Our outstanding bike & boat trip around Bordeaux.
During this new tour you will explore one of the most beautiful, famous and beloved parts of France: The Medoc region around Bordeaux, located in sun drenched, south-western part of France is the perfect setting for a bike and boat tour. Set at the confluence of the Garonne River and the Gironde estuary, it is one of the most prolific and famous wine growing regions in the world. Caressed by Atlantic breezes, the vineyards that cover the rolling hills of the region have for centuries produced France’s most remarkable wines. Appellations such as Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux have made Bordeaux wines world famous. And on the daily cycling tours through these famous wine regions you will visit many of them and probably taste various excellent wines. But Bordeaux does not only offer the finest wines. It is also home to finest, scrumptious, distinct tasting culinary specialties. The cuisine on board is outstanding and menus will include regional specialties, prepared with fresh ingredients. The bar on Duck confit board offers a wide variety of excellent local wines to enjoy during dinner or simply to taste them during your personal “cocktail hour”… At the region’s heart, the city of Bordeaux is the cultural center. Once known as the Sleeping Beauty, the UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches along the Garonne river banks, inviting visitors to savor its grand architecture, tempting cafés and shops and superb museums. One of the most bicycle-friendly French city sleeps no more! Cruise the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers and cycle through the French vineyards on carefully chosen routes and experience this region to the fullest!
Day 1: Arrival in Castets-en-Dorthe and tour to Canal des Deux Mers, ~15 km /10 miles
Individual arrival and optional bus transfer from the meeting point at Gare St. Jean train station in Bordeaux to the mooring location of the boat near the Canal des Deux Mers at Castets-en-Dorthe, located in the middle of the Garonne Valley. Embarkation starts at 2 pm. You can enjoy an optional short first test bicycle ride around charming Castets, exploring this flat and fertile region aptly named “Little Holland” with its walnut trees, kiwi orchards and vegetable fields. Following the bicycle path along the Canal des Deux Mers (Canal of Two Seas) that links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, you will discover this lush rural countryside. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board.
Day 2: Castets-en-Dorthe - Loupiac, ~21-51 km/13-32 miles
After a restful night on board, the first town you will discover by bicycle is the lovely Saint Macaire and its wonderful gate and walls. There is opportunity to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac as well as having your first wine tasting at a château. Riding along corn and sunflower fields you reach La Réole, using an Eiffel style bridge over the river Garonne. This town is famous because in 1190 Richard Lionheart, on his way to the holy Land, gave the town hall building to thank the locals for their loyalty to the English crown. This historical place holds two castles, an impressive church as well as narrow cobblestoned streets. To end the day you will enjoy the cycling path along the « canal de la Garonne » and its deep blue water, built in Napoleon times. You can either go directly back to the ship or ride to Meilhan-sur-Garonne and the amazing scenery it has to offer. In the late afternoon, back on board again, the tour continues by ship, heading downstream along the Garonne River to reach Cadillac or nearby Loupiac.
Day 3: Loupiac - Bordeaux, ~49 km/30 miles
Today we will discover the Sauternes region, where sweet dessert wines are made. We start by enjoying the view from Sainte-Croix du Mont before having a look at the grave of painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The route then follows the winding banks of the small Ciron River; the colder waters (from the Pyrenees) flow into the warmer waters of the Garonne. In autumn, when the weather is warm and dry, the combination of the two different temperatures produce the mist that descends on the vineyards, promoting the perfect conditions for the famous Sauternes wine. You will pass the famous vineyards of Château d’Yquem, Château Guiraud, Clos Haut Peyraguey, and many more. Wine tastings are offered here! Cadillac is located in the region of Graves, also known as the birthplace of Bordeaux wines. It is a fortified medieval village, known as the Bastide in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region, in between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Once back on board, you will travel along the Garonne River towards the enchanting city of Bordeaux, reaching the passage of the Stone Bridge and the pier in the city center, facing the region’s most prestigious panorama: the Stone Bridge, Place de la Bourse and Quai des Chartrons.
Day 4: Bordeaux city Round tour, ~12 km/7 miles
The tour leader will propose a city tour of Bordeaux to discover its architectural gems on two wheels: this short cycling tour, mainly over cycling lanes, along both sides of the Garonne River in the cycling capital of France offers beautiful panorama views of the waterfront and the city. In the afternoon, enjoy the UNESCO sites of Bordeaux during a walking or cycling tour. Its main attractions are the royal entrance of the city (Cailhau Gate), the Big Bell of Pey Berlan, the Golden Triangle, the Girondins column, the water mirror… and much more. You will discover beautiful squares, a hidden garden or quaint location where you can do a tasting of the Bordeaux renowned “cannelés” and coffee or fresh oysters and white wine. There is free time in the afternoon to shop or explore. Be sure to explore the town’s streets and shops where wine is as old as the underground cellars carved in stone or to visit the newly opened astonishing “temple of wine culture”: La Cité du Vin.
