Just 30 km from Bordeaux and 8 km from Saint Emilion, Libourne is another great wine-growing bastion in Aquitaine, located on the seam which joins the greatest red wine producing areas in France, at the meeting point of the Isle and Dordogne rivers. Libourne was fortified in 1270 by order of Prince Edward, son of Henry III of England. If you're planning to travel to Libourne, prepare yourself to eat and drink well, as the area is known for its fine food as well as its wine.
The Gate of the Great Port is the largest surviving remnant of the city walls which were built to surround Libourne in the 14th century. During this era Libourne was an important commercial port which was used to export the precious wines produced in the region.
Ranked at the second highest level of Bordeaux vineyards, it is the excellent wine which is the star attraction in Libourne. Get up close and personal with the wines of the Libourne area: visit the vineyards of Pomerol and the village and vineyards of Saint-Emilion. Taste some of the exquisite wines with the AOC quality control stamp. With an extremely varied range of velvety flavours, these are some of the best wines in the world: Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Fronsac, Bordeaux Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Castillon, Lussac, and so on. At St-Denis-de-Pile (20 minutes from Bordeaux), Vinotaste will provide you with all the knowledge and tools to become an expert on wines.
The grand cru wines are naturally complemented by refined food. At Place Abel Surchamp, you'll find the Marché de Libourne offers all the traditional produce of the South West of France. But to taste dishes prepared in the most authentic and traditional way, make your way to one of the many top quality restaurants in Libourne, where the chefs will present delicious local specialities: for steak-lovers the entrecôte à la Saint-Emilionnaise will be heaven, or try freshly caught fish such as shad grilled over vine shoots, or Lamprey à la Bordelaise. White prawns with anise and foie gras de canard is one of the trademark local dishes. For dessert, nothing beats fresh strawberries… with wine, of course; or peaches straight from the tree; or indulge your sweet tooth with the delicious Saint-Emilion macaroons.
The Dordogne is a lovely river to swim in, if you should feel the urge to get close to nature. Keep your eyes peeled in the Port de Saint Pardon for the famous Mascaret, a huge and unique single wave which surfers dream of catching.
The Château de Vayres, 15 minutes from Bordeaux, is one of the most beautiful sights in Aquitaine and is not to be missed.
Libourne really comes alive during the Fest'arts, International Festival of Street Arts. Over the course of three days, catch some of the 150 performances and discover the many talented artists, actors, choreographers and musicians who will be doing their thing all over Libourne.
De gare à gare