Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Bordeaux to Biarritz by Car
Do you need a break from your everyday life and clear your mind? This road trip from Bordeaux to Biarritz in Western France is the perfect plan.
Getting from Bordeaux to Biarritz by train is super fast, but we are on holiday, and we want to have fun, so why rush when there are so many beautiful places to see in between?
This drive from Bordeaux to Biarritz is not the most straightforward, but it is the most beautiful. From the countryside to the ocean, this Bordeaux to Biarritz road trip is one of the best road trips in France.
Read more about Road-Tripping in France:
Road Trip Bordeax – Biarritz Overview
This road trip Bordeaux – Biarritz visits lovely small cities and towns in the French departments of Gironde, Landes, and Pyrénées Atlantiques.
- Start: Bordeaux
- Finish: Biarritz
- Duration: 6 days
- Suggested Route: Bordeaux – Roquefort des Landes – Mont-de-Marsan – Biarritz
- Total distance: 400 km, 5 hours in total
- Regions covered: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
- Best for: sightseeing, history, small towns, wine tasting.
Road Trip from Bordeaux to Biarritz – Itinerary 6 days
If you are not in Bordeaux yet, here are all the ways to travel to Bordeaux from Paris, France, and abroad.
As this road trip begins in Bordeaux, take this opportunity to explore this beautiful city before hitting the road. There is no road trip travel on the first day, but we have included recommendations on what to visit and where to stay.
For this Bordeaux road trip, you will need the car only from days 2 (or 3) to 5. If you need to return to Bordeaux from Biarritz, you could rent your car in Bordeaux to drop it off in Biarritz and then take a train back to Bordeaux. If this is your first trip to France, check out our tips for hiring a car in France.
Day 0 | Arrival in Bordeaux
The first stop of this road trip Bordeaux – Biarritz is Bordeaux. Bisected by the Garonne River, Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and one of the most beautiful cities in France.
For your stay in Bordeaux, book three nights at the Yndo Hotel. This elegant hotel is set in a 19th-century private mansion in the heart of Bordeaux’s historical center.
Day 1 | Bordeaux
On the first day of this Bordeaux to Biarritz itinerary, visit Bordeaux, a city world-famous for its wines. The inscription of the historical center and the Port of the Moon on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007 was the perfect excuse for a total lifting of the city, and now it appears to visitors more seductive than ever.
The historical center has a beautiful collection of 18th and 19th-century private mansions. A special mention goes to the Place de la Bourse (former Place Royale), Bordeaux’s most beautiful square, especially when it is illuminated at night. Place de la Bourse is reflected in the world’s biggest water mirror, where kids and adults like to refresh themselves in the summer.
The list of top things to do and see in Bordeaux includes:
- The Port of the Moon (UNESCO perimeter)
- Place de la Bourse
- The Cité du Vin + Wine Tasting
- Garonne River Cuise + Wine Tasting
Day 2 | Day Trip to Saint-Emilion
Saint Emilion is a picturesque medieval town located 45 minutes east of Bordeaux, well known for its excellent wines and magnificent châteaux and vineyards. The village is located on a limestone plateau, and the houses and public buildings are mainly built from the extracted stones of this plateau which explains the 200 km of underground galleries.
The streets of Saint Emilion have a unique charm, lined with restaurants and shops selling wine, macaroons, and other gastronomic specialties of the village. You can also visit part of the underground network: chapels, catacombs, and more (booking in advance is a must).
In the afternoon, explore the vineyards and visit one of the wine châteaux. Château Jean Faure (Jean Fauré, Saint-Emilion) is a good option, producing a Grand Cru Classé on a human scale and certified organic since 2017. The 18th-century chartreuse will immerse you in the world of the great wineries of Saint-Emilion, and you will be able to visit the grounds surrounding the château, its cellars, and also taste various wines.
You can visit Saint-Emilion by car or – if you prefer to save one day of car rental – by guided tour or public transportation. Whether you are interested in Saint-Emilion’s heritage, wines, or both, here are all the ways to plan a Saint-Emilion wine tour from Bordeaux.
