Suggested Dates: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, and Sep
Duration: 9 nights / 10 days
Accommodation: Boutique Hotels, B&Bs
Daily Mileage: 45
Activity Level: Level 1 | Beginner
Tour Interests: Off the beaten path / Low traffic / Nature
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Embarking on a week-long bike tour from Bordeaux to Sarlat is an exciting adventure, offering a diverse range of landscapes and experiences to cyclists of all levels.
You start your journey in the vibrant city of Bordeaux, known for its stunning architecture and world-renowned wines.
Take in the stunning views of the countryside as you make your way towards the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, where you spend the night.
Continue your journey through the vineyards and rolling hills, passing through picturesque towns like Bergerac and Monbazillac. You also stop to explore some of the region's famous chateaus, including the impressive Chateau de Monbazillac.
You'll visit the famous Roque Gageac and Beynac-et-Cazenac villages, and also take an optional, leisurely canoe trip down the Dordogne River.
A week-long bike tour from Bordeaux to Sarlat is a memorable adventure that showcases the best of this stunning region of France. From the vineyards and chateaus to the medieval towns and natural beauty, there is something for everyone on this incredible journey.
DAY 1 - Bordeaux to Cadillac
Departing from the splendid city of Bordeaux, we traverse its extensive cycle paths into the heart of 'Entre-deux Mers' vineyards up to Créon, a traditional fortified village. Along the way, we'll pause to admire the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 12th century Sauve-Majeure Abbey ruins. Our journey then leads us through more vineyards to the Garonne River's edge, where Cadillac lies. We'll pay our first visit to the many châteaus, starting with the 16th-century Cadillac Castle, a grand estate housing one of the largest tapestry collections, and once looted during the French revolution.
Activity: Ride of 29 miles / 47 km, elevation gain: 1,867 feet / 569 metersHighlights: Bordeaux vinyards, Sauve-Majeure Abbey, CadillacAccommodations: Château de la TourMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 2 - Cadillac loop ride
Embarking on scenic loop ride, we'll traverse between forests and world-renowned vineyards, offering numerous tasting opportunities. Along the route, we encounter Château d'Yquem, an icon of the honey-flavored Sauterne wines, loved by wine connoisseurs. Further along, we get a chance to visit Château Malromé, a 16th-century estate that was once home to Toulouse-Lautrec's mother and his final resting place. Today, Malromé serves as a vibrant venue that honors Lautrec’s art, offering us a chance to appreciate his prolific Belle Epoque-era works along with tasting their exquisite wines.
Activity: Ride of 36 miles / 58 kmHighlights: Bordeaux vinyards, Château Malromé, CadillacAccommodations: Château de la TourMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 3 - Cadillac to Saint Émilion
Today, we traverse the heart of ‘Entre-deux Mers’ vineyards, from the Garonne to the Dordogne river, stopping at the 13th-century Chateau of Rauzan, twice captured by the French during the Hundred Years War. We journey through Bordeaux vineyards before arriving at Saint-Émilion, a World Heritage site founded by an 8th-century monk, teeming with Romanesque churches, ruins, catacombs, and ancient towers. Notably, it's home to the world's leading vineyard, thanks to the diligent promotion by the Jurade, a wine brotherhood established in 1199. It's a unique destination where esteemed wineries, stunning architecture, and significant monuments harmonize perfectly.
Activity: Ride of 39 miles / 62 kmHighlights: Saint-Émilion vinyards, Chateau of Rauzan, Saint-ÉmilionAccommodations: Au Logis des RempartsMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 4 - Saint Émilion loop ride
Today we can enjoy a leisurely morning before rolling out on our bikes for our private tour at Château Siaurac one of St-Émilion's Grand Cru wineries. Château Siaurac the largest and most emblematic of all the estates in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation and it's not surprising considering wine has been grown since the eighth century! Our tour is followed by a picnic lunch in the gardens of the estate. After our visit and lunch its a gentle ride back to town.
