The Gironde by bike
Experience an exceptional cycling trip in the heart of the Gironde. The Grand Tour de Gironde represents 480 km of cycling itinerary through a natural and cultural heritage that cannot be ignored.
You will have the opportunity to visit cities and admire landscapes classified by Unesco along a wild ocean coast. This trip also invites you to taste the gastronomy of the south-west after days of sport rich in discoveries and emotions.
Highlights of the trip :
- The Bordeaux vineyards
- the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park
- the Great Lakes of the Atlantic coast and the seaside
- the Gironde estuary
- the Unesco classified heritage
Day 1: Arrival in Bordeaux
Arrival at your accommodation in the city of Bordeaux. You will be greeted and given your bike, documentation on the region and the route booklet including details of the routes.
Bordeaux, the ancient Roman "Burdigala", is an exceptional tourist destination and renowned as the world capital of wine. The Garonne River, the heart of the city, welcomes you on its banks or for a family stroll.
Night in a hotel.
Day 2: Bordeaux to Entre-Deux-Mers - 50/60 km
This first stage allows you to discover the Entre-Deux-Mers region on 55 km of trails and greenways and small pleasant roads.
You will leave Bordeaux by the track that runs along the Garonne river and its quays, then you will follow the cycle track that winds through the hills of Entre-Deux-Mers passing by Créon, the abbey of Sauve Majeur and Sauveterre de Guyenne, very beautiful fortified bastides. You will reach your accommodation by small roads through the vineyards.
Night, dinner and breakfast in a charming guest house.
Day 3 : from Sauveterre to Bazas - 40/50 km
Between Sauveterre-de-Guyenne and La Réole, the bicycle route crosses slightly hilly and very picturesque landscapes. You will be able to make a stop in Réole, medieval city on the edge of the Garonne, founded in 977, the smallest City of Art and History in France.
At Fontet, the route joins the Garonne Canal. It is here that "Le Canal des 2 Mers à vélo" continues under a canopy of plane trees to Toulouse, the pink city and then to Sète and the Mediterranean. The Tour de Gironde by bike takes the direction of Bazas.
A detour by bike through Castets and Castillon invites you to see the beginning of the Canal with its locks. You can then take advantage of all the services that this small port offers. Bazas is a beautiful medieval city and a high place of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Night in a 3* hotel.
Day 4 : The Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park - 70 km
Departure from Bazas by bike to join the cycle track in Uzeste. You will be able to admire the collegiate church which shelters the tomb of the pope Clément V then Villandraut and its castle which deserves a small detour.
After crossing Villandraut and the river Ciron, you enter the pignada, a pine forest. It's an easy route through the moor through the "Parc Naturel Régional des Landes de Gascogne". You finally leave the track to join a small forest road very pleasant with varied landscapes. The pine forest is denser and the smell of resin is omnipresent. You will put your bike down at the site of the Gât-Mort Lagoons, where a picnic stop is recommended.
The Hostens lakes, a little further away, also offer shaded areas at the water's edge, ideal for a moment of rest. You can walk or cycle to the beach of the lake which offers relaxation, swimming and all the services necessary for the comfort of tourists.
You will take the bikes to ride between pines and heathers, until the town of Le Barp, a village in the heart of the Landes de Gascogne regional park.
Night in a charming hotel.
Day 5: Around the Arcachon Basin by bike - 50 km
The itinerary starts on a small road where the pine forest gradually fades away to make way for the cycle track in Salles along the Eyre river that you follow until Mios. You reach the Arcachon basin at the Ornithological Park of Teich. Places to picnic are frequent, you just have to choose!
The bike ride continues towards the very picturesque Port of Biganos before joining a succession of small ports including that of Audenge where old basins are used as swimming pools. Along the dykes of the Graveyron domain, and the fish tanks, you will enjoy exceptional views on the basin and you will be able to observe the numerous species of migratory birds. The stage ends in Andernos Les Bains, a very pleasant seaside resort.
