Last summer I visited one of the wine capitals in the world: the Bordeaux! I discovered that this region, which is famous for its red wine, is the perfect van destination. A good way to get to know this area is by camping in a vineyard, there are many vineyards which offer camping services. I found the Bordeaux the definition of rustic, it definitely is a good summer destination with surprisingly cute villages. Read all about it in this blog!
Camping in Bordeaux
One of the most fun ways to visit the Bordeaux is to go camping in a vineyard. On the website Campercontact you can find many vineyards that also offer camping ammenities, but by driving around in the wine area you will find many other options that are not indicated on the internet as well. Usually, you do not need a reservation as most of the campsites are short stay. We ended up staying at Chateau Marquis de Vauban for free! Over the summer of 2021 the Chateau did not offer any bathroom facilities as a COVID restriction, but we are independent enough with our campervan for a few days so we did not mind. We found a lovely spot with a vineyard view and a tree providing us with shade. Marquis de Vauban offers several kind of activities, such as a little tram taking you on a tour of nearby Blaye and of course wine tastings! As a way of saying thank you, we of course ended up tasting and buying lots of wine. We even used the food service of the campsite which was very good as well. I found camping such a lovely way to get to know this wine area and the added benefit is that you don’t have to drive after a tasting.
A visit to Blaye
We accidentally ended up visiting Blaye and I am glad that we did. It is true that almost all villages in France are worth visiting and Blaye is no exception. We visited this area for the wine, but I was taken by this quaint little town. Blaye is a little fortified city, of which the fortress is UNESCO world heritage. The streets of Blaye were super charming, with lots of cozy restaurants and original (design) stores.
Bordeaux city visit
Of course a visit to the Bordeaux region is not complete without a visit to Bordeaux city. We were able to park our van (affordably) in the heart of the town next to the Place de Quinconces. From this parking you can walk into the old town in a few minutes. This parking also provides access to the riverside boulevard of Bordeaux, where we were greeted by a fun art exhibition. Walking this boulevard you will quickly see the famous Place de la Bourse, which unfortunately was covered in scaffolding when we visited. The city center of Bordeaux consists of narrow alleyways with cute shops and little terraces, it reminded me a bit of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. I personally found that there were no real must visits in the city (though there are quite some good museums), but I really liked the overall vibe of the town.
When we visited Promenade Sainte Catherine (a shopping mall) was decorated with colorful balls. Little Hugo loved staring at this ceiling of “balloons”. The shopping mall often changes their decorations and I would recommend to bring a visit if traveling with kids.