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Medoc, Pineau, Cognac

France - Self-guided cycling holiday

Contrasts. Easy cycling through an abundance of France's largest vineyards combined with more hilly cycling routes through the purely idyllic and beautiful scenery on the eastern bank of the Gironde River.

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Travel Code
CYF-357

Margeaux, Pineau Charente and other delicious wines

Medoc's vineyards and famous chateaus such as Giscours, Margaux, Pauillac, Lafite Rotchild, Latour and Mouton Rotschild are among the highlights of this varied tour.
You'll start of by cycling along the "wine road" on the western side of the Gironde River, past impressive vineyards and castles as well as small harbours from where the wine barrels used to be shipped out back in the day. 
The soil becomes less fertile as you reach the north of the Medoc peninsula, and you'll see the dunes of the Atlantic and the wide beaches as you take the ferry across to the old seaside town of Royan. From here, the route follows the eastern bank of the Gironde River down to the Charente area. The coastline alternates between flat meadows and cliffs, hills and small natural harbours. You'll have to lower the gear in some places along the route, but the effort is well worth it, rewarding you with great vistas, countless exciting villages and cheerful restaurants.

Accommodation

You'll stay 2 nights at small, good 3* hotels and 5 nights at tastefully 3* chambre d'hôtes (guesthouses). All rooms are with private bath and toilet. Included in the trip is 2 x breakfast and 5 x half board with wine and coffee for dinner. The evening meal is served either at the accommodation or at a nearby restaurant. Dinner and drinks in Pian Medoc and Royan are not included.

Degree of difficulty and maps

An easy route through a fairly even terrain. You'll ride on cycling paths and small, peaceful secondary roads. Before departure, you will receive a hotel list and some general information about the trip. Upon arrival at the first hotel, a detailed tour description will be provided in English along with detailed maps.

* We note that the map is indicative and therefore does not contain precise route information.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival at Bordeaux airport or train station and transfer by taxi to Pian Medoc.
Remember to indicate your arrival time and flight/train number.
Check in and dinner at Hotel le Pont Bernet , a medium-sized 3* hotel with swimming pool located in a 6-hectare park. In the evening you can enjoy a nice dinner made with specialties from the area, and of course the wine cellar has many of the area's great cru-wines on offer. Please note that this dinner is not included in the price.
(The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays).

Day 2. To Moulis / Listrac. 40 km.
From Pian Medoc you'll follow the "Road of the Chateaux" along the Gironde river. You'll come through the vineyards of Margaux, Haut-Médoc and Moulis-en-Medoc and past some of the famous chateaus. Take a break at the small harbour of St. Julien. From here, back in the day, they used to ship out wine barrels to places like Bordeaux.  
Accommodation and dinner depending on availability at e.g. Chateau de Quittignan Brillette , a small castle and chambres d'hôtes (bed & breakfast), Les Mélusines , a chambres d'hôtes located in a beautiful 18th century mansion amidst the vineyards, or at the Chateau Beauséjour, a charming chambre d'hôtes from the 19th century.

Day 3. To Saint Seurin de Cadourne / Saint Yzans and Medoc. 53 km.
Today, you'll continue along the chateaux road, past one amazing chateaux after another. Some are famous for their fine wines, others for their distinctive architecture. You cycle through Pauilliac, Medoc's main town, beautifully situated on the banks of the Gironde river. Around the city there are no less than 18 "Grands Crus Classes", famous chateaux from Latour to Lafite Rothschild, and the charming little harbour makes the town almost irresistible. In the late afternoon, you'll check in to your accommodation at a charming 3* chambres d'hôtes such as "Le Moulin de St-Yzans" or "La Hourqueyre". All are guesthouses beautifully located between the vineyards.

Day 4. To Royan. 55-60 km.
First, you'll follow the riverbank through the "wild Medoc", rich in fish and birds. Take a break in the small charming fishing villages of Saint- Christoly or la Marechale , where the boats are grounded on the seabed. From "the Richard Lighthouse" there is a fantastic view of the estuary. From here, the route splits off from the river and continues through the landscape out towards the sea to Soulac with white sandy beaches and green pine forests. The cycling day ends with a small boat trip, giving you a view of Royan, the Courdouan lighthouse and the slopes at Meshers. Accommodation in Royan in a cozy 3* hotel by the sea, e.g. Family Golf hotel or Hotel Foncillon.

