Total tour distance: 150 miles
Daily tour distance: 25 miles
Difficulty: 50 / 100
Beautiful chateaux, famous wines and terrific food: what more do you need to experience the real France? This cycling tour starts in Bordeaux and then moves into the vineyards including the famous name of Saint Emilion on up to Bergerac. You then travel into the Prehistory region of the Dordogne, Les Eyzies and Sarlat. This combination is a 'best of' experience for a week time-frame in Aquitaine - some true highlights! You will start in Bordeaux, which is easily reached by TGV or flight from Paris. The trip finishes in Sarlat from where you can take a small train to connect back to the TGV line. Discover this countryside mixed with vineyards, chateaux, and the grotto’s of prehistory. You will pass through some old walled towns, see abbeys, and visit medieval castles during an unforgettable cycling tour!
Day 1 | Arrive in Bordeaux
Arrive in Bordeaux, a large city with good rail access and commercial airline flights from several European capitals. The historic city is very picturesque and offers visits including the wine museums and shops for local wines. Orientation at 6pm tonight at your hotel with bike delivery and set up. Dinner on your own - many choices.
Bordeaux - the wine capital of Southwestern France; easily reached by train from Paris in 3 hours, or by flights from major European cities. This is a great place to start your wine education; see our travel documents prior to travel for suggestions!
Day 2 | Cycling Bordeaux to Saint Emiliion - 51 km
Ride out of Bordeaux on bike paths all the way to the charming town of Creon, and then continue through wine country all the way to St Emilion. Discover this World Heritage site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets. The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become St Emilion as early as the 2nd century AD. The town was named after the monk Emilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed him that started up the commercial wine production in the area. Take some time to explore this charming town and visit the Tour du Roy which dates from 1237. Dinner on your own.
Day 3 | Saint Emilion to Sainte Radegonde - 32 km
Today you keep cycling east and head towards Ste Radegonde and will pass the St Genes de Castillon, a charming village surrounded by vineyards. Accommodation is in a comfortable 3 star hotel with dinner included.
Day 4 | St Radegonde to Bergerac - 47 km
From Ste Radegonde you will cycle through the vineyards to Bergerac, located on the Dordogne river, a large town with good rail access and services. This is your gateway into the famous Black Perigord. The historic city is very picturesque and offers visits including the Maison des Vins - for local wines. 3 star hotel included. Dinner out on your own in Bergarac; some suggestions will be included
Day 5 | Bergerac to Tremolat - 44 km
A fairly challenging ride, it involves some hilly terrain up to the viewpoint of Les Cingles de Tremolat. The ride will take you along a scenic route to St Sauveur and through the surrounding forests. At Tremolat you arrive at your deluxe hotel, the Vieux Logis. Gastronomic dinner included.
Day 6 | Ride to Les Eyzies - 45 km
A lot to see and visit on this day, you have a choice of rides. Starting out easy you come to Audrix a small village by small roads and almost no traffic. Then down to Le Bugue and Gouffre de Proumeyssac, and then on to Les Eyzies - capital of Pre-History! Take time to visit this very charming town and its sites and museums including the Font de Gaume. Font de Gaume is a cave that houses a collection of prehistoric polychrome cave paintings. Prehistoric people living in the Dordogne Valley first settled in the mouth of Font de Gaume around 25,000 BC. The cave was forgotten until the nineteenth century when local people again began to visit the cave. Paintings were discovered and date from around 17000 BC, during the Magdalenien period. The caves most famous painting, a frieze of five bison was discovered accidentally in 1966 while scientists were cleaning the cave. Dinner included, lodging is central charming 3 star.
Day 7 | Ride to Sarlat - 23 km
Again, a choice of rides to allow you more time to visit. The destination is the very charming town of Sarlat. This town with its cobbled streets, old roofs, and warm stone walls give an exceptional heritage. Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. The medieval Sarlat Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sacerdos. Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. You have a 3 star hotel in the center of the historical old town of Sarlat. Dinner on your own in town tonight; we include suggestions.
Day 8 | Departure Day
Departure after breakfast, trains from Sarlat connect to nearby towns and on to Paris all day long. We can help with added nights, car rentals, or other extensions to your travel.
- 7 nights of accommodation - 2 & 3 and 4 star superior hotels of charm with private shower and/or bathroom
- Daily breakfast
- 3 dinners
- Orientation with our local guide
- Detailed ROAD BOOK, including details maps, touristic information, and a step by step itinerary and cue sheets
- 1 GPS GARMIN OREGON 450 for 2 persons
- All luggage transfers
- Comprehensive trip literature
- All technical and emergency support any day of the tour
Accommodation: 2, 3 and 4 star hotels in each area. All lodgings include private bathroom and a variety of other amenities.
- Hotel de Normandie***
- Auberge de la Commanderie**
- Chateau de Sanse***
- Hotel de France***
- Hotel de la Metairie***
- Le Cro Magnon***
- Hotel Le Renoir***
Upgraded hotels: Hotel Burdigala, Hotel Grand Barrail, Chateau de Sanse, Hotel de France, Hotel Le Vieux Logis, Hotel Les Glycines, Clos la Boetie.