Ride from the elegant squares of Bordeaux through the famous vineyards of UNESCO St Emilion and into the rich history and authentic cuisine of the Dordogne River Valley!
2019 per person price
* Price based on double room occupancy - please contact us for details on single room supplements
|1 Night Hotel les Quatre Soeurs in Bordeaux||hotel-bordeaux-centre.com/|
|2 Nights Auberge de la Commanderie in St Emilion||www.aubergedelacommanderie.com|
|1 Night Hotel Victor Hugo in Sainte Foy||www.levictorhugo33.com|
|1 Night Hotel de Bordeaux in Bergerac||www.hotel-bordeaux-bergerac.com|
|2 Nights Hotel la Couleuvrine in Sarlat||www.la-couleuvrine.com|
|1 Night Hotel le Lascaux in Montignac||www.hotel-lascaux-24.fr/|
|1 Night Hotel Majestic in Bordeaux||www.hotel-majestic.com|
|2 Nights Le Palais Cardinal in St Emilion||www.palais-cardinal.com/|
|1 Night Chateau des Vigiers - classic room||www.vigiers.com|
|1 Night La Chartreuse de Bignac in Bergerac - classic room||www.abignac.com|
|2 Nights Hotel de Selves in Sarlat||www.selves-sarlat.com|
|1 Night Hotel la Roseraie in Montignac||www.laroseraie-hotel.com|
|1 Night Le Grand Hotel in Bordeaux||bordeaux.intercontinental.com/|
|2 Nights Hostellerie de Plaisance in St Emilion||www.hostellerie-plaisance.com|
|1 Night Chateau des Vigiers - Prestige room||www.vigiers.com|
|1 Night La Chartreuse de Bignac in Bergerac - Deluxe room||www.abignac.com|
|2 Nights Hotel Clos la Boëtie in Sarlat||www.hotelcloslaboetie-sarlat.com|
|1 Night Hotel Bouilhac in Montignac||hoteldebouilhac-montignac.fr/|
After you arrive in Bordeaux (at the train station or airport) and settle in to your hotel, in the heart of the historic city, our Trip Manager will meet with you, check the fitting of your bikes, and go over your trip packages with you. You’ll want to take some time to explore Bordeaux itself. This port city, that has been the centre of the Bordeaux wine trade since the 8th century, and its historic centre is also a UNESCO heritage site, with its 18th century stunning architectural facades, and the fully restored Port des Lunes. We leave you to find dinner in one of the dozens of excellent restaurants.
Your 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 encourage you to take some time for explorations. The end of the day has you leave the path, and cross over the Dordogne River in Branne, to make your 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. Your dinner this evening is included, in one of our favourite restaurants.
Your riding today is a loop that takes you out of Medieval St Emilion, and into the countryside and vineyards which surround it. You will ride through the vineyards of 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 of course you'll ride by, as well as Angelus, Canon and others. You have the option of a shorter ride, to have more time for exploring St Emilion, including the incredible underground church, entirely carved into the rock (its construction extracted over 15,000 cubic metres of rock!) and its catacombs, as well as the Romanesque church and the winding cobblestoned streets and houses.
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. You cross the river at Castillon-la-Bataille, where we recommend you take a break from your ride. 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 provide a self-guided walking tour to help in your explorations. Take time for a refreshing drink (or discover the quite enjoyable Cotes de Castillon wines!) before continuing on. The end of your 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. (please note the Deluxe itinerary stays in nearby Chateau de Vigiers)
Your route today starts again parallel to the Dordogne River for a stretch, but then after passing through the small town of Garonne, you turn inland, heading through pretty countryside, and a mix of vineyards and fields and forest. The vineyards start winning out as you approach 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. Stop for a visit and tasting at the Chateau Monbazillac, or any of the neighbouring local winemakers, before continuing on your last stretch to the lovely Chartreuse de Bignac, nestled in the countryside. (please note the Classic itinerary stays in the nearby town of Bergerac).
A truly pretty ride, in the slightly rolling countryside from Bignac, passing through the medieval village of Issigeac with its 2000-year old history and restored medieval houses. Gradually descend back to the Dordogne River, passing the fortified chateau-farmhouse of Lanquais and riding through lushly green forests. Then follow the river again all the way to the town of Lalinde. Cross the arched river there, and then stop for a refreshment before catching the local train (with your bikes!) taking you to Sarlat-la-Caneda (and skipping some significant hills and busier roads in between). Sarlat is worthy of your time; this incredible UNESCO heritage site, the largest Medieval ensemble in Europe, is best explored in the evening, when the beautiful "lauze" stone roofs and tiny cobblestoned streets are lit up beautifully by the municipality.
The loop ride for the day is one of the most picturesque, passing through some of the "prettiest villages of France" (this is an official national rating) like La Roque Gageac, built flat against the cliffside overlooking the Dordogne, and with original troglodyte dwellings. You'll see medieval castles lining the river that warred across from each other... Take a short detour to Beynac, with its imposing castle built by the Barons of Beynac. Climb up to the war museum at Chateau Castelnaud. You may well decide to lunch in Domme. This village, an excellent example of the Bastide villages of Medieval France, was built in the 13th century by Philip the Bold; there are still examples of medieval graffiti by the templar knights, and a spectacular panorama to the valley below! Return to Sarlat for a second night.
Your route today takes you northwards from Sarlat through the Dordogne's rich countryside, where truffles and cep mushrooms, walnut orchards, and grapes grow, and where you shouldn't be surprised to see goose and duck farms, as well as a wonderful ancient walnut mill. Your final stretch follows the banks of the winding Vezere River, before arriving in Montignac, a pretty town in its own, but made famous today as it is the home of the renowned prehistoric cave painting site of Lascaux. You'll be able to visit the recently opened Lascaux IV reproduction, just on the outskirts of Montignac, before deciding where you'd like to dine, of the town's many options.
After a final breakfast at the hotel you can catch train connections out of Brive-la-Gaillarde back to Paris. Bon Voyage!