TIP: If you plan to bring a few bottles home (who could resist?!), make sure you pack your wine properly so it arrives safely home!
Day 3 | Bordeaux – Mont-de-Marsan
Once you have had your fill of Bordeaux and surrounding vineyards, pack your car and head south to Mont-de-Marsan.
Break your drive with a quick stop at Roquefort (Roquefort des Landes). This small town in the Landes department does not produce the famous cheese (it’s the town with the same name in the Aveyron, Occitanie), but it’s a charming place to visit, perfect for stretching your legs after a 1.5-hour drive.
An ancient bastide from the 9th century, Roquefort des Landes has kept its medieval atmosphere with its 12th-century fortress church, ramparts, towers, and pretty squares.
GOOD TO KNOW: Bastides in Occitanie (and in this part of France) are a type of new town founded from scratch in the Middle Ages, with a regular layout unique in Europe and a central square with arcaded houses. Behind the bastides, there’s a political project based on the equality of the inhabitants and their autonomy in the administration of the city. The bastides of Occitanie are to be confused with the bastides in Provence, where this term is used for the traditional stone houses.
After visiting Roquefort, drive south to Mont-de-Marsan, where you will spend two nights. For your stay in Mont-de-Marsan, book at Villa Mirasol, a fabulous hotel with a lovely location at the side of the river and surrounded by a botanical garden.
Day 4 | Mont-de-Marsan
Day four of this Bordeaux to Biarritz road trip explores Mont-de-Marsan, the capital of the Landes department. Mont-de-Marsan is a medieval bastide town founded in the 12th century where the rivers Douze and Andou meet.
The city’s historical center still keeps its medieval charm, and it has interesting buildings, the most famous of which is the massive and crenelated Lacataye Tower. You will also find 12th-century Romanesque fortified houses and a set of shell stone fortifications characteristic of the region.
For hundreds of years, Mont-de-Marsan flourished through trade, shipping Armagnac brandy and other regional products down the Midouze to the Atlantic Ocean. The riverside is still lined with stone warehouses and quays from this period.
During your stroll around Mont-de-Marsan, don’t miss the Botanical Garden with its statues en plein-air and La Tourtière (7 Allée Raymond Farbos), a boulangerie selling the local cake – the tourtière – topped with Armagnac.
Day 5 | Labastide d’Armagnac
Before heading to Biarritz, this road trip Bordeaux makes a detour to visit Labastide d’Armagnac. Located 30 km west of Mont-de-Marsan, this small bastide town is a model of its kind, with its central square (Place Royale), its half-timbered arcaded houses, and a magnificent church fortress.
Founded in the 13th century, Labastide d’Armagnac is home to several interesting sites, such as the 17th-century Protestant temple or the Tortoré Café, still working since its opening in 1885.
Two kilometers south of the village stands the little chapel of Our Lady of the Cyclists, a real sanctuary of cycling, with old bicycles and many champions’ vests. Every Pentecost Monday, a mass is celebrated there in honor of all the cyclists on the French roads.
After your visit to Labastide d’Armagnac, it’s time to drive to Biarritz, the last stop of this Bordeaux road trip. For your stay in Biarritz, book at Hotel Le Windsor Biarritz, a beautiful hotel facing the Grande Plage beach and ideally situated close to the main attractions.
Day 6 | Biarritz
Biarritz is a beautiful and elegant city in the French Basque Country. Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Biarritz has regal 19th-century architecture and supreme beaches.
Discovered in the 1850s by Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, the couple commissioned an extravagant mansion by the ocean, turning Biarritz into a popular seaside destination for nobility.
Finally, it’s time to enjoy the Ocean! The list of best things to do in Biarritz includes:
- Le Rocher de la Vierge
- Grande Plage
- Port des Pêcheurs
- La Côte des Basques
- Biarritz lighthouse
- Les Halles (covered market)
- Hotel du Palais and Casino Municipal
You can visit Biarritz in one full day. With more days available, you can visit Bayonne, the cultural capital of the Basque Country, or take this French Basque Country road trip that starts from Biarritz and explores the best of this beautiful region.