Be it jogging along the waterfront, popping an ollie or flip-kick with other riders at skateparks in Chartrons and Rive Droite's Hangar Darwin, or catching the next big (artificial) wave at the indoor Wave Surf Café, Bordeaux urbanites are an active lot and make the most of their enviable, riverside environment.

Wine Tasting

Tasting Bordeaux's exceptional array of vintages is unsurprisingly the No 1 activity for both visitors and the Bordelais themselves, most of whom are extremely passionate about their city's unique viticultural heritage. Dozens of wine bars in the city offer casual tastings, but for a Real McCoy guided dégustation with a sommelier, it is best to enrol on a wine-tasting tour or workshop.

Both the tourist office and the excellent wine-information desk, Espace Information Routes du Vin inside La Cité du Vin, have reams of information on tastings, wine tours and cruises, and other wine-related activities. Both take bookings for the dozens of excellent wine activities they organise: whet your palate with the Bacchus Wine Tour (three hours, €69) on foot around the city, or the half-day Urban Wine Tour (€42) which includes tastings in town and an out-of-town chateau. Dozens more themed tours tick off Medoc classified growths, Sauternes & St-Émilion, grands crus, women winemakers, chateau lifestyle and so on. Half-day and day tours combine wine-tasting with cycling, river cruising and vineyard-to-vineyard motoring in a convertible buggy. In autumn, it is possible to join in the grape harvest.

Serious students of the grape can enrol at highly regarded wine school École du Vin de Bordeaux, inside the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux House of Wine).


Urban two-wheeling is big in Bordeaux and is as much a way of getting from A to B as a pleasurable leisure activity. The city's bike-sharing scheme run by public transport company TBM ( makes it easy to grab a set of wheels and go, and the tourist office has information on cycling itineraries in the city, including an 8km or 34km riverside loop along both banks of the Garonne.

Should you find yourself in need of a bicycle mechanic, Le Garage Moderne in Chartrons has a bike-repair workshop. Rustic Vines and the tourist office both organise fantastic guided bike rides.

River Cruising

View the city from a different perspective: afloat on the Garonne. The tourist office has information on river cruises, including a 1½ cruise on the Aquitania riverboat (adult/child €15/2) and more elaborate, lunch or dinner cruises (adult/child €55/35).

For an intimate river cruise, aboard a 12-person boat inspired by the small but nippy barges used by Arcachon oyster farmers to access their beds, innovative Bordeaux Be Boat is the address. Short half-day or day cruises stake in wineries and other riverside sites inaccessible to larger boats.