If you’re a cycling enthusiast, grab your rucksack, hat and sunglasses before hopping on your bike and taking in the sights around Secret de la Corniche. Here are our 2 favourite cycling loops…
From Secret de la Corniche to Blaye via the Route de la Corniche (20km round trip)
Between charming houses and the Gironde estuary
The Route de la Corniche is THE ROAD to discover. Drive along the Gironde estuary, Route de la Reuille. On one side you can admire the beautiful stone houses built in local quarries. On the other, the flower-filled gardens beside the water. Most of these houses belonged to fishermen. You’ll see numerous carrelets (fishing huts) all along the estuary. And semi-mediterranean plants, such as palms, banana trees and rhododendrons, have come back from their journeys at sea… On the cliffside, protected from the wind and benefiting from south-facing sunlight, the plants feel particularly at home here!
At “Marmisson”, look up and scan the cliffs: troglodytic houses nestle high up. Stone has long been quarried in the area. Some abandoned quarries have become houses with uninterrupted views over the Gironde. In other places, the old quarries were used as wine cellars, mushroom beds or shipyards. At “Furt”, picnic tables offer a photo break, with pretty private carrelets to admire. Shrimp, shad, lamprey, catfish and sea bass are or were caught here.
At the end of the Route de la Corniche, the Port de Roque de Thau and its large pontoon. Next to it, picnic tables and pretty carrelets. In summer, take a break at the Cuis’Thau guinguette, beside the water with your feet in the grass. A la carte: savoury galettes, salads and sweet crêpes. In the evening, watch the sun set over the estuary.
Visit the village of Plassac and the citadel at Blaye
Take the D669, paying careful attention to traffic, to get to the old village of Plassac. Here, you’ll love wandering around and being surprised by the charm of the place, from one alleyway to the next. Mosaics, a marina, “carrelets”, walks and panoramic views of the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux vineyards all pass before your eyes. In summer, the Bel Ami guinguette will have you dancing the night away with its crazy programme of concerts. After Plassac, take the D669 to Blaye and its majestic citadel. Listed as a UNESCO site, there are 1,000 ways to discover it: on your own, on a guided tour, on foot, in a horse-drawn carriage, on a miniature train, by boat, etc. Open all year round and freely accessible, don’t hesitate to pick up the map of the town provided at the gîte before you go. In the citadel, the many narrow streets are home to shops, restaurants, museums, temporary exhibitions and open-air art galleries.
After Blaye, take the same route back to the gîte.
Before heading home, you can take the ferry and explore the Fort Médoc by bike.
From Secret de la Corniche to Bourg via… the Route de la Corniche (again and again!) (25km round trip)
Between vineyards and the Gironde estuary
Our gîte is right in the middle of the Route de la Corniche. So it’s unthinkable not to explore the other half of this route! From the gîte, get ready to climb the famous côte de la Reuille. It’s a tough climb, but well worth it! At the top, there’s a sublime view of the junction between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. There’s a bench where you can catch your breath while admiring the scenery. And off we go! We’re off again, heading for Bayon town centre! Stop off at the beautiful Romanesque church: the bell tower topped by a stone Virgin Mary hosts classical music concerts from time to time.
Then you come to the promontory of Château Eyquem, with a compass rose on the ground and an orientation table. From the heights, you can see the islands of the estuary in the distance, then the Médoc opposite. The Montalon mill in St André de Cubzac and the Pont d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux can also be seen in the distance… How about a wine tasting? Château Eyquem organises guided tours of its vineyards and cellars. The prize: a tasting of red, white or rosé wine. To book your visit, contact Gérard on 06 51 01 06 94.
A rich history: Bourg and the Pair non Pair cave
Get back on your bike and head for the ancient village of Bourg. This is our favourite village, the one where we grew up and lived. So, of course, we strongly advise you to visit it! Part upper town, part lower town, Bourg is a charming village surrounded by medieval ramparts. Art galleries, second-hand goods dealers, shopkeepers, restaurants with terraces, a marina, a park planted with trees, a citadel with oil tanks from the Second World War and an underground passageway from the Middle Ages are all points of interest to discover. Don’t forget the city map we’ve left for you at the gîte, so you can visit it in full.
After Bourg, take the route in the opposite direction and return to the gîte.
Option before returning: take the Route de Croûte to Prignac and Marcamps and visit the Grotte de Pair non Pair, a jewel of prehistoric art in the Gironde.