Nicknamed “Little Tuscany”, Entre-deux-Mers is a verdant triangle, nestled between the two rivers Garonne and Dordogne. Here, hills and rivers rub shoulders with oak forests and vineyards, fertile ground since the dawn of time for an equally varied cultural heritage. A favorite destination, this territory combines all the assets: a breathtaking landscape with its beautiful nature and a land steeped in history to explore by car or bike.
Must see and do in Saumur!
La Réole, “city of art and history”
- Episcopal city and important stage of the way of Vézelay of the roads of Santiago de Compostela, La Réole has one of the oldest town halls in France, dating from the XNUMXthth century. It is best discovered on foot, from inside its narrow streets, strolling past the beauty of the half-timbered houses, or admiring the breathtaking view of the Garonne from its Benedictine priory.
- The bastides
Vestiges of medieval life, these fortified villages are characterized by their construction around an arcaded square. If the 6 bastides of theEntre-deux-Mers region are all founded in the XIIIth and XIVth centuries, they are each worth a visit as they each have a specificity:
the bastide of CADILLAC, surrounded by its walls and bordered by the Ducal Castle of the Dukes of Epernon,
the bastide town of CRÉON and its magnificent arcaded square,
the fortified town of MONSÉGUR, overlooking the Dropt,
the fortified town of SAUVETERRE-DE-GUYENNE and its four rectangular doors,
the bastide of BLASIMON and its Benedictine abbey,
the bastide of PELLEGRUE and its metal hall
The discovery of a Roman epitaph makes Rions one of the oldest villages in Entre-deux-Mers. But it is its fortified ensemble that sets it apart. The imposing Lhyan tower, the walkway, the "peas" hall or the Watchtower: you won't be able to resist the charm of this city-bastion.
- Cadillac Ducal Castle
Who would believe that this sumptuous courtyard surrounded by mullioned windows, was a place of walk for the women imprisoned in this castle which became a prison, for a few decades? Today managed by the National Monuments, it will seduce you with its many attributes, such as the tapestries, painted ceilings and monumental fireplaces, worthy of the pageantry of the royal apartments.
- The Celestine cave in Rauzan
A river has dug over the centuries the only underground cave in Gironde open to visitors. And it is under the houses of the town of Rauzan that this cavity, 600 meters long, is hidden, which you can walk through, equipped with a headlamp to admire the many stalactites, stalagmites and limestone draperies.
- La Sauve-Majeure
THEabbey of the Sauve-Majeure, built between the XIth and XIIIth centuries, developed with the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The UNESCO-listed site has left us with the ultimate testimony of monastic life, a remarkable set of Romanesque sculptures.
Don't leave without tasting...
- the Clairet
Baptized “French clarets” by the English, it is a particularity of Entre-deux-Mers. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet-Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes. This appellation extends to only a few hundred hectares only on a few hillsides, above the Garonne, Quinsac being the preferred community.
The shopping moment
- A white wine aged with oysters
In the Tertiary era, the waves of the Atlantic touched the hillsides of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and left us as proof of their passage caves covered with fossilized oysters. Today, the caves are used to raise wine. An unusual place, with an exceptional panorama over the Garonne.
- Local products
Meet local producers, and fill your basket with the best products from the region. There is nothing like the markets in the bastides for this:
Tuesday morning: bastide town of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne
Wednesday morning: bastide of Créon
Wednesday morning: bastide de Pellegrue
Friday morning: Bastide de Monségur
Saturday morning: Cadillac
Without forgetting the traditional typical market of La Réole along the quays of the Garonne, every Saturday morning. What to prepare good meals made in Gironde, and hunt for memories of the area.
On the way ...
… a bicycle. Did you know that from the Atlantic you can reach the Mediterranean via the V80 cycle path – Canal-des-2-Mers ?
This crosses the vineyards of Entre-deux-Mers by the Lapébie track, an old railway line rehabilitated as a cycle track, with stages through the bastides of Créon and Sauveterre-de-Guyenne passing by the abbey of La Sauve-Majeure. Further south, an air of “Canal du Midi” between Castet-et-Castillon and Fontet, where you pedal in the shade of the plane trees and rub shoulders with locks and barges, a marvel!
The crush ❤ of the editorial team
Castelmoron-d'Albret, perched on its rocky outcrop, is the smallest town in France with its 3,5 hectares. It is a medieval setting that has retained all the charm of its past. A homogeneity in a traditional town planning with stone dwellings with wooden balconies, which can be seen from below. Here, the alleys flowered with hollyhocks and wisteria are surrounded by the remains of ramparts. A ducal palace, a church, and lower down a fully restored washhouse complete this charming picture of yesteryear.
Our good addresses
- Amani Hostel : small renovated inn dating from the 12th century, in the heart of the historic center of La Réole.
- The Villa Pin Napoleon : charming villa restored in 1767 taking its name from a remarkable tree located in the park.
- The Sequoias : warm guest rooms in an old wine-growing castle, a 13th century bastide.