238km (148 miles) S of Paris; 69km (43 miles) NW of Nevers; 153km (95 miles) NW of Vichy; 282km (175 miles) NW of Lyon

Once the capital of Aquitaine, Bourges lies in the heart of France; you can easily visit it from Orléans, at the eastern end of the Loire Valley. The commercial and industrial center of Berry, this regional capital is still off the beaten path for most tourists, even though it boasts a rich medieval past. Its history extends far beyond the Middle Ages: In 52 B.C., Caesar called it the finest city in Gaul. Today Bourges remains a rather sleepy provincial town, awakened only by the life surrounding the Institut Universitaire de Technologie.