Bordeaux. It’s a place in which the name alone is enough to conjure clear images of vineyards, culture, style, and food - mixed together in a way that is both a part of and different to the rest of France. Barge holidays here, along the Canal du Garonne, are sure to make first-time visitors fall in love. The popularity of this area is well known and for very good reason – there is something for everyone in this famous region. |
One of the must visit places on any France barge holiday that takes in Bordeaux (and its surrounding areas) is Nerac. Although it’s not as widely known as the city from which the region takes its name, it is every bit as charming, interesting and enjoyable. It’s worthy of a stop on any tour, so here are a few of the attractions that make it a town you won’t want to miss.
When you arrive in Nerac you’ll be struck by the medieval buildings and tremendous old castle. It’s perhaps no surprise that this was at one time a historically significant town: once capital of Albret, Gascony. The history of the town is captured in its style – with many visitors saying it can feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk along the cobbled streets or sit within a sunny square. Many of the buildings date back as far as the fifteenth-century and it can be a pleasant afternoon spent just walking and observing the passage of time on these fantastic old structures.
The castle of Henri IV is a major reason that people make Nerac a stop on their France barge holiday. Its stunning south façade is well worth a visit alone. Although not as large it was in earlier centuries, its presence and elegance within the town is still a powerful sight.
The Royal Park
Built by Henri IV’s father, the Parc Royal de la Garenne was once home to a number of exotic birds and animals imported by the royals of the day. Nowadays, it’s a place to while away a few hours surrounded by flourishing greenery and the peace and quiet you’d associate more with the countryside than a bustling town. The park is home to an ornamental style befitting a medieval capital, there’s even a lovely bridge, which you can enjoy as you cross from one riverbank to another.
The great thing about the region of Bordeaux is that there is so much to see and do, even if you’re not interested in wine! Nerac is a fantastic stop off on a France barge holiday, but a tour of the area can take in several other fantastic places in addition. The best way to make sure you get a trip that really matches your interests is to book it through a reputable tour operator. They know the area better than anyone and can make sure you get to see all the things you want, and plenty more you didn’t even know about.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury France barge holiday itineraries, as well as barge holidays in other great destinations. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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