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Manoir Saussus, 63 Rue de la Riviere, Pauillac, 33250

OTHER LEISURE

No description of the leisure options at Manoir Saussus would be complete without mention of the Marathon du Médoc.  Its tag line is “le Marathon le plus long du Monde” (the longest marathon in the world).  It is a 26.2-mile race that takes place annually in early September and starts and ends in Pauillac.  It has been held every year since 1985, and it meanders through a picturesque landscape of vines and châteaux.  Oh, and it features 23 separate wine stops, with accompanying regional specialities such as oysters, foie gras, steak, cheese, and ice cream.  Fancy dress is de rigueur, there are bands stationed at many of the scenic castles, and the whole thing takes place in a heady atmosphere of fun, frivolity and wine fumes.  Not to be missed!

For those looking for less extreme pursuits, there are a variety of other possibilities.  Why not cycle through the vines, rather than run?  Manoir Saussus' friends at L’Atelier Vélo, a short walk away in Village Bages, can assist with traditional or electronic bike hire, and even guided tours of the local area.  Further afield, there are cycling trails that run up and down the entire Atlantic coast of the Médoc, and through the Landes forest.  Courts at the nearby Pauillac tennis club can be booked through the Office du Tourisme et du Vin.  Sailing on the Gironde is possible from the harbour in Pauillac, kite-surfing is available at Hourtin lake, and world-class surfing is wide-spread on the Atlantic coast around Lacanau and Hourtin.  For equestrians, there are a number of local stables that will allow you to ride their horses by the hour.  It is even possible to take hot-air balloon rides over the stunning countryside (and to drink champagne on landing, as the Montgolfier tradition demands).   

For those on the hunt for culture, every July Pauillac also hosts its own international film festival.  The week-long celebration of cinema typically attracts several premieres in the hunt for its international prize (chosen by the festival jury) and its young filmmaker prize (chosen by the public).  It is a whirlwind of glamour with stars of French cinema attending red carpet events at various local châteaux and the historic Cinéma Eden building on the quay.

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