Canal de Garonne Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishBordeaux / Toulouse
Distance173 miles/279 kms
Cycle from Bordeaux on the Atlantic Coast of France inland along glorious cycle paths and quiet roads following the Canal de Garonne as it wends its way southeastwards to the Pink City of Toulouse. Cycle beside the canal through the dappled shade of the plane trees, admiring the vineyards, orchards and tiny villages that line the route. Easy cycling through sublime scenery.
After a night in the port city of Bordeaux your cycling holiday begins with a ride along a wonderful cycle path deep into the Aquitane countryside. Enjoy carefree cycling through a charming rural landscape, punctuated by fortified towns and sleepy villages. The next day you join the beautiful Canal de Garonne, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. For the next four days the Canal will be your guide, leading you through a charming world where the pace of life is slow, the cycling is easy and the scenery serene and timeless.
In a country blessed with a huge choice of fabulous cycle routes this really does rank as one of the must-do’s, the canal side cycle path is enjoyable, safe and flat and continuously serves up a conveyor belt of wonderful sights and scenery as you pedal along. You’ll love the charming villages of Buzet sur Baise, Damazan and Le Mas d’Agen. The aqueduct at Agen, that carries the canal above the Garonne River, is sure to impress as is the lovely old town of Moissac with its 12th century Abbey.
Each night you’ll stay in charming guesthouses and hotels in delightful villages and towns along the route.
The route is mainly on cycle paths with the odd section along quite roads and lanes. It is predominantly flat with only some minor climbs along the way.
Itinerary & Map
The route is mainly on cycle paths with the odd section along quiet roads and lanes. It is predominantly flat with only some minor climbs along the way.
Day 1: Arrive Bordeaux
Make your way from Bordeaux airport to your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore this interesting port city with Roman origins. Take a stroll through the atmospheric old town and don’t miss the charming public gardens on the banks of the Garonne River. Our tip is to invest in the 229 step climb to the Pey Berland bell tower adjacent to Saint-Andre’s cathedral – the view is definitely worth the effort.
Day 2: Bordeaux – Entre Deux Mer – Frontenac, 31 – 37 miles/50 – 60 kms
Your first day’s cycling starts with a pleasant ride alongside the Garonne River. After a while you leave the river and head eastwards, following a beautiful Voie Verte cycle path through ever-changing scenery ranging from expansive vineyards to cool, shady forests and open farmland. You’ll also pass through some tiny wine-villages along the way as well as the old walled-town of Creon. You’ll stop for the night in the tiny village of Frontenac where you’ll stay in a charming guesthouse.
Day 3: The Canal de Garonne, Frontenac – Meilhan sur Garonne, 15 – 34 miles/25 – 55 kms
Your route notes will offer you a few variations today and you can opt for a relatively short 25kms, the full 55 or something in between. Whichever you choose you’ll enjoy more scenic cycling along gorgeous cycle paths. After a while you’ll join the Canal de Garonne and begin to follow it as it wends its way southeastwards. The canal-side cycle path is wonderful, leading you through the dappled sunlight of the sentry-like plane trees. Your destination today is the small village of Meilhan sur Garonne or nearby.
Day 4: Meilan sur Garonne – Sérignac sur Garonne, 37 miles/60 kms
Today’s route leads you along the lush Garonne Valley. You’ll pass many orchards and, in the summer months, vivid fields of sunflowers and other crops as you make your way through the rural landscape on the canal-side cycle path. Every now and then you’ll pass through tiny canal-side villages, usually with their own locks and often pretty waterside bistros. Make a point of stopping in the charming village of Damazan for a stroll around its quaint, cobbled streets. You stop for the night in the charming village of Sérignac sur Garonne.
Day 5: Sérignac sur Garonne – Moissac, 37 miles/60 kms
Today you can look forward to a beautiful and easy ride with many points of interest along the way. The Agen Aqueduct is both impressive and beautiful, consisting of 23 stone arches that carry the canal across the Garonne River. It was opened in 1849 and is quite narrow meaning barges have to wait their turn at either end. Agen itself is a lovely old town and definitely worthy of a wander around and a coffee break. The Canal continuously flirts with the Garonne River and at times you will be cycling along the narrow strip of land that separates the two. Saint Nicholas de Grave marks the confluence of the Garonne and Tarn Rivers and the resulting lake is a well-known bird sanctuary. You spend the night in a 3 star hotel on the banks of the River Tarn in the lovely old town of Moissac.
