The Gironde, on the Atlantic coast, is with an area of 10.000 km2 (4000 sq. miles), the largest department of France and well known for its Bordeaux wines and oysters. Your holiday in the Gironde offers opportunities for the whole family: the highest dune in Europe, popular resorts and fine sandy beaches on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Further inland you will find pine woods with biker trails, famous wineries, authentic towns, magnificent castles and much more. In short, there are plenty of things to do in this department.
Bordeaux, the capital of the Gironde, is world famous for the production of red wine. Do not forget to visit one of the many wine bars in this city, where you can taste this delicious red wine and learn all about it. The five docks of Bordeaux underwent a major makeover, so you can stroll around the beautiful promenades and enjoy the view. Visit also the Quartier St. Pierre, with its characteristic squares, especially the Place de la Bourse, one of the most beautiful squares of Bordeaux. During the hot summer days you can cool off at the Quays of Mirrors, where periodically, over a vast area, a fine haze of water droplets is sprayed.
Or do you want to relax? Enjoy a picnic in the public park of Bordeaux. Don’t forget to bring the local Bordeaux pastries. The Gravelier is one of the many restaurants in Bordeaux where you can eat for a reasonable price. The seasonal dishes featured on the menu are prepared in an original way.
Many lovely resorts and oyster-farming villages can be found in the surroundings of the Bassin d'Arcachon. Besides tasting delicious oysters you can visit the Dune du Pilat, the highest dune in Europe. Climb to the top of the dune using a staircase. Once on the top you will be rewarded with magnificent views: on one side the ocean with the entry of the Arcachon basin and on the other side the forests of the Landes.
If you go on vacation with children up to 12 years of age, we recommend La Coccinelle in Gujan-Mestras. There are games, a zoo and fun rides for younger children.
One of the major lakes in this department is the Hourtin-Carcans, the largest lake in France, very suitable for all kinds of water sports. So is Lake Lacanau. L'Etang de Léon has a lifeguard, making it an ideal place for small children to swim.