top of page

Le Marathon Du Médoc and Winery Tours at Bordeaux

Bordeaux, the heart of France's wine country, beckoned with promises of scenic vineyards, fine wines, and cultural riches. My journey, which began in the final days of August and extended into the first week of September in 2023, was filled with exciting discoveries, palate-pleasing experiences, and architectural wonders. In this blog post, I'll take you through my 7-day adventure in Bordeaux, with a special emphasis on a visit to the St. Emilion wine region, the Le Medoc du Marathon event, museum visits in Bordeaux, and a day trip to Lourdes.

Day 1: Arrival and Settling In

Upon our arrival in Bordeaux, after a picturesque 4-hour train ride from Rennes on the France Bullet Train, my travel companions and I couldn't help but marvel at the stunning landscapes we had witnessed. In Bordeaux, our accommodation was in a charming Airbnb studio flat, tucked away on the fourth floor at Rue Renière. The unique design featured a loft-style layout, with the cozy bed perched on the second floor, and the well-equipped kitchen and living area on the first floor.

After unpacking, we took the time to settle in, rest, and prepare for the adventure awaiting us on the following day.

Day 2: St. Emilion Wine Exploration

The 30th of August was dedicated to exploring the renowned St. Emilion wine region, an excursion we had eagerly anticipated. The day was marked by indulgent experiences:

Lunch at Chateau Candale:

We indulged in a delightful lunch at Chateau Candale, where local cuisine and wines from the region perfectly complemented each other. The flavors of the region came alive in each dish.

Chateau Visits: After our sumptuous meal, we embarked on a journey to explore a few other chateaus in St. Emilion. These visits allowed us to partake in wine tastings and immerse ourselves in the unique offerings of the area.

The St. Emilion wines, primarily crafted from Merlot grapes, stood out for their distinct and flavorful profiles. We couldn't resist the temptation and decided to purchase a few bottles as souvenirs and future delights.

Evening in Bordeaux: As the day wound down, we returned to Bordeaux city center. For dinner, our choice was Le Bordeaux, Intercontinental Hotel. The food, simply put, was fantastic. We dined outdoors, overlooking the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, an architectural masterpiece. The view was nothing short of breathtaking, and it provided the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable dining experience.

Day 3: Marathon Du Médoc

We set aside the 3rd day for a unique three-day experience at the Marathon du Médoc in Pauillac, France. Here's a glimpse into our marathon adventure:

Registration and Winery Tour: The marathon adventure kicked off with bib collection at Pauillac city center, ensuring we were properly identified for the run. The day also featured an enlightening 3-hour winery tour at Château Phélan Ségur, where we gained insights into local winemaking and marveled at the picturesque vineyards and chateaux of the Médoc region.

The wines from Pauillac, made primarily from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, are among the most famous and expensive red wines in the world, known for their rich and elegant taste. Their finesse is truly remarkable and leaves a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to savor them.

Day 4: The Marathon

The main event, the marathon, took place on the following day, commencing at 9:30 am. This marathon is unique for its fusion of running, wine tasting, and cultural experiences. I managed to complete the first half of the marathon, covering 21 kilometers in 3.5 hours. However, we couldn't continue for the second half due to the closing of the wine stops. Some impressive serious marathoners completed the full marathon in just 2.5 hours, a remarkable feat considering the wine-tasting and entertainment elements.

Day 5: Marathon Du Médoc Family Tour and Lunch

The last day of the Du Medoc Marathon event was dedicated to a family tour event, which encompassed a leisurely 10-kilometer walk around the Paullac castle. This part of the event offered a more relaxed and family-friendly experience, allowing everyone to soak in the scenic surroundings. The day concluded with a delightful lunch that brought all marathon participants together, providing a perfect opportunity to share experiences and socialize.

Day 6: Lourdes - A Spiritual Pilgrimage and Healing Water

On the sixth day of our journey, we embarked on a profound spiritual experience as we took a bullet train to the sacred city of Lourdes. Our destination was the Lourdes Cathedral, a significant site for Catholic pilgrimage. Here's an account of our day:

Journey to Lourdes: The two-hour bullet train ride from Bordeaux to Lourdes provided ample time for reflection and anticipation. As we approached Lourdes, a sense of reverence filled the air.

