The Gironde is a department of Aquitaine located in the of South West France between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees mountains. The name come from the magnificent river that runs through it.
With a surface area of 10,000 km2, Gironde is France’s biggest department. Gironde is part of the current region of Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne , Charente and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west with its 126 kilometres of coastline and beaches. Then comes the immense forest protected by the dunes: 480,000 hectares of maritime pine trees. ts capital, Bordeaux, is also capital of Aquitaine. he main seaside resorts in Gironde are: Soulac, Carcans, Montalivet, Hourtin, Lacanau, Le Porge and Arcachon and between the main cities- Bordeaux, Langon, Blaye, Libourne and Lesparre-Medoc.
The proximity of the ocean and the influence of the Gulf Stream warm the coastline. The annual average temperature reaches 12.3°C. The winters are mild (5-7°C in January) and frosts are very rare – less than 50 days. In Gironde the mimosa flowers as early as mid January. The summers with temperatures of 19-21° in July and August are very bearable, and the ocean water has the same temperature. There is plenty of sunshine. Bordeaux enjoys 2063 hours of sun a year, while the coastal areas have more than 2100 hours.
Bordeaux besides being the capital of Aquitaine it’s also world’s wine industry capital. Bordeaux wine draws its name from the famous wine that has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne, and is thus divided into two parts: the right bank to the East and left bank in the West. While in the Bordeaux it’s essential to visit the St Andre cathedral, Ste Croix church, basilica of St Seurin and Place de la Bourse.
Arcachon is a popular seaside resort on the Bay of the same name which is crowned by Europe’s largest sand dune, the Dune de Pyla (du Pilat), nearly 3 kilometres long, 500 metres wide, reaching 107 metres in height, and moving inland at rate of 5 metres a year. This area is a haven for outdoor-lovers and gourmand oyster’s fans.
Take to the cycling tracks, go for a horse ride, have a round of golf- these are just three leisure activities among so many others that allow you to combine physical activity with the discovery of nature. Gironde is the perfect place to sailing, water-ski, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, scuba-divingand of course surf in exceptional spots.
It’s also possible to jump, fly or glide in complete safety with qualified instructors. Choice between hang-gliding, balloon trips, gliders or parachuting can satisfy every adventurer.
For family recreation or entertainment, the amusement parks will delight adventurers of all ages. The animal parks are also varied. And at the Le Teich Ornithological Park, more than 250 species of bird come and go according to the season at this privileged site in the Regional Natural Park of Landes de Gascogne.
For fishing enthusiasts there is diversity of rivers and lakes and of course the sea.
The discovery of world’s greatest fine wine region will not be completed without visiting its 8,000 castles, 113,000ha of vineyard, 400 trading houses and 60 cooperative wineries
In Gironde, any event is a festive occasion: gastronomy and wines of course, but also activities involving nature, sports, traditions, history. Between the most popular festivals are: National Bridge Festival, Theatre Festival or International Festival of Dance in Langon and several theatre events in Villandraut, Arbis and Cadillac.
Gironde is made for wine: its temperate climate, its varied soils protected from the winds by the immense forest, its judiciously blended grape varieties. All these factors are what make the Bordeaux wine region so special. In total there are 57 Appellations d’Origine Controlee (AOC). Sauternes, Medoc, Pomerol, Saint-Emilion are legendary names recognised all over the world.
Apart from the wine the drinks definitely to try are: Fine de Bordeaux, Abatilles mineral water, Cremant de Bordeaux and Lillet.
Lovers of traditional cuisine will enjoy the region’s tender, delicate Pauillac lamb (typical local lamb “of the vines”), Bazas beef, Bordeaux cepe mushrooms, or the famous Entrecote steak served with bone marrow, cooked on an open fire, once made using Bordeaux barrel wood, now replaced by vine branches.
On the dessert menus there are specialities like: Bordeaux caneles, St Emilion macaroons, bouchon de Bordeaux, cruchade, noisettines du Medoc and fanchonnettes.
Between the sea food it’s necessary to try: sea bass, mullet in wine sauce, black sea bream from Arcachon, baby eels and shad.
Travel from the UK
Gironde is served by the airports of Biarritz, Pau, Bordeaux, Bergerac.
Budget airlines such as Ryanair fly everyday to Biarritz, Pau and Bergerac
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Gironde. We have a large network of estate agents in Gironde. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Gironde matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in Gironde do not hesitate to contact us.