Day 5: Bordeaux - Bourg, ~45-56 km/28-35 miles
In the morning the ship cruises from Bordeaux, following the Garonne downstream to Lamarque in the Gironde estuary, to start your cycling tour in the famous Médoc wine area. Winding your way through vineyards, you will discover some of Médoc’s most beautiful castles and prestigious wineries, which pride in 21 first great classified growth, including the Châteaux Palmer, Issan, Lewis Brown, Rauzan Segla, Ferrière, and the last but not least Château Margaux. You can stop at one of these great wine estates for a visit / tasting (optional) and learn everything about classifications before returning to the boat. In the late afternoon, the ship will cross the wide Gironde estuary to the jetty of Bourg, a picturesque little town near the confluence of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The old city center overlooks the Gironde estuary.
Day 6: Bourg - Fronsac, ~37 km/23 miles
Cycling from Bourg you will enter the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. Its wine chateaux may be less well- known but their production has nothing to envy to its more famous neighbors on the more famous opposite river bank of Médoc. You will be surprised to see what this region holds in secret behind its hilly landscape covered with endless vines and dotted with scattered fairy tale chateaux and elegant manor houses. Since the Middle Ages, countless numbers of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella have passed through this region. Be enchanted by the “douceur de vivre” (sweet life), so typical for this wine region. In Blaye, take a short loop through the Vauban Fortress (on the UNESCO World Heritage List) to admire this military masterwork of the architect of Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, before you return to Bourg by cycling part of the “Corniche”, a scenic, quiet road along the Gironde estuary. In the evening you will sail to Fronsac / Libourne on the Dordogne River.
Day 7: Fronsac & St. Emilion wine area, ~21-44 km/13-27 miles
In Libourne you can stroll to the picturesque city square, lined with buildings dating as far back as the 16th century. You can visit the beautiful weekly farmer’s market on Friday mornings, before starting your exploration of the famous Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wine areas. Pedaling the countryside, bristling with vines, you will enjoy riding through this unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage landscape. Cycling the landscape provides a unique view of the village’s medieval lanes and surrounding vineyards. Take some time to visit beautiful Saint-Émilion. Your ride will continue on small picturesque back roads and paths where you will get a glimpse of Saint Émilion’s most famous châteaux. Along the way you will see some of the first classified wines such as Angelus, Ausonne, Cheval Blanc and Petrus - some of the world’s most famous wine estates. A true paradise for wine lovers!
Day 8: Departure from Fronsac
After your final breakfast on board, it will be time for a return transfer (optional) to the pre-agreed drop off point in the city center of Bordeaux. Disembarkation is before 09:30 am.
Your ship - Bordeaux
The Bordeaux is 78 meters (256 ft.) long and 10 meters (33 ft.) wide and can accommodate max. 80 guests. The vessel is under experienced French management.
Description of the cabins
The lower deck has 36 cabins: 34 twin cabins (approx. 7.5 - 8m² = 81 - 86 sq.ft.) with two single beds next to each other and two junior suites (approx. 11m² = 125 sq.ft.) with two single beds next to each other, small sitting area. All cabins have small windows that can be opened, en-suite bathroom with shower + toilet, individually regulated air conditioning, satellite- TV and mini-safe. The upper deck has 11 twin cabins and 2 single cabins, all with the same facilities as the other cabins.
Description of the ship
In the front part of the ship is the tastefully furnished salon/lounge with a nice bar and a small dance floor, large panoramic windows all around. In the back part of the ship is the restaurant with large windows. In the lounge, Wi-Fi is available (limited data). The sun deck has a large sunroof, chairs and tables, and a cycle shed (aft deck).
Facts about the ship
Length: 78 m (256 ft.), Width: 10 m (33 ft.), Crew: 7, Cabins: 47, Passengers: 80 (max.)
7 nights in twin cabin
6x packed lunch
daily tea and coffee
bed linen and towels
daily cleaning of the cabin
daily tour briefing
detailed documentation, plans and maps
GPS-unit and tracks
self-guided & guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every Saturday
season I (990 €/person in twin cabin lower deck)
season II (+300 €/person)
season III (+400 €/person)
route (1)-(2): ~200-260 km/125-160 miles
flat on cycle tracks or smaller roads
how to get there
by car: to Bordeaux and on to Castets-en-Dorthe or Fronsac
by train: to Paris and on to Bordeaux
by plane: airport Bordeaux
from station Bordeaux to the ship at the arrival and back at the departure for 50 €/person, reservation needed
English spoken guided tour possible for max 15 persons, supplement 150 €/person, reservation needed, only on request
available on board on request for free, caution 100 €, GPS-tracks included
The tour direction changes every week. Find your departure point on the traveler confirmation.
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