The Vineyards of Bordeaux

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The Vineyards of Bordeaux

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle through Gironde: Entre-Deux-Mers
  • Sample superb wines and oysters of L’Herbe
  • From Bastides to the Sea
  • Cool Forests and Giant Dunes

Trip Summary

Mention Bordeaux and you will spark thoughts all around the world of good wine. As you travel through the vineyards by bike on carefully chosen routes you will experience much more of the Gironde. Unique castles will catch your eye, rivers meander their way across beautiful countryside, the unspoilt Natural Park, oyster beds and the Atlantic coast add a multitude of dimensions to your journey. This is an easy-going, hotel-based on-road cycle tour exploring the delights of the Gironde region. Best known for the vineyards that produce Bordeaux wines, this area that stretches south of the Dordogne and west to the Atlantic also harbours shady forests, the Garonne River, quaint rural villages and enormous sand dunes on the coast. Apart from the rolling nature of some of the vineyards, the ride is generally flattish and covers modest daily distances. There will be plenty of time for relaxing, looking around and perhaps having a few long lunches. All in all it is a leisurely tour for enjoying the ample delights of rural France - and especially the great Bordeaux wines.


This trip is graded introductory to moderate (grade 2) with daily cycling distances from 20 to 53km/12.5 to 33mi. The terrain is relatively flat, with short climbs out of the river valleys onto the intervening vineyard areas. This makes cycling easy and enjoyable.


Make your own way to Bordeaux. From the railway station or airport you will transfer to the first hotel, where you will receive your information pack and bike. Overnight in Rions or Cadillac - we use one of 3 guesthouses or hotels (3*) tonight depending on availability. This is a wine growing area and dinner will be served in the guesthouse or a nearby restaurant.

Meals:  D

Today's cycle takes you into the ‘Entre-Deux-Mer’ area, through the Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux wine growing area. Enjoy superb views of the Garonne River and visit the charming old merchant town Saint Macaire. A short cycle from town are the former residence of artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Chateau Malrome, and of writer Francois Mauriac, Domaine de Malagar. Overnight in Saint Macaire in a 3* hotel in the heart of the medieval city. If there no availability, accommodation will be in a charming guesthouse in Caudrot (7km/4.5mi further on). Dinner is included tonight.

Meals:  B,D

From the village of Saint Macaire you cross to the left bank of the Garonne River and follow the twisting roads through the world famous vines of the Sauternes area, including the jewel in its crown, Chateau Yquem. You pedal on to Budos then through valleys carved out by the River Ciron to Leogats and Nouaillan. Continue to Balizac where you enter the ‘Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park,’ before reaching Origne, where you stay overnight. Your accommodation tonight is a charming guesthouse located in the centre of the village. Dinner is included.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s ride takes you through the Regional Nature Park. You will be riding along a lovely little forest road offering great scenic variety and taking you westwards. Heading towards Louchats, the pine forest becomes denser and the scent of pine resin richer. Leave your bike at the site of the lagoons of Gat–Mort to discover the water beneath the ferns. The lakes of Hosten offer plenty of shade by the shore, perfect for an afternoon nap! Continue cycling along the track, between pine trees and heather, to the small town of Le Barp. Overnight in a 2* hotel, stone built, with a swimming pool and terrace shaded by vines. This hotel is closed on Sunday nights except in July & August, so bear this in mind when organising your holiday.

Meals:  B

Today you begin with a gentle cycle along the bike track to Mios, where you join a minor road as the pine forest gradually thins. Crossing over the railway line takes you to Le Teich, where the Park meets the sea. You can have a look around the ornithological park and take a break. From here you take the coastal path, with the salt from the bay under your wheels, and follow the scent of the sea air to Gujan-Mestras. In your own time, continue to your hotel in Arcachon, a 3* hotel in the heart of the town and near the beach. The hotel has comfortable standard rooms, living room and a shady garden. Dinner is included. From Arcachon, you can cycle to the Atlantic seaboard and visit the Dune du Pyla, the highest dune in Europe, where you can leave your bike and climb to the top for great views (approx. 20km/12.5mi return).

Meals:  B,D

Today you can take the boat with your bike across the Bay of Arcachon to reach Cap Ferret and ride on the other side of the bay. Leave your bike to walk up to the top of the lighthouse and then pedal on to reach the very pretty oyster village of l’Herbe, some reservoirs and the ‘Tapper’s Shack.’ You must however be careful not to miss the last boat departure back across the bay. Alternatively or additionally, and if you didn't yesterday, cycle to the Dune du Pyla, the highest sand dune in Europe. Overnight in Arcachon. Dinner is at leisure, which you can enjoy at one of the local restaurants.

Meals:  B

Leaving your bike in Arcachon, you take the train to Bordeaux (approx 50 mins, ticket not included). Although you won’t have access to your room until later in the day, the hotel won’t mind you leaving your bags so that you can go out and explore Bordeaux, which is home to an appealing variety of historic buildings and museums. Overnight in a 3* centrally located hotel, which makes it easy to access all the sights and sounds of this wonderful city.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast. The centrally located hotel is within walking distance of the airport shuttle bus. If you'd like to stay an extra night, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners (including wine and coffee)
  • 7 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Hybrid bike rental including lock, repair kit, helmet, handlebar bag and pannier (electric bike available on request - a supplement applies)
  • Luggage transfer on cycling days
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Taxi transfer on day 1 from Bordeaux

What's Not Included

  • 3 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Train from Arcachon to Bordeaux (allow EUR12)

Upcoming Travel Dates


Duration:8 Days
Starting Point:Bordeaux
Finishing Point:Bordeaux
Activities:self guided cycling
Grade:introductory to moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:CGR
Prices From:GBP£1185 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£390  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£530  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.