Bégadan is a commune of Gironde, in the region of New Aquitaine, 70 km north-west of Bordeaux and 25 km north-west of Pauillac.
The territory of the locality, with an area of 22 km², belongs to the natural region of the Medoc, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the estuary of the Gironde to the east.
The east of the town borders the left bank of the estuary. A port is still there, once very active for grain and wine traffic.
With nearly 1000 inhabitants, Bégadan which developed in the Middle Ages today retains a strong activity related to viticulture in the heart of one of the most famous vineyards of Bordeaux (Médoc appellation wines).
Its heritage, natural areas and unspoiled coastline make it a pleasant stopover during a stay in this very touristic region because of the proximity of Atlantic resorts and its prestigious wines.
A discovery of the heritage of the town justifies a walk that encompasses several sites and major buildings.
This is the case of the Saint-Saturnin church, neo-Romanesque style, rebuilt in the nineteenth century on bases of the twelfth. Note the beautiful belfry surmounted by an arrow, but it is especially the choir and the apse that deserve to be observed. Classified since 1906, these elements date from the first period of the church (12th century). Semi-circular inside, the apse has five sides on the outside. At the choir level, two full turrets once served as buttresses. The capitals of the columns are adorned with foliage or carved animals. On the outside, the projecting angles are "hidden" by columns. The floor has blind twinned windows. Two marble capitals could come from an ancient monument. Information on +33 5 56 41 50 15.
We then leave the village to take the direction of the estuary.
At 300 m from the Gironde, it is impossible not to distinguish the Tower of By. This is an old lighthouse built in 1825 on the ruins of a mill. Although away from the course of the estuary, on a land of low altitude (15 m), this lighthouse allowed sailors gabarres who carried barrels and sacks of grain and fishermen to identify at night and in foggy weather.
In the immediate vicinity, we admire the castle Tower By, now wine property surrounded by 90 hectares of vineyards, but was in the sixteenth century the seat of the local seigneury. The building has been redesigned.
Always between the town and the estuary, another castle worth a detour, that of Old Robin. The same family of winemakers has owned it since 1840. Tours of the estate with or without tastings and introductory workshops on oenology are offered. Information on +33 5 56 41 50 64.
Then place the assets "nature and recreation" of the locality.
Formerly very active, for commercial transport first (from the 18th to the 2nd World War), fishing and oyster farming that were practiced there until the 1980s, the small port of By on the Gironde is a pleasant goal ride during a visit to Bégadan. It is now dedicated to sailing (mooring points with water terminals). Benches and a picnic area have been built and a small path allows you to observe the squares (fishing huts on stilts) located on the shore of the estuary.
From an environmental point of view, an incursion on the wetlands of the south of the commune, classified Natura 2000 for their remarkable ecosystem (fauna and flora), will be particularly appreciated by ornithology lovers.
Many hiking and biking opportunities for visitors including heritage sites, vineyards, marshes, the banks of the Gironde and marked trails offer forays to neighboring towns. Cards specifically dedicated to wine tourism are also available. Maps and documentation on +33 5 56 41 21 96.