Trip Report: Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle

A perfect day cycling from Bordeaux to Toulouse | Joanne Walsh
A perfect day cycling from Bordeaux to Toulouse | Joanne Walsh

Trip Report: Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle

Joshua and Jo recently explored France on a self-guided bike holiday. They chose to ride from Bordeaux to Toulouse in April, during the shoulder season. All in all, they had a fantastic, 5-star trip that took them through France's world-famous wine regions and architectural marvels.
Read on for their traveller tale about their Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle.
Cycling the canals between Bordeaux and Toulouse |  <i>Joanne Walsh</i>
Overall this was a fantastic trip and we would do it again! The bikes were great, the app made navigation easy and the landscape and towns/villages were beautiful. The luggage delivery service was seamless and super convenient.

Day 1 – Bordeaux

We stayed at a 3-star hotel here with nice rooms and breakfast. A few kms away from the centre of town, in a new development/industrial area.

Things we wish we knew

We were out of the city centre in a mix of old/new Bordeaux. We were very close to eateries and supermarkets to stock up on snacks for our ride but didn’t feel like we really explored Bordeaux. In retrospect, the tram system is very easy to navigate. We should have taken the tram into town to walk around on the first evening.
Admiring typical French street scenery on the Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle |  <i>Joanne Walsh</i>

Day 2 – Bordeaux to Cadillac

The bike shop was not hard to find (2 trams from the hotel). The shop owner was friendly and fed every neighbourhood dog that walked past. The bikes themselves were really good – Dutch touring bikes. We had to ask specifically for helmets. They came with 2 back panniers and one front handlebar-mounted pannier. To get out of Bordeaux was quite complicated. There is a lot of building and road work going on so the suggested path didn’t work. We found an alternative pedestrian bridge to cross the river. Once across the river it was easier.

Things we wish we knew

We were provided with a spare tube and a pump, but no tools (tyre lever etc., allen keys etc.) so remember to ask for these as they're included in the trip. I brought my own phone mount for the handlebars and this was really useful. My bike came with a bike computer/speedometer which was also really good to keep track of distance. I would ask for one of these if it’s not included on your bike.
Cycling past vineyards in Bordeaux |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i>

Day 3 – Cadillac to Meilhan sur Garonne

This was probably the hardest day of riding – because of two fairly big climbs in the first part of the day. This is where you need at least a moderate level of fitness. It is also where the canal starts which is so beautiful to ride along. Most of the rest of the whole ride is pretty flat and you could do it slowly fairly easily if you were not that fit.
Gorgeous riding in France |  <i>M. McDonald</i>

Day 4 – Meilhan sur Garonne to Serignac

Easy cycling along a pretty and quiet canal for most of the day. We passed through a few small villages (days 3 and 4) and they really seemed dead. As in zombie apocalypse! No one out and about, all houses were shuttered and nothing open – even at 10am (in addition to the usual 12:30 to 14:00 where everything closes anyway – this may have been because it’s low season for tourists right now [early April]. Still, they were charming and impressive architecturally and historically.
Vinyard at Saint croix de mont, Bordeaux wine region in France |  <i>Deb Wilkinson</i>

Day 5 – Serignac to Moissac

Things we wish we knew

For this day and the next, it really helps to speak French. I can speak reasonably good French – and it was really the only way to communicate. English is fine for days 1-2 and 6-7, but tricky in between.
It rained most of today so we were soaking wet when we arrived at the hotel – luckily they had a towel warming rack where we could dry most of our clothes. Make sure you bring a good raincoat. We also had to buy some rubbish bags to line the panniers.
Cyclist stopping to take a photo in Bordeaux |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i>

Day 6 – Moissac to Toulouse

The hotel we stayed in at Moissac was right outside an open-air market where we could buy supplies for the day. Given it was a Sunday it was very fortuitous as everything after Moissac was shut until we made it to Toulouse.
The last couple of hours is along urban fringe, including some run-down areas. The hotel in Toulouse was fine, and conveniently located.
A perfect day cycling from Bordeaux to Toulouse |  <i>Joanne Walsh</i>

Explore France your way


Where do you want to explore on your next active holiday? Let us know in the comment section below.
France, Cycle France, Cycle Bordeaux to Toulouse, Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle Tour, France Cycling Tour, France Traveller Tale

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