Things to do…
Our top ten things to do while at Le Mascaret
1. Visit the Dune du Pyla in Arcachon. The biggest sandbox in France offers wonderful ocean views and the nearby forest is also very nice for walks. There are stairs to climb to the top of the dune so is not too bad. You will be rewarded with some spectacular views of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Be warned that if you do decide to walk down to the beach on the other side for a swim-wonderful on a very hot day-you may regret the climb back up (no stairs), particularly on a windy day. You will see many souvenir shops and places to eat as you walk up to the Dune. Some are ok but beware that many sell previously frozen food. Afterward, go for some oysters or mussels in any of the shops in Cap Ferret or around the bay.
2. Visit St. Emilion , visit the underground cave where the real St. Emilion lived. If you are energetic, climb the tower in the center of town (you buy a 1 euro ticket and get a key at the Tourist office) for some spectacular views of the area.
3. Visit the Zoo de la Palmyre just north of Royan (about 1:45 hours from Le Mascaret). The best zoo in France , if not Europe . A must if you have children with you. If you leave early enough you can combine it with a visit to Cognac as it is in the general direction.
4. Visit Cognac and take a tour of one the world famous Cognac distilleries. Martell and Remy Martin offer nice tours.
5. Visit Bordeaux and take a stroll through a smaller version of Paris with many interesting sights and restaurants. Don’t miss the marche des Capucins and Saint John’s Church.
6. Visit some of the nearby Chateau. The Chateau de Vayres near Libourne is very nice and we really like the Chateau Malrome in Saint Andre du Bois (Entre Deux Mers). This was the summer home of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and the place where he died in 1901. You can have a tour of the chateau and do some wine tasting too. You can then cross the Garonne River over to Langon and visit the Sauternes/Graves wine region. There are some quite nice wine tasting shops in the area. If you are interested in religious history, visit the Abbaye de la Sauve Majeure in Entre Deux Mers. Very appropriately, there is a wine tasting shop and art gallery right next to it where you can try the white wines from Entre Deux Mers. Just 10 minutes from is the Chateau de la Riviere which has wonderful limestone caves they use as the storage cellar for their wines.
7. Tour one of the Grand Cru Classe wineries in St. Emilion or in the Medoc . In St. Emilion you must call and make a reservation. You can do this from the tourism office. In the Medoc you can go to the Tourism office in Pauilliac and make arrangements there.
8. Visit Les Eyzies (about 2 hours east) for tours of the caves and prehistoric sites.
9. Visit the nearby towns during Market day and enjoy the local specialties and produce.
The best markets are:
a. Libourne (15-20 minutes drive), has a market on Tuesday, Fridays, and Sundays with the Sunday one being the largest and best.
b. Bourg (20 minutes drive) on Sundays
c. Blaye (45 minutes drive) on Wednesdays (After the market, you can take the ferry across the the river to the Medoc region and visit some top wineries).
d. Saint Andre de Cubzac (8-10 minutes drive) on Thursdays (smaller but lots of seafood) and Saturdays(larger market).
10. Serve yourself a glass of wine, sit on a bench near the pool, and just listen to the birds and the river in the distance.
Le Mascaret‘s location makes it a great place to stay in Southwest France. There are plenty of activities to keep you, family, and friends entertained while at Le Mascaret.send email to Le Mascaret