Local Area

Guitres

The house is close to the centre of this small, friendly, but oh so very traditionally French town. It even has it’s own Onion fair ! The numerous local traditional bakers are within an easy three minute walk before your breakfast of fresh croissants and still warm baguettes. A premier cru chocolatier is available for more indulgent after dinner treats.

The town of Guitres has a breathtaking 11th century Abbey.

The town is the epitome of a small rural community in France. Quiet for the most part, yet there is a surprising amount going on. There is an eclectic mix of shops, with artisan bakeries and excellent butchers for example. The friendly local shops enable most things to be bought in the village, though supermarkets and hypermarkets are within easy reach. There are traditional wine merchants within walking distance from the house, occupying old wharf-side warehouses, selling good local vintages.

Within the locality you will be able to enjoy:

  • Wine: This is a good base from which to explore Bordeaux wine country.
  • Markets: Coutras and Libourne -traditional and colourful.
  • Fishing in the River Isle (virtually on the doorstep).
  • Pony Club of Guitres and other riding centres.
  • Public swimming pools in Coutras (summer open air) and St Seurin Sur Isle (indoor).
  • Tennis in Coutras.
  • Cycling with local hire shop in Guitres and Coutras.
  • Canoeing.
  • Steam Train (Guitres) On the outskirts of the town the steam train departs and wends its way through scenic countryside to a rural café restaurant, where one can pass a very relaxing afternoon.
  • Boat trips where all kinds of wildlife and water activity can be observed.
  • Traditional concerts in the Abbey.
  • Motor racing and go-karting at circuit de Haute Saintonge (near Montguyon).
  • Restaurants: Several in Guitres and others in Coutras, with many more in Libourne and St Emilion.

Vineyards

The region is widely considered the best in the world for fine wines with some of the most highly prestigious appellations: Pomerol, Saint- Emillion and Fronsac are only a short distance away.

Reds

  • Pomerol: is famous for Petrus.
  • Fronsac: where the ancient castle ruins command views across the Isle and Dordogne valleys.
  • Bourg: An ancient hillside town with a port.
  • Blaye: Famous for it’s huge citadel.
  • Saint-Emillion: The “hill of a thousand chateaux”
  • Margeaux, Puillac etc Accessed via the ferry from Blaye.

White

  • Sauternes
  • Graves
  • Entre-Deux Mer

The Region

The Bordeaux region: is world renowned for wine, but Bordeaux itself- 45 minutes away- is an elegant cosmopolitan city, rich in history and culture.

The World Heritage Site of St Emilion: lies within 20 minutes drive. It’s monolithic church, catacombs, cloisters and cobbled streets with numerous cafes and restaurants keep visitors enraptured for days on end. The little tourist train provides a lovely, lazy way to admire the chateaux and vineyards.

Libourne: A major local centre on the confluence of the Dordogne and Isle rivers (less than 15 minutes drive) is known as the gateway of Aquitaine. Libourne is the wine capital of the northern Gironde in the heart of world famous vineyards producing top quality wine. The central square with its covered arcades and classical architecture offers the ideal location to unwind in pavement cafés. Smart boutiques, an amazing covered market and restaurants make it ideal for relaxed strolling, especially as much is pedestrianised.

Medoc: On the left bank of the Gironde estuary, this is home to chateaux known throughout the world, Laffite, Rothschild and Margeaux. These can be discovered by taking the famous wine touring route.

Bourg and Blaye: These are ancient hill top villages built on  rocky outcrops, known as top quality wine producing ‘cotes’, both having commanding fortified positions overlooking the Gironde River. Blaye has a very spectacular citadel built by Vauban to defend Bordeaux. From Blaye it is possible to take the ferry across to Haut Medoc. The Gironde estuary offers a succession of ports making for lovely waterside meanders.


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