Bike and Boat Cycle Touring in the Bordeaux Region
As far as holiday destinations go it doesn’t come any better than the French city of Bordeaux for lovers of fine wine and cycling to combine their passions.
Situated in the southwest of France in the Gironde department, the City of Bordeaux is widely recognised as one of the world’s major wine cities and, as a bonus for cycling enthusiasts, one of the most picturesque places in the country to enjoy a cycling tour.
Tourists flock to the region to not only experience its renowned vineyards, rich culture, charming castles and the city of Bordeaux itself, but also hundreds of kilometres of undulating cycle paths that crisscross the countryside through one of the most fertile wine growing regions in the world.
And as a bonus for anyone keen to discover the ‘real’ Bordeaux region by bicycle, throw in the fact that the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers flow through the area and you have the perfect setting for a Bike and Boat tour of discovery aboard the MS Bordeaux.
A new inclusion in the Boat Bike Tours cycle tour itinerary for 2016, the Chateaux, Rivers and Wine Tour, as the name of the tour implies, features castles, the Bordeaux wine region, grand architecture, beautiful rivers, tempting cafés, superb museums, vineyards and the cultural city of Bordeaux itself, with all cycling on carefully chosen cycling routes.
And as is the case on all Boat and Bike tours, the MS Bordeaux, your floating hotel for the duration of the eight-day, seven-night tour, is your luxury home away from home.
On a daily basis you will cycle through Europe’s best-known and most loved wine region along excellent cycling paths and through postcard perfect villages, while in the evening you will be able to enjoy the ultimate in luxury on-board your floating hotel – does it get any better than that?
A particular feature of the tour is the emphasis on-board MS Bordeaux on service. Every guest is treated as a VIP guest where nothing is too much trouble.
Throughout the tour there are always two guides on-board, with one attending to all your needs and queries and the second, who has an in-depth knowledge of the region, available to accompany you while you ride for a supplement of 200 Euro.
Given the sheer size of the Bordeaux wine region of approximately 120,000 hectares (this is in contrast to the Burgundy region which is only 28,530 hectares) your guide will not only lead the way, but will help you unravel the facts and figures of the region’s wine production – which in anyone’s language is on a grand scale.
What you will discover is that given the variety of soils, climate, grapes and drainage there are many styles of wines produced that range from fresh and easy drinking Merlot-based wines to highly concentrated, highly tannic, Cabernet based wines and a multitude of styles in-between. Over the years three major red grape varieties have prevailed: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with Petit Verdot and Malbec also produced in small percentages. In general appellations such as Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux have made Bordeaux wines world famous.
Overall more than 3 billion Euros of Bordeaux wine is produced each year, Bordeaux is the largest wine producing region in France and arguably the most important and popular wine region in the world, close to 450 million bottles of Bordeaux wine is produced in most years, there are 7375 chateaux in the region and about 9000 producers producing more than 10,000 different Bordeaux wines every vintage … the facts you will learn go on and on.
Wine production aside, Bordeaux is a perfect location for a variety of reasons for a Bike and Boat cycling holiday on board the MS Bordeaux.
First and foremost the city of Bordeaux, which you will get the opportunity to explore in detail on day four of the tour, is an architectural gem that has been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.
Attractions to be discovered include the royal entrance of the city (Cailhau door), the Big Bell of Pey Berlan, the Golden Triangle, the Girondins column, the water mirror… and more.
In the wider Bordeaux region you will experience an unforgettable cycling tour that includes the region’s rich inheritance of walled towns, abbeys and medieval castles … you will soon discover that there is quite literally a photo opportunity at every turn of the cycle path.
The Chateaux, Rivers and Wine Tour is rated easy to moderate, with daily cycling distances from 30 to 50 km. The terrain is relatively flat with short climbs out of the river valleys onto the intervening vineyard area and is suitable for cyclists of all abilities and fitness levels.
Many wines from the region will be available for purchase on-board the MS Bordeaux in additional to optional small wine tastings.
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If you have any questions about our offerings, mail or call us at +31 (0) 2072 35 400. We’re happy to help you choose which boating and biking vacation would suit you best. No obligations!
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