This is the best time of year to cycle around Bordeaux and it doesn’t get any better than our cycle tour of Bordeaux, France on board our river boat, your home away from home.
During this unique tour you will explore one of the most beautiful, famous and beloved parts of France. The region of 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 and Dordogne rivers 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.
During daily cycling tours through six famous wine regions you will visit these areas, see many châteaux and wine estates and taste various excellent wines. The Bordeaux area does not only offer the finest wines; it is also home to finest, scrumptious, distinct tasting culinary specialties. The cuisine on board is great and menus will include regional specialties, prepared with fresh ingredients. The bar on 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. The probably most bicycle-friendly French city sleeps no more! Cruise the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers and cycle through the vineyards on carefully chosen routes and experience this region in a unique way!
Bicycles:The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bicycles with normal mount (ladies model), 2 hand brakes and a pannier bag. Bicycles and e-bikes have aluminum frames with frame suspension, 21 gears, SRAM grip shifters, unisex gel saddles, shock absorbers in front forks for unbeatable comfort. In France, adult cyclists do not have to wear a helmet, however children till 12 yrs are obligated to wear a bike helmet. We recommend you to bring your own (well fitting) helmet. You may also bring your own bike or arange for local rentals, however you are responsible for the (assembly and) maintenance of your bike.
Day 1 France Sat): Castets-en- Dorthe – Canal des Deux Mers (Approx. 15 km/10 mi.)
Transfer from Bordeaux airport 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 03:00 PM. You can enjoy an optional short first test bike ride around Castets, exploring this flat and fertile region aptly named "Little Holland" with its walnut trees, kiwi orchards and vegetable fields. Following the bike 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 (Sun): Castets-en-Dorthe – Sauternes (21-32 mi /35-50 km) | Castets-en-Dorthe – Cadillac
After a good sleep on board, you will be ready to discover by bike the Sauternais region, where sweet dessert wines are produced. Part of the route follows the winding banks of the Ciron river, whose icy waters flow into the warmer waters of the Garonne. In the autumn, when the climate is warm and dry, the combination of the two different temperatures produce a mist that descends on the vineyards, promoting the perfect conditions for the famous Sauternes wine. The country roads are dotted with picturesque chateaux whose elegant turrets rule over an ocean of colorful vines. Time seems frozen in the medieval era when Englishmen ruled the region. In the late afternoon, back on board again, the tour continues by ship, heading downstream along the Garonne River to reach Loupiac or Cadillac, a small town with a towering castle.
Day 3 (Mon): Loupiac/Cadillac – Entre-Deux-Mers / Graves round tour (25 miles / 40 km) | Cadillac – Bordeaux
Cadillac is located in the region of Graves, also known as the birthplace of Bordeaux wines. It is a fortified medieval village known as a Bastide in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region in between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. The cycling itinerary today leads through this "Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux" wine growing area. There is an opportunity to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac and Malromé castle, house of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, built in the sixteenth century. Wine tastings are offered here! Once back on board, you will sail the Garonne River towards the enchanting city of Bordeaux, reaching the passage of the famous 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 which intermingle in a single view.
Day 4 (Tue): Bordeaux: Bordeaux bike tour (10 miles / 15 km)
The tour guide 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 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 La Cité du Vin.
Day 5 (Wed): Bordeaux – Lamarque | Lamarque – Margaux (Médoc) round tour (25 miles / 40 km) | Lamarque – Bourg
In the morning the ship cruises from Bordeaux to Lamarque in the Gironde estuary, to start our cycling tour in the famous Médoc wine area. Winding our way through vineyards, you will discover some of Médocs 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 cruise the wide Gironde estuary to the jetty of Bourg, a picturesque little town near the conjunction of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The old city center overlooks the Gironde estuary.
Day 6 (Thu): Bourg to Blaye Fortress and vineyards round tour (21 – 32 miles / 35 – 50 km) | Bourg – Fronsac/Libourne
Cycling from Bourg you will enter the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. Its wine chateaux may be little 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 Fortess (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 (Fri): Fronsac/Libourne, Pomerol & Saint-Émilion vineyards (21 – 32 miles / 35 – 50 km)
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 weekly market on Friday mornings, before starting our 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. our 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, Petrus – some of the world’s most famous wine estates. A true paradise for wine lovers!
Day 8 (Sat): Fronsac/Libourne: Disembarkation and transfer back to Bordeaux
After our final breakfast on board, it will be time for a return transfer to the airport for our flight to Lisbon, Portugal.
Arrive Lisbon, Portugal 12:30 and check into our hotel.
Check out Lisbon or join our optional cycle or bus tour of Lisbon.
Optional group dinner.
Day 9 (Sun): Depart Lisbon & arrive back in Boston, USA
Arrive in Boston USA at 1:20 PM (tentative)
All distances are "approximate distances" of recommended bike tours.
If you do not to cycle, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next harbour.
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of airline, transfers, nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.