The Best Day Trips to Take From Bordeaux

Exceptional aerial view of the Château DAgassac in the Médoc
Exceptional aerial view of the Château D'Agassac in the Médoc | © Château D'Agassac/Wikimedia Commons
Jennifer Migan

After checking out Bordeaux’s best spots and enjoying many of the city’s attractions, it’s time to think about getting out of the city for a little while and explore what the region has to offer. The following locations are some of the best day trips to take from Bordeaux.

Arcachon Bay

Bordeaux locals surely love a weekend gateway to the Arcachon Bay on the weekends, and the area is one of the most popular spots among French celebrities in the summer (don’t be surprised to run into Academy Award winners like Marion Cotillard or Jean Dujardin). Once the summer tourist rush has passed, the Arcachon Bay is a peaceful heaven to visit all year around. While there, make sure to taste some to-die-for oysters and mussels, the culinary specialties of the region. Climbing to the top of the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, is a must-do as well.

Arcachon Tourism Office, Esplanade Georges Pompidou, Arcachon, France, +33 05 57 52 97 97

Saint-Émilion

Saint-Émilion is definitely a must for wine lovers, but this town is the outside of Bordeaux is more than just the home of some of the best wines in the world. The city that takes its name from a monk, Émilion, who was looking for a place to retreat. This formidable city that remarkably preserved its medieval vestiges became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

Saint Émilion Tourism Office, Place des Créneaux, Saint-Émilion, France, +33 05 57 55 28 28

Splendid view over Saint-Émilion

Périgord Noir

The Périgord is laden with history, so don’t want to miss out on a fantastic day trip to this area very close to Bordeaux. Start with Lascaux and its famous caves that are considered the cradle of prehistoric art. After that, take a moment to stop by La Roque-Gageac, Beynac-et-Cazenac, or Saint-Amand-de-Coly, often cited in France’s most beautiful villages list. Spend some time in Sarlat and wander around the small streets and the Renaissance District before trying some delicious food at Sarlat’s gastronomy market.

Lascaux International Center of Art Parietal, Avenue de Lascaux, Montignac, France, +33 05 53 50 99 10

Marché de Sarlat, Place de la Liberté, Sarlat-la-Canéda, France

Lascaux painting

La Rochelle and l’Île de Ré

Day trippers might want to stay for two days here in order to really appreciate the incredible scenery of l’Île de Ré and La Rochelle. Start off at l’Île de Ré and check out its breathtaking landscape. One smart way to see a lot in a shorter time is to rent bikes and ride through the cute streets and charming little squares.

Île de Ré Tourism Office, Rue des Embruns, Le Bois Plage en Ré, +33 05 46 09 00 55

La Rochelle, France

Dax

After days of walking around and experiencing the tourist attractions in Bordeaux, take a day to get pampered. Jump on one of the frequent trains to Dax and spend a day in one of France’s top thermal destinations. Thanks to the hot water treatments, very well-known for their healing properties, come out feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Thermalism Tourism Office, 11 Cours Maréchal Foch, Dax, France, +33 05 58 56 86 86

Lacanau and the Médoc

Lacanau is a perfect place for anyone who loves outdoor activities. Lacanau is a great alternative for surfers who might not have the time to go all the way to Biarritz but still want to ride the ocean while in Bordeaux. Those who’d rather stay on land should plan an excursion to visit the chateaus of some of the most emblematic Bordeaux wines such as Château Margaux, Saint Estèphe, and Pauillac to name a few.

Médoc Atlantic Lacanau Tourism Office Place de l’Europe, Lacanau Ocean, France, +33 05 56 03 21 01

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