Explore the famous wine regions of southwest France on this bike and boat tour. You will have a whole week to discover the heart of all the 6 Bordeaux wine regions, Entre-Deux-Mers/Sauternes, Cotes dd Bourg, Pomerol, Saint Emilion, Graves/Medoc and Bordeaux. This is a wine lovers paradise but also a great region for enjoying the French culture and of course its history as you visit Chateaux and UNESCO sites. Each day the tour is designed to allow maximum flexibility with loop rides and different distances. Once back onboard the ship sails to the next port of call ready for the following day’s ride.
During the day, you have plenty of time for sightseeing, to explore towns fascinating towns and villages. Stop for lunch, eat your picnic or have a coffee and a snack in a café. This is French life as it is meant to be. At the end of the day, return to the ship where the crew welcomes you on board. Now you can chat with your new friends and enjoy some good wine. Then you start sailing to a new region to explore the next day by bike. You don’t have to pack and unpack every day!
Alternates Libourne / Castets en Dorthe
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The ship is 78m long and 9m wide. It has a capacity of 80 guests in twin cabins. The lower deck has 36 cabins and the upper deck has 11 cabins. At the front of the ship is a furnished lounge/salon with a bar and a small dance floor. There are lovely large panoramic windows all around and a separate restaurant. Above the sundeck and many chairs and tables for relaxation. Here the cycle storage is also located. Each morning there is a lovely breakfast buffet where you also make up a picnic for the day. The evening meal is 3 courses. Special diets are possible if booked at the time of booking and with a small supplement.
The ship has wifi but the quality is not always stable as it depends on good phone signals. The ship is cash only and takes Euro.
The Garonne, Gironde and Dordogne are part of a bigger tidal river system. Water levels can shift by as much as 6m per day, including strong tides. Every effort is made to follow the scheduled itinerary, however, based on tides and weather conditions, it may be amended or modified for safety reasons. The ship will try its best to follow the intended travel itinerary, but tides may force us to adjust accordingly.
When a guest does not want to cycle one day, they can skip the bike tour, relax onboard or take a walking tour instead.
During the day arrive at Bordeaux airport or train station. An optional collective transfer at 2 pm from the train station is bookable to the mooring location of the boat near the Canal des Deux Mers at Castets-en-Dorthe (or Libourne). Check-in on the ship is at 3 pm. Once check-in and unpacked you can get your bike and maybe go ashore to explore the town. This fruitful region is also known locally as ‘Little Holland’, due to its many vegetable fields and fruit gardens.
Later during a welcome drink, you can get to know the ship team and the other guests. At dinner, you will be able to have the first conversations with other travellers. In the dining room, you will sit at big tables where you can switch places daily.
Today is your first real bike tour. The first town you will discover by bike is the lovely Saint Macaire, which is a fortified town with a wonderful ancient gate. Take time to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac. For the wine lovers you today have your first chance for some wine tasting at a château.
Now back on your bike you ride between corn and sunflower fields until you reach La Réole. To reach the town you cross an Eiffel style bridge over the river Garonne. La Réole is well known because in 1190 Richard Lionheart, on his way to the holy Land, gave the town hall building to thank the locals for their loyalty to the English crown. This historical town holds two castles, an impressive church as well as quaint narrow cobblestoned streets.
To end the day, you will enjoy the bike path along the canal de la Garonne. The canal was actually built in Napoleon times. You can either go directly back to the ship or take an extension ride to Meilhan-sur-Garonne, which offers some amazing scenery.
Sailing from CASTETS-EN-DORTHE to LOUPIAC late afternoon
Your cycle tour today will take you through the Sauternes region, where sweet dessert wines are made. The route today allows you to view the Sainte-Croix du Mont before passing the point where the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is buried. The route then 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 the mist that descends on the vineyards, promoting the perfect conditions for the famous Sauternes wine.
You will pass the famous vineyards of many local wines such as Château d’Yquem, Clos Haut Peyraguey, Château Guiraud, and many more.
Cadillac is located in the region of Graves, also known as the birthplace of Bordeaux wines. It is a fortified medieval village known as the Bastide in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region in between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Once you have explored this famous wine region you shall step back on board. We now travel along the Garonne River towards the enchanting city of Bordeaux, reaching the passage of the Stone Bridge and the pier in the city centre, facing the region’s most prestigious panorama: the “Port de la Lune” with its sumptuous eighteenth-century façades.
