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8 Days Boat and Bike Tour in Bordeaux, France
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 8 Days Boat and Bike Tour in Bordeaux, France

Castets-en-Dorthe, Le Sud-Gironde, Langon, Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Unique Bike Tour in France

This bike tour offers a unique and original concept, where a cycling holiday and a journey on a comfortable passenger barge are combined. You do not have to pack and unpack. There is only one hotel and it floats! Cycling cruises are perfect for all kind of travelers who like to cycle during the day to explore beautiful cities, villages, and regions without giving up a comfortable way of traveling. You will have a carefree schedule and discover some of the best wineries in the world, or at least the most famous. You will foster and grow new friendships while cycling through vineyards and famous wine-growing area with scenes of rolling hills.

Key information

  • Trip type: guided
  • Lodging: center-based
  • Terrain: flat and paved
  • Difficulty level: easy (cyclist does not need to have a certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 141 - 174 miles / 230 - 275 kilometers
  • Vacation type: leisure
  • Type of bike: hybrid touring bike
  • E-bike: available to rent / 205 EUR

Highlights

  • Daily cycling tour
  • English-speaking tour leader
  • Cruise from Castets-en-Dorthe to Fronsac
  • Cycle through vineyards and famous wine regions
  • Sauternes, Graves, and Bordeaux round tour
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Styles


7 days with instruction
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Accommodation

You will stay on board in a twin cabin on the lower deck during this bike tour.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday): Castets-en-Dorthe - Canal des Deux Mers round tour (10 miles / 15 kilometers)

Today is individual arrival and optional transfer from the meeting point 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. The embarkation is from 15:00.

You can enjoy a short first test bike ride around Castets, exploring this fertile region called “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, cycling through one quaint village to the next. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board.

Day 2 (Sunday): Castets-en-Dorthe - Sauternes round tour (21 - 32 miles / 35 - 50 kilometers) | Castets-en-Dorthe - Cadillac

After a good sleep on board, you will be ready to discover by bike the Sauternes region, where sweet dessert wines are produced. The route follows the winding banks of the Ciron river, which 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 which elegant turrets rule over an ocean of colorful vines. Time seems frozen in the medieval era where 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 Cadillac, a small town with a towering castle.

Day 3 (Monday): Cadillac - Entre-Deux-Mers / Graves round tour (25 miles / 40 kilometers) | 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 the Malromé castle, the house of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, built in the 16th 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 (Tuesday): Heart of Bordeaux bike tour (18 miles / 30 kilometers) | Bordeaux - Bourg

The tour guide will offer a city tour of Bordeaux to discover its architectural gems on two wheels. The tour begins with a description of the town’s historical background, followed by the exploration of some of its main attractions, such as the royal entrance of the city (Cailhau Gate), the Big Bell of Pey Berlan, the Golden Triangle, the Girondin's column, the water mirror, and more. You will ride on quiet roads to squares, a hidden garden or quaint location where you can stop for a tasting of the Bordeaux renowned “cannelés” and coffee or 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. After dinner, you will cruise the Garonne river, admire the facades of the docks of Bordeaux, the tip of the Ambe’s nozzle, and enter the Gironde estuary. Your boat reaches the conjunction of the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers into the Gironde estuary and will moor at Bourg, a town built on a rocky promontory.

Day 5 (Wednesday): Bourg - Pauillac | Pauillac / Lamarque - Medoc bike tour (25 miles / 40 kilometers) | Pauillac / Lamarque - Blaye

The boat cruises from Bourg to Pauillac, the undisputed capital of the Médoc wine region. You will have time to walk through the village, where an exceptional old chateau testifies to the English presence to guard the left bank of the estuary, frontiers of their highly coveted territory.

Then, winding your way through vineyards, you will discover Margaux’s best wineries, which pride in 21 first great classified growth, including 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 Blaye. The remarkable 17th-century fortress of Vauban overlooks the area.

