The port city of Bordeaux, situated on the Garonne river in southwestern France boasts many cultural and architectural delights, but has one overwhelming claim to fame. It is the chief wine industry capital of the world, situated in the world's largest fine wine producing region. A fine array of dry and sweet whites, reds, claret, rose and sparkling wines are produced here, following the tradition set by the Romans, who introduced the vine to the region. The long, warm summers and mild winters of this oceanic climate are most conducive to viticulture. Bordeaux is certainly cosmopolitan. It is on the Atlantic, but has a Mediterranean ambience. The English ruled here for three hundred years and also left their mark on the culture. Bordeaux has some 362 historical monuments; in the whole of France only Paris has more. The historic heart of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Naturally, a wide range of wine tours and tastings, and visits to various chateaux are available, including the opportunity to be flown over the vineyards by former fighter pilots.

Bordeaux has a fine choice of hotel accommodation, and in many cases you can take an apartment in a hotel located in the very heart of the city. The Aquitaine, near the city centre, is very pleasant, affordable and convenient for the many sites of interest the city has to offer. From your apartment room in the Hotel La Maison Bord'eaux you could take advantage of the organised cellar visits the hotel offers. One of the premiere hotels in Bordeaux is the Grand, offering 5 star luxury, extremely comfortable apartment rooms and a Turkish bath/hammam and pampering massage and body treatments. You could have an apartment in Le Boutique Hotel, a tranquil 18th century accommodation ideal for relaxation.

Naturally, you should visit the small but charming Wine Museum to learn the story of the wine trade in the region and partake in a tasting. The 15th century St. Michel church is well worth visiting; its 114 metre high steeple is the second tallest in France. Also recommended are the medieval St. Andre cathedral, and the Aquitaine Museum, which offers displays of Gallo-Roman statuary, and artefacts dating back 250 centuries.