Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Walking through UNESCO World Heritage Site vineyards
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Highlights

  • Walking through the Saint Emilion vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Staying in hotel chateaux within the vineyards of Bordeaux
  • Visiting the tomb of the famous French painter, Toulouse Lautrec
  • Discovering “bastides”, fortified stone villages of the Gironde
  • Pausing to view the lock of the Canal du Midi which connects the Atlantic with the Mediterranean
  • Enjoying delicious and crisp dry white wines of Entre-Deux-Mers

Walk through one of the world-famous wine making areas in France, Entre-Deux-Mers, a sub-wine region of Bordeaux and which literally translated means “Between Two Seas”.

Beginning in Saint Emilion, this area of wine making was the first in the world to grace the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, due to its important legacy of viticulture. Wind your way through vineyards, fortified stone “bastide” towns and the peaceful hills and valleys of the Garonne Valley to Sauternes.

You will enjoy stays in local guesthouses, 3* hotels and you’ll also stay in hotel chateaux within the vineyards themselves. This area has a history of wine making that goes back over 2,000 years and is particularly well-known for its crisp dry white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Loop walks take you through the vineyards of Saint Emilion, and along the Gironde Estuary where the Canal du Midi flows out into the Atlantic. An important trade route, this canal was built in the 17th century and links the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Finish your tour in Sauternes where many high-class wines are produced and visit a chateau that dates back to Richard the Lionheart (12th century).


DAY 1: Arrive Saint Emilion

Arrive in Saint Emilion. Perching above famed vineyards, this medieval village is one of the most appealing in all this region and its surrounding vineyards are now UNESCO World Heritage listed.


Take the time upon arrival to explore, especially at sunset, when all the characteristic limestone buildings literally ‘glow’.


Overnight: Hotel Le Palais Cardinal***, Saint Emilion


Located in the old quarter this hotel has 27 lovely rooms and offers a very warm welcome. Relax by the pool or in the hotel’s private garden.


DAY 2: Saint Emilion Vineyards

You will begin your week with a day of walking in the Saint Emilion area. Follow a circuit through these characterful landscapes and in the region of vineyards such as Chateau la Clotte and Beau Sejour.


This region has such a proud history of winemaking and today you will have the chance to learn about this heritage and perhaps stop for a wine tasting or two!


Dinner & Overnight: La Lézardière, St Martin de Lerm


Nestled in the  hills of the Dropt Valley between Saint Emilion and Sauternes, this chambre d’hôtes provides a haven of peace. Built from a restored farm building from the 17th century, you can sit on the lovely terrace, relaxing and listening to the sound of birdsong while revelling in the views.


Walk: 10km, 100m elevation gain


DAY 3: Entre-deux-Mers Walk: St Martin du Lerm to Caudrot

The Entre-Deux-Mers area lies between the Dordogne and the Garonne Rivers, which combine to form the Gironde. The wine-making tradition in this area goes back over 2,000 years and produces dry and sweet white Bordeaux wines from Sauvignon Blanc, to Semillon and Muscadelle grape varieties.


Cross these vineyards which benefit from an exceptional geographical site on the slopes dominating the Valley of the Garonne.


At the end of the afternoon, you will receive a transfer back to your accommodation in St Martin du Lerm.


Dinner & Overnight: La Lézardière, St Martin de Lerm


Walk: 10 or 15km, 70m elevation gain


DAY 4: Walk Caudrot to Saint-Macaire

With beautiful vine-filled landscapes and the estuary of  the Gironde in your sights, today's walk will not fail to impress you. A transfer of 10 minutes brings you to the beginning of your walk.


This area is dotted with castles and fishermen's huts and you will be able to pause in a small port which has locks marking the departure of famous “Canal du Midi” into the Atlantic Ocean, which is linked to the Mediterranean Sea.


The trail leads you directly into the medieval city of Saint- Macaire, a site protected since 1965 because of its historic buildings. With its church adorned with murals, impressive fortifications, market square lined with arcaded galleries and residences of merchants, this place is well-worth exploring.


Overnight: Hotel les Feuilles d’Acanthe***, Saint-Macaire


This hotel’s spacious rooms have great views over the old town and offer traditional Gironde décor. The restaurant serves local cuisine and you can enjoy swimming in the pool or relaxing in the Jacuzzi.


