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The real attraction of Bordeaux’s countryside for a cycling holiday is not simply that the lower Garonne and Dordogne river valleys offer easy lowland pedaling but that they give access to the wide range of landscapes that host a tremendous variety of wines and wine makers.
Bordeaux central area was awarded its UNESCO World Heritage status for the completeness of its 18th century urban landscape. That architecture has at its core the site of the roman port and around that the medieval walled city which survives in the street plan and many of the narrow streets.
Bordeaux and its countryside include domestic buildings that are an integral parts of the landscape and the local culture. Its unlikely that you would travel far through the rural backroads without encountering a village lavoir – a communal laundry facility where the luxury of cold running water is supplemented by a roof and a stone wash trough.
Because of the region’s renowned wines, the Bordelais gourmet cuisine is often overlooked, as greater emphasis is placed on the accompanying wine rather than on the food itself.
Bordeaux and its region are rich with famous sons and daughters who have made it into the history books: Roman poets, philosophers, royalty, painters, writers, the list is long and varied…
There seems little point in visiting any part of France and not sampling these best expressions of ‘La vie Française’. Here’s what my personal tour of Bordeaux’s best bistrots, bars and brasseries would include.
Pope Clement V, formerly a Gascon lad called Bertrand de Goth, appointed five of his nephews as Cardinals to assist in clerical power struggles and benefit financially from his elevation to the papacy.
Take a look at Cycle Bordeaux’s list of resources and useful information for anyone considering cycling vacations in France: equipment, passports, first aid kit, bike repair kit, etc.