HIKING CRUISE IN THE HEART OF THE BORDEAUX VINEYARD OF LIBOURNE in CASTETS-EN-DORTHE
HIKING CRUISE IN THE HEART OF THE BORDEAUX VINEYARDS
From LIBOURNE to CASTETS-EN-DORTHE
Maximum number of participants: 85 people per week
A whole week to discover all 6 regions of Bordeaux wines: Entre-deux-mers – Sauternes, Graves – Bordeaux – Médoc – Blaye, Bourg – Saint-Emilion, Pomerol…
Visit the castles, taste a variety of wines and admire the historic monuments, many of which are classified by UNESCO. Live the life of the winegrower throughout the seasons!
Your Tour Leader takes into account all your wishes for discovering nature, wine and heritage. He advises you every day on your possible itineraries to satisfy you more personally.
Authenticity & freedom are our guiding principles during the stay.
Every day, the boat stays in port from 9am to about 5/18pm. You have plenty of time to sightsee, explore towns and villages, enjoy a coffee break, visit or taste.
At the end of the day, the crew welcomes you on board where you can chat with your new friends over a good wine. You sail to the new region to explore the next day.
You don’t have to pack and unpack every day!
Day 1 Saturday LIBOURNE
Libourne: Boarding at 3pm
Arrival in Bordeaux and transfer from the Saint-Jean train station to your hotel boat, the MPSBORDEAUX. Once you are in the cabin, you get to know your guide who will present you with your program and choice of activities for the week. You enjoy a short first getaway around Libourne. You can also enjoy the city rightly called “le petit Bordeaux”. In the evening, a welcome cocktail awaits you on board with a presentation of the crew.
Day 2 Sunday – LIBOURNE/FRONSAC
Saint-Emilion UNESCO City, Vineyards & Castles (8-14 miles)
In the morning you can enjoy the traditional Libourne market before joining the train that takes you to Saint-Emilion station in 10 minutes.
After walking along the city, a 10km hiking loop will take you to the heart of the Grands Cru du Saint-Emilionnais estates: Château Mondot, Château Pavie-Macquin, Château la Clotte, Château Soutard, Tour de La Clotte, Château Vilmorine, Château Haut Sarpe, Château Brun, Château le Cause, Château Fontbrauge, Château Laroque, Moulins de Laroque, Château Guillemot… You visit and have lunch in Saint-Emilion, the village classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a unique view of the medieval streets and surrounding vineyards, the monolithic church and the gentle lifestyle that prevails there. A final tasting visit to the Galhaud manor, Château Tour St Christophe, Guadet or Cantenac… A renewed energy for a final Saint-Emilion Grands Crus loop?… Over 8km, go to the heart of the south and west hillside vineyards, with its magnificent views and prestigious castles known worldwide, you will pass in front of about ten, and see many!
This tour takes place through the vineyards, but don’t worry, you will always be very close to Saint-Émilion, which will very often be visible always on your right. Among the most famous castles: Château Ausone, Château La Madeleine, Château Angélus, Château Jean du Mayne, Château Grand Mayne, Château Franc Mayne… You can enjoy the magnificent views of the Dordogne valley, discover many castles: Goudichau, Fontplégade and many others… A real paradise for wine lovers! The evening gives you the opportunity to enjoy a dinner cruise along the Dordogne to Bourg-sur-Gironde, a small village built on a rocky promontory that overlooks the small port and offers you a breathtaking view of the estuary.
NAVIGATION from Libourne to Bourg sur Gironde : 5pm to 9pm.
Day 3 Monday – BOURG-SUR-GIRONDE
Bourg – Corniche – Blaye– Citadelle – (4-12 miles)
The historically coveted city of Bourg deserves a visit in its own right with its exceptional heritage. The village stands proudly about twenty metres above the waters of the Dordogne. Between the upper and lower cities, more than 500 steps connect the two levels. This pleasant village shelters many treasures such as the charming castle of the Citadel, its gardens, its museum, the surprising Moorish villa or the many houses of the 18th century
You start from the pretty port of Bourg, follow the road to the cornice and its unique views combining vineyards, water and stone, all along the banks of the Dordogne. You meet several small villages: Le Pain de Sucre, Bayon, Marmisson, Gauriac and Roque de Thau, all with a spectacular view of the estuary and its fauna and flora. Behold the flower gardens that flourish under the influence of the local microclimate, the cave dwellings nestled in the cliffs, the fishing huts known as squares with their traditional nets, the wreckage from the Second World War, the Romanesque churches or the ruins of a Gallo-Roman Villa in Plassac. You have the choice to visit some castles like Tayac, Eyquem, and many others.
