RIVER CRUISES / BIKE CRUISE: THE CLASSIC BORDEAUX WINE ROUTE
Day 1: Castets-en Dorthe – Around the ‘Canal des Deux Mers' (15 km)
Arrival in Bordeaux, and, if you like, transfer from the inner city to the ship, the MS BORDEAUX. We help you with your luggage, and show you your cabin. Afterwards, you can take over your bike and start your first small trip in Castets. This fruitful region is also called ‘Little Holland’, due to its many vegetable fields and fruit gardens. During your welcome drink, you will get to know the ship team and the other guests. At dinner, you may be able to have first conversations with other travelers. You will sit at big tables, and it is possible to switch places on a daily basis.
Day 2: Castets-en-Dorthe / Entre-Deux Mer (27 – 46 km) Castets-en-Dorthe – Loupiac / Cadillac
Today, the bike route leads through the region Entre-Deux-Mers. You will discover ‘Malagar’, the former residence of the authorFrançois Mauriac, or the castle Malromé, the former residence of Toulouse-Lautrec. You can visit the grave of the painter in the pilgrimage site of Verdelais. You can bike from fortress to fortress – the view is breathtaking. Look forward to the town of La Réole, to the village of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, and the panorama plateau. Here we have exciting findings of fossilized oysters. In the medieval village ofSaint-Macaire, you can admire the many historical buildings. In the late afternoon, the trip with the ship continues upstream on the Garonne, all the way to Loupiac, on the other side of Cadillac.
Day 3: Round trip Cadillac / Graves – Sauternes (39-50 km) Cadillac – Bordeaux
Today we will discover theSauternes region on bike. You will ride through the region of Graves, where the Bordeaux wines are from. You will pass the famous vineyards Château d’Yquem, Château Suduiraut, Château Guiraud, Clos Haut Peyraguey, and many more. The route follows the winding shores of the river Ciron, whose icey waters are floating into the warmer Garonne. Here flourishes the ‘Botrytis Cynerea’, the famous mold fungus. Wine makers cherish this mold fungus as the cause of a ‘noble rot’ of grapes. These are responsible for the wonderful royally sweet berry- and dry berry selection. When the words ‘all men on board’ are uttered, we will leave and travel on the Garonne to the next highlight of our trip. The goal is to reach majestic Bordeaux, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Make use of an evening stroll to get a good impression. Our dock is directly in the historical center of Bordeaux.
Day 4: Tour through Bordeaux – UNESCO (10-50 km)
Bordeaux is a UNESCO world heritage for a reason. The list of buildings, place 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 doesn’t just glow due to its individual buildings, but through the grandiose, well preserved old city. Worth seeing is theCapuchine Market (perhaps with tastings of wine and oysters), the basilica, the Pont de Pierre, the first bridge of the city, which was built back in the day on Napoleons orders. You may admire the many squares and old train trollies. In and around Bordeaux are many opportunities for sightseeing and shopping.
Day 5: Round trip Margaux – Médoc (29-58 km) Bordeaux – Lamarque, then Lamarque – Bourg
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, with or without wine tasting. You also have the opportunity to extend today’s trip to Margaux. 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 Lagen. A romantic route will be traveled in the evening on the MS Bordeaux. We will move further to Bourg-sur-Gironde.
Day 6: The vineyads of Côtes de Bourg – Citadel of Blaye (25-41 km) Bourg – Libourne/Fronsac
This part of the trip offers views on endless vineyards, garnished with many castles. Beautiful and romantic is the church of Bayon. You have the opportunity to visit some of the castles in the area, such as Tayac, Eyquem Monconseil-Gazin, Marquis de Vauban or others. At the corner of the beautiful, quiet Corniche Street, which leads along the mouth of the river, lies the ruin of the gallo-roman villa in Plassac. You soon will reach the Citadel of Blaye, also an UNESCO world heritage. Take your time for a tour. Back in Bourg, you may enjoy another small trip through the city and look forward to the sundowner on board of the MS Bordeaux. In the evening, the MS Bordeaux will sail to Libourne Fronsac.
Day 7: Round trip of the wineyards of Libourne and Saint-Emilion (25-45 km)
At the beginning of today’s roundtrip, you will discover the small 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 view of the medieval streets and surrounding vineyards. Visit the monolithic church and indulge in the small town flair with its wonderful bistros and restaurants. Your trip will continue to scenic country roads, where you will have a nice overview of many well known castles of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Angelus, Beausejour, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Dominica, Trottevieille, Gaubert, Barde-Haut Clos La Madeleine, Bel Air Monange Laroque, Fombrauge Grand Corbin, Gazin, Petrus, a small village, Nenin... Here are growing some of the most famous wines of the world. A real paradise for wine lovers. Your ship will wait for you at the end of the day, at the dock of Libourne.
Day 8: Libourne & Transfer back to Bordeaux (optional)
After your last breakfast on board, it is time to say goodbye. Around 9am you will take the bus back to the train station of St Jean in Bordeaux.
Every second week, this cruise is going the opposite direction.