Travel to Bordeaux for Football in 2016

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Fun things to see and do during your drive to Bordeaux

Cities
Rouen Cathedral is just one thing you can see on your way to Bordeaux – Image by Flickr user not not phil

An eight hour drive from Calais, the trip to Bordeaux is full of things to do. Here’s our guide to travelling to Bordeaux for the football.

A gorgeous port city in southwestern France, Bordeaux is known as the wine capital of France and is playing host to key matches during this summer’s football tournament. It’s said that the best time to visit Bordeaux is between June and August, so make the most of your trip to the city by planning out your journey from Calais to Bordeaux.

The quickest way to get there is by taking the A10 via Paris, however just a few minutes longer is the A28 via Le Mans, so you can cater your trip depending on what you want to see and do along the way.

Rouen

Rouen is a great place to stop on your way to the football in Bordeaux. Two hours from Calais, much of the city centre is pedestrianised. However, there are designated parking areas in the historic part of town, plus plenty of car parks and street parking available throughout the rest of Rouen. In the town centre, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame is a vast structure and a fantastic example of a Gothic cathedral.

When looking for a bite to eat, La Petite Auberge serves up traditional cuisine from the region in a rustic setting. Dine on delicious escargot (snails served out of the shell in a garlic butter sauce) and crusty French bread, before a cheese board or sweet crème brûlée for dessert.

delicious escargot

Châteauroux

If you’re driving to Bordeaux via Paris, a visit to the large town of Châteauroux is worth a pit-stop. The pretty old town boasts 16th century buildings, while the north of town is best for exploring the area’s Medieval past. While it’s not possible to go inside, if you have time to see the beautiful 12th century Château Raoul (which gave the town its name) you won’t be disappointed.

Love the outdoors? Check out Châteauroux forest, to the south of town. Here you’ll find fantastic walking and cycling trails through beech and oak forests, home to beautiful wild animals. Rent some bikes, try out horse riding or just take a walk through this scenic part of the French countryside.

Angoulême

The town of Angoulême is recognised as a “Villes et Pays d'art et d'histoire” which means a Town of Art and History. It’s got a great selection of museums, such as the Fonds Régional d'Art contemporain (FRAC), so you’re spoilt for things to see and do while in town. Don’t miss the Town Hall in Angoulême’s centre, which is built on the site of a former château and still has two of the original towers.

If you fancy staying the night or simply want to pick up a bottle for back home, there are loads of wineries in the area to visit, such as the Charlemagne wine cellars in the centre of Angoulême. These cellars have been producing sparkling wine in their 6,000 square-metre space since 1921, and it’s free to visit. Whatever your taste in wine, both experts and novices alike will find it a worthy stop en route to the football.

Le Mans

If you’re just passing through Le Mans and can only see one thing, make time for its Roman Wall. Boasting 12 towers and surrounding the scenic old town, the wall is almost 1,200 metres long. It’s an amazing sight, with nothing else like it in France.

Roman Wall

Inside you’ll find timber-framed houses and cobbled streets, while nearby you can find the fine art museum, Musée de Tessé, which is home to its very own reproduction of an Egyptian tomb! If you’re thirsty, head to the Pilier Aux Lumières tea rooms, near to the main cathedral, which serve up delicious teas and cakes.

 

Saintes

One and a half hours north of Bordeaux on the A10 is the historic town of Saintes, which is home to some truly great French restaurants. At La Table de Marion presentation and flavour are equally important, and you can easily see why it’s a Michelin-starred restaurant. The tasting menu will give you a wonderful selection of dishes, such as grilled duck breast and sliced beef, while the modest size of the restaurant caters to those looking for an intimate dining experience.  

Travelling to France for the football?

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can get from Folkestone to Calais in 35 minutes.

Make the most of your drive to Bordeaux and the rest of France using our guide to the city

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Prices start from £23 per car, each way* *£23 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day. Book your travel now