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Good places to visit around Euronat

Good places around Euronat

Good places to visit around Euronat: When we think of the Médoc, we think of its great wine…it’s true that the Médoc is world famous for its « grands crus classés ».

But the Médoc is more than just wine and we hope to help you discover the variety and riches of our peninsula.

This is where you will find our little piece of paradise!

From the marshes to the fishing « mattes », from the forests to the vineyards, from the beaches to the villages, from the ocean to the estuary… the Médoc is teeming with places to discover and delicacies to taste.

The Médoc has a long history, a wonderful way of life, great food and, of course, – great wine!

Good places to visit

The Cordouan lighthouse

Cordouan, the king of lighthouses!

The need to secure the entrance to the estuary for sailors dates back to antiquity.

The lighthouse was finished in 1611 and was the work of the architect Louis de Foix. A chapel and a king’s chamber (dedicated to Henry III and Henry IV) were also built inside the lighthouse.

You will not only be enthralled by the majestic tower and the architectural and decorative details of the lighthouse, but also by the various rooms. You must not miss a visit to the king of lighthouses! (départure from la Pointe de Grave  depending on tides, reservations essential!)

 

 

The « Soulacaises » villas

19th century holidays in Soulac

These typical Soulac houses are made of red clay bricks, stone and painted wood. They are sometimes decorated with valences and are specific to the North Médoc.
A tour crosses the streets of the seaside resort where you can discover the diversity of this architecture where no two villas are the same and each one has its own little name. Visits are organized by the Soulac tourist office. 

The Soulac Museum

Archaeology and art

Don’t mind the building! This museum is full of treasures, like the skeleton of an ancestor of an elephant found in the sand dunes, a bronze wild boar from the time of the Gauls and numerous prehistoric items. On the first floor, the museum exhibits the works of modern and sometimes local, artists.

 

 

The Soulac basilica

Notre Dame de la fin des terres

The « Notre Dame de la fin des terres » basilica is so called because of its proximity to the « Pointe du Médoc ». Classed as a historical monument on 20 July 1891, it obtained UNESCO World Heritage status as part of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim routes.

This 12th century Romanesque basilica was built for the Santiago pilgrims. In the middle of the 18th century, sand completely invaded the baslica along with the whole village of Soulac. The basilica would only be restored in 1859. The basilica has never been completely cleared of sand, so that nowadays one has to « descend » into the church.

 

 

The Gironde estuary

Natural reserve and Heritage

The Gironde estuary is a world of diversity.
The fauna is remarkable, the heritage exceptional. There is so much to do : visit the villages along the river, the marshes, the islands, hire a carrelet fishing hut, go on a mini-cruise, rent a boat for the day, go paddle boarding or simply drive along the river in your car. So many ways to discover the beautiful Gironde estuary.

 

 

Storks

A successful reintroduction

Did you know that the Pointe du Médoc is home to storks? Twenty years ago, two pairs of storks were introduced there and in 2015, 88 pairs could be counted! You can spot them if you take the D1215 road between Soulac and Saint Vivien du Médoc, or even if you go for a bike ride from Euronat on the cycle paths. Certain storks no longer migrate, so they can be seen all year round. In the spring, their gigantic nests decorate the trees scattered all over the marshes. The storks are not alone in the marshes, many other species of bird live there too.

 

Culinary discoveries

Médoc’s Oysters

Oysters, a regional revival

The maturing of oysters in the Médoc goes back to Gallo-Roman times. This tradition was lost but has now been revived.

Thanks to the exceptional environment and natural richness of the Médoc marshes, a new generation of oyster farmers has relaunched this activity. They produce a high-quality oyster with an exquisite taste. The Médoc oyster is now certified. You can taste the Médoc oysters at the Saint Vivien market on Wednesday mornings or at the restaurant « La Boite à Sardines ».