Sailing from LOUPIAC to BORDEAUX in the evening
Bordeaux is a UNESCO world heritage site for a very good reason. The list of buildings, squares and hidden gems is worth seeing. Walk into the city via la Porte Cailhau, the royal entrance. We suggest a thorough tour: Bordeaux is a city that has many grand individual buildings and a grandiose, well preserved old city. Worth seeing is the amazing architecture, and the hidden gems, the Pey Berland Tower & big bell, the Triangle d’Or, the Colony des Girondins, the Mirroir d’Eau (water mirror), the market of the Capucins (perhaps with tastings of wine and oysters), the Basilique Saint-Michel and the Pont de Pierre which is the first bridge of the city, built back in the days of Napoleon.
Take time to ride through the newly opened Cité du Vin, Chaban Delmas bridge and the very special Darwin Ecosystem, a refurbished factory where you can enjoy the view on the quais, drinking a good coffee in a tree-filled place.
A wonderful city to explore by bike or on foot. In and around Bordeaux are many opportunities for sightseeing and shopping.
And for bike challengers who want to ride along a larger loop, the Roger Lapebie’s cycling lane will take you to Creon and La Sauve, in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region.
Sailing from BORDEAUX to LAMARQUE in the evening
Today we arrive in one of the most famous wine regions of the world. Quickly you will get to the Château Lamothe Bergeron. Tourism and wineries are developing around here. The most famous vineyards are Maucaillou, Poujeaux Rauzan Ségla Palmer, Issan, Priorat Lichine, Kirwan and the Château Margaux. They offer many opportunities for a stop. You also have the opportunity to extend today’s trip to Pauillac. You will pass by many vineyards, Chateaux Moutin Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Lynch-Bages, Cos d’Estournel, Pontet Canet, Pichon Longueville and other classified Grands Crus.
A romantic route will be sailed through in the evening by MS Bordeaux. We will move further to Bourg-sur-Gironde a little village built on a rocky promontory that overlooks the small harbour.
Sailing from LAMARQUE to Bourg-sur Gironde, late afternoon
This part of the trip offers views on endless vineyards, garnished with many castles and pretty villages. An example is the beautiful and romantic church of Bayon. Take time to visit one or maybe two of the castles today. You have a choice between Tayac, Eyquem Monconseil-Gazin, Marquis de Vauban or others. Follow the beautiful Corniche Road, which leads in the direction of the mouth of the river. Here you will pass by the ruin of the Gallo-roman villa in Plassac.
Soon your route will take you to the Citadel of Blaye, also a UNESCO world heritage. Take your time for a tour before returning back to Bourg.
Sailing from BOURG-SUR-GIRONDE to LIBOURNE during the afternoon
Today’s roundtrip will lead you to the town of Libourne, as well as the famous vineyards of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. You should take your time in Saint-Emilion. The medieval village is also a UNESCO world heritage. Enjoy the amazing medieval streets and the view on the surrounding vineyards. Visit the monolithic church and indulge in the small-town flair with its wonderful bistros and restaurants.
Your trip will continue along scenic country lanes, where you will have a nice overview of many well-known castles of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, such as Angelus, Beausejour, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Dominica, Trottevieille, Gaubert, Barde-Haut Clos La Madeleine, Bel Air Monange Laroque, Fombrauge Grand Corbin, Gazin and Petrus. Here are growing some of the most famous wines of the world. A real paradise for wine lovers.
At night you will enjoy an unforgettable and festive Captain’s dinner followed by a cocktail and a dance party with the crew.
After your last breakfast on board, it will be time to say farewell. You can take the optional collective bus to the train station of Bordeaux, arriving around 10.30 am (subject to traffic).
Day 1 Libourne
Day 2 Round trip: Libourne – Saint-Emilion
Day 3 BOURG-SUR-GIRONDE Round trip: Côtes de Bourg – Citadel of Blaye
Day 4 LAMARQUE Round trip: Margaux – Médoc
Day 5 Tour through Bordeaux
Day 6 Round trip: Loupiac – Graves – Sauternes
Day 7 Round trip: Castets-en-Dorthe – Saint Macaire – La Réole – Canal
Day 8 Departure
Daily schedules subject to change.
By plane to Bordeaux and take the shuttle bus to the city train station. Then an optional bus group transfer leaves at 2pm.
By high-speed train from Paris. Then an optional bus group transfer leaves at 2pm.
If you make your own way to the docking location in Libourne or Castets en Dorthe, then arrival is by 3pm.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.