Cycling holidays around the Gironde estuary

Trip Code : Cyclo 02

Trip activity

Self-guided cycling tour

Location

Bordeaux Royan - France

Duration

8 days

Trip grading  difficulte-un

40 to 60 km per day

Departures

Daily from April to October

Capacity

Minimum 2 people

Price per person

  • 8 days - 7 nights : 950 €

Including services

  • 7 overnights with breakfast in Hotel 3* and charming guesthouses (in double / twin room)
  • 5 dinners (wine included)
  • Route notes & maps, regional inforrmation
  • Luggage transfer hotel to hotel
  • Ferry transfer acroos Gironde estuary
  • Taxi transfer first day
  • Emergency phone call support 7/7

Extra charges

  • Touring bike : 90 €
  • Electric bike : 180 €
Tour description

Self-guided cycling tour around the Gironde Estuary. This cycling holiday leads to the biggest European estuary. Explore 2 different areas: first bike through the prestigious vineyards of the « Medoc », in the famous Bordeaux wine region, staying in charming country châteaux. Then cross the Gironde estuary by ferry to « Royan », in « Charente Maritime ». Continue your bike tour on the other bank of the etuary and enjoy the landscapes of « Charente-Maritime », « Haute-Saintonge » and « Haute Gironde ».  Typical cliffs, villages of Talmont, Blaye or Bours. Take the “Wine road” of the Medoc by bike, home of the most famous wine-growing chateaux in the world. Meet the wine-makers of the famous “Cognac” and “Pineau” in « Charente ». Explore the diverse landscapes of the French countryside, visit superb Romanic churches in the villages, windmills, old castles and discover some unique Gallo romanic sites This cycle tour follows a mixture of bicycle paths through forests and flat roads alongside streams and vineyards allowing discovery of the exceptional natural and diverse surroundings of the region. After each day’s cycling stay in some of the region’s best hotels and charming guest houses.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in France and transfer from Bordeaux to the Medoc

Arrive at the train station or at Bordeaux Airport. A taxi takes you to your 3-star hotel in « Pian Medoc » where you will find the road book and bikes waiting for you.
Night and breakfast included.

Day 2: Biking day through the heart of the “Medoc rouge” to Macau – 40 km

Today’s cycle to « Macau » takes you on the “Road of the Chateaux” along the Gironde toward « Margaux », « Saint-Estephe » and « Moulis », where wine and spirit houses await you. Every village, every chateau is a dream for everyone in this well known area! The route des chateaux  is certainly one of the most beautiful road! Start your holiday cycling across « Margaux » vineyards, « Haut Medoc », « Moulis-en-Medoc » and past renowned chateaux. Take the time to stop in the little harbours along the route, including « St Julien ». Head toward the estuary and encounter pleasant and diverse landscapes. This stage leads to the heart of the “Medoc rouge” as far as « Moulis-en-Medoc ».
Overnight in a charming guesthouse, a superb residence, located in the middle of the vineyards and ideally situated 200 m from prestigious chateaux.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3:  Cycling along the Wine route in the Medoc – 53 km

Today continue cycling along the “Road of the Chateaux” which is well known for both its unusual chateaux and its wine. Explore the many historic sites along your path such as « Brion » in « St Germain d’Esteuil », the Chateau of « Castera », the Abbey of « Vertheuil » and the « Fort Medoc » built by Vauban. Cycle to the capital of the Medoc, « Paulliac ».  Its 18 “Grand Crus Classes” and its charming harbour make this town an unmissable destination. Discover the most famous chateau of Medoc starting with Latour to Lafite Rothschild.

Overnight in a charming bed and breakfast located in the middle of the vineyards. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 4: Cycle towards the end of the estuary and Royan - 55 to 60 km

Follow an easy route across the vineyards and marshes that lead to a fascinating and charming part of the « Medoc ». Cycle alongside the longest estuary in Europe and discover a Wilder Medoc, where many fish and migrating birds find sanctuary.  Make some short stops along the banks of the estuary in small charming harbour towns such as « St Christoly» or « La Marechale » and explore huts built on stilt, small fishing ports and landscapes such as CAMARGUE. Don’t miss “Richard’s Lighthouse” that offers an outstanding view of the estuary.

At the top of the « Medoc » area, cycle to « Soulac », a pretty seaside village boasting pine perfumed landscape and sandy beaches. Take the ferry across the estuary to « Royan » and enjoy the view of the « Cordouan » lighthouse and the cliffs of « Meshers » on the right. Welcome to the other side of the river for holidays in « Charente-maritime » country!

Overnight in a 3-star hotel in « Royan located in the heart of the seaside town. Breakfast included. Dinner is not included but many restaurants are situated next to your hotel. Take an optional extra night here to explore the beach and the Ocean.

Day 5: Cycle in the Charente-Maritime region from Royan to Mortagne- 35 km

Today ride throughout the Charente countryside and discover its treasures.

Cycle through beautiful landscapes from the coastal marshes, cliffs and forests, oyster farms and fishing ports.Discover the pretty village of Talmont-sur-Gironde, its church and blooming streets, the caves of Meshers-sur-Gironde, the archaeological site of Fa and the retreat of St Martial. Many stops to enjoy!

Ideally located on a headland at the entrance to the « Gironde », « Royan » has been a seaside town for about two centuries. Royan’s seafront curves around the northern end of the « Grande Conche » Beach – an imposing crescent of buildings where contemporary and “belle époque” villas alternate.
Leave « Royan » and take the “boulevard Garnier” with its beautiful villas from the XIX century.
Stop at the Park in the estuary, « Pôle nature » of the « Charente Maritime » and enjoy interactive exhibitions and activities in order to know everything about the estuary.
Cross « Saint-Seurin-d’Uzet », the old capital of Caviar, with its port. Then discover all about the Pineau, Cognac and Charentais wine with the wine-maker in « Mortagne ».
End your bike journey in the exceptional site of « Mortagne-sur-Gironde », a pretty hill-top village with its fishing and sailing port.
Overnight in a charming bed and breakfast, opposite the port. Dinner and breakfast included.

Day 6: Cycling in the Charente - Pineau and Cognac - 40 to 45 km

Leaving the banks of the estuary discover the estates producing Cognac and Pineau de Charente. Pass fields of sunflowers, windmills and châteaux before returning to the estuary and the vineyards of the «Côtes de Blaye » and «Côtes de Bourg ». Cycle along small roads and feel the wildness and immensity of the area. Follow the hills covered with wheat and vineyards.

Overnight in a lovely bed and breakfast. Dinner and breakfast included.

Day 7: Biking day along the Corniche road - 50 to 60 km

Following the estuary marshes through historic « Blaye » and medieval Bourg.
Imposing and majestic, the citadel at «Blaye » has a commanding view over the river. Continue along the banks of the Gironde Estuary and cycle through the vineyards of the Cotes de Blaye, AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. Follow the little road called the "Corniche Fleurie",with its countless palm trees, pink laurels and oaks as far as «Bourg-sur-Gironde ». This attractive small town is an architectural jewel. Clinging to a rock, surrounded by walls, the village is one of the most beautiful and best preserved of the Estuary. Discover prehistoric caves with ancient wall paintings.
End of your cycling holiday in the heart of the vineyards in the village of «Bourg-Sur-Gironde ».
Overnight in a beautiful house. Dinner and breakfast included

Day 8: Departure

After your breakfast, the owner of your guest house will drive you to the train station.
Train journey, (without the bikes) to Bordeaux.

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