montalivet / activites / relax and culture / explore the medoc

Explore the Medoc


Coast Gironde
The Gironde has 120 miles of unbroken coastline with some of the best beach breaks in France, where you can still find uncrowed peaks in the summer months for a quality surf. Otherwise take a walk down the beach for a bit of beach combing and see what the sea has brought up after the last high tide.( You maybe lucky enough to find a few metres of rope to make a door mat! - have a look here).
Coast Gironde
Coast Gironde


Lake of Hourtin
The Hourtin-Carcans lake is the largest lake in France. 6000 hectares, a paradise for water sports, fishing and relaxing. Take a day trip to the village of Piqueyrot on the edge of the lake. In the summer the water gets up to 25 c so is great for the kids for a safe swim. Otherwise take a walk around "La Lagune" for a bit of nature spotting..
Lake of Hourtin
Lake of Hourtin


The Medoc has the largest expance of forest in Europe. Natural wildlife viewing is also a possibility here you will find wild boar, deer, rabbit, fox and pheasants amongst the local inhabitants. If you are lucky enough you may uncover a bit of history from the days when the forest was farmed for its resin. You can still see a bit of the old "farmed" forest in the southern carpark of the village of Montalivet. Lookout for pine trees with vertical running splits. You may even spot a few old resin "bulbs". ( Have a look here at a few images to give you an idea)
Forest Montalivet
Forest Montalivet

4/ Dune

The Pyla dune near Arcachon is the highest sand formation in Europe.


Gironde Estuary
The Gironde estuary is the least polluted estuary in Europe and has 3m sturgeons, an oyster and cavier industury and offers great opportunities for bird watching. If you are staying in the Montalivet and you're looking for a fun (and cheap) day activity, try a ferry crossing from the Verdon to Royan and back on the "ICECREAM TRAIL". (more info here) or try out my favorite full day trail the "BAC2BAC" (more info coming soon) which I have only so far done on my motorbike.
Gironde Estuary
Gironde Estuary


Courdouan lighthouse
The Courdouan lighthouse at the mouth of the Gironde is the oldest working lighthouse in existence and has a beautiful interior. There are day trips available by boat. The rest of the river also has a few lighthouses, follow this link for a few images and to get the feel of the journey ahead of you on the "LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL".


Wine Médoc
The Medoc produces the finest red wines in the world. With 200 chateaux to visit, wine tasting and tours all summer, this is an activity that you should not miss! The Medoc is a region of France famous for its wine culture. Behind the village of Montalivet and Vendays you will find the vineyards open for guided tours and wine tasting. Otherwise try the market of Montalivet where you can taste wine by the glass or bottle.

8/ Food

Food from the Médoc
The best oysters come from Arcachon. They are served every morning at the Montalivet market. Also it is claimed that the best cepes come from the Medoc, which is well known for its wild mushrooms.

9/ Health

The Medoc has the largest number of living centenarians in France while being the least populated; 1 person every 2 km.

10/ History

Bordeaux is the best preserved eighteenth century city in Europe with over 4000 clasified buildings to see.

11/ Market

Market montalivet
Montalivet has during the summer months the largest everyday market in France with over 200 stalls world famous for its produce and atmosphere.

12/ Shopping

Bordeaux claims the largest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe.

montalivet / activites / relax and culture / explore the medoc