On reaching Blaye, its citadel, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a beautiful excursion through its fortifications built by Vauban in the 17th century to protect Bordeaux from invaders or even the guided tour of its underground passages.
On your way, Blaye & Bourg offers you their Maison du Vin where winegrowers await you to introduce you to their wines. Back in Bourg, the typical 1828 covered washhouse near the port allows you to refresh yourself after your day trip.
Day 4 Tuesday – MARGAUX / MEDOC
Nature loop & Margaux Castles (8-12 miles)
NAVIGATION from BOURG-SUR-GIRONDE to LAMARQUE: 7am to 9:30am
You cross the wide estuary towards the other shore: the Médocaine region.
Escapade into one of the most famous wine-growing regions. First, you walk along the estuary to cross one of the last swampy sites in the Médoc, with its preserved environment and its many facets. This natural site of remarkable biodiversity can be adapted to all your desires. Then follow in the order of prestigious castles: Lascombes, castles Marquis de Terme, Marojallia, Durfort-Vivens. Rauzan-Gassies, Rauzan-Ségla or Palmer, Issan, Vincent, Pontac-Lynch, Marquis d’Alesme, Ritz Zuger, Prieure Lichine, Ferrière, La Gurgue or Malescot Saint-Exupéry (former property of Count Jean-Baptiste de Saint Exupéry-great Grandfather of the writer). You are in the heart of the margaux vineyard! A 360° view of the world-famous châteaux and vineyards to the entrance of a large black gate that opens the doors of the Château Margaux estate, 1st Grand Cru Classé in 1855, not to be neglected! You can also take the magnificent plane tree path that leads you straight to Château Margaux. Walk past the parish church of Saint-Michel and its cemetery (former castle chapel of Château Margaux dating from the 18th and 19th centuries). Before joining the boat, you may also be tempted by a wine tasting and/or a chocolate tasting in the Mademoiselle de Margaux shop, where the Sarments du Médoc are the specialty. At the end of the day, you can enjoy a dinner cruise on the Garonne River towards the majestic city of Bordeaux. You will discover the most prestigious panorama of the region: the Port de la Lune with its sumptuous 18th century facades, the Pont de Pierre, the Place de la Bourse, the quays, which lead to the historic wine merchants’ district including the Quai des Chartrons, transformed into shops and restaurants.
NAVIGATION from LAMARQUE to BORDEAUX : 5pm to 8pm
Day 5 Wednesday – BORDEAUX
Heart of Bordeaux UNESCO (7 miles)
Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. The list of hidden buildings, places and jewels is worth seeing. Enter the city through the Cailhau Gate, the royal entrance.
We suggest a thorough visit: Bordeaux is a city that shines not only for its individual buildings, but also for its grand and well preserved old town. To see, the amazing architecture and hidden jewels, the Pey Berlan Tower and its large bell, the Golden Triangle, the Girondins Column, the Water Mirror, the Capuchin market (perhaps with wine and oyster tastings), the Saint-Michel Basilica, the Pierre Bridge, the first bridge in the city, built at the time of Napoleon’s orders, etc. Take the time to cross the newly opened wine town, the Chaban Delmas Bridge and the very special ecosystem of Darwin, a renovated factory where you can enjoy the view of the Quays, by drinking a good coffee in a place filled with trees. A wonderful city to explore by bike or on foot. Bordeaux and its surroundings offer many possibilities for sightseeing and shopping.
NAVIGATION from BORDEAUX to LOUPIAC : 6pm to 10pm
Day 6 Thursday- LOUPIAC – CADILLAC
Cadillac Road or Sentiers de Sainte-Croix-du-mont Trails (4-9 miles)
Between the hills and the Garonne, the preserved nature invites you to breathe while discovering a rich heritage of the past, a cultural life and famous wines.
