Self-guided tour

Bike & Boat | Dordogne and Gironde

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Key Features

France

Country

Provence

Region

self-guided

Trip Type

Beginner

Difficulty

Touring

Adventure type

3*

Accommodation

7

Nights

Am I protected?

The operator of this tour provides financial protection

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Overview


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Discover majestic Chteaux, famous vineyards, regional culinary specialities and UNESCO World Heritage landscapes in one of the most beloved parts of France. Cycling through six famous Bordeaux wine regions and alongside the Garonne and Dordogne rivers to the historic centres of Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, with plenty of time to sample the famous appellations of Pomerol, Sauternes, Medoc and Margaux.

What's the plan

Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrive at Bordeaux

Transfer to Castets-en-Dorthe where you will board the MS Bordeaux and be equipped with your bicycle. There is an optional ride to get used to your bike around Castets-en-Dorthe, exploring this region also known as Little Holland before enjoying a welcome cocktail onboard.

Day 2 | Castets-en-Dorthe to Sauternes then Cadillac

Your first days cycling will enable you to discover the Sauternais region, famous for producing sweet desert wines. Following country roads and the banks of the Ciron River, you will see picturesque medieval chateaux with elegant turrets and vineyards galore. Back on board your boat you will cruise down the Garonne River to Cadillac for the evening.

Day 3 | Cadillac to Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves then Bordeaux

The fortified medieval town of Cadillac is located in the region of Graves, the birthplace of Bordeaux wines. Todays cycle route will take you through the Premiere Ctes de Bordeaux wine growing area and offers the opportunity to visit the house of artist Toulouse-Lautrec, Chteau Malrome, which also offers wine tastings. You can also explore the former residence of writer Francois Mauriac. After your cycle, the boat will head to Bordeaux for the night, reaching the Pont de Pierre (Stone Bridge) and Place de la Bourse in the centre of this fabulous city.

Day 4 | Bordeaux

The mornings ride will take you along both sides of the Garonne River through one of Frances cycling capitals, offering superb views of the waterfront and the city. In the afternoon, you will have time to continue exploring the vibrant city of Bordeaux, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Attractions include the royal entrance to the city, Porte Cailhau, the Miroir dEau fountain and the decanter shaped la Cite du Vin building.

Day 5 | Bordeaux to Lamarque, Margaux then Bourg

You will start the day with a cruise along the Gironde river to Lamarque in the heart of the famous Medoc wine region. The round-trip cycle will take you through the vineyards, where you will discover prestigious wineries such as Chateaux Palmer and Chateau Margaux, where you can stop for an optional visit and tasting session. Once back on board, your boat will take you along the Gironde to the pretty town of Bourg, which overlooks the confluence of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers for the evening.

Day 6 | Bourg to Blaye Fortress then Fronsac/Libourne

Cycling from Bourg you will pass through the Ctes de Blaye vineyard, a relatively unknown wine but nevertheless a fantastic area covered with endless vines and scattered with fairy-tale Chteaux and beautiful manor houses. Many pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella have passed through this area over the years. From Blaye, the route takes a loop to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Vauban Fortress, designed by the architect of Louis XIV, Sebastien Le Prestre, in the 17th Century. You will return to Bourg, following the Corniche, a scenic path alongside the Gironde estuary before the boat travels on to Fronsac/Libourne on the Dordogne rover.

Day 7 | Fronsac/Libourne, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion

After breakfast, wonder into the picturesque square in Libourne and on Friday mornings you can explore the weekly market as well as its 16th Century buildings. Then its time to head into the famous countryside and vineyards of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage landscape. You will have time to explore the medieval lanes, vineyards, Chteaux and the town of Saint-Emilion itself, as well as sampling some of the areas best wines of course!

Day 8

We say au revoir before transferring you directly to Bordeaux.

Other key

Highlights

  • Fully serviced bikes and accessories
  • Half board basis as standard
  • En suite cabins on board
  • Tour information pack upon arrival
  • Detailed navigational material often including GPS maps
  • Local support whenever needed
  • E-bikes available on request
  • Flights and transfers not included as standard but available on request
  • Full financial protection through ABTA and ATOL

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