Castets-en-Dorthe - Fronsac, MS Bordeaux
Fair Weather Cyclist
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Self-guided tour
Arrival as arranged by you and then an optional transfer from the meeting point Gare St Jean station in Bordeaux to the mooring point of the boat by the Deux Mers canal in Castets-en-Dorthe. This is in the middle of the Garonne valley. Embarkation starts at 3pm. You can enjoy an optional short first bike ride around Castets - exploring this flat and fertile region aptly named “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. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board.
After a good sleep on board, you will be ready to discover the Sauternais region by bike. Sweet dessert wines are produced here! Part of 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 to have frozen here in the medieval era when 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 Loupiac or Cadillac, a small town with a towering castle.
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. Today's cycle ride goes through the “Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux” wine growing area. There is an opportunity to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac and Malromé castle, house of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, which was built in the 16th Century. Wine tastings are offered here! Once back on board, you will travel along 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 one single view.
Bordeauxapprox 15 km
The tour guide will suggest that you do a tour whereby you can enjoy the wonderful views of the historical old town from the excellent new cycle paths along the Garonne. In the afternoon, you should visit the famous attractions by foot or by bike. These include 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 discover beautiful squares, a hidden garden or quaint location where you can do a tasting of the Bordeaux renowned “cannelés” and coffee or fresh oysters and white wine. There is free time in the afternoon to shop or to explore. Be sure to explore the town’s streets and shops where wine is as old as the underground cellars carved in stone or to visit the newly opened wine museum, La Cité du Vin.
In the morning the ship cruises from Bordeaux to Lamarque in the Gironde estuary. From there you start your cycling tour in the famous Médoc wine area. Winding your way through vineyards, you will discover some of Médocs most beautiful castles and prestigious wineries, which pride in 21 first great classified growth, including the Châteaux 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 along the wide Gironde estuary to the jetty of Bourg, a picturesque little town near the conjunction of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The old city center overlooks the Gironde estuary.
In the morning you will cycle from Bourg through the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. Its wine chateaux may not be very well-known but their production has nothing to envy from its more famous neighbours on the opposite river bank of Médoc. You will be surprised to see what this region secretly holds in behind its hilly landscape covered with endless vines and dotted with scattered fairy tale chateaux and elegant manor houses. Since the Middle Ages, a countless number of pilgrims have passed through this region on their way to Santiago de Compostella. Be enchanted by the “douceur de vivre”
After today's circular cycle tour, the MS Bordeaux will leave Bourg and travel you will travel aboard the boat to Fronsac/Libourne via Dordogne.
In Libourne you can take a stroll to its picturesque city square, which is lined with buildings dating back as far 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 through the countryside, bristling with vines, you sure will enjoy riding through this unspoilt UNESCO World Heritage landscape. Cycling through this landscape gives you a unique view of the village’s medieval lanes and of the surrounding vineyards. Take some time to visit beautiful Saint-Émilion. Your bike 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 will see some of the first classified wines such as Angelus, Ausonne, Cheval Blanc, Petrus - some of the world’s most famous wine estates. A true paradise for wine lovers!
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 in Bordeaux. Disembark before 9am.
The route is mainly traffic-free either on side streets with little traffic or on purpose built cycle paths. The route is mainly flat but in the wine regions the route does get hillier and there are several ascents.
- Tour and accommodation on board in the booked cabin category
- Full board: 7 x breakfast, 6 x packed lunch during bike tours, 7 x three course dinner
- Bed linen and towels provided (daily change of towels if desired)
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Welcome cocktail
- Welcome to the ship and crew combined with a briefing on the first evening
- Daily bike tour briefings in English
- Some short walking tours; individual cycling
- Semi-guided cycling tours: 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 is possible for a surcharge: see above)
- 1 set of printed instructions and detailed maps per cabin
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- If you are flying: fly to Bordeaux
- Transfer on the arrival day at 2pm from the meeting point in the city from Bordeaux to the boat and back again on the day of departure at 9am, approx. 1 hour, approx. € 50, reservation needed.
Number of participants
Minimum of 50 people
- Timetable and program are subject to changes. At times of extreme flooding or low water the boat company reserves the right to transport you by bus or to cancel the whole tour. There is no demand against that (water level is subject to force majeure clause). This is also the case for any unforeseeable incidents like the reparation of a water gate/bridge or if the boat's engine were to break down.
- Please keep in mind that your boat is both your hotel and motor-driven transport. It has to move on at night as well. If you are sensitive to noise, please bring earplugs with you.
Bike & Barge MS Bordeaux
Discover the great region from Bordeaux on your bicycle- and shiptour. With the MS Bordeaux you drive on the Dorogne, Garonne and Gironde.