Burgundy wine toursWine lovers: How would you like to travel in the heart of France’s Burgundy wine region in a classic vintage car and discuss wine’s aromas, flavors and terminology with area winemakers?

A company called Au Coeur du Vin (“The Heart of Wine”), based in Chichée, France, offers wine lovers one- to three-day standard or self-designed tours.

Owner Eric Szablowski, oenologist and cellar master of the Domaine William Fevre for more than 20 years, offers his classic Citroen 2CV as transportation from the Chablis tourism office into the vineyards of Chablis, Auxerre and Tonnerre, where guests meet and chat with vintners while savoring glasses of Chablis, Saint Bris, Irancy, Coulanges and Epineuil.

Guests also may learn about other products of the Burgundy region, including cider, black truffles, foie gras and cheese.

Prices range from 35 euros to 50 euros per person for a 1½- to 2½-hour tasting session of local wines in an old wine press cellar.

Those who want to learn more can travel to the local vineyards and cellars. A seven-hour session costs 85 euros to 135 euros per person and includes transportation, a walk and study of the vineyards, tastings and meeting with vintners in their cellars.

Au Coeur du Vin also will create tours tailored to a group’s area of interest.

Find more information at; it has an English-language version.

Hiking the Black ForestThe official website for the Black Forest in Germany claims hiking “was invented in the Black Forest.”

Since 1864, hiking maps and various hiking guides have been published in the area.

Three long-distance routes run north to south: the 178-mile Westweg, a hiking trail in the western Black Forest; the Mittelweg trail in the central Black Forest; and the Ostweg, a hiking trail in the eastern Black Forest. In addition, there are other multi-day hiking trails, including the 74-mile Schluchtensteig, which runs through seven deep canyons with panoramic views.

The tourist board offers several “travel without luggage” packages. Each includes accommodation, breakfast, baggage transfer and guide.

The western trail of the Westweg, for example, goes through the mountains from Pforzheim to Basel. The price for the 13-night trip starts at 835 euros per person, double occupancy. It can be broken down into seven to eight overnights with prices starting at 429 euros. A seven-night hiking package on the Schluchtensteig trail through canyons and gorges begins at 449 euros.

To find additional details, go to and click on “Hiking.”

Scandinavian racesHate getting up early for a marathon run? Then head north June 25 to Tromso, Norway, for the annual Midnight Run, the world’s northernmost race.

From the middle of May to the middle of July, the sun doesn’t set here and the organizers note that even in cloudy weather, it’s daylight for 24 hours. Thus, the race can be scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.

Cash prizes are awarded to the top three male runners (who complete the race in less than two hours, 30 minutes) and three women runners (who finish in 2:55 minutes or less).

Top prizes are 10,000 Norwegian krone (about $1,800) with an additional 2,000 kroner if a record is set.

Online registration is possible up to June 22 unless the limit of 600 runners has been reached. Entry fees are: up to May 1, 700 Norwegian krone (about $125); from May 1 to June 19, 800 Norwegian krone; and from June 19 on, 900 Norwegian krone.

Other races at the event include a half-marathon, mini-marathon, 10-kilometer run and children’s race.

Find more details at

• If you’d like to race and party, then head to Stockholm, Sweden, on Aug. 13, Gothenburg, Sweden, on Aug. 27 or Helsinki, Finland, on Sept. 3 for a Mid-nattsloppet, or Midnight Run.

Originally based on the idea of carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 10-kilometer races feature an evening starting time on a course through the city decorated with lights, music and various activities. Spectators along the way set a celebratory night-time mood.

Entry fees range from 32 euros in Helsinki to 340 Swedish krona (about $55) in Sweden.

Find more details at; it has an English-language version.

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