Day 6: Moissac – Toulouse, 40 miles/64 kms
Your last day following the Canal de Garonne is a very pleasant one. Pretty, rural villages line the route as you follow the canal south through open countryside towards Toulouse. In the town of Montech you can stop to admire the unique water-slope, an ingenious, some would say overly-complicated, lock-replacement system that moves a wedge of water, complete with barge, up or downhill. After some more idyllic riding in the shade of the canal-side plane trees you arrive in the city of Toulouse. Known as the ‘pink-city’ due to the abundance of rosy-red brick buildings Toulouse is steeped in history and has one of the largest Roman churches in Europe. Alternatively, you could take the tour of the Airbus Factory on the outskirts of town and/or visit Cité de l’Espace, an excellent and informative space museum. Enjoy a celebratory meal on the town’s bustling square before retiring to your centrally located 3 star hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Day 7: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure. Why not complete the coast to coast journey by following the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean.
Dates & Prices
|2019 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily from 01 April to 14 October|
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|Deposit per person||£100|
6 x Breakfast, 2 x Dinner on day 2 & 3
Maps & route information
GPS route data
Bike hire (see supplements)
Extra night Bordeaux/Toulouse, single, comfort (£140)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£118)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£198)
The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, hybrid/touring models with 21 or 24 speeds and comfortable saddle with an upright riding position.
The bikes come equipped with two rear panniers, handlebar bag, lock and puncture repair kit.
E-bikes as well as children’s bikes and trailers are also available.
We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are supplied on arrival.
Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet in France and we always advocate their use for riders of all ages.
Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Comfort: Comfortable hotels and charming guesthouses.
Bordeaux: Hotel de Normandie
Frontenac : Chambres d’hotes Chez Mme Duranteau
Saint-Marthe: Le Moulin de Tarres de Bas
Serignac sur Garonne: Le Prince Noir Hotel
Moissac: Le Moulin de Moissac
Toulouse: Grand Hotel D’Orleans
Fly to Bordeaux Airport and then take the regular shuttle into Bordeaux and make your way to your centrally located hotel.
At the end of the trip you can either fly back from Toulouse or take the train back to Bordeuax and fly back from there.
- Date - 15/06/2017
- Name - Bob Cooper
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Friendly, helpful and flexible with respect to tailoring our trip to suit us.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Accommodation, food and cycle tracks were all very good. Also weather was perfect!
It would have been helpful if the bikes were supplied with odometers as the route notes were very precise - maps would benefit from being clearer and larger scale.
- Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the review Bob. The route note/odometer points have been fed back to our local supplier.
- Date - 30/05/2017
- Name - Robert King
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - The booking was straight forward and the communication good.
- Product rating - 3.0
- Product comment - The map booklet needed to be updated. It was obvious it was out of date for getting in and out of some of the major towns. We ended up having to use google maps several times.
- Flexitreks response - Thanks for the feedback Robert. In light of your comments the route notes for this tour are currently undergoing a comprehensive review. I do hope this issue didn't marr the overall experience to much.
- Date - 30/07/2016
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Flexitreks researched the possible effect that the European Football Championships might have on our cycling tour and advised us of alternate dates.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Both route and accommodation were excellent.
- Flexitreks response - Glad we managed to help you avoid the hooligans and lovely to hear all went well.
- Date - 16/06/2016
- Name - Michael
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - Happy with service provided by Flexi Treks pre tour but it became obvious to us at the start of the Tour that their suppliers were not of the same standard.
1/ No Odometers on Bikes as stated in Flexi Treks brochure and information of this ride.
2/ Road Book is poorly put together. We had been pre booked into Hotels --- no need to know about the others available and the routes to get to them. All adds to unessary confusion.
3/ EVA10 supplier very uncooperative in setting bikes up. Too busy for us- no instructions. Bike locks over size and heavy. Not impressed with the bikes themselves.
4/ Must say night at Frontenac was made by excellent hospitality of Madame Michelle, Chez Mme Durant. First class! Different at Meilhan at Le Font dUzas. Lukewarm coffee and bread for breakfast. Didn't even try! Summary --- you need to provide some consistency with breakfasts provided.
5/ As the road book goes to great detail on distances between points, straightforward along Canals etc it is not easy thru towns and cities without an Odometer.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - Problem is as above-- bikes , maps and some accomodation as described above.
- Flexitreks response - Thanks for the comprehensive feedback Michael. As discussed in our subsequent email conversation the odometer issue was entirely our error. We regret the oversight and our website has now been amended to clarify that odometers are not provided on this tour. Regarding the road book, it’s actually quite common for road-books to include directions to each of the possible accommodations along a given route as this obviates the need to create a custom book for each and every customer. I'm sorry if you found this confusing.
Our local supplier was disappointed you found them to be uncooperative and their bikes heavy. They believe they worked hard to please you and do not understand what they did to create this negative impression. They maintain their bikes are a very good choice for the routes they offer and while they admit lighter models are available, they point out that like most rental companies they have to ensure their bikes are robust enough for the job in hand. For our part, we believe the bike description and photos used on our website are an accurate depiction of what is provided.
In conclusion, I'm very sorry the holiday didn't match up to your expectations but I'm glad we were able to resolve the matter to your satisfaction post tour.