Lourdes Cathedral: Our first stop was the Lourdes Cathedral, a place of profound spiritual significance. We marveled at the awe-inspiring architecture and sensed the history and devotion that permeated the site.

The Grotto: We then made our way to the Grotto, where St. Bernadette had her sacred encounter with Mother Mary. The atmosphere was filled with tranquility, and the grotto's natural beauty added to the sense of holiness.

Healing Water Room: One of the most profound experiences was our visit to the healing water room. Here, pilgrims have the opportunity to wash their faces and partake in the healing water. The significance of this ritual was deeply moving.

Bottles of Healing Water: As we left the healing water room, we couldn't resist the opportunity to bring back a few bottles of this sacred water, a symbol of hope and healing.

Day 7: Museum Visitations in Bordeaux and Dinner at Le Quatrième Mur

On the seventh day of our adventure in Bordeaux, we chose to delve into the city's cultural riches. The day was filled with visits to two exceptional museums, each offering unique insights into the history and heritage of the region. Here's a summary of our cultural exploration and a delightful dinner at Le Quatrième Mur.

Museum 1: Musée d'Aquitaine: We began our cultural journey with a visit to Musée d'Aquitaine, a museum that delves into the rich history and heritage of the Aquitaine region. The museum's collections span from prehistoric times to the present day, offering a comprehensive look at the culture, art, and traditions that have shaped this beautiful part of France. We were captivated by the diverse exhibits that brought history to life.

Museum 2: La Ciudad del Vino (The City of Wine): Our day continued with a visit to La Ciudad del Vino, a museum dedicated to the art and science of winemaking. This immersive experience allowed us to explore the world of wine, from its production to its cultural significance. The museum's exhibits and interactive displays provided a deep understanding of Bordeaux's wine heritage, making it a must-visit for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs.

Dinner at Le Quatrième Mur:

As the day turned into evening, we had the pleasure of dining at Le Quatrième Mur, a renowned restaurant that combines culinary excellence with a stylish ambiance. The menu featured an array of French delicacies, showcasing

the culinary mastery of the Bordeaux region. The fine dining experience was a fitting conclusion to our exploration of Bordeaux's cultural and gastronomic treasures. The restaurant's name, "The Fourth Wall," was a nod to its theatrical setting, and the evening felt like a culinary performance.

Departure from Bordeaux to Paris: The Final Journey

As our incredible adventure in Bordeaux drew to a close, we bid farewell to this enchanting city and headed to the iconic metropolis of Paris. The journey was as memorable as the destinations we had explored, thanks to the efficient France Bullet Train, which whisked us away from Bordeaux to Paris in a comfortable four-hour ride.

Paris Interlude: A Few Days in the City of Lights

Arriving in Paris was a transition from the serene beauty of Bordeaux to the vibrant heartbeat of France. We spent a few days in the City of Lights, savoring its enchanting atmosphere, iconic landmarks, and world-class cuisine. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Montmartre, and charming bistros were just some of the highlights of our Parisian sojourn.

Our time in Paris was a delightful interlude that allowed us to immerse ourselves in the culture, history, and romance of this world-renowned city. From leisurely walks along the Seine to exploring historic neighborhoods, every moment was a treasure.

Homeward Bound: Flying to Singapore

Mont St Michel

Our journey eventually led us to the departure gates of an international airport in Paris. With hearts filled with memories, we boarded a flight that would carry us back home to Singapore. The adventure may have come to an end, but the memories of Bordeaux's wine, culture, and beauty, combined with the spiritual experiences of Lourdes, and the cultural riches of Mont St Michel, Rennes, and Paris, would stay with us forever.

Bordeaux had been an adventure of diverse experiences, from the finest wines to spiritual awakenings and cultural explorations, and it was a trip we would cherish forever. The fusion of wine, culture, and adventure had left an indelible mark on our hearts, reminding us that the world is a treasure trove of beauty and experiences waiting to be discovered. Bordeaux had offered us a taste of the good life, and it was a taste we would savor for a lifetime.

Overall, our food trip in France was a culinary delight. We relished dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, savoring exquisite French cuisine. And, of course, one can never go wrong with French wine, butter, and bread—the perfect trio that consistently delighted our taste buds.

For more information about Bordeaux wine, visit V is for Vino Wine Show


bottom of page