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Day and half day tours of Bordeaux and Aquitaine

The name Bordeaux conjures up so many different images. Historic port on the river Garonne. Cultural capital of the Aquitaine region. Beautiful buildings and elegant squares. And of course those world-famous AOC wines produced in vineyards all around the city.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a happy returner, a guided tour with an expert can give you a real insider view on this UNESCO-listed gem, not just to the well-known sites but also the lesser-known elements that visitors can easily miss. And not just in the city. Book a half- or full-day programme with specialist operator and you can take in the surrounding coastline, vineyards and heritage villages as well.

Take a tour of Bordeaux city

For Bordeaux novices, a tour of the city centre is a must-do and Ophorus has a superb 2-hour for small groups. The city is renowned for having one of the largest collections of 18th century buildings in Europe. Amongst them, the Grand Theatre with its classical facade, the opulent private mansions and luxury shops of the Golden Triangle district, and the quayside buildings of Place de la Bourse with its extraordinary Water Mirror.

Once you鈥檝e got a feel for this buzzing Art & History City, maybe head out of town to discover those famous vineyards and enjoy a comparative tasting of prestigious vintages.聽 East of the city, the stone buildings of historic Saint-Emilion tumble down a steep hillside criss-crossed with narrow streets in a town that lives and breathes the wine trade.

Visit Saint Emilion

The Ophorus full-day tour features Grand Cru chateaux and guided winery visits, all set in a stunning landscape of rolling vineyards, and of course a visit to Saint-Emilion itself. Starting after breakfast in front of Bordeaux Tourism Office, your small group tour will visit two Saint Emilion wineries before two-and-a-half hours of free time to explore those historic streets and relax over lunch at a restaurant of your choice. And in the afternoon, a third winery visit before the one-hour drive back to Bordeaux. By the time you get back to the city, you will have a first-hand understanding of the rich Merlot-based wines of this stunning area. If the Saint-Emilion day trip has fired you up to learn more about the wines of Aquitaine, you won鈥檛 want to miss , a full-day private distillery tour and tasting for a tour of some leading Cognac houses. Designed for groups of up to eight people, the excursion includes a visit and tasting at two distilleries, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

A tasting tour of Cognac

This is the chance to compare and contrast a prestigious international brand such as Hennessy or Remy Martin, with a lesser-known, family-run operation. Learn all about the distillation process and compare the differences in both production methods and taste. There will also be time to explore the historic town of Cognac and relax over lunch and, to enhance your experience still further, Ophorus can reserve a special lunch for your group in one of the famous cognac houses (extra charges apply).

Arcachon Dune tour from Bordeaux

But day trips from Bordeaux are not just about wine. Many people are surprised to learn that Europe鈥檚 highest sand dune is situated close to Bordeaux. Enjoy an unforgettable day on the private small-group day tour to . Just 55km south-west of Bordeaux between the Landes pine forest and the Atlantic Ocean, the Dune du Pilat will provide you with a unique memory of Aquitaine.

The coastline here boasts fine sandy beaches, a mild climate, and the pretty Belle Epoque seaside resort of Arcachon that lies on the south side of a shallow bay. Entered through a narrow inlet with Cap Ferret on one side, the Pilat Dune on the other, Arcachon Bay is famous for its oysters so of course this fascinating tour starts with a tour of the oyster sheds and a tasting, accompanied by scrumptious fresh baguette and a glass of local white wine.

After a tour of Arcachon town, established only in 1857 when sea bathing became fashionable for medical reasons, you will enjoy free time before a choice of activities. Head to Pilat to climb the 170-step wooden staircase to the top of the dune for sweeping views over the coast and forest. Or take a cruise on a traditional wooden boat or 鈥楶inasse鈥 climbing the sand dune, perhaps with an optional picnic.

All these Ophorus tours are private excursions tailor-made for small groups. So if there is any activity you particularly want to do, discuss your wish list and budget when booking with the experienced team. Transport is always by comfortable, air-conditioned minibus with the tour led by expert English-speaking guides.

Bordeaux wine and cheese tasting tour

Ophorus also offer a tour where clients are welcomed at the Baud & Millet cheese cellar that stocks more than 100 cheeses in an underground cellar. Here your host will guide you through a tasting of three platters each holding three AOC cheeses from across France 鈥 with appropriate types of bread 鈥 and will pair them with three award-winning wines from Bordeaux. This 90-minute experience begins at either 11.30 am or 5.30 pm 鈥 the perfect start to a gastronomic lunch or dinner out.

Ophorus are specialists in day trips and half-day tours in all the popular regions of France from Aquitaine to Languedoc, Burgundy to Provence. Clients can discover magnificent chateaux and heritage cities, historic battlefields and world-famous wines in the hands of qualified guides who offer a personalised service and insider view of this diverse country. Tempted? Then discuss your dream day out in a live chat with an Ophorus agent via their website.

See all of the visits offered and book your tour at:

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