The best countries to visit

Belgium

France

Germany

Netherlands

Switzerland

WESTERN EUROPE

COMMERCIAL AIRLINES

The commercial airlines’ lowest regular offer is the APEX (Advance Purchase Excursion) fare, which provides confirmed reservations and allows “open- jaw” tickets. Generally, reservations must be made seven to 21 days ahead of departure, with seven- to 14-day minimum-stay and up to 90-day maximum- stay restrictions. These fares carry hefty cancellation and change penalties (fees rise in summer). Book peak-season APEX fares early; by May you will have a hard time getting your desired departure date. Use Expedia (www.expe- dia.com) or Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) to get an idea of the lowest pub lished fares, then use the resources outlined here to try and beat those fares. Low-season fares should be appreciably cheaper than the high-season (mid- June to August) ones listed here.

TRAVELING FROM NORTH AMERICA

Basic round-trip fares to Western Europe are generally cheapest from the East Coast and range from roughly US$200-750: to Frankfurt, US$300-750; London, US$200-600; Paris, US$250-700. Standard commercial carriers like American (®800-433-7300; www.aa.com) and United (« 800-241-6522; www.ual.com) will probably offer the most convenient flights, but they may not be the cheapest, unless you manage to grab a special promotion or airfare war ticket. You will prob ably find flying one of the following “discount” airlines a better deal, if any of their limited departure points is convenient for you.

Icelandair: US ® 800-223-5500; www.icelandair.com. Stopovers in Iceland for no extra cost on most transatlantic flights. New York to Frankfurt May-Sept. USS500-780; Oct.- May US$390-$450.

Finnair: US ®800-950-5000; www.us.finnair.com. Cheap round-trip fares from San Francisco, New York, and Toronto to Helsinki. Connections throughout Europe.

Martinair: US ® 800-627-8462; www.martinairusa.com. Fly from California or Florida to Amsterdam mid-June to mid-Aug. US$880; mid-Aug. to mid-June US$730.

Davis Heritage Project, which supports Zinfandel research and preservation of The best countries to visit the special qualities of the increasingly rare old vines. The winery is a family affair involving both The best countries to visit of the Becketts’ sons. Josh, who has worked at the winery since 1998, became the winemaker in 2003. His younger brother, Jake, apprenticed as vineyard manager before becoming general sales manager in 2005. Gracing many of the wine labels is an image of the distinctive two-story house on Peachy Canyon Road that the Becketts once called home. They chose the image as a familiar reference point that would reinforce the label’s regional identity, but the story of the winery’s name goes a little deeper into local color.

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