Walk: 10km, 25m elevation gain


DAY 5: Loop via Sainte Croix du Mont

Walk above Saint-Macaire and into the hills, from where you can take advantage of  the splendid views. This landscape of hills and small valleys, opens up to meadows and thickets of leafy trees. Discover the many mills and castles and follow the trail leading you to the “Domaine de Malagar”, residence of the writer François Mauriac. You can also visit the tomb of the famous painter Toulouse Lautrec.


You'll also have the pleasure of visiting the Château Laurette (a producer of sweet white wine)  or the Château Loubens, before reaching the village of Sainte Croix du Mont, perched on a slope with spectacular views  over the Garonne Valley. This village is remarkable for its wine caves, whose walls are covered with fossilized oyster benches and where cellars and even a vault were built.


At the end of the afternoon, return on foot to your hotel in Saint-Macaire and from here a short transfer to your accommodation in Sauternes is included.


Dinner & Overnight: Chateau d’Arche, Sauternes


The Chateau d'Arche Hotel is located within a Grand Cru Sauternes vineyard and is in a beautiful 17th century building. There are 9 very comfortable rooms, one of them in the top of a tower! There are lovely landscaped gardens and you can enjoy the views from the terrace as you sip a delicious glass of Sauternes.


Walk:  8 or 16km, 100m elevation gain


DAY 6: Sauternes Vineyards

Your walk today focuses on the left bank of the Garonne River where the high-class wines of Sauternes are produced. Throughout your walk you'll see the vineyards of famed wine producers like Château La Tour Blanche and Château Rayne Vigneau and can appreciate the vineyard’s small communities with their churches and mills.


Walk through peaceful forests and by the small and wild River Ciron, formerly used for the   transport of wood.


Complete the day with an “aperitif tasting” in the Château Gravas. Like other high-class wines of Sauternes, this chateau dates back to the time of Richard the Lionheart (12th century).


Dinner & Overnight: Chateau de Camperos, Barsac


This 19th century country chateau has 5 gorgeous rooms, all decorated in a different theme. There is a sun terrace, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam, perfect for relaxing at the end of your journey through this fabulous wine region.   


Walk: 15km, 60m elevation gain


DAY 7: Onward travel

Check out of your hotel and bid farewell to this beautiful wine region. A transfer to Barsac Train Station is included.  


Accommodation

The accommodations on this tour are in charming guesthouses, 3*** hotels or chateau hotels within vineyards.



 

 

 




Hotel Le Palais Cardinal - Sainte Emilion

Located in the old quarter this hotel has 27 lovely rooms and offers a very warm welcome. Relax by the pool or in the hotel’s private garden.


 

 

 


 

 

 



La Lezardiere - St Martin du Lerm



La Lezardiere - St Martin du Lerm

Nestled in the hills of the Dropt Valley between Saint Emilion and Sauternes, this chambre d’hôtes provides a haven of peace. Built from a restored farm building from the 17th century, you can sit on the lovely terrace, relaxing and listening to the sound of birdsong while revelling in the views.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Les Feuilles d'Acanthe - Saint-Macaire

This hotel’s spacious rooms have great views over the old town and offer traditional Gironde décor. The restaurant serves local cuisine and you can enjoy swimming in the pool or relaxing in the Jacuzzi.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Chateau d'Arche - Sauternes



Chateau d'Arche - Sauternes

SThe Chateau d'Arche Hotel is located within a Grand Cru Sauternes vineyard and is in a beautiful 17th century building. There are 9 very comfortable rooms, one of them in the top of a tower! There are lovely landscaped gardens and you can enjoy the views from the terrace as you sip a delicious glass of Sauternes.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Chateau de Camperos - Barsac



Chateau de Camperos - Barsac

This 19th century country chateau has 5 gorgeous rooms, all decorated in a different theme. There is a sun terrace, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam, perfect for relaxing at the end of your journey through this fabulous wine region.


 

 

 

Alternate accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into  different accommodations which are not listed in the description, and the start or end of some of your walking routes may be slightly altered. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described and details will all be sent to you.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Solo Walkers

This tour is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the tour is more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning and 4 dinners are included on Days 2, 3, 5, & 6. On the days when dinner is not included you can either eat at your accommodation or in local restaurants.  


Availability

This tour is available to start any day of the week from April to October. Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Solo Walkers

This tour is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the tour is more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Grade & Terrain

This walking tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily walks are on trails and a mixture of country paths, forest trails, paths through vineyards and in the valleys and hills of the Gironde. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Most of the routes on this walk are not way-marked but we provide you with detailed route notes and maps for you to follow.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning and 4 dinners are included on Days 2, 3, 5, & 6. On the days when dinner is not included you can either eat at your accommodation or in local restaurants.  You can buy lunch in the village patisserie before you depart each morning, or en route. In your route notes there will be information about where you can buy lunch and dinner (on the nights when dinner is not included).


