Start: Bordeaux Finish: Toulouse
Travel by train, plane or car to Bordeaux, well-connected by public transport (tram or shuttle). Settle in at your comfortable centrally-located hotel then venture out to explore beautiful Bordeaux, an elegant town on the banks of the River Garonne whose very name evokes images of silky wines with a ruby red glow.
Jump on your bike and jet out of town on a fabulous bike path following the Garonne’s right bank. In Latresne you veer north to pick up a rails-to-trails route. Pause to peer at the ruinous yet inspiring Romanesque abbey of La Sauve, then turn southward and take quiet tarmac lanes all the way to Cadillac. Wander round the town and have a gander at the stately 18th-century chateau.
Challenge: 49 km, 150 m ascent
Once again you start off on winding inland lanes to avoid traffic on the busy road to Saint Macair. The route does involve a bit of ascent but you’re rewarded by a serene landscape right out of a painting: impressive estates, vast vineyards and tiny typically-French villages. Amble over to check out the Bastide de St Macair then bike across the Garonne to pick up ‘la Véloroute des Deux Mers’ - your cycling route ‘between two seas’. Accommodation tonight is at a charming chambre d'hôtes in Meilahn-sur-Garonne, or 8km further inland in Marcellus.
Challenge: 39 or 47 km, 200/350 m ascent
The Canal de la Garonne leads the way today as you cycle happily along on the flat, from Meilhan-sur-Garonne all the way to Sérignac. Feel thankful for the cool shade of ancient plane trees and take time for small detours along the way. Get in on an enormous secret at the church in Mas d'Agenais, where an authentic painting by Rembrandt hangs on display. Savour a cup of coffee on the beautiful village square in Damazan and stroll round its fortress, pastel-coloured houses and historic arcades. A stop in Tonneins is worth the 10-km detour for its lovely lanes, houses that virtually fall into the Garonne and a tempting array of restaurants, cafés and shops.
Challenge: 66 or 72 km, 50 m ascent
Set off to cycle a gentle stretch along the canal passing plane trees and plum orchards. Ten kilometres into the route, the canal intersects with an aqueduct providing a unique way to reach Agen with its pleasant city centre and renowned Museum of Arts. Carry on along the channel, sandwiched between a busy road and the railway, and pause in pretty Valence d'Agen with its curious round washhouses. The last peaceful section rolls through splendid scenery to historic Mossaic, a UNESCO world heritage site and important stop on the ‘Chemin de Saint Jacques’ pilgrimage route from Geneva. Step out for a tour of the town, stop at the 11th- century Abbey of St Pierre and sit in silence in its stunning cloister.
Challenge: 58 km, 30 m ascent
A beauty of a bridge, the Pont-Canal du Cacor, crosses the River Tarn to Castelsarrasin’s little port and 13th-century Abbey of Belleperche. Ancient plane trees provide welcome shade as you enjoy a pleasant stretch on a quiet rural track right into Toulouse city centre. Embrace the urban buzz as you ride into this hopping ‘pink town’ passing the Montech water slope, special twin Ponts-Jumeaux and junction of 3 canals. The tidy brick houses of Grisoles give way to the historic Castelnau-d’Estrétefonds. Option of getting the train there and doing the last 25km of this ‘Canal de la Garonne’ route by rail.
Challenge: 67 km, 75 m ascent
Your self-guided cycling holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
All hotels of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
Located in an elegant 18th century building this hotel with character has 47 rooms each with a customized decoration.
Close to Bordeaux, in a wine region with a rich historical past , the hotel-restaurant Château de la Tour is an ideal place to relax. It offers an incredible view over the Château de Cadillac and it has a privileged location to enjoy many sports and cultural activities.
Charming guest house from the 18th century fully restored and tastefully decorated. The house is located in the picturesque village of Meilhan sur Garonne downstream from Marmande and on the right bank of the side canal, Meilhan and its winding alleys declare 700 years of history and promise tasty walks in the heart of the village
This hotel is located at a former 17th century convent in the town of Sérignac-sur-Garonne. With a welcoming atmosphere and located in a unique surrounding. It has a tennis court, a swimming pool and a wide garden.
A Charming stopover in this beautiful Napoleonic residence which offers a panoramic view of the Tarn and the famous Napoleon Bridge. This Napoleonic-era building is part of an architectural peculiarity of the entrance to Moissac.
Located in the centre of Toulouse, only a short walk from the Wilson and Capitole squares, Royal Wilson hotel provides services which will delight you in an elegant building behind a typical Toulouse facade.
Beautifully appointed interiors combine traditional and contemporary styles around the unique interior courtyard … an amazing architectural feature in the city centre.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between March and October.
Arrival in Bordeaux
Departure from Toulouse
On the end of your trip you can take a train from Toulouse (direct trains back to Bordeaux, the journey takes 2 to 3 hours). For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF.
From Paris to Bordeaux (approx. 6h - 590 km / 367 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
HYBRID RENTAL BIKE
BATAVUS Zonar, 27 Speed
The bikes come with pannier, handlebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
ELECTRIC BIKE RENTAL
SPARTA Regular-E, 400Wh
The bikes come with pannier, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
GPS tracks are available on request.