By following the Garonne river you quickly reach the Cadillac wine house, which offers you a presentation and tasting of its wines. You are entering the “ideal city” of antiquity: Cadillac. Born in 1280, with its two gates and fortified enclosure, the bastide retains many possibilities for exploration with its high square tower, its square square square, the church of Saint-Blaise and Saint-Martin (15th and 16th centuries), the Château des Ducs d’Epernon (early 17th century). You continue this lovely walk in the Loupiac vineyard, between the path and some sections of roads that are always topped by a slope (for anti-bitumen!). After St. Peter’s Church, go backstage, discover all the secrets and magic of making sweet wines from Loupiac accompanied by the passionate owners:At the Château le Portail rouge, which holds the keys to the Gallo-Roman Baths, or at the Château de Loupiac-Gaudiet, built in the 18th century and operated by the same family for 6 generations. You can also take a few trails that will take you through vineyards and old houses. A more hilly territory to enjoy the landscapes as far as Sainte-Croix-du-Mont where you will have a great view of the whole Loupiac and Sauternes region facing the church with its 12th century western portal. You are next to the Château des Saveurs (14th century) and go down a path under the castle and the church where you can visit a cave dug in a bank of fossil oysters located in a limestone cliff: a unique geological site of 22 million years! You then go down to the Château du Cros where you can visit and taste before joining the boat nearby. Once back on board, sail on the Garonne River towards the majestic city of Bordeaux. You face the most prestigious panorama of the region: the “Port de la lune” with its sumptuous 18th century facades; the Stone Bridge, the Place de la Bourse and the Quai des Chartrons.
NAVIGATION from LOUPIAC to CASTETS-EN-DORTHE : 5pm to 8pm
Day 7 Friday- ENTRE-DEUX-MERS
Les côteaux Caudrot – Sainte Foy La Longue or La voie d’eau Barie – Mazerac (11-12 miles)
The hills welcome you for a walk between the Garonne and the vineyards. You cross the Eiffel bridge at Castets-en-dorthe and reach the small village of Caudrot. You can see its port and the mouth of the Dropt sur la Garonne, the decorations painted in trompe l’oeil of the Church of Caudrot. Part of the road has retained its old cobblestones, which give it the appearance of an old Roman road on the Garonne path. From the hills of Caudrot you can overlook the Garonne valley and your route. You join the city of Sainte-Foy-la-Longue, its vineyard and gabled bell tower in a neo-medieval style located on one of the highest points in the canton of Saint-Macaire. At the end of the 19th century this bell tower replaced the original Romanesque church. A unique view of the old medieval village from this parish of Ste Foy, which appears in the archives as early as 1497, when the Franciscans of Saint-Macaire and La Réole made an agreement to distribute their respective collections. You follow an unusual path in the middle of the forest that contrasts with the more usual landscapes of the vineyards. On Castets-en-Dorthe, you can walk along the canal, join Barie and its church, walk along the Garonne, discover the cornfields, kiwi, a windmill, the Romanesque churches of Mazérac and Saint-Romain…
For your last evening on board, you will enjoy a festive dinner with the captain at the table, a cocktail/creamer from Bordeaux and a dance with the crew.
Day 8 Saturday- CASTETS-EN-DORTHE
Disembarkation & Bus transfer back to Bordeaux
After your last breakfast on board, it will be time to say goodbye and disembark. Disembarkation will take place at 9:00 am, taking a bus to Bordeaux station (arrival at 10:00 am).
The distances for hikes are approximate. They are equivalent to the recommended daily tourist tours. Most of the time, shorter and longer, easier and more demanding options are available: ask your Tour Leader on board for details; visits are most often booked the day before, depending on sailing times and availability, also to be checked with your Tour Leader. When a passenger may also decide to stay on board to relax during the day or, depending on availability, choose to rent a bike for a day.The Garonne, Gironde and Dordogne rivers are part of a larger hydrographic network. Water levels can reach about 6 metres per day, including high tides. Every effort is made to follow the planned route, but depending on tides, wind and weather conditions, it may be modified for safety reasons. The ship will do its best to follow the planned route, but the tides may force us to adapt accordingly. The cruise program follows an hourly schedule with the tide. We ask you to respect the indicated times for breakfast, dinner, as well as for entering and leaving the boat.