From the vineyards through the pine wood to the Atlantic ocean.
France-Bike invites you to an outstanding cycle tour from the famous vineyards (Sauternes!) through the pine forests to the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, you'll cross very various landscapes on your bike trip through this South-western region of France. You'll taste the illustrious Bordeaux wines (but, if you wish, only water!), cross the natural preserve of the "Landes", the big pine forests, and the endless sand beaches around Arcachon where you'll visit the oyster beds on the way to Cap Ferret. You can also climb the highest sand dune in Europe, "Dune of Pilat" (117 m).
Day 1: Arrival in Rions or Cadillac area
Arrival at the railway station or at the airport. Transfer by taxi to Rions or Cadillac in guesthouse or 3*** hotel, where you will receive a guidebook indicating your tour.
Day 2: Rions - Saint-Macaire area, ~30-40 km
You will start your trip by cycling through the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux winegrowing area and arriving in the Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire area. This day gives you the opportunity to enjoy a superb view of the Garonne River and to visit the heart of the old merchant town of Saint-Macaire. Your tour will take you to the bastide town of Cadillac and its castle, as well as the former residence of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at Château Malromé and that of the writer François Mauriac at Domaine de Malagar.
Day 3: Saint-Macaire - Origne, ~53 km
Departure from Saint-Macaire to cross over to the left bank of the Garonne River. The tour follows the twisting roads through the world-famous vineyards of the Sauternes areas, including the jewel in its crown: Château Yquem. The itinerary goes on to Budos, then through the valleys carved out by the River Ciron, to Leogats and Nouaillan. You then carry on to Balizac where you enter the Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park, before reaching Origne for the night.
Day 4: Origne - Le Barp, ~32 km
You will be riding along a lovely little forest road offering great variety and taking you westwards. Heading towards Louchats, the pine forest becomes denser and the scent of pine resin richer. Leave your bicycle at the site of the lagoons of Gât-Mort and discover the water beneath the carpet of fern. Make a stop at the lakes of Hostens offer plenty of shade by the shore, perfect for an afternoon nap. The cycling track will then take you, between pine trees and heather, to the small town of Le Barp. Stay in a charming little, stone built 2** hotel. The owner, with an irreproachable reception, may serve local food on the terrace shaded by suspended vines and cooled by a fountain.
Day 5: Le Barp - Arcachon, ~45 km
You will cycle gently along the cycling track to Mios, where the itinerary follows a little road as the pine forest gradually thins. Crossing over the railway line takes you to Le Teich, where the park meets the sea. Enter the ornithological park and take a break. The landscape opens out to the light of the Bay of Arcachon. Take the coastal path with the salt from the bay under your wheels and follow the scent of the sea air to Gujan-Mestras. You arrive at you last 3*** hotel in Arcachon for an evening on the seafront or at the casino. If you want to ride again, you can climb the Dune of Pilat (20km one way and return).
Day 6: Arcachon - Cap Ferret - Arcachon, ~20-40 km
Take the boat to cross the Bay of Arcachon to reach the Cap Ferret and ride throughout the other side of the Bay. Leave your bicycle to walk up to the top of the lighthouse. Keep going cycling to reach the very pretty oyster village of l’Herbe, the reservoirs as well as the Tapper’s Shack. Do not miss the last departure of the boat to cross back the bay and return to your hotel.
Day 7: Arcachon - Audenge - Arcachon, ~25-60 km
You can choose to follow the cycle track along the coast up to the Dune du Pilat or in the opposite way to take the cycling track via the Port of La Teste. Leave the track and take the “7 oyster ports of Gujan Mestras” small road that runs round the bay alongside the railway station. A cycling track will take you then to Le Teich, Biganos and Audenge.
Day 8: Alas! Departure
After breakfast take the train back from Arcachon to Bordeaux, for flight or rail connections (not included, ~10 €/person).
7 nights in 2** and 3*** hotels
ferry Arcachon - Cap Ferret
transfer Bordeaux - Rions/Cadillac
detailed documentation and maps
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day except Thursday
arrival every day
season II (+40 €/person)
route (1): ~205-270 km/128-168 miles
flat and on little roads and paths that everyone can do
how to get there
by car: motorway to Bordeaux and continue to Rions or Cadillac
by train: station Bordeaux, direct from Paris with TGV
by plane: direct flight from London to Bordeaux with British Airways
free at the first hotel
If you arrive by train or plane, the transfer to Rions or Cadillac on the 1st day is included. If you arrive by car the transfer back from the station in Bordeaux to your car on the last day is included.
On day 8 you take the train from Arcachon to Bordeaux. This costs ~12 € and is not included in the price.
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