Its vines, islands, flora and fauna give the region an air of an earthly paradise, well-preserved and rich in traditions. It is an ideal destination for all the family, which can be explored by car, motorbike or bike along the coast road to discover the little harbours on the estuary and the town of Blaye with its grand citadel.
Adventurers who are good sailors can discover the estuary aboard a little fishing boat or on a cruise. Two ferries, at Verdon and Lamarque run between the two banks. And to be totally immersed in nature, there is nothing better than a walk through the Terres d’Oiseaux Bird reserve. Haute Gironde has something for everyone including superb walks for all levels of experience, educational outings and activities related to fishing.
Attack the Citadel !
The ‘Verrou de Vauban’, formed by the Citadelle de Blaye, Fort Pâté and Fort Médoc, is a triple defensive barrier unique in France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 17th century to protect Bordeaux and its surrounding region from enemy invasions, it was only actually used once, against an attempted invasion by the British ! Today, the site is an essential place to see in Gironde with magnificent views of the Estuary, and is also the venue or numerous events like the Jumping International de Blaye (show-jumping) which is held in the moat surrounding the citadel.
Stop off along the Estuary at a little bistro or a waterside café and try some local speciality dishes ! Stroll along the quayside of the Estuary harbours where market stalls teem with freshly caught shad, lamprey, eel, elvers and ‘white prawns’. Fishing has left its mark on the banks of the Estuary in the form of ‘carrelets’, fishing huts on stilts equipped with square dipping nets.