Bordeaux

France’s wine cap­i­tal is one big Unesco World Her­itage Site, so it’s lit­tle won­der that the tourist of­fice en­cour­ages vis­i­tors to take a two-hour city stroll through 500 years of ar­chi­tec­ture. A €33, three-day city pass grants ac­cess to the his­tory and wi

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For Bordeaux’s finest, hit the fash­ion­able Chartrons quartier, once the heart of the city’s wine trade. Bars in this quay­side lo­cale scrib­ble in­ex­pen­sive vin­tages on black­boards out front. For wine tours and tast­ing mas­ter­classes, try Bor­dovino, which runs a two-hour som­me­lier course for €49. Se­ri­ous oenophiles should take a trip to Saint-Émil­ion by bus, bike or boat. It’s an­other Unesco-pro­tected town, where hun­dreds of miles of wine caves bur­row be­neath the com­mune. From Bordeaux, the most en­chant­ing route runs up the River Garonne and then down the River Dor­dogne, pass­ing the ap­pel­la­tions of Mar­gaux and Haut-Mé­doc en route. The oys­ter ports and tow­er­ing dunes of the Baie d’Ar­ca­chon (all criss-crossed by cy­cling paths) are due west of Bordeaux.

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