Bordeaux & the Dordogne River Bike Tour
Starting in the elegant squares, superb restaurants, and exciting museums of Bordeaux we will ride through the famous vineyards of UNESCO St Emilion, stopping to explore the underground monuments and tiny cobblestoned streets. Continue through history along the banks of the Dordogne River – dotted with castles that fought against each other during the Hundred Years War, groves of walnut trees, villages with panoramic views, and a rich center of prehistory… this tour is mostly very easygoing, and treats you with some spectacular scenery.
- September 10 – 16, 2023 (Sunday-Saturday)
- September 17 – 23 (Sunday-Saturday)
Each tour is limited to 12 participants
- 6 nights’ accommodation
- All breakfasts, 3 dinners (drinks not included with the dinners)
- Fully equipped quality touring bike (e-bike and road bikes available)
- Orientation with the local Trip Manager
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route notes
- Regional information and advice
- GPS file of the route for our smartphones
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
Single supplement $550 (Traveling solo? We will try to find you shared room if you want)
Upgrade to e-Bike $150 or Road Bike ($200)
Day 1 (Sun) Arrival in Bordeaux
Arrive in Bordeaux (at the train station or airport) and settle into your hotel, in the heart of the historic city. Bike fitting and orientation in the late afternoon or the following morning. You’ll want to take some time to explore Bordeaux itself. This port city, that has been the center of the Bordeaux wine trade since the 8th century, and its historic center is also a UNESCO heritage site, with its 18th century stunning architectural facades, and the fully restored Port des Lunes. Dinner on your own in one of the dozens of excellent restaurants.
I will try to arrange a city bike tour for anyone who arrives early enough for a mid-afternoon tourv
Day 2 (Mon) Bordeaux to St Emilion 53 km / 33 Miles easy riding
Our ride today starts in the elegant Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux, and follows the easygoing and tranquil “Roger Lapebie” bike path, in the heart of the Entre Deux Mers vineyards, passing a multitude of pretty villages, with pretty Romanesque churches and chapels, fortified mills, abbeys… You will pass by the village of Créon, a bastided town typical of the region, where we likely take some time for explorations. The end of the day has us leave the path, and cross over the Dordogne River in Branne, to make our way to St Emilion. This beautiful Medieval walled small town, and the countryside and vineyards which surround it, have been uniquely classified as a World Heritage ensemble by UNESCO.
Dinner this evening is included
Day 3 (Tue) St Emilion Grands Crus Classes 34 km / 21 Miles
Our ride today is a loop that is purposely shorter, in order to give us time for St Emilion itself. We’ll head out of the medieval town and into the countryside and famous vineyards which surround it, starting into the area to the northwest in the Pomerol region. The Pomerol area is tiny, but the small production of essentially Merlot wines is renowned around the world today, and not only because of its star, the wines from Petrus, which we’ll ride by – as well as Chateaux Canon, Beausejour Becot, Angelus (with its iconic bells), and the vineyards of Cheval Blanc and Figeac… Even if you are not a wine connoisseur, you’ll love the truly beautiful riding, on tiny roads, interlaced with ancient stone walls and the lush vineyard greenery and chateaux themselves. Then back to St Emilion, with time for exploring the incredible underground church, entirely carved into the rock (its construction extracted over 15,000 cubic meters of rock!) and its catacombs, as well as the Romanesque church and the winding cobblestoned streets and houses. (
Day 4 (Wed) St Emilion to Ste Foy la Grande 45 km / 28 Miles
Today’s ride leaves the vineyards of St Emilion, and rides parallel to the pretty and lush Dordogne River on its southern bank, most of the day. We’ll cross the river at Castillon-la-Bataille, where we’ll take a take to wander the charming streets of this little town with its unusual Baroque Church, the 13th century town gate, and very pretty 18th century city hall, overlooking the river. We’ll have time for a refreshing drink (or discover the quite enjoyable Cotes de Castillon wines!) before continuing on. The end of our ride brings you to the Bastide town of Ste Foy la Grande, with its rich heritage of 15th and 16th century houses and its beautiful central arcaded square. Dinner included.
Day 5 (Thu) Ste Foy la Grande to Bignac via Bergerac 43 km / 27 Miles
Our route today starts again parallel to the Dordogne River for a stretch, but then after passing through the small town of Garonne, we turn inland, heading through pretty countryside, and a mix of vineyards and fields and forest. Then head back to the banks of the Dordogne River, into the town of Bergerac. The highlight of explorations of Bergerac is the old town neighborhood, with lovely medieval streets and squares to explore, and a variety of boutiques – we’ll have map for a walking tour that centers around Place Pelissiere, edged with cafes and restaurants and always full of flowers. At the top edge is the St James church with its attractive bell-tower. And the Maison de Vins de Bergerac in a beautiful old cloister dating back to the 12th century, as well as the quite interesting National Tobacco Museum. (the region was a large tobacco-growing area).
After Bergerac, we’ll continue on your last stretch to the lovely our hotel Chartreuse de Bignac, nestled in the countryside. Dinner included
Day 6 (Fri) Loop to Monbazillac 35 km / 22 Miles
A truly pretty ride through the slightly rolling countryside from Bignac awaits us on our final riding day. The ride brings us by the welcoming Chateau de Bridoire – a privately owned castle (the owners still live there) with beautifully furnished rooms to visit, as well as a vast park; where I hope we can explore ihe labyrinth! The route continues from there through more and more vineyards to bring us into the village of Monbazillac. The town is quite pretty, with its church and small local restaurants and cafés, but it’s renown comes from the delicious, sweet wines that are made there. Perhaps we’ll stop for a visit and tasting at the Chateau Monbazillac, or one of the neighboring local winemakers, before continuing onwards to return to the hotel for our final evening.
Day 7 (Sat) Departure from Bergerac
After a final breakfast at the hotel there are easy connections out of the Bergerac train station for your further travels. Bon Voyage !