General

PLACES VISITED
Coubeyrac, Gensac, Pessac-sur-Dordogne, Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Eynesse, Flaujagues, Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, Castillon la Bataille, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Bertin, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Saint Andre-de-Cubzac, Bourg-sur-Gironde, Blaye, Châteaux Lamarque, Châteaux Beychevelle, Pauillac, Médoc, Bordeaux

DEPARTURE DATES
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Tour Begins in the Village of Coubeyrac

Your tour begins in the charming village of Coubeyrac. As soon as you arrive at the Libourne train station, you’ll be greeted by your guide. The program begins with a light lunch and then a short drive through the countryside to your hotel, the Château de Sanse in picturesque Gensac. This peaceful medieval village lies in the middle of the Entre Deux Mers wine region with a lovely perspective of the Durèze River and the Dordogne Valley. You’ll be welcomed at the château with a glass of the region’s finest sparkling wine. Make a toast to celebrate the beginning of your French cycling vacation! Consider learning more about your France travel companies that will craft the perfect cycling expedition for you.

After getting set up on your bike and a quick safety review, you’ll set out for your first bike ride. This scenic cycling tour takes you along the Dordogne River on a loop through Pessac-sur-Dordogne. You’ll stop to visit with a local resident, who has converted his old watermill and bakery into an upscale winery. He will share his passion for wine and teach you how to taste Bordeaux wines properly. Then return to the château to enjoy some leisure time. Relax by the pool or unwind on the fabulous terrace with views of the vineyards surrounding Gensac. Tonight you’ll be treated to a special dinner at the hotel’s elegant restaurant, where your hosts will offer a feast of traditional dishes featuring fresh seasonal ingredients.

What’s Included: transfer, dinner, accommodation

Day 2: Scenic Bike Ride to Picnic Area and Wine Tasting at Château Carbonneau

After breakfast on the terrace of your hotel, you’ll begin your cycling tour. Pedal through miles of green vineyards in the Entre-Deux-Mers, an area steeped in history and viticulture. After crossing over the Dordogne River, the route continues towards Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, a tiny medieval village on the banks of the river. This village is known for having one of the best markets in France. Enjoy a gentle ride through the surrounding fruit orchards and along the pleasant riverside roads. You’ll cycle until you reach the tranquil Lac de Gurson, where you will enjoy a lakeside picnic on the beach. Your delicious gourmet picnic includes typical French specialties, accompanied by a refreshing glass of Bordeaux Rosé wine. Always served extra chilled, Rosé wine is the traditional choice for cooling off on a warm day. After lunch, you’ll return to Gensac for another gentle scenic ride, with plenty of stops along the way for photos.

This afternoon, you’ll have a chance to freshen up before setting out for a special visit to a château with a small wine estate. Your guides will take you on an exclusive tour of the Château Carbonneau including a tasting of the wines produced at the château. The proprietors, Jacquie and Wilfrid Franc de Ferrière, will welcome you into their lovely 19th-century château set amidst its own vineyard and decorated in a delightful French-country style. After an invigorating day on the biking trails, you’ll enjoy a traditional Bordelaise dinner prepared by your hosts. Depending on the weather, you may take your meal in the château’s elegant dining room or on the outdoor terrace overlooking the property’s lush parkland and flourishing garden.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 3: Cycle Along the Dordogne River to Saint-Émilion

Today’s ride takes you on a cruising descent alongside the meandering Dordogne River. Cycle on quiet roads past fruit trees, while overhearing the babbling river in the distance. Look out for the local fishermen waiting for a catch on this peaceful river. You’ll travel across the river and continue cycling past three tiny medieval villages nestled amidst vineyards: Flaujagues, Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes and Saint-Magne-de-Castillon and through the historic city of Castillon la Bataille, an important site in the Hundred Years’ War. Then you’ll arrive at the medieval town of Saint-Émilion, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical importance. Surrounded by picturesque vineyards and châteaux, this charming old village is famous for its wine appellation. The town also has many exceptional sites, including the Saint-Émilion Monolithic Church that was founded by Benedictine monks from a solid slab of stone. This remarkable sight is so precious that it is protected by the World Monuments Fund. You’ll visit the church and then have lunch at a restaurant in the town’s main square.

