You’re a savvy wine country traveler. You have been to the Napa Valley and Sonoma on your own several times. Now you are ready to explore the Bordeaux wine country of France. Let me assure you that your best choice is to hire a driver for your visits to wineries. Bordeaux is a vastly different world than the Napa Valley. Hiring a driver will make your experience a memorable one.
Hiring a driver for Bordeaux varies in price from 300 to 500 Euros a day, depending on your needs. The lowest price is for visits and appointments you’ve planned in advance. All you need is a driver to take you there. If you want a tour guide and driver to make appointments for you and take you through the backroads of Bordeaux wine country, it will cost more.
There are many drivers available to take you around Bordeaux, but it is always best to have someone who is recommended. In the city of Bordeaux, you can ask the hotel concierge or ask at the Bordeaux city tourist office for help in arranging visits to Chateaus.
We spent five days in the city of Bordeaux, all without a car. We arrived in Bordeaux via an express train ride on the TGV from the Charles De Gaulle airport. A beautiful, modern tram took us from the Bordeaux train station to the Hotel Majestic in the city center.
Five reasons why you should hire a driver for Bordeaux wine country
You’ll have a designated driver
Everyone in your group will be able to enjoy winetasting without having to worry about who’s going to drive on any given day. Why should someone miss out on tasting some of the greatest wine in the world?
A hired driver can make appointments for you
Visits to the Chateaus in Bordeaux are usually by appointment only, with reservations made several weeks in advance. Study up on Bordeaux and decide which areas you would like to visit. When you select a driver/tour guide, ask them to make arrangements to visit two or three wineries per day. Having them make a lunch reservation is also a good plan.
You save time, money, and effort
When you hire a driver, there is no need to rent a car. We saved money by sharing the cost of our driver with two other couples. No need to program a GPS or worry about losing your way. The worst thing is being late for an appointment at a Chateau. Don’t be an “Ugly American.”
Your driver can speak French
This is always a big plus, even if a Chateau tour is in English. The well-known and established Chateaus will have tours in English. Our driver came with us on the tours and, when the tour guide was unsure of our questions, Paul jumped in to clarify in French.
The experienced Bordeaux driver knows the countryside and can bring you to beautiful vistas and scenic locations. We asked our driver to stop at famous Chateaus so we could take photos. He knew exactly where to go and drove through the gates of Chateaus without a worry. He showed us sites we would not have found on our own. The above shot was a breathtaking view from a St. Emilion hilltop vineyard.
About our driver
There are many good tour guides and drivers for hire in Bordeaux. We found our driver Paul Pebeyre http://www.bordeaux-elite.com through a friend’s recommendation.
- Paul charges 450 Euros for a day of wine tourism. A day is a start a 9 or 10 am. depending on the program and ending the drive at 6 or 7 pm.
- Paul has a comfortable Mercedes Minivan for a panoramic tour, and he gave us great information as we drove through the Bordeaux countryside.
- Paul can arrange for appointments at wineries and book lunch reservations at winery restaurants. He joined us for lunch and helped explain the menu.
- Paul can also arrange a picnic lunch in the vineyards and provide lunch (price not included in daily fee).
- Most of all, Paul was a fine young man who was very courteous, caring and informative. We will hire him again the next time we visit Bordeaux.