7 Best Day Trips From Bordeaux France by Train

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by April Nicole

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As a seasoned traveler and lover of France’s enchanting landscapes, I’ve embarked on numerous day trips from the heart of Bordeaux, each journey leaving an indelible mark on my heart.

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Bordeaux, a city famed for its wine and rich history, is also the perfect launching pad for exploring the stunning regions nearby.

From the rolling vineyards of Saint-Émilion to the breathtaking beaches of Arcachon Bay, the possibilities are endless and captivating.

I’ll share my personal experiences and top picks for the best day trips you can enjoy from Bordeaux.

Expect detailed guides, hidden gems, and tips to make your adventures as memorable as mine have been.

🍇 Best Day Trips From Bordeaux: Quick Info Box 🍇

Best Time to Visit: Spring (April to June) or Fall (September to November) for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.




If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of the best day trips from Bordeaux:

The Best Train Trips From Bordeaux

Vineyard Bliss in Saint-Émilion

A mere 40-minute train journey from Bordeaux brings you to the enchanting town of Saint-Émilion. This UNESCO World Heritage site, nestled amidst lush vineyards, is a sanctuary for those who appreciate fine wine and historical charm.

day trips from Bordeaux France:

The vineyards of Saint-Émilion, accessible by a short walk or a bike ride from the old town center, are a testament to the region’s rich viticultural heritage.

Join a guided wine tour to unravel the secrets behind the world-famous Merlot and Cabernet Franc blends. Each winery has its own story, narrated through every sip of their exquisite wines.

In the heart of Saint-Émilion, the awe-inspiring monolithic church stands as a symbol of historical grandeur.

Carved from a single block of limestone, this architectural marvel dates back to the early 12th century.

After soaking in the history, meander through the town’s quaint streets, lined with artisanal shops and cozy bistros, where the local cuisine perfectly complements the region’s wines.

Sun and Sand at Arcachon and Dune du Pilat

day trips from Bordeaux France: Visitors seated and enjoying the panoramic view atop the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, overlooking a vast forest on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, under a clear blue sky with scattered clouds.

Just an hour by train from Bordeaux, Arcachon awaits with its sandy beaches and a serene coastal vibe.

Known for its four districts, each representing a season, Arcachon is a year-round destination.

Its summer allure lies in its sunny beaches, inviting you for a day of relaxation or playful activities along the Atlantic shore.

A short bus ride from Arcachon takes you to the majestic Dune du Pilat, Europe’s highest sand dune.

Embark on an exhilarating climb to its peak, where the efforts are rewarded with panoramic views of the sea and surrounding pine forests.

The ever-shifting sands of the dune promise a unique experience with every visit.

Cognac: A Journey to the Heart of Brandy

day trips from Bordeaux France: A dimly lit traditional cognac cellar with rows of large, old wooden barrels on the floor and wicker-covered demijohns on shelves above. The rustic ambiance is highlighted by the earthen floor and rough stone walls, providing a glimpse into the aging process of cognac.

The town of Cognac, a two-hour train ride from Bordeaux, is synonymous with the world-renowned spirit that bears its name. day trips from bordeaux

This historic town, sitting on the banks of the Charente River, is not just about brandy tasting; it’s a deep dive into a centuries-old craft.

Wandering through Cognac’s cobbled streets leads you to various distilleries, each with its unique story and distillation process.

Guided tours offer insights into the art of Cognac making, from fermenting grapes to aging in oak barrels.

A tasting session is a must-do, providing a sensory journey through different flavors and aromas.

Biscarrosse: A Seaside Retreat in Landes

day trips from Bordeaux France: A bustling seaside promenade in Biscarrosse, France, teeming with tourists exploring various shops and eateries under a bright blue sky, with colorful signs and palm plants adding to the vibrant summer atmosphere.

Approximately an hour and a half by train and bus from Bordeaux, Biscarrosse is a seaside resort known for its expansive sandy beaches.

Ideal for sunbathing, surfing, or simply enjoying the Atlantic breeze, Biscarrosse offers a perfect day escape for beach lovers.

Beyond the beach, Biscarrosse is also home to tranquil freshwater lakes, offering an array of water sports and leisure activities.

