The great bike tour around Bordeaux

Reference : Cyclo 20

Trip activity

Self guided cycling holiday

Location

Bordeaux - La Réole - Arcachon - Royan - Blaye - Margaux - France

Duration

13 dayss

Difficulty  difficulte-un

40 à 60 km per day

Departure

Every day from April to Octobre

Capacity

2 people minimum

Price per person

  • 13 days - 12 nights : 1625 €

Including services

  • 12 overnights with breakfast in Hotel 3* & 4* (1 hotel 2*) and charming guesthouses (in double / twin room)
  • 2 dinners (drinks not included)
  • Route notes & maps, regional inforrmation
  • Luggage transfer hotel to hotel
  • Emergency phone call support 7/7

Extra charge

  • Touring bike : 160 €
  • Electric bike : 290 €
Tour description

480 km of cycle path to discover all the jewels of Gironde : Sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Natural Regional Park, exceptional natural sites, prestigious vineyards, wild and authentic ocean coast no forgetting the south-west gastronomy that will delight you all along your stay.

All the jewels of Gironde can be seen along it – the Gironde Estuary to Royan, the quays of the Garonne in Bordeaux, the vineyards of Blayais, Médoc and Entre-deux-Mers, «Le Canal de Garonne», the forest of the Landes de Gascogne Natural Regional Park, Arcachon Bay and the coastline with its beaches, dunes and great lakes. Anyone can go from site to site at their own pace, Some variations permit to discover as well the Sauternais and Saint-Emilion.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in Bordeaux « Unesco World Heritage Site »

Accomodations in B&B in hotels**** in the heart of Bordeaux. Welcome pack of the area and circuits will be given as well as your bike.

Bordeaux, the former "Burdigala" Roman, inseparable from its vineyard ... radiates plenty of stones in her dress to provide fireworks. The Garonne River, heart of the city, welcomes walkers on the banks or boat trips. Everyone can take ownership of the docks, hoping to see the landing of a cruise ship, "amazing sight" a giant of the seas in the city center

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Day 2 : From Bordeaux  to the « Entre-Deux- Mers » – 55 to 60 Km

This route allows you to discover the Entre-Deux-Mers region of 55 km of track / greenway and lanes… Enchanting

You will leave Bordeaux with the track that runs along the Garonne River and its beautiful landscaped quays, then you will follow the greenway trail, winding through the hillsides of the Entre-Deux-Mers through Creon and Sauveterre de Guyenne, which are magnificent fortified walled towns. Finally, by small roads surrounded by vineyards, you will drive to your accomodation.

Night, dinner and breakfast in charming guest-houses

Day 3 : 2 Options

Option 1 : From Sauveterre de Guyenne to Bazas – 40 to 50 Km

Between Sauveterre-de-Guyenne and La Réole, the cycle route passes through gently rolling and highly picturesque landscapes. La Réole, a medieval town founded in 977 on the banks of the Garonne, is the smallest «Town of Art and History» in France.

At Fontet, the route joins the Canal de Garonne. It is here that «Le Canal des 2 Mers à vélo» cycle route continues on its way under a canopy of plane trees until reaching Toulouse, or even Sète and the Mediterranean. «Bike around Bordeaux» cycle route, however, goes towards Bazas via a “Véloroute” cycle route. By taking a detour through Castets-et-Castillon, you’ll be able to see the beginning of the Canal with its locks and to take advantage of all the services that this small port has to offer. Bazas is a famous medieval town with a beautiful cathedral, and an important place for the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail..

Option 2 : From Sauveterre de Guyenne to Saint-Macaire and the Sauternais

A variation for this step from La Réole, allows to go along the banks of the Garonne until Saint-Macaire, one of the most beautiful city of the Entre-Deux-Mers, built on a rocky promontory overlooking the plain. The village is framed by two « faubourg » or suburbs which were emerged in the Middle Ages. Stay a while and stroll through the narrow streets to discover old houses and ramparts.

