit Libourne in half a day

We start the discovery of Libournais with its capital. Libourne promises you an atypical visit. Its history is already astonishing, in fact it is an old royal English country house! Its location at the confluence of the Dordogne and Isle, very close to the mouth of the Gironde, makes it a seaport while the city is nearly 100 km from the ocean. This is what made the city so rich. Since its foundation, it has been the starting point for international exchanges linked to the wine trade. This prosperity can be read on its beautiful buildings.

We advise you to book a guided tour of the city so as not to miss one of its treasures. If you prefer more freedom, its stone bridge, its tower of the grand port and its royal chapel are among the must-sees. For a break, relax in Spruce Park. If you want to find good local products, go to the Libourne markets on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, on Place Abel Surchamp.

the good idea

To get children involved, Terra Aventura takes you in the footsteps of Queen Zabeth!


gate of the port of libourne  gate of the port of libourne

The imposing gate of the port of Libourne. Photos @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

stone bridge

The pretty stone bridge, at the edge of the port of Libourne. Photo @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

port of libourne  port of libourne

Libourne is a very active former port, at the confluence of the Isle (photo 1) and the Dordogne. Photos @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

libourne

Take a walk in the city, on market day is ideal! Photo @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

Take a road trip to see the villages of Libournais

To appreciate the Libournais, there is nothing better than strolling through its charming villages. Here is our selection :  

  • As a priority, Saint-Émilion is much more than a wine city! Its alleys and medieval houses really deserve to linger there. A troglodyte church, a convent, a palace, private mansions will delight lovers of old buildings.
  • Castillon-la-Bataille is a witness to history. This is where the 100 Years War ended! A sound and light reconstruction brings you to this defining moment in Aquitaine's history every summer.
  • The highest spire in Aquitaine culminates at the top of the bell tower of the church of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande.
  • Guîtres is home to a real gem : Its Romanesque abbey church Notre-Dame de Guîtres and a monumental organ. There is also a train station there. You have two options. Or you board the little tourist train, for a journey through time and space. Indeed, it is an authentic steam locomotive that transports you to Marcenais. Either you take the vélorail, for a slightly more sporty ride.
  • In Coutras Henri IV well is the only element that remains of the old castle destroyed in the 16th century, during the Battle of Coutras.
  • On the banks of the Isle, Saint-Seurin-sur-l'Isle has an interesting industrial heritage : mills with different uses, a flour mill, steel mill...
  • In Vayres, the main point of interest is its medieval fortress, with its “Remarkable Gardens”. Twice a year, you can also observe an exceptional natural phenomenon: the Tidal Bore. If you don't know what it is, read our article on Tidal Bore.

Saint Emilion  Saint Emilion

    Visiting Saint-Émilion is attractive and not just for its wine! Photos @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

    castillon the battle

    Stroll through Castillon-la-Bataille, a town steeped in history

    train of guîtres

    A day in the past, with the Guîtres trains! Photo : @ A1AA1A CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikipedia

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    Take the Bordeaux wine route

    To get from village to village, take the Bordeaux Wine Route. It crosses the Grand Libournais and is a good way to tour the vineyards of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and Fronsac. The estates will present their production to you and will make you taste these exceptional wines, in moderation of course! Some of them practice wine tourism. Here is our Top 10 wine tours in Bordeaux. The site of the tourist routes of France (fr) offers you itineraries.


    vines

    Melt into the surroundings of the region's vineyards. Photo @Guide Bordeaux Gironde

    Day 2 : Enjoy nature activities in Libournais

    Activities at the water's edge

    The Libournais stretches between the banks of the Dordogne and those of the Isle. Aquatic activities are numerous and river tourism is particularly developed there. With Presqu'île Croisière, you get on board the Hermine. From Cubzac-les-Ponts, a cruise on the Dordogne and the Gironde offers you another perspective on the beautiful landscapes of the Libournais.  

    On the border between the Libournais and the Bordelais, the Bec d'Ambès is the point of confluence between the Dordogne and the Garonne. It is a somewhat magical place where you can see the permanent spectacle of the entry of rivers into the Gironde estuary.  

    At the exit of Libourne, the Libourne Wake Park is installed on the shores of Lac des Dagueys. You will practice board sports and you will have fun with your family on the inflatable structures during the summer. In Saint-Seurin-sur-l'Isle, you also have access to a large indoor aquatic complex (fr) to enjoy the pleasures of water in all seasons.


    peninsula cruise

    With Presqu'île Croisière, you can discover the Libournais from a different perspective. Photo : © Presqu'île Croisière

    wake park

    Meet at Libourne Wake Parc for a nice refreshing ride and full of thrills. Photo : © Libourne Wake Park

    Play sport in the Libournais

    While walking the hiking trails, you will see all the facets of this territory : its valleys covered with vines, the forest of the Double, the banks of the rivers... Our favorite walks are the Moulins loops from Porcheres. They are marked out by the mills of Porchères, Saint-Seurin and Camps-sur-l'Isle. To view the stages and points of interest, visit the Calameo website (fr).

    You will find many other circuits on the website of the Libournais Tourist Office. To change a bit, " Forme et Château " combines fitness and hiking. Your guide guides you through three themed routes : nature, serenity or fun. Here is an original idea to discover the region differently.

    If you are more of a cyclist, two large cycle routes crisscross the Libournais : the Scandibérique and the Véloroute 90. Loopi-Vélo show (fr) you routes, with an interactive map. There is also an application for download on smart-phone.

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    Other ideas for a more cultural day

    The Libournais is also a breeding ground. To find out more about the peasant world, visit the Ferme de la Barbanne. It houses the Conservatory of Races of Aquitaine. You will see 13 protected breeds there: Bordeaux cows, Landes ponies, Gascony pigs...

    In Sablons, the Village du Livre (fr) presents you with an overview of the world of paper. A heritage to look at and touch, to reconnect with this medium which suffers from our digital society.

    The mills are typical buildings of the Gironde. An association of enthusiasts has listed them by territory and indicated on a map. They published a leaflet listing the mills of the Gironde (fr). Seven mills are located in the Libournais.

    For a tour of the art through the ages, the Museum of Fine Arts in Libourne (fr) provides European works from the 14th to 20th century.


    libourne bridge

    The bridge over the Dordogne, the other Libourne bridge where the motorway passes. Photo @Guide Bordeaux Gironde


    This is our weekend in the Libournais which is coming to an end. There are many other activities to do, but we cannot be exhaustive, the subject is so vast. We hope to have made you want to make a getaway in this beautiful territory of the Gironde. 


    Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog "Do it your way".

    Follow us on the Bordeaux Gironde Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebordeauxgironde



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