Your tour also includes a wine class in Saint-Émilion, where you develop your “inner sommelier” by sampling some of the renowned wines from nearby estates. Conclude the tour in an afternoon “pause café” (coffee stop) and a visit to a bakery that sells authentic Macarons de Saint-Émilion (almond cookies) that are a specialty of Saint-Émilion. After visiting Saint-Émilion, you’ll continue your bike ride through the beautiful vineyards and past the famous Grand Cru Classé wine châteaux. Tonight you’ll enjoy an exquisite dinner at your world-class accommodation, where you will spend the night in scintillating luxury. This 19th-century château is set amidst three acres of parkland near the medieval walls of Saint-Émilion. Relax as you’re treated to the restaurant’s warm hospitality, gourmet cuisine and fine wines. You are sure to have a restful night’s sleep in this peaceful country lodging. The rooms are stylishly decorated, include all the modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, and feature soundproofing for the ultimate relaxation.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 4: Bike Ride from Pomerol to Saint-Émilion and Wine Tasting at Prestigious Châteaux

This morning, delight in a leisurely breakfast at your hotel and then take some time to explore the hotel’s extensive grounds. In the late morning, you’ll begin your bike ride by cycling into the rolling hills, blanketed with green vineyards. This region offers the perfect biking terrain for an easy-going scenic ride. Your journey takes you along the route lined with some of the most significant wine-producing estates in the Pomerol and Saint-Émilion regions, including Château Cheval Blanc, Château Figeac, Château Pétrus and Château Ausone. You will stop to taste the wines of Château Figeac or Château Pétrus and Château Gazin. Then enjoy an indulgent gourmet picnic in a lovely setting surrounded by historical windmills. Afterward, cycle back to Saint-Émilion, where you can spend some time sightseeing or shopping. Another option is to return to your hotel to be pampered at the luxury spa that features a sauna, hammam (Arab-style baths) and beauty treatments. Tonight you are free to dine at the hotel or a restaurant in Saint-Émilion. Your guide will be happy to help you make a dinner reservation.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, accommodation

Day 5: Cycle through the Vineyards and Visit Grand Cru Wineries of the Médoc

After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll set out for another scenic ride through the Bordeaux vineyards. Today you’ll leave the Pomerol and Saint-Émilion regions and head toward the Médoc, another famous wine-producing area. You’ll wind your way through the vineyards and villages of the Bordelais landscape down to the Dordogne River Banks and the Gironde Estuary that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This region of Bordeaux straddles the Gironde Estuary, where the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers converge. The largest estuary in Europe, the Gironde has an important influence on the vineyards of the Médoc. The estuary contributes to the sandy alluvial soil (gravel, silt, and clay) that is rich in minerals and one of the best grape-growing soils in the world.

Between the tiny village of Bourg-sur-Gironde and the working wine town of Blaye, you will stop for a leisurely lunch of regional specialties. Then you’ll board a ferry and travel across the Gironde River to the Médoc, the cradle of Cabernet Sauvignon wine production. You’ll enjoy a scenic bike ride through the vineyards of this famous appellation until you reach your destination, the Château Cordeillan-Bages in Pauillac. This luxurious Relais & Châteaux hotel occupies an elegant 17th-century mansion in a beautiful vineyard setting. The Château Cordeillan-Bages also boasts a two-star Michelin restaurant. Tonight you’ll be treated to an exquisite gastronomic meal of creative modern cuisine prepared by the restaurant’s renowned chef, Jean-Luc Rocha. The meal will be paired with the finest Bordeaux wines from some of the prestigious wine châteaux that you have seen while touring the region.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 6: Tour Concludes with Departure from Bordeaux

After breakfast, you’ll have some time to relax and stroll through the beautiful grounds of the Château Cordeillan-Bages before your drive back to Bordeaux. You’ll be provided a private transfer to the Bordeaux airport for your return flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

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