Around Saint-Macaire, the vineyard produces wines to be discovered like the soft white wines of the Côtes-de-Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire, and the pear plantations announce the orchards of Lot-et-Garonne.
This option allows you to cross Sauternes the next day with famous Château Yquem.

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Day 4 : Direction The Landes de Gascogne Natural Regional Park - 50 Km

1 / Departure from Bazas to join the cycle path in Uzeste. Passing through Uzeste, you can admire the collegiate church housing the tomb of Pope Clement V (it is also worth visiting his château in Villandraut).

2 / Departure from Saint-Macaire to cross over to the left bank of the Garonne River and discover the prestigious vineyard of Sauternes and its famous « Château Yquem. ». Sur plus de 2000 hectares, la vigne devient or et le vin roi ! Vous rejoindrez la piste cyclable à Villandraut avec son château qui vaut le détour.

After crossing Villandraut and the river Le Ciron, you come in  the pignada, a logged pine forest, planted by man since the 19th century.  The itinerary goes on to Budos, then through the valleys carved out by the River Ciron, to Leogats and Nouaillan. You then carry on to Balizac where you enter the Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park, before reaching Origne for the night.

Stay in the charming little village of Origne in a charming guest house in the center of the village offering a range of services here in the heart of the Gironde countryside.

Night, dinner and breakfast in charming guest-houses

Day 5 : Landes de Gascognes and the Hostens Lakes - 30 Km

You will be riding along a lovely little forest road offering great variety and taking you westwards. Heading towards Louchats, the pine forest becomes denser and the scent of pine resin richer. Leave your bicycle at the site of the lagoons of Gât-Mort and discover the water beneath the carpet of fern.

Make a stop at the lakes of Hostens offer plenty of shade by the shore, perfect for an afternoon nap. The road will then take you, between pine trees and heather, to the small town of Le Barp.

Stay in a charming little hotel**, stone built, with a swimming pool. Mr Bourrissoux, the owner, with an irreproachable reception, may serve you a very appreciated local food on the terrace shaded by suspended vines and cooled by a fountain.

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Day 6 : Towards the Bay of Arcachon - 45 Km

The itinerary follows a little road where the pine forest gradually thins to find back the cycle track in Salles along the Eyre river you will follow until Mios. You will then reach the bassin of Arcachon at the Parc Ornithologique du Teich, maritime window of the Regional Natural Park. The sites for picnicking are not lacking, just choose!

Option 1 : Night near or at Andernos

You will progress towards the Port de Biganos and towards the Port des Tuiles.  You continue towards Audenge and Audenge port where former basins are used as swimming pools.

Following the dykes of the Graveyron estate, with its fish reservoirs, you reach the castle.  Having enjoyed the splendid views over the basin and watched the many species of migrating birds. You will cycle gently along the cycling track to Andernos Les Bains, a very pleasant seaside town.

For the evening you can enjoy a number of activities; bars overlooking the sea, a walk on the pier or the beach, or go for a walk alongside Andernos.

Night and breakfast in hôtel**.

Option 1 : Night in Arcachon

You will choose to take the coastal path, taking advantage of the salty and marine air of the bassin, going through the typical oyster ports like Gujan Mestras to join Arcachon by the small and beautiful oyster-farming ports.

Lined with tamarisks, arbutus, willow and wild prunus, the walk will also delight lovers of botany.

You will be expected in the heart of Arcachon, in a hotel ***, for an evening on the seafront.

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Extra Day : The Pyla Dune 24 km

You will start your trip by cycling to the Pilat dune, the largest dune in Europe at 105 meters high, 2700 meters long and 500 meters wide. The dune, formed recently (only 35 meters high in 1855), is still not stable and moves towards the forest at a rate of 3 to 4 meters a year. Having left your bikes for a moment, you can climb to the summit using steps or by a marked path.

You will follow beaches on a magnificent track and you will join the “Pyla sur Mer” then Moulleau, a suburb to the west of Arcachon, a very lively place in summer with chic boutiques and trendy cafés.

