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Welcome to Hooked on Walking holidays and this wonderful walking holiday in France around the wine producers of the Bordeaux region. This is a self-guided hiking vacation across some of the most famous vineyards of the world. Mixed up of with landscape beauty, oenological pleasure and cultural discoveries. From the vineyard of St Emilion, without any doubt the most famous, to the vineyard of Sauternes, famous for its high-class wines, you will also cross the Entre-Deux-Mers area to discover charming villages which astonish by their marvelously preserved inheritance, and by many wine châteaux and wine store houses which decorate the landscape by their sumptuous architectures.
This is a walking tour with varied landscapes, alternating footpaths across vines and woods, edges of rivers and minor roads, without forgetting a stop over in wine producers. You will cordially be staying each evening in charming guesthouses, hotels, and sumptuous castles or wine châteaux in the hearth of the vines.
Day 1 Arrival in Bordeaux and transfer to St Emilion
Arrival at Bordeaux train station or Bordeaux Airport. Taxi transfer to St Emilion. Here you will be welcomed in your guesthouse which is located at the heart of one of the most prestigious vineyards of the world. Here you will pick up your route notes. You will have dinner in a restaurant, in the medieval city - a restaurant or in your accommodation.
Day 2 Saint Emilion vineyards 0- Unesco inheritance 6-9 miles 10-15km 70m up
You will begin your week with a hiking day in the jurisdiction of St-Emilion. All around the city extends the vines, Châteaux and wine properties, like Petrus or château La Clotte or Beau Séjour, draw up themselves there, well planted in the grounds, proud of their history and the men who set them up. This is a route through the characteristic landscape of the comb. Exceptional site formed by a succession of comb covered with vines. This "landscape" was the first “no architectural” site, classified by the world inheritance of UNESCO. Depending on your willingness, you can visit and taste the Château du Clos de la Madeleine (great classified vintage), located on your route. Then it is back to your guesthouse and dinner in a restaurant located at the heart of the village.
Day 3 Saint Emilion Exceptionnal medieval village
This morning, you will take part in a wine tasting initiation animated in English. An expert will show you the technical and specific characteristics of the vineyard of St. Emilion, as well as the principles of development of the wine. After a picnic in one of the many magic places of this small city, you will have a guided tour of the city and of its underground monuments (in English). Built in amphitheatre and true museum in the open air, the town of Saint-Emilion will astonish you, the tours lasts around 2 hours.
At the end of the afternoon, a taxi transfer to Saint Martin de Lerm, in the “Entre-Deux-Mers” vineyard and dinner and night in the “Bacchus” guesthouses, in the old cattle sheds of a small holding of the XVII century, renovated and arranged in bedrooms within a cordial framework of old stones and wood.
Day 4 The Entre-deux-Mers area From St Martin de Lerm to Caudrot 9.4 miles 15 Kms – 100 meters level variation.
The Entre-Deux-Mers area, between the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers, is a triangle of ground, water and stones which surprises by its cultural variety. You will cross a part of this vineyard which profits from an exceptional geographical site on the slopes dominating the valley of the Garonne. In the morning, your route will pass along the Domaine de Bouillerot (Bordeaux, Red Bordeaux supérieur, Côtes of Bordeaux Blanc and St-Macaire, sweetened white wines and red wines). If you want, you will be welcomed by the producer for the visit and a tasting. Wine field since 1874 and vine growers since 3 generations, this owner perpetuates the tradition of the area in a constant preoccupation of the quality.
At the end of the afternoon, you will arrive at your destination down the Garonne Valley and will be accommodated in an entirely restored old house, with a 3000m² shadowed and flowered park, in the heart of the cute village in the edge of the Garonne. Dinner in your guesthouse.
Day 5 From Caudrot to St Macaire 6 miles 10 Kms – 25 meters level variation
You will walk in a landscape along the vines and estuary of the Gironde. Castles, fisher men huts of the area offer astonishing sights. You will be able to make a stop in the small port and its locks marking the departure of famous “Canal du Midi”, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The footpath leads you directly to one of the doors of the medieval city of St Macaire, site protected by the historic buildings since 1965. Here you will have time to explore the village on your own.
Day 6 Loop from St Macaire to Sainte Croix du Mont 5-10 miles 8 - 16 km according to option – 100 meters level variation.
Above Saint-Macaire, the hills open splendid scenic views. In this landscape of hills and small valleys, the vines succeed the meadows and the thickets of leafy trees. You discover many mills and castles, opening very broad sights on changing reliefs. This route will take you to the “Domaine de Malagar”, residence of the writer François Mauriac, whom you will be able to visit the tomb of the famous painter Toulouse Lautrec. You will be able to visit the Château Laurette (Sweet white wine producer) or the Château Loubens before reaching the village of Sainte Croix du Mont, perched on a slope, offering a spectacular view on the Garonne Valley and remarkable for its wines and caves, whose walls are covered with fossilized oyster benches and where cellars and even a vault were arranged. Do not forget the church as well. At the end of the afternoon, return to the hotel at St Macaire and transfer in the taxi until Sauternes.
Day 7 The Famous Sauternes vineyards area , from Sauternes to Barsac 9.6 miles 15 Km – 60 meters level variation
Located on left bank of the Garonne, in fact the high-class wines of Sauternes are offered to discover. Throughout your route, you will walk along the well-known wine producer like Château La Tour Blanche and château Rayne Vigneau and will be able to appreciate the small local inheritance (churches and mills) but also a varied natural inheritance of landscapes of vine, forest and the Ciron river, wild small river formerly used for the transport of wood. You will walk in an exceptional vineyard by its single soil which results from a know-how, two century old, who gave quality and prestige to the wines of Sauternes and Barsac.
Once accommodated, you will finish the day by an “aperitif tasting” in the Château Gravas. Like other high-class wines of Sauternes, the fame of the Château Gravas date of the time of Richard Coeur de Lion (XII century). Accommodation and dinner in the castle of Camperos which knew how to preserve the elegance of the XVIII century and the Néo-Renaissance charm of XIX with its vast rooms having view on the vines or the park.
Day 8 End
Breakfast and transfer to the Train station of Barsac or Langon
Accommodation: subject to change
Les Moulin du Palat, 2 nights, swimming pool
La Lezardiere 1 night, swimming pool
Le Clos du Terre, 1 night
Les Feuilles d’acanthe, 1 night swimming pool
Chateau d’Arche, 1 night
le Chateau de Camperos, 1 night swimming pool
What is Included
Tour Code HOWGIR1
Price per persons based on 2 persons sharing double room
How to get there
By Plane to Bordeaux airport or by train to Bordeaux
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Phone: +44 (0) 1506 635 399