Duration
14 days
Activities
  • cycling
Accommodation
  • 13 nights in a combination of B&Bs and 3-4 star hotels
Meals
  • 8 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

Price

USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: SOG7385

Trip highlights


  • Trip accompanied by Trisha Dixon & Guy Sturt
  • Bordeaux, with its historical centre and world renowned wines
  • Cycling through the stunning and diverse landscapes surrounding the Canal
  • Cycle the Cote Atlantique south to St Jean de Luz on the velodyssey cycle path
  • Visiting walled towns and pretty villages en route
  • Stunning hanging gardens of Marqueyssac
  • Sculpted plants of Eyrignac Gardens

On this self-guided cycle across southwest France in the company of Trisha Dixon, you will visit Bordeaux, hub of the famed wine growing region, and discover the many beautiful gardens, vineyards, canals, valleys and villages as we cycle along quiet canal paths, past locks and medieval towns and coastal ports. E-Bikes are supplied so you'll be able to comfortably cover the distances each day and have ample time to take in all that's on offer in this beautiful region of France.

We hope you can join us.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

A fabulous day to start with, soaking up the beauty, landscape, architecture, history of this renowned wine area of France. Meet in Bordeaux at 9am for the 2.5 hour drive through stunning landscape to Monpazier with stop at the world famous St Emilion and nearby Chateau St Georges once home to Henri 1V. We arrive in Monpazier, a medieval town in all its splendour, constructed in 1284 and voted one of the most beautiful villages of France. Welcome dinner at Restaurant Eléonore. Overnight Hotel Edward 1er, Monpazier

Meals:  D

Enjoy the weekly market in Monpazier before a bike fitting. The rest of the afternoon is free or those wishing to take a ride can join a loop cycle passing the castle of Biron, an impressive stronghold, which was for over 800 years in the hands of the same family. Then we will linger through the Eden-type valley of Gavaudun, eventually arriving at its castle, before a leisurely ride back through the shady forests to Monpazier. The cycle can be 30km or 45km depending on the loop you decide to ride. Overnight Hotel Edward 1er, Monpazier

Meals:  B,D

Today we will cycle trough the scenic countryside. We will pass by Cadouin with its beautiful Cloister and Belves, another bastide town, before we will reach the Dordogne river. We will follow the river and eventually head up towards the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat where you are free to explore, relax & own dinner in beautiful Sarlat. Overnight Hotel Le Renoir, Sarlat

Meals:  B,L

Today is a free day to explore Sarlat and surrounds. There is an optional walking route for anyone keen to explore Sarlat on foot. Enjoy the weekly market in the village centre, or take an excursion to visit the ancient caves before meeting up for dinner with the group back in our base in Sarlat. Overnight Hotel Le Renoir, Sarlat

Meals:  B,D

Cycle to Domme for a picnic lunch on the banks of the river, before riding on to the overhanging gardens of Marqueyssac overlooking the Dordogne River. The park, designed for walking, is situated on a spur and overlooks the entire Dordogne Valley from its chalky cliffs. It reveals a spectacular panorama of Périgord. We'll take a picnic lunch in the village of La Roque Gageac before returning to Sarlat for your own dinner. Overnight Hotel Le Renoir, Sarlat

Meals:  B,L

Today is a short ride out of town, via the farming country side and walnut orchards to the beautiful gardens of Eyrignac, enjoying a picnic lunch before our transfer to tonights stop in Agen (approx 2.5 hours). Own dinner in the town of Agen. Overnight Hôtel des Jacobins, Agen

Meals:  B,L

This is where we start cycling the stunning canal along a superbly shaded towpath, enjoying the boats, locks & quiet cycle paths. Today is a leisurely day to stop and have your own lunch along the way before we arrive into Damazan for a group dinner. Overnight Inter Hotel Confluence, Damazan

Meals:  B,D

We will take a coffee break in the beautiful riverside village of Le Mas-d'Agenais, where we can visit the renowned Christ on the Cross the 1631 painting by Rembrandt, in the Église Saint-Vincent. Picnic enroute and then an afternoon transfer to the town of Cadillac (approx 45 minutes) & dinner with the group. Overnight Château de la Tour, Cadillac

Meals:  B,D

After a short transfer back to where we stopped yesterday, we continue along the canals we will start seeing more and more vineyards not only for wine, but also for the famous digestive, Armagnac. On the way to the town of Cadillac, we will visit Chateau Malrome, the childhood home of Toulouse Latrec. Find your own lovely spot to enjoy a picnic lunch, we'll have options to buy your lunch items in either Cadillac or Le Pontet in the morning . Overnight Château de la Tour, Cadillac

Meals:  B,D

Cycle to Latresne where we will be visiting a private Chateau closely linked to Henri IV with its fairytale moat and lake, then onwards to Bordeaux following the Garonne River before a taxi transfer into Bordeaux city, the wine capital of France. Make sure to wander down to the banks of the Garonne to see the most stunning urban art installation T'he Miroir d'eau' which is the world's largest reflecting pool. Free evening to find a fabulous little restaurant in one of Bordeaux’s streets or squares. Overnight Hotel de Normandie, Bordeaux

Meals:  B,L

Today we leave the bikes behind as we take a transfer to Arcachon (approx 1.5 hours). Explore the town with it’s many turn of the century villas or have a swim on the beach, before joining the group for dinner. Overnight Hôtel Grand Hôtel Richelieu, Arcachon.

