Easy to admit that there simply are not enough wine tours that cater to the whole family, meaning that a trip to Bordeaux wine region is unfortunatly overlooked as a family friendly holiday. So of course, I thought I could try to rectify this…
Let’s be honest... when you’re a parent on holiday in Bordeaux wine country, it would be nice to sneak in a vineyard visit without having to find childcare...
You know what? I love kids and welcoming families. I'm not even afraid of diapers!
I would like to share with you my selection of works of art that should not be missed at the Musée d'Aquitaine.
Bordeaux has one of the largest provincial history museums in France. Throughout the collections, you will discover Prehistory, Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the 18th century (the golden age of the city of Bordeaux) and all the periods that made up the region's rich history.
For the more than acceptable amount of €5, you can join the 150,000 visitors who visit the Aquitaine Museum every year. It presents the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine region on 2 floors, from prehistory to the present day, through a permanent collection of very varied objects.
When you follow a guide, the advantage is that you will be explained what you see... The tour guide will try to draw your attention to the essential parts. The disadvantage is that you will always see things through my eyes and it is often very subjective.... But if you trust me, I'll show you some interesting things, through a very subjective selection of meaningful items...... I chose here to focus on my 11 favorite items from the permanent collection at the Musée d'Aquitaine that I unroll in the chronological order of the rooms.
When you live here, you have to understand that this magnificent estuary, which, by the way, is the largest estuary in Western Europe, is above all a 3 km wide water barrier..... And when you want to go to the other side, it's not that easy!
You can take the ferry boat. There are 2 of them, one in one north of Bordeaux that connects Blaye, on the right bank, to Lamarque, on the left bank, within about 20 minutes.
There is another, larger one at the mouth of the estuary that connects Royan, on the right bank, to Le Verdon, on the left bank of the Gironde.
But watch out... if you miss it.... It will cost you to drive along the national road then to the highway A10 and then to reach the Bordeaux ring road, which is called here "Rocade". And I can tell you if we're talking about a Saturday summer time crossover of August, we're on a timing that will make you wish you had been the first in line to climb aboard....
As this is a trade fair for professionals, perhaps some of you have heard about it without being invited... If you had come to Need Wine's wine tourism workshop, you could have met 120 exhibitors but also many visitors who had come to meet wine tourism partners to organize wine tours in the Bordeaux region but not only... Let me tell you about it below!
Just like the Paris zero point located in front of Notre-Dame, there is also a zero point in Bordeaux! But do you know where to find it?
The zero point or kilometer zero is a precise point, most often located in a capital city, from which road distances were calculated. A zero point sometimes does exist in some secondary cities, but not the least, such as Bordeaux!
The Fine Arts museum in Libourne was created by Duke Decazes. The Libourne Museum is rather small but it offers visitors a beautiful collection of works from the 14th to the 20th century. Among them, a rare and wonderful Renaissance painting by Manfredi...
Saint Pierre Angoulême Cathedral was built inside the Roman and medieval walls, at the end of the rocky promontory and especially close to one of the former gates, which facilitated the transport of the huge quantities of necessary materials.
This is the 4th building built on the site of the previous buildings.
Despite some restorations carried out by the famous architect Paul Abadie in the 19th century (also restorer of St-Front de Périgueux and builder of the Sacré-Cœur in Paris), we can admire in Angoulême a rare and precious jewel of Romanesque art. Apart from the representations of Saint Martin (to the right of the main gate) and Saint Georges (to the left), which are from the 19th century restoration campaign, this richly sculpted façade dates from the 12th century. It is the centrepiece of the building!
A news item has recently been reported in various media..... it is an illegal driver who picked up a couple of Thai tourists in Paris and threatened them to get the incredible amount of 247€ for a 40 km service!
So how do you avoid being trapped and how do you recognize a regular and official driver... I am a VTC, both a driver and a registered private driver, operating in Bordeaux and Cognac area and I list the elements to be checked.
Have you decided to come and visit the pearl of the Gironde estuary? I give you here 3 unusual details that you could miss in Talmont sur Gironde when scouting around without a guide....
Let's go, look up and observe these unusual details along the narrow streets of the picturesque village of Talmont sur Gironde!
Why choosing private tours? A good question.
Why don’t you share your table at the restaurant with unknown people?
Do you like peace, tranquillity?
Why do you hate people talking during a movie at the cinema? You want to enjoy your favorite moments and your travels!
Lisa contacted me almost a year ago to organize an exceptional day in Cognac with her family to celebrate together her father's 90th birthday!
Lisa said, "My dad's not just a 90-year-old man like you've never seen before, my dad's is some James Bond!"
So, since I know that Lisa is a travel agent who works in the United States in Dallas, I immediately understood what would make her happy... So I organized a very special day in Cognac for the whole family.
The Ford Custom Tourneo is one of the best vehicles on the touring people movers scene.
That's why I chose this vehicle for my private tours of the Bordeaux wineries and Cognac distilleries; it's also perfect for enjoying panoramic drives along the Arcachon Bay or the wild banks of the largest estuary in Europe, The Gironde!
