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Bordeaux – More Than Just Fine Wines

With our latest members-only exclusive deal burning a hole in our pocket, we decided to take a look at one of the most famous locations for wine in the world: Bordeaux.

Bordeaux is a Metropolitan City as Well.

Think of fine wine and the name Bordeaux probably comes to mind. The city of Bordeaux, from which the famous vintage takes its name, is at the center of one of the world’s largest wine-producing areas, producing around 800 million bottles every year. But Bordeaux has much more to offer, and France’s fifth largest city has wonderful architecture, good shopping and museums, and excellent restaurants. Recent upgrades to France’s high-speed rail system mean that Bordeaux is now only a two-hour train journey from Paris.

But Let’s Start with Wine.

However, most visitors want to sample and perhaps buy some of the world’s best wines, and a good place to start any visit to the city is at the House of Wine┬áin the old town. This is the headquarters of the thriving wine trade, offering maps and guides of the surrounding vineyards, as well as helping to arrange tours. Most of the offices of the wine exporters welcome visitors, and several of the nearby wine chateaus that were once off limits, are now open for lunch and even offer overnight stays.

There’s Museums!

Of course, there is a museum of wine in Bordeaux – in 2016 the $81 million Cite du Vin opened, aiming to become the world’s premier wine museum. Housed in a spectacular modern building, the museum tells the story of wine through a series of state of the art exhibits. If you still need educating, there is even a school of wine in the city offering courses ranging from a one-hour class … Read the rest

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Wines of Spain: Visit Madeira Island

Madeira is only about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, but for a small island it offers a lot of variety, with everything from lush woodlands and gardens to deep canyons and dramatic cliffs. Although a part of Portugal, the island lies in the Atlantic Ocean, about 520 miles off the Moroccan coast. Madeira is a popular stop for cruise ships, and whether you are here for just a few hours or you are spending a few days here, you will find plenty to see and do in this island paradise.

And it’s affordable too. A quick search on Flybe shows that you can fly there at a very affordable rate. Always check for coupons before booking flights or hotels.

The island enjoys a mild sub-tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from around 17 degrees C in February to around 23 degrees C in September, making it a popular vacation destination all year round. The highest rainfall occurs between October and March, especially on the northern part of the island. Madeira is in the same time zone as the UK, regardless of the time of year.

Most visitors to the island make their base in the modest capital of Funchal. The town was founded in 1425 and officially became a city in 1508 and today, many of the original buildings are still intact. It’s a town of attractive whitewashed and red-roofed buildings and wide boulevards, surrounded by mountains on three sides. The city is also known for its Art Deco architecture and has several excellent museums, as well as a lovely promenade offering views out to sea and over the city.

Funchal is also blessed with plenty of parks and gardens. If you visit the town’s immaculately kept botanical gardens, you can enjoy not only a wide variety of plants … Read the rest

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