You will be surprised by the Notre dame des Passes church, of byzantine style, built at the top of a sand dune by the Dominicans. It houses the Vierge de l’Avent, one of the 3 statues in France representing a Virgin Mary heavy with child.

You then return to Arcachon and your hotel.

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Day 7 : From the Bay of Arcachon to Lacanau – 45 Km

1/ From Andernos, the pleasure to pedal in the heat, accompanied by the “cigales” song and the pine odours.  You will leave Andernos and will pursue your circuit towards the saint Brice's magnificent site, which mixes forest and natural bank of the “Bassin d’Arcachon” and then the Oyster-farming port of Ares.

2/ From Arcachon, take the boat to cross the Bay of Arcachon to reach the Cap Ferret and ride throughout the other side of the Bay. Leave your bicycle to walk up to the top of the lighthouse. Keep going cycling to reach the very pretty oyster village of l’Herbe, the reservoirs as well as the Tapper’s Shack.

In both cases, a cycle track, between ocean and forest, along the fine sand beaches where the ocean comes to smash in magnificent rollers, will slowly leads you, après des baignades bien méritées, to the seaside resorts of Le Porge and Lacanau Océan renowned for its surf spot.

Night and breakfast in hôtel****.

Day 8 : The Great Medoc Lakes from Lacanau to Montalivet – 40 Km

Get on your bike and go on the journey to the north following the Vélodyssée. Here the road bike continues on a bike path among the pines, between lakes and oceans.Leave the lake of Lacanau and join a charming shady trail cut in the dunes of the seaside resort of Carcans Maubuisson and the lake of Hourtin. Follow the lake and then the « route des phares » and after a last ocean break at Hourtin Plage, head north to Montalivet baths.

Night and breakfast in hôtel**.

Day 9 : From Montalivet to Royan – 40 Km

Sandy beaches as far as the eye can see,. The seaside resorts of Le Porge, Lacanau, Carcans, Hourtin, Vendays-Montalivet and Soulac-sur-Mer are just some of the stops along the way where you can explore and relax. You can then cross the Gironde Estuary from Verdun in a unique ferry ride to discover Royan in the evening  (its marina, cathedral considered as a masterpiece of modern architecture)

Night and breakfast in hôtel***.

Day 10 : From Royan to Mortagne – 35 Km

You will leave Royan by taking the “boulevard Garnier” and its beautiful villas from the XIX century.

You will stop at the Park of the estuary, « pole nature » de la Charente Maritime. You will enjoy its unique feel and wooden area, dominating the estuary. The Park offers interactive exhibition and animations allowing you to discover “everything” about the estuary.You will cross Saint-Seurin-d’Uzet, the old capital of Caviar, with its port almost located in the centre of the village. More south, you will visit the wine-maker of Mortagne to discover all about the Pineau, Cognac and Charentais wine.

Mortagne-sur-Gironde, lays on the with cliffs, its fishing and sailing port make it  a unique site in the area.

You will stay in a charming guest house, opposite the port

In the guest house the rooms are spacious, bright with own suit.

Night, dinner and breakfast in charming guest-houses

Day 11 : From Mortagne to Blaye – 60 Km

Go on along the Estuary on a very nice cycling path between marshes and dykes until Vitrezay, the gateway to Gironde. After a visit to the «Terres d’Oiseaux» bird sanctuary, a beautiful «Voie Verte» cycle track leads to the Blaye Citadel, built by Vauban and listed by UNESCO (alongside Fort Pâté and Fort Médoc) as the Vauban lock”. A ferry crosses the estuary from Blaye to Lamarque the next day.

Night and breakfast in hôtel*** or Charming guesthouse.

Day 12: From Blaye to Bordeaux – 50 Km

After crossing the Gironde Estuary, the itinerary leads directly to the heart of the  Médoc vineyards, where villages and world-famous wine-making châteaux abound.  Fort Médoc is not to be missed. A visit and wine-tasting break is an absolute must before heading on towards more urbanised, but equally interesting areas. The route’s grand finale is the approach to Bordeaux along the quays of the Garonne.

Night and breakfast in hôtel****.

Day 13 : END

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