Day 5. To Mortagne sur Gironde. 35 km.
Since today's stage is short, we recommend you take the time to have a look around the town of Royan. Royan has been known as a seaside resort town for the last 2 centuries due to its pleasant climate and its white sandy beaches. Towards the end of World War II, the town centre of Royan was bombed out. But fortunately, most of the beautiful "Belle Epoque" houses survived, and they can still be found along the promenade. After the war, the centre of Royan was rebuilt in a modern 50's style. One of the architects participating in the rebuilding was Claude Ferret, one of Corbusier's students. The best examples of the 50's architecture are Notre Dame de Royan, Palais de Congress and the Central Market Hall.
From Royan you cycle along the coast, past the cliffs and oyster beds, through small pine forests to idyllic harbour villages to finally meet the wine growers around Mortagne. Here you’ll have arrived in the area of the Pineau, Cognac and Charentes wines. Accommodation opposite Mortagne-sur- Giron's idyllic harbour in either chambres d'hôtes de charme "la Rive" or la Maison du Meunier.

Day 6. To Saint Palais / Soubran. 40-45 km.
You leave the river bank and cycle inland through the Pineau and Cognac area. It's a beautiful landscape with vineyards, old windmills, sunflower fields, enchanting houses and magnificent castles. The small roads lead back to the riverbank and south along wheat fields to the Bordeaux vineyards, first at Cotes de Blaye, and later at Cotes de Bourg. Accommodation in cozy chambre d'hôtes such as "La Sauvageonne", "Domaine la Fontaine" or la Bertonnière.

Day 7. To Virsac / Bourg sur Gironde. 50-60 km.
Along the estuary to Blaye, an exciting town with a famous citadel built by Napoleon's architect, Vauban. From the citadel there is a great view of Gironde. By bike, you continue on the beautiful coastal road with palm trees, laurel and oak trees to Bourg sur Gironde. Here is a nice little harbour, while the old well-preserved town sits on a cliff top.  
Bike return.
Accommodation at Bourg sur Gironde between the Cotes de Bourg vineyards, e.g. at the charming Chambres d'hôtes Chateau Julie or "Chez Madame Poissonneau".

Day 8. Departure Day.
Transfer to the train station in Saint Andre de Cubzac after breakfast (included). From here, you take the train to Bordeaux, cost approx. 8 EUR. For guests who have arrived in their own car, it's possible to book transfer from the final hotel to Pian Medoc, where the car is parked - price 225 DKK per person.
Transfer after breakfast with taxi from the last accommodation back to the first accommodation (in case of self-drive) or airport/railway station in Bordeaux costs 225 DKK per person.

Bikes and cycling equipment

The rental bikes have 21 gears and hand brakes. Men's bicycles for men and women's bicycles for women.
The bikes are equipped with luggage rack, 1 set of rear rack bags, bar bag or map holder.
At least one bicycle per room will also be equipped with lock, pump and repair kit.
Rental of bike helmets are free but MUST be booked from home in advance.

It's also possible to borrow children's bikes and trailer for children - MUST be booked from home in advance.

How to get there

By plane: Via Paris
By train: Via Paris and from here with TGV to Bordeaux.

Transfer from airport/railway station in Bordeaux to the first accommodation in Pian Medoc is included.
Transfer back to the airport/railway station in Bordeaux upon departure the price is about 31 EUR per person.

By car:
Transfer after breakfast with taxi from the last accommodation back to the first accommodation (in case of self-drive) costs 115 DKK per person. 

Links to flights and trains:

Momondo
SAS
Ryanair 
Norwegian 
Air France 
KLM 
SNCF (French rail service)
Deutsche Bahn (German rail service)

Weather and climate

Klima

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1 person. Singleroom

From EUR 1,484,-

2 persons. Doubleroom

From EUR 1,120,-
Practical information

Included in the price/person:

  • 8 days/7 nights stay in double room with breakfast included
  • 5 x dinner (only breakfast at Pian Medoc and Royan)
  • 1/4 wine and coffee with dinner (except at Pian Medoc and Royan)
  • Detailed maps and route description in English
  • Luggage transport
  • Boat trip to Royan
  • Transfer from Bordeaux train station or airport to the first hotel
  • Transfer (at approx. 10.00 AM) from the last hotel to the railway station in Saint André de Cubzac

Not included in the price:

  • Transport to Bordeaux and home from the train station in Saint André de Cubzac

 

Note: We always recommend that you book and confirm the tour with us before arranging the flights/trains/buses to the destination.

 

Terms & Conditions:

Ruby Rejser is the agent and intermediary for this tour. The organizer is Evazio and the tour takes place according to the organizer's terms & conditions.
See terms & conditions and read about Evazio here www.evazio.com
 

Your tour is still covered by Ruby Rejser's membership of the Danish Travel Guarantee Fund, member no. 206.

Ruby Rejser has a price match guarantee, so we'll match the price if it is cheaper with another provider at the time of booking.  

And remember - you can always take advantage of our expertise and guidance.

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