Activity: Ride of 20 miles / 32 kmHighlights: Château SiauracAccommodations: Au Logis des RempartsMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 5 - Cadillac to Saint-Émilion
Today you'll ride through the heart of 'Entre-deux Mers' vineyards, journeying from the Garonne to the Dordogne river with a noteworthy stop at the 13th-century Chateau of Rauzan, a historical relic from the Hundred Years' War. You'll traverse the picturesque Bordeaux vineyards, leading up to the renowned medieval village of Saint-Émilion, a World Heritage site teeming with fascinating Romanesque churches, ancient ruins, and historical monuments including an underground church, cloisters, and catacombs. This village is not just known for its rich history, but also as the world's top vineyard. Credit for its globally acclaimed wines goes to the enduring efforts of the Jurade, a secretive wine brotherhood.
Activity: Ride of 39 miles / 62 kmHighlights: Saint-Émilion vinyards, Chateau RauzanAccommodations: Au Logis des RempartsMeals: Breakfast / Lunch
DAY 6 - Saint Emilion loop ride
Enjoy a tranquil morning before setting out on a gentle bike ride to the distinguished Chateau Siaurac, a Grand Cru winery of St-Émilion. This winery is a shining beacon of the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation with wine cultivation roots tracing back to the eighth century. After a private tour, we'll enjoy a delightful picnic lunch amidst the estate's enchanting gardens. Post-lunch, embark on a serene ride back to the town, rounding off the day's adventure with a group dinner.
Activity: Ride of 29 miles / 47 km, elevation gain: 1,867 feet / 569 metersHighlights: Chateau Siaurac, Private tour and picnicAccommodations: Au Logis des RempartsMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 7 - Saint Émilion to Bergerac
Hop back on your bikes for a relaxed 66km ride, starting amid Saint-Émilion's renowned vineyards, leading to the Dordogne river. You'll pass through the picturesque 18th-century village of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, famous for its half-timbered houses and sunny streets. Then, you'll follow a magnificent route along the Dordogne river, arriving in the charming town of Bergerac, your cozy abode for the next two nights.
Activity: Ride of 41 miles / 66 kmHighlights: Village of Sainte-Foy, Dordogne river rideAccommodations: Hôtel de FranceMeals: Breakfast / Lunch
DAY 8 - Bergerac to Les Eyzies
Leaving Bergerac, we trace the scenic Dordogne River to Limeuil, one of France's most beautiful villages, with a Monday market and a prime swimming spot where the Dordogne meets the Vézère. The route showcases attractions like Le Moulin de Rouzique, Lalinde, Mauzac, and Trémolat. Heading north from Limeuil offers captivating landscapes leading to Les Eyzies de-Tayac-Sireuil, our hotel's location. Renowned as the "Vallee de l’homme", Les Eyzies and the Vezere valley boast Europe's richest array of prehistoric sites.
Activity: Ride of 65 km / 40milesHighlights: Vallee de l’homme prehistoric sitesAccommodations: Hôtel Le Cro MagnonMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 9 - Les Eyzies to Sarlat-la-Caneda
Cycling through the picturesque Dordogne, we journey through the Sarladais countryside to the medieval town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, renowned for its cobbled streets, historic heritage, and gourmet delights like 'foie gras'. En route, we'll encounter landmarks like the cliffside Chateau Beynac with its frescoed chapel, the scenic old river harbor of Le Roque du Gageac, and the enchanting village of Domme, which offers panoramic valley views. Sarlat, with fortifications from the Norman Invasion and the Hundred Years' War, also boasts a market teeming with local culinary treasures.
Activity: Ride of 49 km / 30 milesHighlights: Chateau Beynac, La Roque du Gageac, Village of DommeAccommodations: Hotel Plaza MadeleineMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
DAY 10 - Sarlat Loop Ride & Farewell Dinner
On our final day in the Dordogne, we'll embark on a scenic ride featuring châteaux like Veyrignac and Rouffillac. We'll traverse a shaded veloroute along the Dordogne river, leading us to the Espace Robert Doisneau—an old train station turned exhibition for the renowned photographer, complemented by a quaint cafe. Riders can return via the veloroute or take a hilly loop through Sainte-Nathalène, concluding with a downhill journey into the picturesque Sarlat for a relaxing afternoon.
Farewell Group dinner.
Activity: Ride of 42 km / 20 milesHighlights: Chateau Beynac, La Roque du Gageac, Village of DommeAccommodations: Hotel Plaza MadeleineMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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