A trip to Bordeaux, France in late autumn/early winter sounds somewhat counter-intuitive; (trips to wine country tend to be done in summer, after all) but when you find out how to stay in a castle in France, or rather a “French Chateau” 😁, you tend not to overthink it!
Plus, it’s so easy to get to Bordeaux from London (flights can be really cheap) so it’s almost a no-brainer really! But that’s probably not what you’re here for – you’re here for the French Chateaux (which I recently found out is the plural form of Chateau)! 😄
In the past, when it came to looking for grand old historic homes to stay in, I’d probably have just had a look on Airbnb. Problem is there’s so much choice on Airbnb – it’s not really focused on any specific type of home (you’ve got all prices ranges and all kinds of home on there), which means it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack if you’ve got your sights set on some quite frankly, decadent castle in France.
Anyway, prior to this trip to Bordeaux, I’d found out about Oliver’s Travels and it wasn’t until this mini-getaway that we finally got round to actually booking a place to stay through them. It’s essentially like Airbnb i.e. the owners of the place, some of whom have owned it for several generations, run and manage the individual places while Oliver Travels helps you find and book them.
Cue our first place in Bordeaux – Chateau De Montastruc!
Now, Oliver’s Travels apparently used to be the place to go to for stately French homes (I think it was all they did at the start) but from looking on their website, it looks like you can get quite a few other places across Europe and even in the Caribbean!
Anyway, long story short – we found out about Oliver Travels, booked a couple of places in Bordeaux, the Dordogne Valley and Bergerac then headed off to France for a long wine-filled weekend.
But first things first, let me show you around our first home, Chateau De Montastruc properly!
I pretty much fell asleep in the car the entire ride from the airport and it wasn’t until we were pulling up to the Chateaux that I woke up to see this incredible building, sat atop a huge, steep hill that I fully appreciated how special our find with Oliver’s Travels was!
The Chateau, by the way, is just one of those places that’ll have you racing around, stopping to take photos, racing around some more, until you realise there’s almost no way you can take it all in! It’s almost labyrinth-like!
It’s also one of those places where you’ll probably end up with more rooms than you need but who cares – for however long you want (or can afford) you get to legitimately say you’re staying in a French castle!
After spending almost an hour running around and still feeling like there was so much more left to see – especially after finding out where the cellars were… which was actually on the way to finding the pool (which I eventually never made it to), we decided to head out for some wine in a vineyard – the Château de Tiregand Creysse, not too far away from our chateaux.
So here’s the thing about visiting vineyards in colder weather compared to the glorious warm days of summer. It doesn’t really make much of a difference!
As we explored the vineyards, I realised that whenever I visit vineyards (and I do visit a fair few), I never really tend to spend too much time outside around the vines. Like, yes, I like to see the vineyard (wine-in-hand) but after a few minutes, there’s not really much else I can do there so we end up heading inside (sometimes making our way through the cellars) and getting started on some wine tasting. The wine tasting is what I’m truly here for – everything else is a lovely bonus! 😁
And so off we went, tasting the different vintages of the Château de Tiregand Creysse! Distracted as I was, I couldn’t help but appreciate a few bottles of red from this vineyard (of which a few bottles were picked up to take back home – they actually ended up not lasting that long and were all gone by the time we left France 😁).
With an extra spring in our steps, we said farewell to the Chateaux and headed off in search of more French deliciousness! I’ll tell you all about that in another post! I ended up putting in so many photos from the chateau (I just wanted to fully show you why I was so impressed with it) that I can fit any more photos in here.
Plus, this post was to show you how amazing Oliver’s Travels is for finding some amazing French Castles – just in case it comes in handy for your next trip to France! My friends and I have unintentionally ended up going back to France over and over again each year on a group holiday so we’ve already got our sights set on a few stunning places here for our next holiday!
Anyhooo, catch ya in the next post! 😁 (Oh, and what did you think of the Chateau?)
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Also, if you’re thinking of visiting France, check out these beautiful towns and villages here and these
If you want someone to help you do all your planning, we’ve got a perfect French itinerary for you in this post here.
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