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includeds standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.


Getting to Bordeaux/Saint Emilion

The closest airport to Saint Emilion is Bordeaux Airport. This airport is served by several low cost airlines, such as Easyjet, Flybe and Ryanair and also by regularly scheduled airlines, such as Air France and British Airways. You can also take a TGV train from Paris to Bordeaux, which takes approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.


From Bordeaux Airport or train station a taxi transfer to your hotel in Saint Emilion is included on Day 1.


Getting from Barsac

On the final day of your tour you will be taken by the hotel owners to Barsac Train Station. From here you can take a train to Bordeaux and then a shuttle bus to Bordeaux Airport. You can find train times and schedules on the SNCF website.

 


Getting to Bordeaux/Saint Emilion

The closest airport to Saint Emilion is Bordeaux Airport.
This airport is served by several low cost airlines, such as Easyjet,
Flybe and Ryanair and also by regularly scheduled airlines, such as Air
France and British Airways. You can also take a TGV train from Paris to
Bordeaux, which takes approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.

From Bordeaux Airport or train station a taxi transfer to your hotel in Saint Emilion is included on Day 1.

Getting from Barsac

On the final day of your tour you will be taken by the hotel owners
to Barsac Train Station. From here you can take a train to Bordeaux and
then a shuttle bus to Bordeaux Airport. You can find train times and
schedules on the SNCF website.

Included

  • 6 Nights in guesthouses, 3* hotels, or chateau hotels within vineyards
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners on days 2, 3, 5 and 6
  • Transfer from Bordeaux to St Emilion
  • Transfer from Barsac hotel to Barsac Train Station
  • 3 Transfers on Days 2, 3 and 5
  • Daily luggage transport
  • Information pack, route notes and maps
  • 24-hour assistance by phone

Excluded

  • Travel to Bordeaux
  • Travel from Barsac
  • Dinners on Days 1 and 4
  • Lunches
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc

Extras

  • Single Room Supplements
  • Solo Walker Supplement (if applicable)
  • Additional nights

Are baggage transfers included?

All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

How will I find my way?

You will be provided with detailed route notes with incorporated IGN maps to help you find your way. Although some of the routes follow official trails, at times they will not be way-marked, therefore you will have to pay attention to the route notes and maps and have the ability to map read.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is rated easy to moderate and you should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.

Will I need 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 and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

 

A truly relaxing and worry free experience

5

Accomodations, trail instructions, and luggage transfers are planned to every detail for us. I am truly impressed and thrilled. It has been the best experience I have ever had. I have always had doubts about travel agencies, organized tours, and alike. I am a true believer of managing my own time on my own terms; however macs adventure truly altered my bias against travel agencies. And the self guided tour took all the hassle and stress away from me, enhanced my travel experience tremendously. It felt so great to have some one greets us at a foreign country and takes us to a well chosen accommodation. I could not have done any better. Each trip spot took my breath away, stunning medieval towns, massive vineyard surrounded by ancient city walls, steep streets, organic fruits, various room decors of each and every place we stayed, and the walking trails were a true pleasure. The trail book descriptions contain all the necessary information, it is concise, clear, and to the point. I love it. There are so much to comment on the excellent job Chase has done for us. It was a enjoyable, active, and pleasurable experience.

CiCi

New York City

true

Very relaxing, amazing food

5

Enjoyed discovering the wines of Bordeaux with walking in the cool of the morning and relaxing in the afternoons. Some route finding was tricky but we enjoyed the challenge. Never too far from civilisation! Excellent accommodation and amazing food. Great value for money.

Susan

Stirling

true

Excellent

5

The whole week was well planned and well delivered. The choice of walking routes was excellent; they were varied and interesting. Accommodation was always comfortable,interesting and clean. Hosts were extremely welcoming and food was consistently good. Taxis and transfers were always on time; drivers helpful and friendly. The week exceeded our expectations.

David W

Sussex

true

An excellent experience I can thoroughly recommend

4

Booking and getting flexibility was easy. The accommodation was all excellent but varied in terms of type - this was really good. Food when provided was first class throughout. Local arrangements, taxis and baggage handling were excellent. The only thing that could be improved were the walking guides and route maps.

LeFlic17

Arlesey

true

Bordeaux Wine Trails

4.8 4

100.0

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