THE MISSING LINK
Nearly 50 years after the Landes de Gascogne became a regional natural park, the Médoc is soon to be the second region on Bordeaux's doorstep to earn this status.
It won't be official for a few months, but the announcement has already been made. The project for the Médoc to become a parc naturel régional (PNR) has been accepted, along with similar projects by the Baie de Somme, Sainte-baume and the Aubrac. These projects will join this prestigious group, following in the footsteps of the Gulf of Morbihan, the Marais Poitevin and the Baronnies. The PNR status recognises the high quality of the landscape, the natural spaces and the cultural heritage of these areas, with each one receiving support for their commitment towards a concerted sustainable development, founded on the protection and promotion of what makes them special. The Médoc has earned this reward for its landscapes wholeness and diversity, all the way from the edge of Bordeaux to the tip of the Gironde estuary. The area is already renowned for the chateaux found along the D2 road between Macau and SaintYzans-de-médoc (including the world famous Margaux, Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild) and the wild, natural beaches between the Porge and Verdon, as well as for Cordouan, "the King of Lighthouses, and the lighthouse of Kings". The PNR status brings them together to affirm the common identity of this surprisingly varied territory, made up of forests and lakes, dunes and vineyards, palus* and moors, knolls and canals. This new union will also invite visitors to discover other lesser-known parts of the region's nature and heritage which are just as spectacular or appealing: the Lagune de Contaut nature reserves and the Hourtin marshes, the road and ports of the riverbanks, the Richard lighthouse, the aquacultural farms and open-air café/bars of Saint-vivien du Médoc, the church and abbey of Vertheuil, Fort Médoc, etc The creation of the Médoc Regional Natural Park create a link with the Regional Natural Park of the Landes de Gascogne to the south, the Marine Natural Park of the Bassin d'arcachon to the West, and the Marine Natural Park of the Gironde Estuary and the Pertuis Seas to the north, ensuring continuity in these exceptional landscapes, clearly highlighting Bordeaux's remarkable surroundings and inviting each and all to make their own discovery. www.pays-medoc.com * former marshland