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Bordeaux (or more accurately Aquitaine) is a vast region with much to discover: the vineyards that cover most of the land are undoubtedly the main attraction. However, there is plenty of golf too and a combination of the grape and the Green makes a very tasty golf holiday indeed.
N.B. Covering such a large expanse of land, we have split the region into three main areas: Médoc and Margaux to the West of Bordeaux, Arcachon to the South and St. Emilion and the Dordogne to the East.
These are the three key areas for golf but if you don't mind a little driving you can cross from one to the other to get to all of the golf courses we recommend from wherever you prefer to stay.
Golf holidays in Bordeaux
Land around Bordeaux is almost universally dedicated to the production of their liquid gold - wine. So there is precious little space left over for golf courses! However what room there is for golf has been intelligently used and there are enough good golf courses in and around Bordeaux to warrant (or excuse?) a golf trip to wineland.
Arguably, the best of the Bordeaux golf courses lie to the West of the city out amongst the Médoc vineyards and even further on out to the Atlantic coast at Lacanau where the terrain becomes too sandy for decent vines to grow.
Golf holidays based in Bordeaux are feasible too, as it's a delightful city with an awful lot to offer in terms of culture, shopping, dining and nightlife. However for wine tasting the best place to be is out amongst the terroir and châteaux of Médoc where it is so easy to spend mornings golfing and afternoons sipping back through the years...
Golf Holidays - Médoc & Margaux
The big golfing attraction of Médoc are the two excellent courses at the Golf du Médoc with its comfortable hotel on-site. Here, surrounded by some of the most famous châteaux of Médoc and Haut-Médoc, you can enjoy two heathland style courses and sample vintage wines to your heart/liver's content.
Bordeaux wine-tasting and golf
The legendary Châteaux around Médoc are legion; in addition to the famous names like Château Margaux, Cantenac-Brown, Kirwan et cetera, there are many other vineyards both large and small.
All of these are open to visit on an ad hoc basis (you will see the 'Dégustation' signs along the roadside), just drive in and they will show you their wares. Alternatively if you would like a tutored wine tasting lasting an afternoon or a full day's tour or a lunch or dinner in a Château arranged for your golf party we know just the right people and locations for you.
If you would like a day's wine-tasting pre-arranged for you we would be delighted to help. We know several châteaux that will lay-on a half or full day of touring the château, vineyards, tutored tasting and even lunch or dinner if you would like?
For the ultimate wine and golf holiday you could even stay in the rooms at the Château Maucaillou in Haut Médoc and experience the daily life of a wine maker and merchant (without the hard work!): just let us know if this interests you.
Golf holidays - St. Emilion & Dordogne
The Dordogne is a tremendously popular destination for the British holidaymaker and a multitude of Brits now own second homes here amongst the broad hills and sweeping scenery east of Bordeaux. There is a little golf too in the Dordogne - primarily at the historic Château des Vigiers, now a gastronomic golf retreat, spa and vineyard just to the West of Bergerac. Here you can while away long Summer days on the 27-holes through vineyards and orchards or venture out to investigate the beautiful Dordogne countryside and villages.
Closer to Bordeaux is the world famous village of St. Emilion: just a tiny cluster of medieval honey-stone houses that is renowned for the intoxicating liquor that flows from its hillsides. The big news for golfers is that Saint Emilion now has a golf course amongst the vines; as yet inchoate, we are sure it will ripen into a vintage golf course given time. Nearby, the locals have long enjoyed golf at the steadily improving Cameyrac and the scenic trip over to Château des Vigiers is well worth the drive.
Golf holidays Arcachon and Biscarosse
South and West of Bordeaux is holiday country. Not that well known outside of France, this part of Aquitaine is favoured by many French for their maisons secondaires as it is all tall pine forests and long sandy beaches - including the largest sand dune in Europe the 'Dune de Pyla' just outside Arcachon. Arcachon is the main resort on this stretch of France's Atlantic coast, although there are many smaller satellite resorts too like Biscarosse, Andernos and Gujan-Mestras.
Out of season this becomes a very quiet corner of France, but beautifully warm for golfers in March & April, September and October, plus with an 'R' in the month it's also the perfect time to enjoy the Bassin d'Arcachon's most famous product - oysters.
Arcachon is quite a large town with a big central casino and streets of shops, cafés and restaurants that run alongside the huge sandy beach. The town has recently redeveloped its old market which is now the trendy hub of Arcachon with a host of stalls selling fresh fish every morning and a wonderful counter inside the market where you can order and eat whatever takes your fancy: surely the freshest seafood you'll ever enjoy?
Flights to Bordeaux
Many golfers heading to Bordeaux for a golf holiday will choose to fly. As Bordeaux is such an important French city there are plenty of direct flights with the major airlines (British Airways and Air France) but also with the likes of EasyJet, Monarch and Ryanair from a range of airports across the Great Britain and Europe. Bordeaux Mérignac airport is on the west side of town to - couldn't be better placed for the golf courses of the Médoc. So with an early flight you can be on the golf course by lunchtime.
We can advise on the best flights to Bordeaux for your golf holiday just let us know your preferred departure airport. Once you have arrived in Bordeaux we will arrange hire-cars or transfers for you as you prefer.
Getting to Bordeaux by car
If you wish to pack your golf clubs into your car and head off on your golf holiday under your own steam then the easiest way to Bordeaux from the UK is via the Brittany Ferries crossings form Portsmouth to St. Malo, Caen or Cherbourg. An overnight sailing with a cabin, followed by a full day's drive (through some lovely areas of France) will have you in Bordeaux the next day ready to play.
N.B. Don't forget to leave room for a few extra cases on the return journey!
If you would like to break your journey with an overnight stop en-route then just say the word as we know of many great little places to stay - with golf courses nearby - or even without golf!