Meals:  B,D

Today we follow the cycling path along the beach. We will stop at Dune Pyla, the biggest natural sand dune of Europe to finish our tour in the sea resort town of Biscarosse, a favourite beachside resort for the French, especially kite surfers! Hopefully still warm enough to enjoy swimming the beautiful long white beaches of the Cote Atlantique. Dinner at leisure. Overnight Hype Hotel, Biscarosse

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we cycle our last stage by the coast and through the pine forest. At Mimizan we will hop on our bus for a stop in Biarritz, the coastal town known it’s French “grandeur”. Free time to explore before we continue by bus on to St Jean de Luz, the jewel of the French Basque coastline known for its architecture, sandy bay, quality of the light, its cuisine and being a charming fishing port with wonderful restaurants and shops. A wonderful place for our last meal together. Overnight Grand Hôtel de La Poste, St Jean de Luz

Meals:  B,D

Free morning in St Jean de Luz to soak up this wonderful Basque fishing port. Afternoon transfer to Bordeaux via Labouheyre (approx 2.5 hours). Our trip will conclude in Bordeaux around 6pm. No accommodation included on this night.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Trip accompanied by Trisha Dixon & Guy Sturt
  • 13 nights in a combination of B&Bs and mainly 3-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities - as we stay in smaller, characterful properties we can offer 3 single supplements only
  • 13 breakfasts – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices
  • 5 lunches - cafes en-route and some picnic style lunches
  • 8 dinners – usually 3 courses with regional specialties featured
  • Electric Bike bike including lock, repair kit, helmet, handlebar bag and pannier
  • Detailed morning briefing on daily cyling
  • Digital information pack (navigational App, can be used offline) including route notes and maps per room booked (smartphone required)
  • 6 bus transfers provided (as per itinerary)
  • Taxi transfer to hotel on Day 10
  • Luggage transfer
  • Entrance fees to Gardens and Sites outlined in the itinerary
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Bordeaux to commence the tour
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Final night in Bordeaux (26 Sep, unless requested - extra night rate applies)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide - you will not have a local Tour Guide ride with you each day. Trisha Dixon & Guy Sturt will be your tour escorts while cycling and you will receive a detailed morning briefing for the route each day by our local French operation staff
  • Travel insurance - mandatory

About Your Leader

Trisha Dixon is a writer-photographer and passionate traveller, especially for the road less travelled. Early childhood canoeing and walking down gorges with rubber tyres to go rafting along wild rivers left its imprint and somehow Trisha’s career of writing, photography and landscape design has morphed into leading tours to some of the world’s most enticing locales. When Trisha is not taking people on tours she is off either on bicycle down the canal paths of France, trying to find her way to the top of mountains or hills that intrigue her or just loving spending time on her property and large wild garden at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.

Guy Sturt is both a Landscape Architect and an Arborist and has run his own design studio since 1992. He has considerable experience in garden design, installation, care and maintenance over a broad range of environments including Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Guy has visited an extensive range of parks and gardens in over 45 countries. He has visited and photographed many of these great gardens, public spaces and cultural landscapes and has a thorough grounding in the history, design and landscape traditions of these diverse places. Guy has both cycled and travelled extensively through France, including a short stint studying at the Sorbonne.

Trisha and Guy kicked off the first South West France tour in 2022 and enjoyed a fantastic 2 weeks in this magical region.

Some feedback from the 2022 trip:

"Looking back on the last fortnight, it really was a true holiday ... physical, fun and with good friends . It was very special, each and every day bringing us to new places, wonderful scenery , plane trees and pine trees around every corner and the serenity of the canals was magical."

"This was a trip of a lifetime covering so much of the wonderful landscape of south west France. The leaders were knowledgeable and the electric bikes made it easy to cover the distances. Autumn was the perfect time of year for this trip."

“Such an amazing trip and such adventurous and interesting travel companions. Thanks everyone for such an amazing and fun few weeks-we just loved meeting you all and enjoying all the laughs”

"A wonderfully enjoyable tour. Touring with Trisha was so much fun. She manages to gather a great group of likeminded people. Fabulous cycling, lovely countryside and some of the unplanned detours very special. We loved the gardens and Trisha’s horticultural knowledge."


Bike information


Grading

moderate  

Overall, the cycling is moderate (3) grade with daily cycling distances from 20km-60km/day. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a good level of fitness. E-bikes are provided.


Departure dates


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Total Priceper person from

USD


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Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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