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Bordeaux Castets en Dorthe-Libourne 8-day Bike & Barge Tour (B)
During this unique tour of the Bordeaux region 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 you will probably taste various excellent wines. The Bordeaux area does not only offer magnificent wines; it is also home to some of the finest, most scrumptious and distinctive 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 centre. Once known as the Sleeping Beauty, the UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches along the Garonne river banks, inviting visitors to savour it's grand architecture, tempting cafés, shops and superb museums. It is probably the most bicycle-friendly French city that 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. Do yourself a favour and book now!.
Tour and accommodation on board in the booked cabin category during 8 days / 7 nights (Sat.-Sat.)
Full board: 7 x breakfast, 6 x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7 x three course dinner
Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily cleaning of the cabin
Welcome cocktail, presentation of ship + crew and briefing on the first evening
Basic package “semi-guided cycling”: tour leader (English and French speaking) with daily briefings of the bike tours; individual cycling: tour leader is not guiding the group, but cycling in the area and can be contacted during bike tours by mobile phone in case of questions, problems or emergencies (package fully guided cycling as option / surcharge: see below)
Printed instructions and detailed maps for individual daily bike tours, 1 set/cabin
Complimentary coffee and tea on board all day
Transfers from/to Bordeaux to/from the docking places in Castets-en-Dorthe and libourne/Fronsac
Package guided cycling
On board, GPS-devices can be rented with all GPX-tracks for recommended cycling tours (rent € 15 to be paid on board/deposit € 100)
Entrance fees & excursions & wine tastings
Drinks on board
Gratuities (at your discretion)
Special diets on request / surcharges (max. approx. € 50 may apply
If you would like to rent a bike (75 euro) or e-bike (165 euro), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Bus transfers: Sat. at 02:00 PM from meeting point Gare St. Jean train station in center of Bordeaux to ship (Castets-en-Dorthe/Libourne/Fronsac, respectively) and return on next Sat. at 09:00 AM from ship to meeting point in Bordeaux (transfer time: 1 hr. each); roundtrip: €50 p.p
Package fully guided bike tours (English spoken, group min 8 pers. / max. 20 persons, daily guided cycling): € 180
Upper deck and junior suite cabins available. 3 x cabins available for solo travellers at reduced rates.
Slow Tours offers a number of other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
Castets-en- Dorthe – Canal des Deux Mers (Approx. 15 km/10 mi.)
On the arrival day is it possible to load your luggage on board from 1pm. Boarding starts at 3pm
Individual arrival and optional 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. 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.
Castets-en-Dorthe – Entre Deux Mers (27-46 km 16-28 mi) | Castets-en-Dorthe – Cadillac Level 2
Today, the bike route leads through the region Entre-Deux-Mers. You will discover ‘Malagar’, the former residence of the author François Mauriac, or the castle Malromé, the former residence of Toulouse-Lautrec. You can visit the grave of the painter in the pilgrimage site of Verdelais. You can bike from fortress to fortress – the view is breathtaking. Look forward to the town of La Réole, to the village of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, and the panorama plateau.
Here we have exciting findings of fossilized oysters. In the medieval village of Saint-Macaire, you can admire the many historical buildings. In the late afternoon, the trip with the ship continues upstream on the Garonne, all the way to Loupiac, on the other side of Cadillac.
Round trip Loupiac /Graves-Sauternes (35-50 km 21-32 mi) | Loupiac - Bordeaux Level 3
Today we will discover the Sauternes region on bike. You will ride through the region of Graves,where the Bordeaux wines are from. You will pass the famous vineyards Château d’Yquem, Château Suduiraut, Château Guiraud, Clos Haut Peyraguey, and many more. The route follows the winding shores of the river Ciron, whose icey waters are floating into the warmer Garonne. Here flourishes the ‘Botrytis Cynerea’, the famous mold fungus. Wine makers cherish this mold fungus as the cause of a ‘noble rot’ of grapes. These are responsible for the wonderful royally sweet berry- and dry berry selection.
When the words ‘all men on board’ are uttered, we will leave and travel on the Garonne to the next highlight of our trip. The goal is to reach majestic Bordeaux, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Make use of an evening stroll to get a good impression. Our dock is directly in the historical center of Bordeaux..
Bordeaux bike tour (10 mi 16 km) Level 1
Bordeaux is a UNESCO world heritage for a reason. The list of buildings, place and hidden gems is worth seeing: Walk into the city via La Porte Cailhau, the royal entrance. We suggest a thorough tour: Bordeaux is a City that doesn’t just glow due to its individual buildings, but through the grandiose, well preserved old city. Worth seeing is the Capuchine Market (perhaps with tastings of wine and oysters), the basilica, the Pont de Pierre, the first bridge of the city, which was built back in the day on Napoleons orders. You may admire the many squares and old train trollies. In and around Bordeaux are many opportunities for sightseeing and shopping.
