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Bordeaux Libourne-Castets en Dorthe 8-day Bike & Barge Tour (B)
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 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!
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): € 150
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
France Bordeaux Area: Libourne via Bordeaux to Castets-en-Dorthe
Individual arrival and optional bus transfer from the meeting point at the Gare St. Jean train station in Bordeaux to the mooring location of your barge in Libourne on the Dordogne River. You can try your bike and enjoy a short first test bike ride by the river Dordogne. You can also enjoy the town rightly called “the little Bordeaux”. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board.
Libournais and Saint Émilion vineyards (21-43 km/13-27 miles) | Level 2
After a restful night, today's exploration will allow you to discover Libourne, and well-known vineyards of Saint Emilion and Pomerol . In Saint-Emilion, you will viisit this stunning medieval UNESCO World Heritage village, with surrounding vineyards of the same name. Panoramas are unique here. The Monolithic Church in the centre of the town is a monument not to be missed. Your ride will continue on small picturesque back roads. Along the way, you will see some of the classified and famous Châteaux, such as Angelus and its special bells, Beauséjour, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, La Dominique, Trottevieille, Gaubert, Barde-Haut, Clos La Madeleine, Bel Air Monange, Laroque, Fombrauge, Grand Corbin, Gazin and Petrus, Petit Village, Nenin…some of the world’s most famous wines. A very pleasant road, prestigious Châteaux, wine shopping in Saint-Emilion.
Côtes de Bourg vineyards – Citadelle of Blaye (25-41kms / 16–32 miles) Level 4 | Libourne to Bourg
This region offers hilly landscapes covered with vines and dotted with scattered fairy tale chateaux and manor houses. The opportunity to discover very pleasant wines and Châteaux such as Monconseil-Gazin, Eyquem, Marquis de Vauban and others: another good reason to stop and enjoy visit and wine tastings! The Gironde Corniche road is a must-see of this round tour: a calm and beautiful road which split beautiful manors on the one hand, and gardens on the other. In Blaye, take a loop through the Citadelle of Blaye, a Vauban Fortress built on Louis XIV, the Sun King’s request and now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Visit underground passages of the Citadelle to understand the whole history of the Fortress. Stop in Plassac where you can visit the Gallo Roman villa and its associative museum. Back in Bourg, you can stop to the typical and historical wash house. Water is very refreshing on your face after this biking day!
Margaux – Médoc round bike (42kms / 26 miles) Level 1 | Bourg to Lamarque and Lamarque to Bordeaux
In the morning the ship will leave Bourg for Lamarque, here you will be in the Médoc wine region, one of the most famous in the world. You will quickly find yourselves near Château Lamothe Bergeron, Cru Bourgeois du Médoc, where wine and tourism are quite highlighted. Then, prestigious properties will come one after another: Maucaillou, Poujeaux, Rauzan Ségla, Palmer, Issan, Prieuré Lichine, Kirwan and last but not least Château Margaux. Many chances to stop on your road, taste, learn about Grand Crus classification and learn about wine making process.
Once back on board, you will sail on the Garonne River to the majestic city of Bordeaux. You will enjoy the best panorama of the city: “Port of The Moon” with the “Pont de Pierre”, “Place de La Bourse” and the beautiful Quais which lead to the historical wine merchant area, the Quai des Chartrons, transformed into outlet shops and restaurants…a pleasant place to visit!
Bordeaux UNESCO bike tour (10 miles / 16 kms) Level 1 | Bordeaux
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, the Big Bell of Pey Berlan, the Golden Triangle, the Girondins column, the Water Mirror…and more. Take time to ride through the newly opened Cité du Vin, Chaban Delmas bridge and Darwin ecosystem, a refurbished factory where you will enjoy the view of the Quais, drinking a good coffee in a tree-filled place. A wonderful city to explore by bike or on foot. Many opportunities for shopping, souvenirs, food and wine tastings. And for bike challengers who want to ride a long loop, the Roger Lapébie’s cycling lane will take you to Créon and Sauveterre-en-Guyenne, in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region
Loupiac/Graves – Sauternes round tour (35-50 kms / 21-32 miles) Level 3 | Bordeaux – Loupiac and Loupiac – Castets-en-Dorthe
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 in the lovely town of Verdelais. The then 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 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. 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
Castets-en-Dorthe – Entre-Deux-Mers (27-46 kms / 16-28 miles) - Level 2
The first town you will discover today 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 korn 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 cobblestone streets. To end the day you will enjoy the bike 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
Disembarkation: Castets-en-Dorthe (optional transfer back to Bordeaux)
After your final breakfast on board, it will be time for a return transfer (optional) to the pre-agreed drop off point at the Gare St. Jean train station Bordeaux. Disembarkation before 09:00 AM.
Important Notes : The Garonne, Gironde and Dordogne Rivers are part of a tidal river system that results in changing water levels (daily changes of up to 6 metres / 20 ft.) in the region. Every effort is made to follow the scheduled itinerary, however, based on tides it may be amended or modified as required. This cruise will be offered in opposite direction on alternate weeks.
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]