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Sauveterre de Guyenne - an English bastide in France

Sauveterre de Guyenne lies in the south-west of France. It has a very French sounding name and a distinctly French atmosphere, with its weekly market and joie de vivre, but it was actually built by the English, in the time of Edward I. It is a bastide town, that is, a sort of mediaeval new town, built to a distinctive pattern intended to fortify it against its enemies. The town is located close to the great wine city of Bordeaux, and lies among the vineyards in the lovely countryside of that region.

Four gates and an arcaded square

Sauveterre de Guyenne follows a pattern set centuries ago, and with its typical arcaded central square and four gates to the town, it is a great example of its type. There is a pretty church, l'eglise Notre Dame, and some interesting old streets and buildings to explore and enjoy. The shops radiate out from the centre of town, and it is a pleasure to browse, taking refuge from the midday sun under the age old arches that form the arcades. There is a traditional market held every Tuesday too, with the stalls set up in the square and the surrounding streets and alleyways much as they have been for centuries.

Wining and dining

Sauveterre de Guyenne is only a small town, but it has a few good restaurants where you can savour the fine wines of Bordeaux and the tasty cuisine of the south-west of France. The wine and the gastronomy of the region are also celebrated in Sauveterre de Guyenne with outdoor summer festivals, where you can not only sample and enjoy the specialities of the region but also dance until dawn, or go crazy on the dodgems! The town hosts other cultural events also, with jazz and swing concerts among the pleasures scheduled.

Out and about

The countryside around Sauveterre de Guyenne is ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, and there are plenty of opportunities to get off the roads and away from the traffic. Near the town you can find tennis courts, swimming pools and leisure lakes. Fishermen can obtain permits for excellent fishing in lakes and rivers (usually available at local "Tabacs"), and there are a number of excellent golf courses easily accessible too.

Places of interest

Places of interest include, of course, Bordeaux, but there are many smaller towns and villages that are worth discovering. Try taking a look at the historic wine town of St Emilion, or treat yourself to a day at the seaside at the nearby resort of Arachon, on the lovely Silver Coast of France, just south of the Gironde Estuary.

How to get there

Bordeaux airport is within reach and served by several airlines, including British Airways, bmibaby, Aer Lingus, easyJet and flybe. It is also possible to fly to Bergerac with Ryanair and flybe. If you prefer the train, you can take the Eurostar to Paris and a TGV on from there to arrive in Bordeaux in around three hours (from Paris), after a swift and enjoyable journey. The town is located on the D670 between the auto routes A89 and A62.

Property prices and availability in and around Sauveterre de Guyenne

Bordeaux and the Gironde are very sought after areas, so don't expect property to be cheap. There are some bargains to be found, but you need to be prepared to act swiftly when you find them! The emphasis is perhaps more on quality property and quality of life in this region then on low prices, and there are indeed some wonderful quality properties on the market at the time of writing.

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Sauveterre de Guyenne AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Sauveterre de Guyenne?

Sauveterre de Guyenne is located in the south-west of France. It lies in the east of the Gironde department.

Sauveterre de Guyenne Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AQUITAINE

Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GIRONDE

Gironde Guide

  Gironde Map


Population: 1,792


Access: By air: Fly to Bordeaux or Bergerac. By rail: Take the Eurostar to Paris then change to a TGV to reach Libourne in around three hours. By road: The town lies between the A89 and the A62 auto routes, on the D670.


Economy: The economy is largely concerned with wine production.


Interesting fact: Sauveterre de Guyenne is an English bastide town, founded by Edward I.

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