If you have chosen to spend the night in Arcachon, you will take the coastal path through the oyster ports of Gujan Mestras to reach Arcachon. Lined with tamarisks, arbutus trees, willow rushes and wild prunus, this path will delight botany lovers.
Day 6: From Arcachon Basin to Lacanau - 47 km
Starting from Andernos, a beautiful route in the large forest of Cap-Ferret: from the grassy banks of the Arcachon Basin to the white dunes of the Atlantic. You will leave Andernos to reach the magnificent site of Saint Brice (which mixes forest, water and natural shore of the Basin) then the oyster port of Arès.
From Arcachon, you will take the boat with your bike to cross the Bassin d'Arcachon and reach the wilder Cap Ferret. You can leave your bike and go up to the top of the lighthouse to observe the Basin. You will continue your bike ride to the picturesque oyster-farming villages of L'Herbe and Le Canon, with their colorful houses and flowery alleys.
For both options, a bike path under the woods and along the ocean beaches will lead you to the seaside resorts of Le Porge and Lacanau Océan, known for its surf spot.
Night in a hotel.
Day 7 : Great Medoc lakes between Lacanau and Montalivet - 50 km
Your cycling trip in Gironde continues on the Vélodyssée. Here the cycle route continues on a cycle track through the pines, between lakes and ocean.
Leave the Lac de Lacanau and take a charming shaded track carved in the dunes to the seaside resort of Carcans Maubuisson and the lake of Hourtin. Drive along the lake and then along the Route des Phares, after a last swimming break at Hourtin plage, drive north to Montalivet les bains.
Night in a hotel. Free evening.
Day 8 : from Montalivet to Royan - 40 km
A short cycling stage awaits you today with endless sandy beaches and the visit of the seaside resorts of Vendays-Montalivet and Soulac-sur-Mer. It will be punctuated by the crossing of the Gironde Estuary from Verdon to Royan (unique experience thanks to the ferry) and the discovery of Royan in the evening.
Night in a hotel.
Day 9 - Royan to Mortagne - 35 km
You will leave Royan admiring the beautiful villas of the 19th century and the carrelets, the typical large fishing nets. You will continue your journey on the top of the cliff, with exceptional views on the largest estuary in Western Europe. On this route, you will find charming small wild ports.
Visit Talmont sur Gironde, its church and its small flowery streets or Meschers and its troglodyte caves. You can stop at the Parc de l'estuaire, the "Nature Pole" of the Charente Maritime and at Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, the former capital of Caviar.
Take the time to visit the cellars of the producers of Mortagne to learn everything about Pineau, Cognac and Charente wines. Mortagne-sur-Gironde, perched on its white cliffs, is a unique site in the region.
Night in half-board in a charming guest house.
Day 10 : from Mortagne to Blaye - 60 km
You continue your tour of the Gironde by bike along the estuary by a very pleasant greenway between marshes and dykes until Vitrezay. After a visit to the Terres d'Oiseaux ornithological park at the port of Callonges, a nice greenway leads to the foot of the citadel of Blaye, fortified by Vauban and awarded by UNESCO. A ferry allows you to cross the estuary from Blaye to Lamarque the next day.
Night in a hotel or charming guesthouse. Free evening.
Day 11: Blaye to Bordeaux - 50 km
After crossing the Gironde estuary, the route leads directly to the heart of the Médoc vineyards where villages and wine châteaux with world-famous names follow one another. You will cross the vineyards of Moulis and Margaux (passing in front of the famous Château Margaux) and the Haut Médoc. (Just after the ferry, you can visit Fort Médoc).
The cycle route continues towards more urbanized areas and then along the banks of the Garonne before arriving in Bordeaux.
Night in a hotel. Free evening.
Day 12 : End of your cycling trip in Gironde
Your cycling trip ends after breakfast. Feel free to ask for an extra night to enjoy the beautiful city of Bordeaux.