I discover the Regional Natural Parks

Médoc Regional Natural Park

Bordered to the east by the Gironde Estuary and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, the Médoc Regional Natural Park extends from the Bordeaux metropolis to the Pointe de Grave. Between wine-growing and agricultural areas, forest massif, lakes or even beaches, the park is marked by an extraordinary landscape diversity.

In 2019, the Médoc was classified as a Regional Natural Park. It is simultaneously a historical, geographical, natural and cultural identity. Here there is no duality, but a complementarity that can be savored in any season.
Estuary or Ocean? Pins or wines? Route of the castles or lighthouse road ? Choose no more!
Mix your desires and vary the pleasures for a sweet and revitalizing Médoc holiday.

Immersion in remarkable nature sites

The national nature reserve of the Dunes and Marais of Hourtin extends over more than 2100 hectares. Between the dunes of the ocean frontage, the forests of pines and oaks of the national forest, the Contaut lagoon offers you precious moments of disconnection and letting go. And if you are curious, follow in the footsteps of a naturalist guide who will reveal landscapes to you, but above all an extremely rich flora and fauna!

La Etang de Cousseau nature reserve is also full of original landscapes. The 7 kms of the path will allow you to carry out a short hike “out of time”. You will cross the wooded dunes with aspects of virgin forest, walk along the wet "barins" colonized by giant ferns, lose your gaze from the top of the belvedere or in the vast marsh, summer residence of the last sea cows. The tranquility of a small wild pond is yours to enjoy, where you can stop for a siesta or a picnic. 
Seduced? Take our hiking guides with you Hourtin et Lacanau so as not to miss any of these exceptional sites.

Cousseau pond national nature reserve

The nature meeting

World Wetlands Day takes place every year in February. This is an opportunity to discover a rich and varied program: nature outings, exhibitions, conferences-debates...
In the Médoc, the Talaris marshes will surprise you, the wet meadows of Saint-Estèphe, a Natura 2000 site, will charm you. And what about lakes, lagoons and ponds! With the Les Arpenteurs collective, there are more than 20 activities waiting for you to (re)discover the Wetlands in the Médoc.
Everything is free, all you have to do is register on www.pnr-medoc.fr

The Gironde estuary and its islands

The Gironde Estuary, the largest estuary in Europe, is an integral part of the Médoc Regional Natural Park. Its 625 km² body of water stretches between Bordeaux and the Cordouan Lighthouse over more than 150 kilometers of shoreline, and is home to around ten islands. Did you know that it was recently classified as a Marine Natural Park? A real pride for our estuary!
We made you want to find out... know that there are many cruises to visit several islands, like theIsland of Patiras or new island. All you have to do is choose.

Discover the park 

On foot, by bike, or on horseback, discover the Médoc Regional Natural Park.
Nature reserves, wetlands, marshes, dunes, lakes, forests… so many natural riches that make the Médoc a paradise for nature lovers. Come and discover the incredible diversity offered by this rich territory, through around thirty marked trails. Hiking topoguides, available in Tourist Offices, in Town Halls and at the Maison de Parc or can be downloaded free of charge from the site www.medoc-tourisme.com, will guide your steps and provide you with all the information you need for a pleasant walk. 

For fans of long cycling routes, the Velodyssey here runs along the Atlantic Coast and a large network of cycle paths makes it possible to put the car down for good during the holidays.

An exceptional heritage

The Médoc Regional Natural Park is also an exceptional architectural heritage with the emblematic Fort-Medoc or the Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands in Soulac, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is also the Cordouan Lighthouse, classified as a Historic Monument since 1862 and registered since 2002 on the indicative list of monuments likely to be classified by UNESCO.
And many other must-see sites such as the lap of honor at Lesparre, theVertheuil Abbey, or the bunkers of Soulac, witnesses of the Second World War.

Rendezvous with the lighthouses

The department of Gironde has eight lighthouses, some located on the Atlantic coast, others on the estuary and among them, 7 are located in the Regional Natural Park of Médoc.

Cordouan of course, is the king of lighthouses and the lighthouse of kings. Built on the order of Henri III, it has an innovative architecture for its time, a real technical feat. Consolidated and restored at the time of Louis XIV, it was raised in 1789. The oldest lighthouse in Europe and the last open-sea lighthouse still inhabited, Cordouan is a candidate for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
To do: climb its 301 steps, and be amazed! This 360° view of the Gironde estuary and the Pointe de Grave… quite simply unforgettable.
On land, the Grave lighthouse echoes it, and houses within it the Museum of lighthouses and beacons.

On the estuary side, other must-sees await you: the Richard's Lighthouse and Patiras lighthouse

Everyone at the table

Oysters, prawns and prawns please
And yes, the Médoc is full of delicious specialties.
In the middle of the XNUMXth century, the port industrialization of this region led to the abandonment of oyster production. The marshes collapsed and silted up.
But thanks to local communities and passionate operators, aquaculture was consolidated in the 80s.
Today, four aquaculturists reveal the secret of their know-how to you. By listening to them, you will discover the history of a region intimately linked to the water and the predominant marshes. Breeding techniques in a natural setting will no longer hold any secrets for you.

And because gastronomy is sacred in Gironde, do not hesitate to visit the Médoc producers, they are waiting for you. A real moment of sharing in perspective.

The 100% Vineyard Break

La Castles Route of the Medoc.
Embark to meet sumptuous estates, majestic castles, passionate men and women who will share with you the secrets of this magnificent Médoc vineyard. As you wander around, you will cross the prestigious Médoc, Haut Médoc, Margaux, Pauillac, St Estèphe, St Julien, Moulis, Listrac appellations and you will come across no less than 60 Grands Crus Classés in 1855, a few hundred Crus Bourgeois, dozens of crus Artisans, as well as cooperative cellars for the greatest pleasure of your eyes and your taste buds.