Day 6 (Thursday): Blaye fortress and vineyards (UNESCO World Heritage Site) round tour (21 - 32 miles / 35 - 50 kilometers) | Blaye - Bourg-sur-Gironde

After a short loop through the citadel to admire the military masterwork of the architect, Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, you will enter the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. Its wine chateaux may be little known but are beautiful all the same and their production has nothing to envy to its more famous neighbors on the left bank. You will be surprised to see what this region holds in secret behind its hilly landscape covered with endless vines and dotted with scattered fairytale 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. Along the ancient railroad, now transformed into a pleasant bike road, you can visit village squares and towering chateaux. Be enchanted by the ”douceur de vivre” (sweet life), so typical for this wine region. Back on the boat, you sail to Bourg-sur-Gironde, officially recognized as a historic village because of its rich background and architectural heritage. In the footsteps of Louis XIV, spend an enjoyable end of the day. After dinner, you have the option to go for a short ride or a walk to explore Bourg-sur-Gironde.

Day 7 (Friday): Bourg-sur-Gironde - Fronsac | Fronsac, Libourne, and Saint Émilion vineyards (21 - 32 miles / 35 - 50 kilometers)

Today’s cruise brings you on the Dordogne river to Fronsac, where your bike tour finishes. 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 your exploration of the famous Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wine areas. Pedaling the countryside and bristling with vines, you will enjoy riding through this unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage landscape.

TCycling the landscape provides a unique view of the village’s medieval lanes and surrounding vineyards. 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 can see some of the first classified wines such as Angelus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Petrus, and some of the world’s most famous wine estates. A true paradise for wine lovers!

Day 8 (Saturday): Fronsac

Today is your disembarkation and 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 in the city center of Bordeaux. Disembarkation will be done before 09:30.

Notes

The itinerary will be reversed for the tours which start from Fronsac via Bordeaux to Castets-en-Dorthe. When a guest does not want to cycle during one of the days, she / he can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town. 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. Fully-guided cycling option is available.

Practical information

The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bicycles with normal mount (ladies model), two hand brakes, and a pannier bag. Bicycles and e-bikes have aluminum frames with frame suspension, 21 gears, Sram grip shifters, unisex Selle Royale gel saddles, and shock absorbers in front forks for unbeatable comfort. Other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, tandems, etc.) and child’s saddles (front or rear) are only available on these tours after prior request (early booking recommended) and only after reconfirmation and in very limited numbers.

Bike rental is optional. Guests are allowed to bring their own bicycles or e-bikes (at no extra cost). However, the shipowner, crew, and tour operator are in no way responsible / liable for any damage, loss, or theft of such bicycles. In France, it is mandatory for all bicyclists to wear a bike helmet. Active Tours / Bourgogne Evasion urgently recommends you to bring your own (well-fitting) helmet. There is a limited number of bike helmets available on board.

Location

This bike tour will take you to various locations in France, from Castets-en-Dorthe to Cadillac, Bordeaux, Bourg, Pauillac / Lamarque, Blaye, Bourg-sur-Gironde, and Fronsac. During this tour, you will explore one of the most beautiful, famous, and beloved parts of France, which is the region of Bordeaux. Located in the sun-drenched southwestern part of France, it 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.

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!

Food

You will enjoy seven breakfasts, six picnic lunches during bike tours, and seven three-course dinners. You can also enjoy daily cycling tours through the famous wine regions. You will visit many of them and probably taste various excellent wines. Bordeaux does not only offer the finest wines; it is also home to the finest, scrumptious, distinct tasting culinary specialties. The cuisine onboard is outstanding and the menus will include regional specialties, prepared with fresh ingredients. The bar onboard offers a wide variety of excellent local wines to enjoy during dinner or simply to taste them during your personal cocktail hour.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Individual cycling and semi-guided cycling tours
  • English-speaking tour leader
  • Daily briefings of the bike tours and some short walking tours
  • Presentation of the ship plus crew and briefing on the first evening
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for individual daily bike tours (1 set per cabin)
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches during bike tours, and 7 3-course dinners
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Complimentary coffee and tea every day until 4 p.m.

What's not included

  • Transfers from / to Bordeaux and to / from the docking places in Castets-en-Dorthe and Fronsac respectively
  • Reservation fee (obligatory surcharge) of 15 EUR per booking / party
  • Guided cycling package
  • GPS devices rental with GPX-tracks for recommended cycling tours (15 EUR to be paid onboard)
  • Other transfers, parking fees, entrance fees, excursions, and wine tastings
  • Drinks onboard, personal insurances, and gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Surcharges for special dietary requests

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 17% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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