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Are you familiar with the Bordeaux area?

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We will be there in the first half of October and plan (hope) to do a cycle tour arranged through an agency. While looking for agencies and self-guided tours, I came across this trip on a 70 passenger boat and would like some feedback. This is a boat and bike trip with biking from the boat every day. We have never done anything more than a two day/one night boat trip before so aren't even certain this would be us, but I am intrigued enough to ask for comments on the stops and the area.

day 1 Embarkation--mooring location of the boat near the Canal des Deux Mers at Castets-en-Dorthe, located in the middle of the Garonne Valley.

Day 2 (Sun): Castets-en-Dorthe – Sauternes (21-32 mi /35-50 km) | Castets-en-Dorthe – Cadillac
Part of the route follows the winding banks of the Ciron river, whose icy waters flow into the warmer waters of the Garonne. The country roads are dotted with picturesque chateaux whose elegant turrets rule over an ocean of colorful vines. In the late afternoon, back on board again, the tour continues by ship, heading downstream along the Garonne River to reach Loupiac or Cadillac, a small town with a towering castle.

Day 3 (Mon): Loupiac/Cadillac – Entre-Deux-Mers / Graves round tour (25 miles / 40 km) | Cadillac – Bordeaux
The cycling itinerary today leads through this “Premieres Côtes de Bordeaux” wine growing area. There is an opportunity to visit the former residence of the writer Francois Mauriac and Malromé castle, house of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, built in the sixteenth century. Wine tastings are offered here! Once back on board, you will sail the Garonne River towards the enchanting city of Bordeaux.

Day 4 (Tue): Bordeaux: Bordeaux bike tour (10 miles / 15 km)
The tour guide will propose a city tour of Bordeaux to discover its architectural gems on two wheels: this short cycling tour, mainly over cycling lanes, along both sides of the Garonne river in the cycling capital of France offers beautiful panorama views of the waterfront and the city. In the afternoon, enjoy the UNESCO sites of Bordeaux during a walking or cycling tour.

Day 5 (Wed): Bordeaux – Lamarque | Lamarque – Margaux (Médoc) round tour (25 miles / 40 km) | Lamarque – Bourg
In the morning the ship cruises from Bordeaux to Lamarque in the Gironde estuary, to start your cycling tour in the famous Médoc wine area. Winding your way through vineyards, you will discover some of Médocs most beautiful castles and prestigious wineries. You can stop at one of these great wine estates for a visit / tasting (optional) and learn everything about classifications before returning to the boat. In the late afternoon, the ship will cruise the wide Gironde estuary to the jetty of Bourg, a picturesque little town near the conjunction of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The old city center overlooks the Gironde estuary.

Day 6 (Thu): Bourg to Blaye Fortress and vineyards round tour (21 – 32 miles / 35 – 50 km) | Bourg – Fronsac/Libourne
Cycling from Bourg you will enter the Côtes de Blaye vineyard. You will be surprised to see what this region holds in secret behind its hilly landscape covered with endless vines and dotted with scattered fairy tale chateaux and elegant manor houses. In Blaye, take a short loop through the Vauban Fortess (on the UNESCO World Heritage List) to admire this military masterwork of the architect of Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, before you return to Bourg by cycling part of the ‘Corniche’, a scenic, quiet road along the Gironde estuary. In the evening you will sail to Fronsac / Libourne on the Dordogne river.

Day 7 (Fri): Fronsac/Libourne, Pomerol & Saint-Émilion vineyards (21 – 32 miles / 35 – 50 km)
In Libourne you can stroll to the picturesque city square, lined with buildings dating as far back as the 16th century. You can visit the weekly market on Friday mornings, before starting your exploration of the famous Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wine areas. Pedaling the countryside, bristling with vines, you will enjoy riding through this unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage landscape. Cycling the landscape provides a unique view of the village’s medieval lanes and surrounding vineyards. Take some time to visit beautiful Saint-Émilion. Your ride will continue on small picturesque back roads and paths where you will get a glimpse of Saint Émilion’s most famous châteaux.

Day 8 (Sat): Fronsac/Libourne: Disembarkation and (optional) transfer back to Bordeaux

I know we'd want to stay in Bordeaux at the end or beginning of the trip to see more of the city.

What are your thoughts about this itinerary for this area? We are not hard core cyclists or hard core wine enthusiasts (that is not to say that we don't enjoy our evening wine). Since we are getting older, we are looking for a fairly easy-going route that offers us a diversity or experiences in scenic areas. The company has already told me that the cycling on day 3 is hilly (probably hillier than I'd want) but the rest should be doable for us. And, I also don't know if just a regular cycling trip from hotel to hotel might be a better way to see the area. I can find lots of other trips in the area--some Bordeaux only, some up into the la Rochelle area etc.

If you know this area, I'd love to hear what a real person (not someone who is trying to sell me a trip) thinks.

Thanks much.

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