It’s a flexible and capable people mover that features a modern design both inside and out, and a range of advanced options. With this people carrier, I deliver first class trips for up to 8 passengers for all your private tours through Bordeaux wineries or Cognac distilleries.
Maybe I am lobbying for myself , will you tell me? Maybe...
But in the right now, I would like to give you here 5 good reasons to prefer a real professional and licensed guide to a free tour to discover the beautiful city of Bordeaux.
I don't fight against the modernity era , I fight against undeclared and illegal work!
hahahaha... Few people know it, but on February 21 every year, we celebrate International Tour Guides Day! Yes, this day would have been created in Great Britain in 2002... but apologise, few investigations from me on that side...
As an active member of the professional association AGICA, I was one of the volunteers despite quasi-polar freezing temperatures to promote our profession to the public through free "speed-guiding" sessions in emblematic places in Bordeaux!
Because I hear it too often, I try to answer to one of the recurring questions from my dear guests here in Bordeaux... Why does the Garonne look so "dirty"?
So, first of all, we don't say "dirty"! It might offend us! The exact word is "TURBID". I relay here an article published on Facebook on December 14,2017... It captured one of my favorite bloggers attention : "the English man in Bordeaux" behind the great blog : Invisible Bordeaux.
As part of the Bordeaux Métropole Cultural Season 2017named "Paysages" (=Landscapes), the British sculptor Antony Gormley exhibited 16 identical statues in the city. The goal of the game is to find them all! I entered into the game and I started my collection of photos! What about you, will you find them all scattered in the city by the British sculptor ?
On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, I had the pleasure to welcome once again Ingolf and his friends from Bergen in Norway to discover the secrets of Bordeaux wines and new familial distilleries in the heart of Cognac. 4 beautiful days under the sign of discovery and conviviality!
Wednesday April 25, 2017 : we had a meeting point in Blaye to take advantage of the farmer’s market. This group of 4 Australian couples from Adelaide was staying at Château Couffins on the banks of the Dordogne river.
This weekend was for me jubilatory since I have tried for several years to encourage tourists to discover the lesser known northern part of Bordeaux vineyards that we call the « Côtes » : Côtes de Bourg and Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux ...
The "Galette des Rois" is a cake traditionally shared at Epiphany, on 6 January. It celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem.
It is composed of a puff pastry cake, with a small charm hidden inside. The cake is generally filled with frangipane. Every year, the French pâtissiers offer exclusive creations for the tradition of crowning the one who finds "the fève" as the King/Queen.
It is in these overbooked weeks when I realized that the territory covered by the guided tours I propose is far from ridiculous! From Bergerac to the Atlantic Coast of La Rochelle via Bordeaux, St Emilion, Blaye, or Périgueux and Hautefort, it was a very intense period!
These last days of April 2016, it was a real parade of cruise ships expected to dock in Bordeaux port of call! The docking of these large vessels or their leaving combined with the lifting of the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge is always a a real show ! This year nearly 50 calls are expected in the port of Bordeaux.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, is the kickoff of the 2016 season with a group of 8 people leaving from Jonzac. Drive to the banks of the Gironde Estuary for a nice discovery tour with a splendid spring sunshine.
Despite this crazy busy summer period and intense activity, I took the time to have a break at the Bordeaux Wine Festival called Bordeaux Fête le Vin...
Co-organised by the Pays de la Haute Gironde and the wine syndicate of Côtes de Bourg, this “discovery of the harvests” day had, as its objective, to promote the Haute Gironde wine growing areas.
This year saw a gathering of 8 Norwegians, 4 Columbians, 4 New Zealanders, 3 people from Hong Kong, 4 from Quebec and 1 from England. So, 24 people in all who had come together to discover what goes on behind the scenes in Côtes de Bourg wine harvesting.
Following the advice of my twitter friend Agathe from Charentes at the beginning of January, I found myself off to discover the secrets of the distillation of Cognac and the famous charente copper pot still with its “bonnes chauffes“.. Did you know that the proper thing in Cognac making process is the double distillation? The second heating is commonly called "Bonne Chauffe" (good heating); it will result the "heart", which once aged under oak wood will be sold under the name of Cognac.
This year I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of 12 people from Hawaii who wanted to discover the authentic side of our region. When they contacted me – they made it clear that they would prefer to eat in farms/inns and to stop on small family run estates. I designed them a tailor-made programme and hoped they would not be disappointed with it...
I just love these days when my group comes from the four corners of the world. It always makes for a really fun time! This year, it’s harvesting on the slopes of Bayon on an organic vineyard in the Côtes de Bourg wine making area – the Château des Cots. In the group there were 6 Australians, 1 Japanese, 3 Quebecois, 7 British and 3 Bordelaises.
A little diary on board to share with you my experience as a professionnal guide in Bordeaux area - june 2011
Daytrip along the estuary and discovering the roman site called Le Fâ - welcoming a charming belgian group for learning about Bordeaux history through the different districts and major religious buildings
This was the subject of the third debate co-organised by the association Gens d'estuaire (Locals from the estuary) and the regional newspaper – the Sud-Ouest. It is a huge question to which the organisers of the evening did not expect a definitive answer at the end of the debate.