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!
2017 per person price
* Price based on double room occupancy - please contact us for details on single room supplements
|1 Night Hotel le Continental in Bordeaux||www.hotel-le-continental.com|
|2 Nights Auberge de la Commanderie in St Emilion||www.aubergedelacommanderie.com|
|2 Nights Hotel de Bordeaux in Bergerac||www.hotel-bordeaux-bergerac.com|
|2 Nights Hotel Moulin de la Beune in Les Eyzies||www.moulindelabeune.com|
|1 Night Hotel la Couleuvrine in Sarlat||www.la-couleuvrine.com|
|1 Night Hotel Majestic in Bordeaux||www.hotel-majestic.com|
|2 Nights Logis des Remparts in St Emilion||www.logisdesremparts.com|
|2 Nights La Chartreuse de Bignac in Bergerac||www.abignac.com|
|2 Nights Hostellerie du Passeur in Les Eyzies||www.hostellerie-du-passeur.com|
|1 Night Hotel de Selves in Sarlat||www.selves-sarlat.com|
|1 Night Regent Grand Hotel Spa in Bordeaux||www.ghbordeaux.com|
|2 Nights Hostellerie de Plaisance in St Emilion||www.hostellerie-plaisance.com|
|2 Nights La Chartreuse de Bignac in Bergerac||www.abignac.com|
|2 Nights Hotel les Glycines in Les Eyzies||www.les-glycines-dordogne.com|
|1 Night Hotel Clos la Boëtie in Sarlat||www.hotelcloslaboetie-sarlat.com|
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 is quite easygoing, and beautiful, as it runs parallel to the Dordogne River. We start by transferring you after breakfast to the town of Castillon la Bataille (option to ride the extra 12 km if you prefer). “Castillon” a name shared by about 15 different French towns, meaning a fortified square, but only one added the precision “La Bataille” referring to the conclusive battle of the Hundred Year’s War in 1453, where the famous English leader John Talbot is killed, and the French turn the tide on their occupation. You’ll also ride through Saint Foy la Grande, a 13th century Bastided town, that surprisingly (its name, “La Grande”, means the Big One) is one of the smallest communities in France. The town, with its strategic setting on the river, also became a Protestant bastion in the 16th century. Take some time there to find lunch, and enjoy the 12th century church and winding streets, before continuing on towards Bergerac. Your dinner this evening is included.
You get to decide today how much activity you would like, including of course the option of not riding at all, and simply enjoying the historic quarters of Bergerac with its magnificent Renaissance facades. The ride takes you on a loop southwards, through the vineyards and small villages, to the beautiful town of Monbazillac. The 16th century chateau of the same name, combines medieval military architecture with early Renaissance style. The historic building is today owned by the town’s wine co-operative, and as well as visiting the chateau, you can stop for a tasting of the famous sweet Monbazillac dessert wine, as well as other local wines such as Bergerac or Pécharment. Back to Bergerac itself, in time to explore its lovely streets, or the unusual tobacco museum, or for another tasting…
A great ride awaits you today, meandering along the Dordogne River and entering the Perigord Noir region of France, with its walnut groves, foie gras farms, bastide towns, prehistory and truffles. You’ll ride through Limeuil, another village classified as one of the prettiest of France. Shortly afterwards, your route detours you away from the Dordogne River to follow another river, the Vezere. The end of the ride brings you into the town of Les Eyzies de Tayac, the Prehistory capital of France. At the end of the afternoon you can take the time to visit the National Prehistory museum, carved into the side of the rock face over the river, like many of the region’s unique troglodyte dwellings. Your delicious dinner is included this evening.
Today’s ride plunges you into 25,000 years of history, and takes you up the stunning Vezere River Valley, with its many twists and turns. You’ll pass by the troglodyte site of La Roque Saint Christophe, a beautiful 1 kilometre long rock formation, rising 80 m above the river, and where cave dwellers carved out their shelter homes around 55,000 years ago. Continue on the longer riding option as far as the amazing Lascaux painted caves. Though the originals are now closed to the public in order to preserve the precious and fragile Prehistoric site, the life-sized copy, Lascaux II is more than worth the visit! The ride itself is one of the prettiest of the week, before turning back to Les Eyzies for a second evening.
Your final day’s ride takes you along the Dordogne River Valley, with views of fortified villages and castles from the hundred Year’s war reflected in the limpid waters below. Stop along the way to explore the village of Beynac, La Roque Gageac, and Domme, all three again classified as some of the Prettiest Villages of France, before turning away from the River to ride through forests and rich countryside to Sarlat la Caneda. This treasure of a Medieval town, also a UNESCO Heritage site, is one of the largest Medieval ensembles in all of Europe. You’ll love exploring the beautiful streets in the evening, lit up, and quiet after the bustle of daytime visitors.
After a final breakfast at the hotel you can catch train connections out of Sarlat back to Paris. Bon Voyage!