The Essential Bordeaux - Daily Schedule
$4995 twin share
Mid-afternoon, we meet at the Libourne railway station (25kms from Bordeaux). Explore this old river town, once an English stronghold. Tutored tasting of the wines of the Fronsac appellation at our accommodation, a manor house right on the banks of the Dordogne River. Welcome dinner at the accommodation.
Our target today is one of the world’s most famous wine towns – St Emilion. Initially, we travel through the vineyards of Fronsac. The famous premier cru names – Petrus & Pomerol are on our path to medieval Saint-Emilion with its miles of underground cellars. Visit the centuries-old underground hermitage and the tower, and learn about the famed St Emilion appellation at the Maison du Vin.
A circuit through the monoculture of the Saint-Emilion appellation and along the banks of the mighty Dordogne River, before enjoying a riverside pique-nique. Return towards Saint-Emilion for a tutored wine tasting at a reputed winery. Continue your exploration of the noted attractions of Saint-Emilion.
Day 4 (transfer day)
We weave our way through gently rolling hinterland pausing for a lakeside lunch.To the banks of the Dordogne River and to our hotel, in the countryside adjacent to the French bastide of Ste-Foy-la-Grande.
Activity options today in and around Ste-Foy-la-Grande include the chance to meet local producers; to canoe on the Dordogne; play golf at Chateau Veziers; or head to the famous sweet wine producing area of Montbazillac.
Stroll Ste-Foy-la-Grande to experience its fine regional market, before heading upriver on pathways through tobacco country to Bergerac or take the train to Sarlat. (Saturday morning market in both these towns.)
Day 6 (transfer day)
Today we follow the path of the pilgrims going to St-Jacques-de-Compostella through the vine-clad Entre-Deux-Mers region, stopping for a lunch en route (included). Pause in the town square of Monsegur (another bastide, this time English). Accommodation ce soir – in two carefully restored dwellings near the Dropt River, between Monsegur and Duras.
To Duras market, and take the chance to visit the famous chateau. Follow small roads in the valley of the Dropt river. Visit a prune farm and the local cave co-operative. Explore the walled town of Monsegur and learn about the everyday lives of people in small-town France. Learn some of the secrets of the cooking of this region, then enjoy them at dinner in the countryside.
Ride via the fortified windmill of Loubens and the Chateau of Lavison to La Reole on the other great ‘sea’, the River Garonne, then follow the canal side paths.
A day out in Bordeaux. Explore the old town on an old bike with our own guide.
A ride through the famed vineyards of Sauternes followed by some exploration in the forests of the Landes. In the afternoon, kayaking on the Cirons River. Dinner in a well-regarded local restaurant.
Market in Monsegur. A day at leisure exploring more of the area to work up an appetite for this evening’s au revoir feast.
A farewell breakfast, then transfer to Monsegur for a train to Bordeaux, and a safe journey to your next destination.
Tour Dates & Cost
NZ$ 4995 (GST not applicable). A single supplement applies (if you have an individual room).
Included in the cost of each 12-day escorted active gourmet tour:
- Daily support vehicle (no panniers or backpacks needed!). You can easily transfer luggage and any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops this way.
- An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people and the history of the area.
- Quality accommodation in properties of character, for the most part with private facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the base to explore the environs.
- Hire of quality mountain bikes with front suspension.
- Seven gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties, four lunches including spectacular picnics — not forgetting the special au revoir banquet on our final night. Several times you’ll get the chance to ‘follow-your-own-nose’ for midday and evening meals.
- All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.
- Our active gourmet tours offer a range of routes from undemanding to taxing, through the very heart of stunning countryside. High fitness levels aren’t essential though reasonable fitness is preferable.
- Pre-trip guidance (and cycle instruction is available if required).
- Tutored wine tasting and special events.
- Rest days and independent exploration possible (we supply very detailed maps that allow a choice of routes).
- Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, use of large-scale maps of the area and general advice on travelling in Europe.
- Daily briefing and guidance.
- Water bottle and hat.
- Luggage transfer between localities.
- A sense of adventure is compulsory!
- Chateau and museum entry fees (you choose!).
- Gratuities and drinks.
- Golf-club hire and green fees where applicable.
- Fishing tackle hire and lessons where applicable.
- Visas and passports (as necessary).
- Travel insurance (mandatory).
- Personal items, eg, laundry, telephone, emails are all at extra cost.
- Limited number of days available?
- You can join in for a shorter time. We also offer associated walking or car itineraries for non-cycling partners.
See our FAQ page for more information.
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