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Wine and dine in Bordeaux

France’s ‘super-region’ of Nouvelle-Aquitaine situated in the southwest of France is bursting with so many treasures, it’s hard to know where to begin – but less than a two-hour flight from the UK, Bordeaux is your best bet.

©AGHoriz

After absorbing your fill of wine-infused city culture, venture into the surrounding countryside with your bike or head along the coast for an inexhaustible list of water activities galore. And rest assured: stunning scenery and sumptuously good food accompany you wherever you go.


 
Bordeaux: where old meets new


©Mon Nuage CRT NA - Walking on the “Miroir d’Eau” in Bordeaux 


Dynamic Bordeaux is the capital of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, boasting UNESCO World Heritage status and stately Parisian-esque architecture. But alongside its major museums and icons such as the Miroir d’Eau, the city has seen various alternative and ‘underground’ cultural projects emerge in undeveloped areas over the last decade. The Darwin Ecosystem is one example, a former military barracks that’s now an urban site with skateparks, open-air graffiti gallery and France’s largest organic restaurant.



Wine not? The Cité du Vin and Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s vineyards


©Françoise Roche CRT NA – Taste wines from all over the world in the Cité du Vin

For many, Bordeaux’s futuristic Cité du Vin museum is the beating heart of wine tourism. Opened in 2016, it celebrates the universal heritage of wine in a fascinating interactive format, all housed in a building resembling gnarled vines and the swirl of wine in a glass. You can enjoy wine tasting workshops, dine in the panoramic restaurant on the 7th floor, and browse a vast concept store. With its many wine appellations, the area is traversed by six ‘Routes des Vins’ with vineyard tours. Enjoy a quirky overnight stay in a 7,000-litre ‘barrel’ not far from the city – and venture further to Cognac, where the eponymous brandy is distilled.


Float your boat: cruising with CroisiEurope in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

©Gregory Gerault – CroisiEurope boat on the Garonne river in Bordeaux


There are plenty of waterborne breaks from Bordeaux to explore the rest of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. CroisiEurope, the leader of river cruises in Europe with its fleet of 56 boats offers themed cruises from 5 to 8 days covering most of the region. This family company with more than 40 years of experience is the perfect way to enjoy the many treasures of the region. The oenology cruise whisks visitors away on an exploration of wine, prestigious chateaux and vineyards, while the nature cruise is an adventure to the very heart of the Gironde estuary with its island archipelago. And float your way through the Dordogne Valley with its deep gorges, bold rapids and peaceful meanders enveloped by medieval villages and imposing fortresses. 

 

The coast is clear: from La Rochelle to Biarritz-Pays Basque


©iStock – Climb the Dune du Pilat facing the entry of the bay of Arcachon

Nouvelle-Aquitaine holds France’s longest coastline, with 720km lapped by the Atlantic. Photogenic La Rochelle gleams in the sunlight with its limestone facades, connected by a bridge to Île de Ré, an island of quaint villages, salt marshes and hollyhocks. Further south is the bay of Arcachon with its magnificent Dune du Pilat, the highest sand dune in Europe. Enjoy trips in traditional wooden ‘pinasse’ boats and escape the heat in the Landes pine forest. For lunch, feast on fresh oysters at a rustic hut in Cap-Ferret.


Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s great outdoors


©Federation Francaise de Surf_JUSTES – Surf the waves in Biarritz


The region is a superb destination for outdoorsy types and adrenaline hunters. Biarritz and Lacanau are known worldwide for the quality of their surfing waves, while there are several excellent golf courses along the coast, in the vineyards and in the countryside. The region is particularly eco-conscious, with bikes available to hire and explore cities such as La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Pau, to name a few – and cycling is equally popular for soaking up the heritage and traditions of smaller villages and castles.

Find out more about Bordeaux and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

 

 

Terms and conditions:
Bordeaux from £34.99 one way pp, two flying.
 
T&Cs: 2,883 seats from London (Gatwick, Luton, Southend) for travel to 28.03.2020. Correct at 09.09.2019 

 

 

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