Day 1: Discovering the historic centre
We spent our first day visiting Bordeaux city centre, and were pleasantly surprised by its accessibility for people with reduced mobility. In fact, the city has been awarded the "Destination pour tous" label! We made our way easily from the Grand-Théâtre to rue Sainte-Catherine and on to Porte Cailhau. In the Saint-Pierre district, we fell in love with typical Bordeaux pastries: canelés and white dunes! We took them to go and enjoyed them on the water mirror next to the Garonne. This space fills up with water every 15 minutes, giving a perfect reflection of the Place de la Bourse. A magnificent setting for a sweet break!
Day 2: From the water mirror to the Bassins des Lumières via the Cité du Vin
The Garonne has played an important role in the development of Bordeaux: in the past, goods from the New World stopped here on their way to the rest of Europe. Today, its quays offer the people of Bordeaux an ideal place to take a breath of fresh air or to enjoy a pleasant break in one of the cafés that line them. To start the day, we go to the quays of the Miroir d'Eau, which we discovered the day before. They were renovated a few years ago to allow as many people as possible to enjoy them, whether on two legs or in a wheelchair! Go downstream to the Chaban Delmas bridge. You can't miss it, with its four huge piers rising up into the sky. The bridge deck sometimes lifts up to let sailboats pass overhead: an impressive sight! On the way, stop off at Bord'eau Village, an open-air shopping centre housed in former warehouses, and enjoy a coffee on the terrace of the Café Joyeux!
A little further on, the Cité du vin is just around the corner. This new type of museum offers a cultural and traditional approach to wine: from the way it's made to its impact on mankind and civilisations, an audio-guided tour, accessible to all, provides a better understanding of the origins of wine and its place in today's world. This is a visit for all the senses, whether you like wine or not (fruit juices are also available for tasting). An ideal activity for the whole family! Accredited with the "Tourisme et Handicap" label for all 4 handicaps, the Cité du Vin's creators have also designed the visit so that everyone can enjoy the same experience: lower areas have been created for wheelchair users, audio description is available for part of the visit thanks to subtitled videos...
We could have spent the whole day in the Cité, but we decided to continue our walk along the Garonne. After a glass of wine to whet our appetite, we stop at the terrace of Les Halles de Bacalan, the ideal place to eat: tapas, charcuterie, local wines... everything you need to have a good time!
Strolling through the pedestrianised streets of the city centre, enjoying cultural activities and exploring the vineyards, Bordeaux has a lot to offer visitors with disabilities. Follow the advice of Myriam and Pierre, two disabled adventurers, to see the city in three days... and in a wheelchair!
Jour 3 : Escapade in the vignoble bordelais
Petrus, Margaux, Latour, Cheval Blanc... The names of these Bordeaux Vineyards can often be found on the menus of top restaurants and make many a mouth water! Most of them have part of their vineyards around Bordeaux. We decided to devote our last day to visiting the vineyards and tasting some of them.
The one that caught our eye for its wheelchair accessibility was Château Pape Clément. The landscaped garden, with numerous statues and other works of art collected by the owner over the years, and the red wine cellar, with over 500 barrels, are wheelchair accessible (note that the garden paths are gravel). We move from corridor to corridor until we reach the rows of vines behind a hundred-year-old Lebanese cedar. In an environmentally responsible approach, the vineyard uses both modern and traditional techniques, with draught horses, electric tractors... Since the first vintages over 700 years ago, this vineyard has been classified as one of the Grands Crus de Graves, a distinction reserved for the fourteen best Graves. The visit ends with a glass of red wine from Château Pape Clément... A real discovery, its aromatic power leaves us speechless!
We end the day in an unusual and creative place: Darwin, a former urban wasteland that has been redeveloped and is now home to businesses and associations. The street art on the walls testifies to the building's past, and it now houses offices, a skate park, an organic grocery store and a brewery serving beer and local produce in a convivial setting filled with upcycled furniture.
After 3 days of wine and gastronomy, our stay in Bordeaux comes to an end. We were more than pleasantly surprised by the city's accessibility for wheelchair users: whether it's the tram network that runs through the city centre, or the improvements made to the quaysides to allow everyone to enjoy the city's assets to the full. We can only recommend that you come and spend a few days here!