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Wine lovers' Mecca

Merignac, as a suburb of Bordeaux, and situated in the very heart of the most famous wine region in Europe, is a Mecca for lovers of the fine wines for which the region is so justly acclaimed. The town is also the gateway to the famous vineyards and chateaux, as it is the home of the international airport where the exploration of Bordeaux begins for so many travellers.

Lively and attractive

Merignac sits on the western flank of the great city, and offers a sophisticated and excellent way of life for its inhabitants, who have gravitated here from all corners of the globe. The town is lively and attractive, being not dissimilar to Bordeaux itself, and for all its size it provides a large amount of cool green spaces of great natural beauty, causing it to be referred to as 'the green city'.

An airport and a buzzing tourist trade

Like any airport town, Merignac derives a good income from the airport and the accompanying trade in tourism. There are many hotels in the town, and also excellent restaurants offering a variety of cuisines including seafood, Italian, Indian, Chinese, French fine dining and French nouvelle. Bordeaux is, of course, on the doorstep should you wish for even more variety, and this also applies to shopping facilities. The airport provides great shopping, and there are all the usual large town shops in Merignac itself in addition to those found in Bordeaux.

A cultural capital

In some ways one could consider Merignac as a part of Bordeaux, as it has many of the same features and architecture as the mother city. Bordeaux is known as a cultural capital, and Merignac too has much to offer in this respect. There are cinemas, leisure facilities and also a great Cultural Centre, Pin Galant, which houses all manner of theatre, concerts, dance performances and recitals.

Merignac's 'green' side

Merignac is also well known for its commitment to nature, and there are hectares upon hectares of beautiful parks, gardens and natural spaces to explore. There is a children's farm, where children can get up close with friendly donkeys, goats and ponies, and there is even a Cactus collection housing a great selection of the 12,000 known varieties of cactus, along with a wealth of information about these fascinating plants.

The wine trail

When in Merignac it would seem a vast oversight not to explore at least some of the famous vineyards and wine domains. All around you are the most famous names in the wine trade, with St Emilion, Pomerol, Latour, Margeaux and Mouton exerting their siren call to try… and buy! The vineyards are fascinating in themselves, and the larger domains will take you on a guided tour to learn about the whole process of producing a fine wine.

Things to do in the area

Other trips you might like to undertake will take you to the Château Chene-Vert, the Bourran Palace, or the Tour de Veyrines, a lovely ancient pale stone tower. Then there is the intriguing circular building La Glacienne… amongst many more.

Great golf!

Merignac caters well for those interested in sports, with many good sporting facilities including tennis, swimming, squash, gyms and bowling. Golfers are also very well served as there are a number of very good eighteen-hole courses in the area.

How to get there

Air travel is an obvious choice for those wishing to travel to Merignac by air, as the town is the home of Bordeaux's international airport. You can fly direct from the UK with one of several airlines, currently including British Airways, flybe, easyJet and bmibaby, while Aer Lingus flies from Ireland. For those who prefer rail travel there is also a TGV station at Merignac, making this another very realistic option.

Property prices and availability in and around Merignac

Bordeaux is a very popular place to live, and attracts people from many nationalities. As a centre of the wine trade, the area has a cosmopolitan workforce, meaning that property prices tend to be high in response to the demand for good quality housing. Merignac offers a good selection of property, including some plots for self build projects, and can be a little cheaper than the centre of Bordeaux.

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Merignac AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Merignac?

Merignac is located in the south-west of France, in the north of the Gironde department, not far from the Atlantic Ocean.

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Aquitaine Guide

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Gironde Guide

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Population: 65,000

Access: By air: Fly into Merignac airport with British Airways, flybe, bmibaby, easyJet or Aer Lingus. By rail: There is a TGV station in the town.

Economy: The airport is important to the economy, and there are a number of well developed commercial zones housing diverse businesses. Merignac is in the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards, and benefits from the wine trade.

Interesting fact: Although it is the largest suburb of Bordeaux, Merignac is green and pretty with over 1,600 hectares of parks and gardens.


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