Program in reverse order when starting in Libourne. Saturday: Castets-en-Dorthe, embarkation as from 03:00 PM
Castets-en-Dorthe – Canal des Deux Mers round tour (10 miles /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, located in the middle of the Garonne Valley. 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.
Sunday: Castets-en-Dorthe, Sauternes region, round tour
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. 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 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.
Monday: Cadillac Entre Deux Mers
Graves round tour 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 opportunity to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac and the 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.
Tuesday: Heart of Bordeaux bicycle tour
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; 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 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.
Wednesday: Bourg – Pauillac Pauillac-Lamarque
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 seventeenth century fortress of Vauban overlooks the area.
Thursday: Blaye Fortress and vineyards
After a short loop through the citadel to admire the military masterwork of architect of Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, you will enter the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. Its wine chateaux may be little known but is all the same beautiful and their production have 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 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. Along an 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 day. After dinner you have the option to go for a short ride or a walk to explore Bourg-sur-Gironde.
Friday: Bourg-sur-Gironde – Libourne & Saint Émilion
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, 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. 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 we see some of the first classified wines such as Angelus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Petrus-, some of the world’s most famous wine estates. A true paradise for wine lovers!
Disembarkation and (optional) transfer back to Bordeaux After your final breakfast on board, it will be time for a return transfer (optional) to the per-agreed drop off point in the city center of Bordeaux. Disembarkation before 09:30 AM.
Program in reverse order when starting in Libourne.