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Capital of the seafood-loving Aquitaine region, Bordeaux lies along the banks of the River Garonne, and is home to 362 magnificent monuments, several first class museums and a pedestrian shopping zone that’s over a kilometre long. This charming city has also been famous for fine wines since Roman times, and is still at the epicentre of today’s international wine trade. Get some inside information by visiting Bordeaux’s vintners where you can sample and buy sweet whites such as Chateau d’Yquem, and exclusive reds like Chateaux Margaux, and other top wines at hard-to-beat prices. But if you follow our tips and roam off the beaten track, you’ll discover there’s a lot more to buzzing Bordeaux than historical sights, great shopping and posh grape juice.
SAINT-SIMEÓN: A CINEMA HOUSED IN A CHURCH
The Utopia in Bordeaux, where history meets cinema. This cinema, housed within the walls of the historic Saint-Siméon church, has given a new lease of life to the building, which was in decline, but still retains the architectural features that make it unique and remind us of its original purpose, with its vaults, arches and stained-glass windows.
THE WINTER TOWN OF ARCACHON
When visiting Arcachon it would be a real shame if you only saw the beach and businesses located there. The seaside town of Arcachon Bay, near Bordeaux has an incredible heritage in the form of the Winter Town, a district where you can stroll in beautiful surroundings and an atmosphere of tranquility. You can’t help but succumb to the charm of the old fashioned villas.
A STROLL ALONG THE RIGHT BANK
Fancy a pleasant walk along Bordeaux’s Right Bank? Get a bigger picture (and better pix) of this Unesco Heritage town by turning your back on the coach crowds surging towards the neoclassical Grand Theatre and other sights. Instead take a hike over Napoleon’s Pont de Pierre to the Right Bank, and wander through the botanical gardens to admire untrammelled views of Bordeaux’s beautiful baroque façades.