Day 1: Castets-en-Dorthe: embarkation until 3:00pm
“Canal des Deux Mers” round tour (15 km)
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. You can enjoy a short first test bike ride around Castets, exploring this fertile region aptly named “Little Holland” with its walnut trees, kiwi orchards.
In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board.
Day 2: Castets-en-Dorthe – Entre-Deux-Mers (27-46 kms)
Castets-en-Dorthe to Loupiac/Cadillac
After a restful night on board, the first town you will discover by bike is the lovely Saint Macaire and its wonderfull 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 cobbelstoned 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.
Later, you will sail along the Garonne River to reach Loupiac near the city of Cadillac.
Day 3: Cadillac/Graves – Sauternes round tour (35-50 kms)
Cadillac – Bordeaux
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. 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. Wine tastings are offered here!
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.
Once back to the MS Bordeaux, 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!
Day 4: Bordeaux UNESCO bike tour (16 kms)
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.
Day 5: Margaux – Médoc round bike (42kms)
Bordeaux to Lamarque and Lamarque to Bourg
In the morning, the ship will leave Bordeaux for Lamarque, here you will be in the Médoc wine region, one of the most famous ones. 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.
A secondary road is available here as a different loop or an additional one to the first in Margaux. You will reach Pauillac and Saint-Espèphe wine regions. Obviously, you will ride near Château Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Lynch-Bages, Cos d’Estournel, Pontet Canet, Pichon Longueville and many other Grands Crus Classés wines.
The end of the day is the perfect time for a dining cruise while the boat will cross the Estuary to reach the other bank of Gironde River. We will stop at Bourg, a beautiful little town, partially built on cliff. The old city centre allows you to overlook the Estuary.
Day 6: Côtes de Bourg vineyards – Citadelle of Blaye (25-41kms)
Bourg to Libourne/Fronsac
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. Back in Bourg, you can stop to the typical and historical wash house. Water is very refreshing on your face after this biking day!
In the evening, the MS Bordeaux will sail to Libourne/Fronsac on the Dordogne River.
Day 7: Libournais and Saint-Emilion vineyards (21–32 miles)
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…
Day 8: Libourne/ Fronsac: Débarquement & (option) transfert retour sur Bordeaux
After your last breakfast on board it will be time to say farewell and disembark.
Disembarking will take place 9.00-9.30am, taking an (optional) bus to the centre of Bordeaux.