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Highlights of Our AmaWaterways Bordeaux River Cruise & Tours

In as much as I love visiting old haunts, discovering new places can be every bit as good and sometime even better! Two places we absolutely adored during our recent trip to the north of Spain and France included the charming city of San Sebastian and the lovely Bordeaux region of France.

Photo of Bay of Biscay in San Sebastian, Spain

Our itinerary with AmaWaterways was called “Taste of Bordeaux” and that’s exactly what we had. This particular itinerary had both an optional pre-tour in Bilbao and San Sebastian, Spain and an optional post-tour through the Loire Valley to Paris’ airport. We elected to modify the latter post itinerary with an added 3-night extension to Paris as well for our group since many of our group had never been to Paris.

Photo of Alexander III Bridge, Paris, France

San Sebastian was such an amazing highlight for our group during the pre-tour with its beautiful art nouveau architecture located on the picturesque Bay of Biscay in the Basque region of northern Spain. Spanish royalty made it famous and it’s absolutely wonderful to wander throughout the Old Town and along the magnificent boardwalk area all along the bay area. Plenty of great bars, restaurants, and places to relax and enjoy the people wandering by. It’s so great because it’s not that crowded which of course these days can be hard to find in so many of the other popular places that people are travelling to these days.

Photo of Old Town in San Sebastian, Spain

We loved the cruise itself as well on the lovely AmaDolce river ship that enabled us to enjoy lazy, relaxing times cruising along the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde Rivers, while being able to unpack for the 7 nights of the cruise.

Photo of AmaWaterways AmaDolce river ship

Photo of Cruising in the Bordeaux Region

We were also able to visit so many lovely towns and castles along the way by easily docking alongside these places and learning of the history through our choice of either walking, hiking or biking tours. We had plenty of wine and food tasting along the way in each of the towns including the 13th century Libourne, 17th century Blaye, the 16th century village of Bourg, a 14th century chateau near Cadillac, and, of course, the delightful city of Bordeaux as well!

Photo of St. Emilion, France

Bordeaux was absolutely a pleasure to visit with its elegant architecture, rich culture and famous nearby wine regions with spectacular chateaus. World renowned wine growing regions such as St. Emilion, Medoc and Sauternes are all nearby within a short drive from Bordeaux enabling easy access to and from the city.

Photo of tall sailing ship in front of Bordeaux port area

Bordeaux is such a great place to stay for at least a few days to enjoy all it has to offer including the Cite du Vin Wine Museum, 19 or so Michelin star restaurants, the stunning architecture including Place de la Bourse, Place des Quinconces, the Grand Theatre, the Pont de Pierre, the Bordeaux Cathedral and even the 18th century Intercontinental Bordeaux Hotel! Everywhere one turns the architecture is magnificent!

Photo of Bordeaux Cathedral

Our post tour was also wonderful including the Loire Valley visit with all the fantastic Chateaus there. We also had a very special 2-night stay at the Chateau Le Pray near Amboise and visiting the incredible 16th century Chateau de Chambord with its 440 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 84 staircases along with many more chateaus as well.

Photo of Chateau de Pray, Loire Valley, France

Photo of Chateau de Chambord, Loire Valley, France

Paris didn’t disappoint either, as always, for the 3 nights we had there in spite of the crowds of people who continue to visit this lovely ‘City of Light’. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs-Elysees, the Seine River, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and Montmarte and so many more sights to see in this famed international city.

Photo of Eiffel Tower from Montparnasse Tower

France truly does have so much to offer and we were all very pleasantly surprised with the people we encountered throughout the country. They seem to greatly value tourists and particularly appreciate those who make even just a little effort with speaking French. No question in our minds, we will go back again!

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