Round trip Margaux-Medoc (42 km 26 mi) Bordeaux– Lamarque | Lamarque – Bourg Level 1
Today we arrive in one of the most famous wine regions of the world. Quickly you will get to the Château Lamothe Bergeron. Tourism and wineries are developing around here. The most famous vineyards are: :
Maucaillou, Poujeaux Rauzan Ségla Palmer, Issan, Priorat Lichine, Kirwan and the Château Margaux. They offer many opportunities for a stop, with or without wine tasting. You also have the opportunity to extend today’s trip to Margaux. You will pass by many vineyards, Chateaux Moutin Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Lynch-Bages, Cos d’Estournel, Pontet Canet, Pichon Longueville and other classified Grands Crus Lagen. A romantic route will be traveled in the evening on the MS Bordeaux. We will move further to Bourg-sur-Gironde.
Bourg to Blaye Fortress and vineyards round tour (25-41 km 16-32 mi) | Bourg – Fronsac/Libourne Level 4
This part of the trip offers views on endless vineyards, garnished with many castles. Beautiful and romantic is the church of Bayon. You have the opportunity to visit some of the castles in the area, such as Tayac, Eyquem Monconseil-Gazin, Marquis de Vauban or others. At the corner of the beautiful, quiet Corniche Street, which leads along the mouth of the river, lies the ruin of the gallo-roman villa in Plassac.
You soon will reach the Citadel of Blaye, also an UNESCO world heritage. Take your time for a tour. Back in Bourg, you may enjoy another small trip through the city and look forward to the sundowner on board of the MS Bordeaux. In the evening, the MS Bordeaux will sail to Libourne Fronsac.
Round trip of Libourne & Saint-Émilion vineyards (21-43 km 13-27 mi) Level 2
At the beginning of today’s roundtrip, you will discover the small town of Libourne, as well as the famous vineyards of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. You should take your time in Saint-Emilion. The medieval village is also a UNESCO world heritage. Enjoy the amazing view of the medieval streets and surrounding vineyards. Visit the monolithic church and indulge in the small town flair with its wonderful bistros and restaurants.
Your trip will continue to scenic country roads, where you will have a nice overview of many well known castles of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Angelus, Beausejour, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Dominica, Trottevieille, Gaubert, Barde-Haut Clos La Madeleine, BelAir Monange Laroque, Fombrauge Grand Corbin, Gazin, Petrus, a small village, Nenin. Here are growing some of the most famous wines of the world. A real paradise for wine lovers. Your ship will wait for you at the end of the day, at the dock of Libourne
Libourne: Disembarkation and (optional) transfer back to Bordeaux
After your final breakfast on board, the bus (optional) will transfer you to the Gare St. Jean train station of Bordeaux. Disembarkation around 09:00 AM
**All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When a guest does not want to cycle one day, he or she can skip the bike tour and relax on board. Program and details barring changes, as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons..
Our wonderful week on a bike and barge tour in the Bordeaux region! We had a delightful time on the Bordeaux bike and barge tour! All of your organization was superb and we made all of our connections with no issues. We loved sailing on the barge! She is a lovely vessel, nicely appointed, cozy and charming. Our cabins were comfortable and clean. The bikes were mechanically sound, yet a bit on the heavy side. No issues with getting our clipless pedals on our rental bikes. On a couple of the hillier days, we rode on eBikes. That made a big difference! Before the tour began, we were concerned about not being able to charge our on-board expenses but the token exchange system seemed to work out okay. We had a great group of international travelers on board and we enjoyed each other's company. The daily rides were lovely! Beautiful scenery on lightly traveled roads with plenty of stops along the way to enjoy the pretty villages, beautiful churches, sweeping hilltop views and the lovely chateaux and wineries for tastings! It was a perfect itinerary with so much to see. Some of my highlights were the village of Sauternes and our route back to the boat that day along a delightful, mostly shady canal path. Very pretty. Also our day walking around St Emilion and riding the surrounding countryside was especially delightful. Viva la France! While on the road, we always managed to find a nice shady spot (park or rest area) to stop for lunch. On some days, we were able to enjoy our lunch at quaint little cafes. At the end of our day "in the saddle" it was nice to come back to a cool, air-conditioned boat, freshen up and then enjoy a post ride beverage in the well stocked bar/salon! We liked the daily routine for meals. All the food and especially the dinner selections on board were excellent. Kudos to the chef! The wine/beverage options were plentiful and we always found a nice vintage to enjoy with dinner. Our tour guide, Alex was very nice. He did a good job with the evening itinerary presentations. Our only small grievance was that he rode further ahead of the group on most days. It wasn't the end of the world but would have been a little nicer if we all cycled together. We stopped often enough for everyone to get caught up but sometimes if you were riding towards the back of the group, or stopped to take a photo you might miss out on some info he was sharing with the riders up ahead. Bill, Massachusetts, USA 2019
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]