Whether it’s a peaceful kayak ride or a family picnic by the lake, this resort town ensures a memorable day trip for all.

Biarritz: Glamour and Culture in the Basque Country

Traveling about two hours by train from Bordeaux, you reach Biarritz, a sophisticated seaside town in the heart of the French Basque Country.

Known for its elegant seaside hotels and vibrant cultural scene, Biarritz makes for one of the day trips from Bordeaux France. day trips from bordeaux

The town’s renowned beaches, like the Grande Plage, are perfect for sunbathing or surfing.

In the town center, explore the mix of French and Basque influences in architecture, food, and local markets. Don’t miss the iconic Biarritz Lighthouse for stunning coastal views.

Cap Ferret: A Serene Peninsula

A person in a red glove presents a tray of fresh oysters on ice, garnished with lemon wedges, ready to be enjoyed. The scene captures the essence of a seafood market experience, with a glimpse of the wooden crate and the market atmosphere in the background.

A scenic train and boat journey of around two hours from Bordeaux takes you to Cap Ferret.

This peninsula, separating the Atlantic Ocean from Arcachon Bay, is a haven of tranquility with its pristine beaches and charming oyster villages.

Stroll along the coastline, dotted with traditional oyster cabins, and savor freshly harvested oysters – a true local delicacy.

The peninsula’s laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for unwinding and enjoying the simpler pleasures of life.

Saint Macaire: Stepping Back in Time

A quaint corner of a French village with a shop named 'G. CAMBOIS' featuring red storefronts and windows, adorned with greenery. The cobblestone street leads past colorful houses and a solitary figure walking away, enhancing the serene, old-world charm of the scene.

In just about 40 minutes by train from Bordeaux, the medieval town of Saint Macaire awaits.

This hidden gem, with its well-preserved ancient walls and historical buildings, offers a glimpse into medieval France. day trips from bordeaux

Walk through the narrow streets, admiring the Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Visit the old market place, the church, and the remains of the town’s fortifications.

Enjoy a meal in a traditional French restaurant, savoring local dishes in a setting that feels like a journey back in time.

Final Thoughts on the Best Day Trips From Bordeaux

The best day trips from Bordeaux offer a delightful blend of scenic beauty, cultural richness, and unique experiences.

Whether you’re exploring the charming vineyards of Saint-Émilion, soaking in the historical allure of Arcachon Bay, or marveling at the ancient architecture of Cognac, each destination provides a distinct flavor of France.

These excursions promise to enhance your Bordeaux adventure, making every moment memorable and proving that the region’s allure extends far beyond its city limits.

France Travel Planning 🇫🇷

Accommodation 🛌

  • Booking.com – Find diverse accommodations, enjoy easy booking with great deals, and rely on real reviews and 24/7 support.
  • Expedia.com – With its user-friendly interface, it simplifies the process of booking hotels and holiday packages to France.
  • VRBO.com – Your go-to platform for unique and comfortable vacation rentals in France.

Transportation 🚘

  • DiscoverCars.com – Offers a seamless booking experience, ensuring you find the ideal car for your adventures in France.
  • GetTransfer.com – Is the ultimate solution for your travel transfer needs, offering an efficient, flexible service and comfortable transportation.
  • Trainline.com stands as a quintessential tool for savvy travelers seeking to navigate France’s extensive rail network with ease and confidence.
  • Skyscanner.com – Simplifies your travel planning with its user-friendly interface, offering a comprehensive comparison of flights.

Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷

  • Viator.com – Stands out as a trusted resource for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences across the globe.
  • GetYourGuide.com – Offers an extensive collection of tours, activities, and attractions in France.
  • ParisCityVision.com – This tour company specializes in crafting exceptional experiences across Paris and France.

Communication 📱

  • Orange Sim Card – Discover seamless connectivity on your French travels with an Orange Holiday Europe Sim Card, a top choice for tourists.
  • Airalo.com – The world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIM cards).

Travel Insurance ✈️

  • SafetyWing.com – Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re protected in almost every corner of the world.
  • Travel Insurance Master – Visit their website to discover the ideal insurance plan that aligns with your travel dreams.

These are only a few of my favorites; for more, see my comprehensive guide to the top travel booking websites for France.

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