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Cycling the Canal de Garonne - Bordeaux to Toulouse 9 days comfortable hotels

9 days / 8 nights
Canal de Garonne - Seas and rivers - Leisure cycling - Culture & gastronomy
Without guide - Comfort

price from
~1129 £ [1290 €]

We are very excited by this trip designed and created by ourselves. Not only do you get to cycle along the beautiful Canal de Garonne, but our route allows you to enjoy the fantastic scenery and produce of several wine growing regions, including the world famous St Emilion.

Our route takes you through this exceptional region of south west France (Aquitane and the Midi-Pyrenees), allowing you the opportunity to ride on carefully chosen routes passing by vineyards, chateaux and much more. Staying in some fantastic accommodation including a vineyard, this is a trip to please any leisurely cyclist!

If you have the time and the stamina, why not follow this trip with our Canal du Midi tour and cycle all the way to the Mediterranean?

Please note that some of the daily stages may vary from those in the description, due to the limited availability in our first choice of accommodation.

Your day by day program

1
Bordeaux

Arrive in the afternoon in Bordeaux, the French capital of the Aquitane region and the world’s major wine industry capital. Your hotel is ideally situated close to the train station for easy access and for a simple departure the following day by bike.  Make the most of your time looking around this splendid town, the centre of which has been given UNESCO world heritage status as an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble of the 18th century.  Night in a three star hotel.

2
From Bordeaux to St Emilion

This is a very nice day’s riding.  The route out of Bordeaux is surprisingly easy and pleasant with a clearly defined cycle path that very quickly has you heading out of the city along the river into countryside.  For the first half of the day you will follow a cycle path, which had once been an old railway line, passing many restored station houses (often refurbished as cafes or restaurants).  After this the route turns away from the cycle path to head onto quiet roads passing through vineyard country.  The route finally arrives in the stunning town of St. Emilion where there are many opportunities to try some of the most famous wines in the world.   Distance of roughly 50km.  Night in a three star hotel.

3
The Dordogne and vineyards

Cycling couldn’t get much better than this!  The scenery around St. Emilion is just fantastic.  The route stays on quiet back roads with good tarmac and stunning views of vineyards, hills, old farmhouses and a chateau or two.  This is France at its best.    After leaving the region around St. Emilion the route crosses the Dordogne river and stays close to it for some time.  Leaving the river, the route continues through vineyards before returning towards the cycle path that you had left yesterday.  Distance of roughly 40km. Dinner and night in a chambres d’hôtes.

4
Lapebie and Sauveterre de Guyenne

This route continues on the cycle path (that had originally started in Bordeaux), and  is now tree-lined at times and at other times the views are expansive across fields and vineyards.  The cycle path finishes at the edge of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, and our new route begins by leading you through the traditional town square and onto quiet country lanes.   You will cycle through small villages and alongside the Pont Eiffel (a bridge/water mill designed by the same gentleman who designed the Eiffel tower).  This last section is hilly, but with the hills comes a variation in stunning scenery and is not to be missed!  Tonight’s accommodation is a real highlight of the route, a magnificent chambre d’hotes, where your host, Karine, will be delighted to show you around her vineyard.  Distance of roughly 40km. Dinner and night in a chambre d’hotes (with swimming pool)

5
The Canal de Garonne

The first day on the Canal de Garonne!  This is a wonderful canal, very peaceful and scenic.  The trees that run along the canal are enormous, providing shade and beauty in equal measures.  There are a few restaurants, bars and small villages along the route.  Often on the cycle path there are also small cycle signs to take you to the nearest towns or villages, where you might find refreshments.  You can also spot plenty of wildlife along the canal including fish, herons, ducks and even turtles.  The route is well signposted and on a very easy cycling path, so it is easy to eat up the kilometres without any problems. This first day of cycling takes you alongside some interesting small towns including Le Mas D'Agenais and Damazan.  This is an area that time has forgotten with pretty streets and town squares surrounded by shuttered houses that harbour an almost ghost-like emptiness.  Distance of roughly 59km. Night and dinner in a characterful chambre d’hotes.

6
In prune country!

Today you will leave your chambre d’hotes and rejoin the canal.  You will cycle past many orchards mainly harvesting prunes (for which Agen is famous) but also now, the ever popular kiwi can be found growing in this region in large numbers.   There is an opportunity to come off the canal and visit the little town of Agen, where you can sit outside one of the many terraced cafes and enjoy the sunshine.   Back on the canal, keep your eye out for turtles which are often spotted here.  This is a tranquil area and an easy day’s ride along the canal.  Distance of roughly 48km. Meal and night in a chambres d’hotes. 

7
Churches and markets

This region of France is reputed for its markets.  Don’t hesitate to ask at your chambre d’hotes if there are any markets within the area happening on that particular day.  Many of these villages are just alongside the canal, making access to them very easy.  There is an opportunity for you to explore the small town of Moissac, famous for being on the pilgrims’ Way of St James towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  The town also hosts a superb Abbey. The wildlife along this part of the canal is numerous.  Look out for herons in particular. Distance of roughly 35 or 47km. Dinner and night in a chambre d'hotes.

8
En route to Toulouse

For your last day along the Canal de Garonne, look out for the coypu (or beaver rat) as it makes its home along the banks of the canal.    The cycle path soon leads you towards Toulouse – also known as the pink city due to the colour of the stone used to build the houses here.  It is possible to make a detour along the Garonne river on your way into the town, where the landscapes are splendid.  Make the most of your time in Toulouse by walking around the old centre.   A satisfying end to a satisfying holiday!  Distance of roughly 36-48km. Night in a three star hotel or in a charming chambre d'hôtes close to the centre of town. 

9
End of your stay

End of your stay after breakfast.  However, there's always the opportunity to carry on to the Mediterranean on the Canal du Midi!  Contact us for details.

Departure board

Every fridays, saturdays and sundays between march and october. Departures on mondays with supplement.

Technical information

Fact sheet
Starting point
  • At your hotel in Bordeaux
End
  • After breakfast at your hotel in Toulouse.
Accommodation
  • 3 star hotels and chambre d’hôtes with ensuite bathrooms with shower or bath.
Number of people
  • From 2 persons only
Level of difficulty
  • Flat itinerary except for a few hills around the St. Emilion area, but easy riding on the whole.
Carrying
  • Your bag (one per person) is transferred by taxi between the hotels.
Options
  • Bike rental (hybrid bike) including repatriation : 199€
  • Departure a monday : 25€
  • GPS tracks on USB stick : 25€
Included
  • 8 nights in hotels or chambre d'hotes of 3 star quality, breakfast, five evening meals, your daily luggage transfers, the route notes and maps.
Not included
  • Transfers to the start of the route and from the finishing point, insurance, lunches, evening meals (except for those mentioned), the return of the bikes (unless you are paying the supplement).

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