We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self-Guided Tour in Early January

Which Bordeaux hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
San Diego
Level Contributor
58 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Self-Guided Tour in Early January

My husband and I would like to visit Bordeaux during our trip to France in early January. With our schedule, the best time for us to be in Bordeaux is January 1-3. We would plan on taking the train from Paris to Bordeaux on January 1st and renting a car, then planning a self-guided tour on January 2nd. I looked at the tourism website, and it appears that many of the chateaus will be open on this date. Has anyone visited at this time? Also, unfortunately, we don't speak French (although I am trying to learn some phrases!). With this in mind, will it be difficult to do a self-guided tour? Are there any tourist-friendly chateaus you can recommend? Thanks so much!

Bordeaux, France
Destination Expert
for Bordeaux
Level Contributor
1,284 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

If the châteaux you are interested in are open then you should have relatively little problem visiting them. You'll want to make appointments in advance, of course, but once you have them lined up you'll find that this is a very quiet period of the year for the châteaux.

For visits, take a look at Lynch-Bages, Beychevelle, and Pichon Longueville; that should make for a full day.

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
Level Contributor
44,887 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

"We would plan on taking the train from Paris to Bordeaux on January 1st and renting a car,"

You will be lucky to find a car rental office open on 1st January, which is a public holiday. Do check that aspect carefully. Business as usual on the 2nd of course.

San Diego
Level Contributor
58 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

Thank you both for this information!

I didn't even think about the fact that car rental offices might be closed on the 1st. If we take a taxi from the train station to our hotel in downtown Bordeaux, is there a car rental office in the downtown area we can rent a car from on the 2nd?

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

You want to arrange a car rental well in advance of your arrival, not just show up and hope there's a car. I always use AutoEurope or Kemwel (brokers). They deal with a handful of Bordeaux rental outfits, all of which are right there at the St-Jean train station. BTW, not sure what your expectations are, but it will not be pretty in this area in January, though your chances of getting appointments at wineries will be good.

Bordeaux, France
Destination Expert
for Bordeaux
Level Contributor
1,284 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

Just as you'll be making château appointments in advance, if you reserve the rental car in advance you should have little problem picking up your vehicle from one of the agencies at the train station on the 2nd.

San Diego
Level Contributor
58 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

Thanks everyone- this is very helpful. :-)

Toulouse, France
Level Contributor
127 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

Everything, I mean everything will be closed on the 1st of January (in Europe New Year is celebrated just as much as the Christmas!)

For visiting the most important wine chateaux you will need appointments.

Check out for some suggestions:

http://southweststory.com/bordeaux

southweststory.com/bordeaux-region-wineries-…

8. Re: Self-Guided Tour in Early January

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, October 15, 2014