Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Bordeaux Wines
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Highlights

  • Explore the vineyards of Bordeaux by bike
  • Cruise the Gironde, Dordogne & Garonne Rivers
  • Relax on deck with a glass of Saint Emilion
  • Discover the UNESCO world heritage city of Bordeaux
  • Visit the vineyards of Château Margaux & Château Palmer

Cycle the wine roads of Bordeaux and cruise the Garonne and Dordogne rivers in this perfect exploration of the most famous vineyards in France.

Pedal the rolling vineyards of Pomerol, Medoc and Margaux and test your palette on the renowned full-bodied wines of this French province. Venture to the sophisticated hilltop town of St. Emilion and enjoy far-reaching valley views from one of its many sun drenched café terraces. Explore the laid back city of Bordeaux by bike, the largest urban UNESCO world heritage site in the world.

Each afternoon, return to your comfortable river barge and relax on the sun deck with a local glass of vin rouge as you gently cruise the tranquil waterways of this beautiful corner of France.

Day 1 Castets-en-Dorthe

Rendezvous (2.00pm) at Bordeaux train station for the included transfer to Castets-en-Dorthe where the MS Bordeaux is moored. As today is arrival day, you can choose to relax on deck or take your bike out for a gentle spin through the walnut groves and kiwi orchards along the cyclepath of Canal des Deux Mers. In the evening enjoy meeting your fellow cyclists over dinner.


Cycle:  15 km


Overnight: Castets-en-Dorthe


Day 2 Cycle Sauternes

This morning a gentle ride follows the River Ciron deep into the sweet wine producing region of Sauternais. Cycle picturesque country lanes, where elegant châteaux sit above colourful vineyards. In the late afternoon rejoin the boat and cruise onwards the town of Loupiac or Cadillac depending on water levels.


Cycle: 35-50 km


Overnight: Loupiac or Cadillac


Day 3 Entre-Deux-Mers loop cycle

Begin the day with a visit to the heartland of Bordeaux wines, the town of Cadillac. Cycling through this premier wine region you can also visit the Malromé Castle, former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac. Here you can enjoy a wine tasting or two before heading back to the boat for this afternoon's voyage to laid back city of Bordeaux.


Cycle: 40 km


Overnight: Bordeaux


Day 4 Explore Bordeaux

Explore Bordeaux by bike, as the tour guide leads you to see all the major sights and attractions of Bordeaux including; the Cailhau Gate, the Big Bell of Pey Berland and the Golden triangle. There is always the option to explore on foot at your leisure before returning for dinner on the boat later in the evening.


Cycle:  15 km


Overnight: Bordeaux.


Day 5 Lamarque loop cycle

Over breakfast it's up anchor as you cruise down the Gironde estuary to the Medoc wine region. Hopping off the boat at Lamarque, you can cycle to the vineyards of Château Margaux and Château Palmer and learn about the classifications of these great estates. In the afternoon, rejoin the boat to cruise onwards to the town of Bourg.


Cycle: 40 km


Overnight: Bourg


Day 6 Bourg cycle loop

Departing Bourg, you will cycle through the Cotes de Blaye vineyard to the UNESCO listed  17th century Vauban Fortress, built by King Louis XIV. This route is also shared with pilgrims hiking to Santiago de Compostella. Returning to Bourg, follow the Gironde estuary where it’s an onward voyage to Fronsac or Libourne depending on river levels.


Cycle: 35-50 km


Overnight: Fronsac/Libourne


Day 7 Pomerol and Saint-Émilion vineyards

Take a relaxed stroll around Libourne’s market before exploring the world class wine region of Pomeral and Saint Emilion by bike. A paradise for wine lovers, the rich, full bodied wines can easily be sampled in the enchanting town of St Emilion where there is an abundance of wine tasting opportunities within the cobbled streets of the town.


Cycle: 35-50 km


Overnight: Fronsac/Libourne


Day 8 Transfer Bordeaux, Onward Travel

After breakfast, a return transfer to Bordeaux Gare St. Jean is provided. If you require any further assistance with onward travel please contact the office.

Accommodation & Boat Information

You will spend each night on the boat in your very comfortable cabin. The standard twin cabins are on the lower deck. There is also the opportunity to upgrade to a premium twin upper deck cabin. Your boat is always docked at night and only sails during the day.


Single Cabins & Solo Cyclists

Single cabins are available although a supplement is payable. This
trip is also available to solo cyclists (with a supplement) and is
perfect as there are plenty of people to chat with every day.


Meals

All meals on board are included. A sumptuous breakfast, lunch on
board for non-cyclists, or picnic lunches for cyclists. Each evening you
can look forward to a three-course dinner. 


