Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Nestled on the south Atlantic coast of France, Bordeaux is one of the most important wine regions in the world, producing some of the world's most expensive wines as well as a large quantity of wine for more everyday quaffing. The city itself is stuffed with historical and architectural treasures which attest to its rich, claret-soaked heritage. Over half of the city, around 1,810 hectares, is listed as a Unesco world heritage monument. This areas stretches from the Pont de Pierre, with its seventeen arches, one for each letter of Napoleon Bonaparte's name, to the Place des Quinconces. It includes the area known as the Port de la Lune, the old dockland area named for its location on the crescent-shaped meander of the river. In the heart of the city, the Pey-Beyland Tower is the bell-tower attached to the Saint-André cathedral. If you're brave enough to tackle the 231 steps of the tower you'll be rewarded with a view over the city which is truly breathtaking (if you have any breath left by then).

Universally renowned for its thousand-year-old vineyards, to visit Bordeaux is to taste its world famous wines, and to learn more about the history and processes involved in winemaking. Visiting the interactive Planète Bordeaux will enlighten you about all aspects of this ancient tradition which is so key to French culture. You might also like to follow the route des vins, a road which will take you via some of the legendary wine areas, such as Médoc, Pauillac, Pessac, Sauternes, Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Fronsac, Côtes de Bourg, Vins de Bordeaux, Château Lafite, and Château Latour. Or let the wine come to you in Bordeaux itself at the festival Bordeaux fête le vin, a key event for this city. Alternatively, the river is the focus of attention during the festival entitled Bordeaux Fête le fleuve. The popular and traditional market fair Grand Marché du Bon Goût d’Aquitaine which takes place in Bordeaux is an unmissable opporunity to taste all sorts of delicious regional produce. If you're visiting with the family, do take them to the Great Dune of Pyla, the largest sand dune in Europe: they will have lots of fun climbing up and sliding down, while you admire the view from the top, over the deep blue Atlantic ocean on one side and dense green forest on the other. A few miles on, the sandy beaches of Arcachon are a magnet for surfers and sun-worshippers.

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