Located in the south-west of France, Bordeaux is the perfect place for holidaymakers wanting more than a horizontal beach holiday. Take a pilgrimage through the historical port town described by UNESCO, the United Nation's body which recognises cultural and historical excellence, as having "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble"
Once you've stretched your legs and picked up your luggage, head for the airport's arrivals hall, where you'll find the Bordeaux Airport car hire desk between halls A and B.
Duty free is only accessible on the return journey. Have your boarding pass to hand and stock up on wines and cheeses which are tax free for EU citizens, unlike tobacco and spirits.
Cash machines can be found in arrival halls A and B. There is no bureau de change, so if you need Euros, pick them up before you leave home.
There are several cafes and restaurants to choose from, but Ouest offers a regional taste of France. Taste quality wines and pick some up to bring home with you.
Bordeaux airport's shops and services generally close by 9pm. If you arrive late for whatever reason, don't expect warm cafes and hot food to be available. Take a flask and a cushion - pull up along the banks of Garonne River and soak in the moonlit view before heading towards your hotel (the river is just 15 minutes away).
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Arcachon is a laid back coastal town less than an hour's drive from Bordeaux and is home to the thigh-busting Dune du Pyla - the highest sand dune in Europe. Fortunately, it's also home to the Banc d'Arguin, a 1000 acre sand bank on which you can collapse, listen to gently rolling waves and let your leg muscles recover so take a picnic and a swimsuit.
For a touch of the historical, visit the Basilique Saint-Seurin. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the basilica dates back as far as the 6th Century but has seen structural additions until the 15th. Take a stroll around the crypt and be impressed by the detailed architecture. Admission is free.
For a little luxury, pop to the Galerie Bordelaise. Lined with painted marble and a glass ceiling, this is possibly the most beautiful shopping arcade in France. Take a seat outside one of the many cafés along the causeway or visit one of the little stores for that holiday memento.