The city of Bordeaux, the 6th largest in France, offers a heady mix of a rich history, world-class architecture, excellent gastronomy and of course, fine wines. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, valued as an inhabited historic city and an icon of the Enlightenment era. The beautiful Arcachon Bay offers a classy, classical seaside feel making it a popular summer spot for those in the know. The beautiful sandy beaches, delicious fresh seafood and an excellent network of cycle routes make this one of Frances best kept cycling secrets.
Day 1 | Arrive at Bordeaux
Arrive by plane, TGV or independently and transfer to your hotel in the city centre, by shuttle bus or taxi. Enjoy a stroll or cycle about town. We suggest a walk along the river, taking in the Place des Quinconces and Place de la Bourse, with its impressive water feature.
Day 2 | Round Trip to the Entre Deux Mers Vineyards
This route takes you out of the city by the Saint-Jean bridge and into the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The route follows a converted railway line out of the city, to the town of Lignan-de-Bordeaux, before looping through vineyards and re-joining the cycle path back into Bordeaux. This appellation is exclusively for white wines, but you will find reds too under the Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superior labels.
Day 3 | Round Trip to the Medoc Vineyards
Today you will have the chance to cycle out into the famous winelands of the Medoc and to ride through the world-famous estates of Margaux. Youll first make your way out of the city to the north and then find youll find yourself cycling through a mix of woodland and vast vineyards. The landscape here is pan flat, meaning the miles will fly by in no time. After exploring the village of Margaux, and perhaps sampling some of the wine, you can either take a train back to the city or ride back following the route of the estuary.
Day 4 | Train transfer to Arcachon
Leave the city behind and take a regional train with your bikes to Arcachon (50 minutes). Arcachon itself is a charming resort town with a Californian feel to it and your day is free to explore it. Take a dip in the sea, treat yourself to fresh local oysters or take a cruise on the bay before checking into your hotel in the afternoon and soaking up the atmosphere on the boardwalk.
Day 5 | Round Trip to Dune du Pilat
This round trip follows some of the excellent cycle paths in this part of the world to take you to the highest sand dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat. Park up your bikes in the visitor centre and take a walk up and along the dunes perfect sand for some spectacular panoramas of the Atlantic coast. The route takes you back to Arcachon via the forest on an excellent, smooth cycle path, but you may prefer to retrace your steps along the coast if the wind is favourable.
Day 6 | Round Trip to Cap Fere
Hop on the ferry from Arcachon to Andernos to start this ride (payable locally, 5.50 with a bike). The ride itself is a pleasant cruise across the calm, blue waters of the bay. Upon disembarking you head westwards, following cycle paths out to the coast and down the Cap Ferret peninsula towards its iconic lighthouse. We suggest stopping here for a long lunch and a lazy afternoon before taking the ferry back to Arcachon from Jete Blisaire (payable locally, approximately 5.50 with a bike).
Day 7 | Train transfer to Bordeaux
After checking out, take the short spin up to Arcachon station and hop on the train back to Bordeaux. You have the afternoon free to explore the city by bike. We suggest a ride up to the Cit du Vin, a striking piece of architecture and home to an immersive range of exhibits on the past, present and future of the wine world.
We say au revoirbefore a recommended departure from Bordeaux TGV station or airport.