MS Bordeaux


A classic river barge manned by an experienced crew with a maximum capacity of 96 guests.


The upper deck features a tastefully furnished salon and lounge area with a bar and small dance floor. The area is fully enclosed and has large panoramic windows all around. There is a separate restaurant area for dining. The sun deck has a large sunroof, chairs, and tables.


The Cabins– the standard cabins for the tour are the twin cabins. These cabins consist of 2 single beds. All cabins have a


window that can be opened, en-suite bathroom with shower + toilet, air conditioning, satellite TV, and mini-safe. There are 34 cabins on the lower deck (included in base price) and 11 on the upper deck. The upper deck cabins can be booked at an extra charge.


There are also two junior suites on the lower deck that can be booked at an additional charge.  These rooms have the same amenities as the standard rooms but are larger and feature a small sitting area.


There are also two single cabins on the upper deck that can be booked, supplement payable.


MS Bordeaux 






MS Bordeaux Deck Plan




 


 


Availability

The MS Bordeaux sails every Saturday between April and October. Please check the website for departure and availability.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded easy to moderate. The daily distance ranges between approximately 15km-50 km and will include some gentle uphill cycling now and again. You will ride dedicated cycle paths, quiet country lanes and alongside canals, rivers as you visit the vineyards, villages and towns of this region. There will be some busier stretches of cycling as you approach and depart towns, so please alway be mindful of other road users.


There is always the options of taking a day off the bike and relaxing on deck or discovering the nearby surrounds on foot.


Navigation


You will be issued with tour specific route notes, maps upon arrival. Your on board tour guide will also give you a briefing each evening or in the morning about each route. The guide will cycle most days and whilst the rides are not led, he or she is generally out and about should you require assistance. You will always have an emergency telephone support number should you require.


Bikes

The bikes on board are 7-gear unisex hybrid bikes with pedal brakes and are included in the cost of your trip. There are also E-bikes available upon request (at a supplement). All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag). Helmets are not provided. Please bring your own helmet with you for safety reasons.


Due to very restricted space on board there is limited availability to bring your own bike – please check with us.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good cycling shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to/from Bordeaux


Your boarding point for the tour is the Canal des Deux Mers at Castets-en-Dorthe. However, included in the tour are single timed transfers from Bordeaux Gare St-Jean train station to and from the MS Bordeaux. The arrival transfer on day 1 will depart Bordeaux Gare St Jean at 2pm. On day 8, the return transfer from the boat to Bordeaux Gare St Jean just after breakfast (around 9.30am).


By Air: Bordeaux Airport is served by a wide range scheduled and low-cost airlines to most European cities and beyond. 


By Train: Gare de Bordeaux St-Jean is located on Rue Charles Domercq. Bordeaux has superb rail links from all over France. You can book tickets on the SNCF website. The superfast TGV Atlantique serves Bordeaux from Paris’s Gare Montparnasse.


By Bus:  The TransGironde bus network covers towns in the wine country that are not served well by rail. The main bus terminal in Bordeaux is located on Allees de Chartres, but buses also arrive and depart regularly from Gare St-Jean.


By Car: Bordeaux is the capital of southwest France and has excellent highway links with Paris, Spain and the Mediterranean.


Parking: If you require in Bordeaux we suggest using a reputable car park information service such as Car Parking EU

Included

  • 7 Nights en-suite cabin
  • All meals
  • Bike hire
  • On board tour guide & daily briefings
  • Information pack & detailed route notes and map
  • Transfers from Bordeaux Gare St-Jean station to/from boat moorings

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to/from Bordeaux
  • Entrances or excursions
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Gratuities

Extras

  • Electric bike hire (as a 7-speed bike is included this will just be a supplement)
  • Single / Solo cabin supplement(s)
  • Cabin upgrades

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised in order to secure you preferred cabin choice.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded easy to moderate. The daily distance ranges between approximately 15km-50 km and will include some gentle uphill cycling now and again. You will ride dedicated cycle paths, quiet country lanes and alongside canals, rivers as you visit the vineyards, villages and towns of this region. There will be some busier stretches of cycling as you approach and depart towns, so please alway be mindful of other road users.

What equipment do I need?

You will need comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, waterproof jacket and trousers, a helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage?

If you don't want to cycle it is possible to relax on the boat as it moves to the next port of call.

When To Go?

Spring and Autumn are the best times to go, as the crowds are thinner and the weather is still pleasant. The grape harvest starts mid-September, which means you may well encounter a wine festival or two! July-August are peak season in France with long hot days—perfect for enjoying a large glass of red on deck.

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