The Médoc 'Noisettines'

A hazelnut delicacy

Invented by Michel Noyez who cooked them for his wife, the Médoc Noisettines are handmade in the village of Blaignan. The hazelnuts are dipped into a syrup, the ingredients of which are kept top secret. The hazelnuts are then cooked in a copper cauldron where they caramelise. A delight for all those with a sweet tooth!

 

 

 

Cèpe mushrooms

The Bordeaux cèpe mushroom

Although the Landes pine forests start at the Pointe de Grave, oak forests are also numerous in the Médoc. These oak forests are perfect for the growth of cèpe mushrooms.  The cèpe grows from the end of the summer until the first frosts. There is no need to praise its flavour, everyone knows that the cèpe mushroom has an exquisite taste.

The Lamprey

Lamprey is best enjoyed « à la bordelaise » in a red wine sauce

Between a fish and an eel, the lamprey is cooked « à la bordelaise », often following a secret family recipe. A real delicacy compared to the ugliness of the fish in question. A must for curious gourmets!

Dissidente

A 100% made in Medoc beer

This beer with its delicious taste, is brewed in oak barrels in Saint Vivien du Médoc. Pascal Dupuy, a passionate young brewer, full of talent, brews his own beer using only hop cones (the whole flower) for a top quality product.The Tour Noir brewery is, and wishes to remain, small-scale. Pascal does everything himself, even the labels on the bottles.

« La Dissidente » exists as lager (three different varieties), dark ale and white beer and can be tasted at the Boite à Sardines and in all good restaurants in the North Médoc.

Prawns

Prawns from the South-West!

Prawn production is relatively recent in the Médoc. The former salt marshes in Le Verdon, Talais and Saint Vivien have found a new life.

The prawns are bred and fished in these sediment-rich marshes.  The water is warm enough for the prawn’s normal growth despite it being used to the waters of the Mediteranean. You can find the prawns (sold live) on the Saint Vivien market.   La Gam’gette in Le Verdon is a « guinguette » tavern that only serves prawns fished the night before. A feast for the tastebuds!

The shad

The Easter fish

The shad is THE fish to eat during the Easter holidays in the Médoc and all along the estuary. The shad is a migratory fish and can only be found in the springtime. The flesh of the fish is delicate and it is cooked on the barbeque between two bay leaves or with some sorrel. It is not unusual to see « shad » fairs organised in the villages along the estuary.

Pauillac lamb

In the Médoc prairies

The sheep in Pauillac graze in the fields along the estuary. Pauillac lamb is a world famous product of very high quality. To be discovered in all good butchers from January to Easter.

Outings and events around Euronat

Soulac 1900

Return to Soulac’s past

Soulac 1900 or the history of the seabathing resort’s creation. The first weekend in June every year, Soulac celebrates seabathing.

In the middle of the 19th century, Soulac started to become a popular seaside resort. Little houses made of red clay bricks began to pop up all around the basilica and with the arrival of the steam train, Soulac became a tourist destination.

This annual event allows everyone to dress up in costumes from the « Belle Epoque ». Horse drawn carriages, shows, and other activities are all part of the weekend.

The Soulac Food Fair

Local Médoc produce

This food fair takes place twice a year, mid-July and mid-August. You will find the all the Médoc specialities: wine of course, and also Médoc « grenier », honey, cold meats and all sorts of regional produce.

The Médoc marathon

Marathon and good fun

If you don’t like running, it doesn’t matter! The athletes do the running and the public encourages them whilst drinking the best Médoc wines! Friendliness and good humour are the best words to describe this world famous sporting event.

Every year at the beginning of September: it’s the taking part that counts!

 

 

 

Summer music in the Médoc

Young prize winners Festival

This is the only festival in Europe to present a programme entirely dedicated to the young winners of international music competitions. Classical music, operas…the concerts take place in the Médoc Chateaux (Lafite Rothschild, Loudène, etc.)  A pleasure for the eyes, and the ears, guaranteed!

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