A Brief Encounter with Bordeaux
Day 1: On your arrival in Bordeaux, check-in to your very central three-star hotel – the Quality Hotel St Catherine and enjoy a short guided tour of the city’s Roman-era heart before trying out your bicycles in a quiet spot. When you are happy with any adjustments and have walked through the maps and route notes, you then face the most testing challenge of your vacation – choosing your evening meal from the dozens of restaurants competing for your custom in the quartier St Pierre, 100 metres from your hotel.
Day 2: Your route out of the city in the morning takes you along the riverside to cross the St Jean bridge and join the dedicated cycle path that meanders up the valley of the Pimpine to reach the bastide town of Créon. Stop here for lunch or continue to the ruined 12th century abbey of La Sauve. In the afternoon continue on this cyclepath until you leave to reach Branne on the Dordogne, and then continue to St Emilion. Here stay at either of the town’s three star hotels- Logis des Remparts or Le Palais Cardinal. If both are full we will find an equivalent (or better).
Day 3: Today you head across the Entre-Deux-Mers to either St Macaire (32miles) or Cadillac (24miles). If to the latter, you would certainly have time to do a tour of a chateau’s cellars before your leave. The route to St Macaire includes a further section of the Roger Lapébie cyclepath and takes in Verdelais, an obscure little village that includes the grave of Toulouse-Lautrec. If Cadillac is your destination, then you reach it by way of Targon and a route down the valley past the imposing Chateau de Haut-Benauge. If the Order of Knights Templar has any resonance for you, you might want to pause at a former Knights Templar Commanderie on your route. At St Macaire, you stay at Les Feuilles D’Acanthe hotel in the heart of the medieval village, and at Cadillac you stay at the Chateau de la Tour hotel facing the former palace of the Dukes of Epernon. Both locations have a choice of excellent restaurants. Les Feuilles has a plunge pool and De La Tour a swimming pool to ease cyclist’s aching legs.
Day 4: Leaving St Macaire’s impressive ramparts behind you, cross the Garonne to pass through Langon and head for the Sauternes. Coffee at the village of that name is not mandatory – you might prefer a degustation of their famous sweet dessert wine before heading for Barsac, Cérons and Cadillac. Lunch here would leave you time to head along the Garonne river to Rions and Langoiran, and perhaps take in Chateau Mongenan before jumping a train to Beautiran to regain Bordeaux. OR if Cadillac is your starting point, you can also track the Garonne northwards but continue to Martillac for lunch and perhaps take in a Pessac-Leognan chateau before returning to Bordeaux. Here you are at the Hotel Ste Catherine again and have time for one celebratory dinner to mark the end of your own personal Tour de France.
After an evening’s relaxation amongst Bordeaux’s bright lights, there is often time in the morning for a brief tour of the city’s more elegant shops or the Capucin market, and perhaps to squeeze in one last lingering lunch before heading to the airport.
- 4 nights 3-star hotels
- Hire of fully equipped hybrid bicycles
- Supply of detailed maps and route notes
- Luggage transfers
- Greeting on arrival day by your host who will offer a short walking tour of the city,
- He will check you are comfortable with the bikes, routes, any other details, PLUS
- He will be on call during the tour should any problem arise, and will meet up with you during the trip to answer any queries in person.
Further Options: Some variations in the category of accommodation. This tour can be booked with evening meals included on most nights.
Average 29/32 miles daily with a maximum of 33 miles. Three days cycling place-to-place.
Staying for one night on a wine-producing property. (perhaps Chateau Dardenac or Chateau Pierre de Lune). Option of staying ‘on tour’ the fourth night and returning to Bordeaux to go directly to the airport. In this case, probable 4th night at Chateau de Lantic at Martillac, or of limiting the daily distance to a maximum of 26 miles and thus having more time for off-bike activities.
A gentle gradient along a former railway track to Créon before descending towards the Dordogne valley. On the third day, a brief uphill en route to Cadillac, or for St Macaire a gentler uphill and long descent to Verdelais. Otherwise, flattish throughout except for the main street of St Emilion which we recommend walking up.
The Route: passes through the Entre-Deux-Mers, to reach St Emilion and the Graves & Sauternes before a train journey through vineyards back to Bordeaux.
For those who only have time for a short break or those who wish to carry out a recce before returning at a later date. Easy gradients and lowish mileage make it suitable for first-time tourers.
Travel to/from your first hotel in Bordeaux, train fare, admissions, other incidentals and any meals not specified.
It is a condition of all our tours that guests are responsible for purchasing adequate insurance for a cycling holiday on public highways.
Price £525 per person, on the basis of 2 people sharing a double room.
£130 additional for a single traveller unless travelling in company with others when a supplement of only £100 may apply where triple bedded accommodation is available.
Any day of the week 1st April to 15th October