Largest of France's 96 departments, and home to world famous 'claret', or Bordeaux wine. Think St Emilion, Pomerol, and the entire 1855 classification of Medoc - Margaux, Paulihac, Ste Estephe (and Haut Brion at Graves)... The chateaux of Lafitte-Rothschild and more.
Then the whites of Sauternes, Barsac; and the Cotes Bordelais, Entre Deux Mers...
The city of Bordeaux is a dream. Accessed easily by road, rail or air, and served by an ultra-modern and efficient tramway, the centre has undergone a wonderful regeneration and now combines delightful 18th century architecture with the best international cuisine, and worldwide highstreet brand shopping.
St Emilion is the destination in the Gironde for anyone wanting to experience a wine tasting, buy some bottles or simply enjoy this gorgeous town .
The Gironde is bounded to the west by the Atlantic coast, with 270 kms of accessible, clean and often quiet white sand beach. Some say that Lacanau is the surfing capital of Europe. A seagull overhead, a scent of pine in the air, a dozen oysters in hand.........what ARE you waiting for?
Inland, to the south west is pine forest, most of the rest vineyards or wide, flat coastal river valleys.
Excluding the city suburbs for the moment, larger towns are at Libourne and Langon.
Cadillac, Castillon la Bataille and Monsegur each offer much for lovers of both history, and the modern day who are looking to purchase property in France.
Gironde fact file
Land area: 10 000 square kilometres
Population: 1 400 000
Population density: 135/km²
Main town: Bordeaux
Local property styles
Coastal houses are often modern, sometimes gothic, and above average price. Inland, the Girondine is a semi-formal or formal flat fronted stone property, often with strong symmetry. Otherwise, stone farmsteads abound, and the closer one is to Bordeaux, the greater the range and density of newer properties.