South of France Cycling Tour Itinerary

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Why can we say with certainty that our tours are filled with an authentic rural French experience? Because our guests tell us! Free of commercialism the villages we ride through, full of charm will leave you spellbound as to their heritage and history.

This is an example of our tour. At times we may need to change routes or other details due to weather, road works, the season or events.

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Day 1 – Wednesday – mercredi

Bonjour!

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arrival – To get your tour underway let’s start with a classic french lunch.

After collecting you from either Beziers train station or Beziers International airport, we go to the historic centre of Beziers and get to know our fellow travellers over lunch with the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Saint Nazaire. After lunch we will take a short drive to the World Heritage listed UNESCO Canal du Midi built during the reign of Louis XIV, from 1666 to 1681. It spans an incredible 240km. We visit the Ecluse de Fonserannes, a staircase lock allowing boats to be raised a height of 21.5m over a distance of 300m through a series of locks.

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We will then take a short drive to a quaint French village and to your Chambre d’hotes, your home away from home for the week. It’s time to unpack and get ready to Live, Laugh, Ride ….

In the afternoon we introduce you to your VeloRoo steed for the week and get you all set up.

Now it’s time to settle in for a welcome drink and dinner at the B&B and talk about the week ahead and the wonderful region you will be discovering.

Included meals – lunch / dinner

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Day 2 – Thursday – jeudi

It’s all about Wine!
54 kilometers ride. 675m accumulated elevation.

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7:30am Breakfast
8:30am  For your first glimpse of our beautiful and varied region we ride through the unique schiste wine region of our local appellation AOC Faugeres. Our route takes in many villages where wine has been the life blood dating back to Roman times. The roads we travel on are predominantly free of traffic providing a sense of remoteness whilst sometimes only being a few kilometres from the main road.

12 pm. We will return to your B&B for showers and to freshen up before heading to lunch. Today we have a relaxed picnic style lunch, experiencing local produce, it’s the perfect place to reflect on your first ride in the true South of France!

For those joining us on our September Vendange tour, the vineyards will be a hive of activity. You may even get caught in traffic – French style – with heavily laden trailers making their way to their Domaines.

Vendange Trailer

After lunch we visit a nearby village and walk through it’s narrow streets up to the site of its medieval castle and its restored fortified chapel to take in the wonderful expansive view over the plain below.

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7:00pm. Depart for dinner. Tonight we dine in a stunning restaurant located within the walls of a 12th century abbey in the heart of a medieval village.

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 3 – Friday – vendredi

Today’s Ride – Exploring the Avant Monts.
82km ride (60km before lunch – optional 22km after lunch) with 1200m of accumulated elevation. 

7:30am Breakfast.
8:00am. On today’s popular undulating route you will discover the unique geology of the lower Haut Languedoc created as the Massif Central rises from the Mediterranean plains which attracts geologists from all over the world.

Red landscape

Leaving the vineyards behind us, we gently climb through valleys of fragrant Mediterranean garrigue scrub, through open plateau farmland, down into a valley of red soil and an area of moonscape-esque monolithic limestone. We will pause for a coffee break in a village amongst the monoliths.

Roquette

Along the route are a number of long gentle winding descents that never fail to deliver whoops of laughter and requests to do that again!

Descent Roquette

And it wouldn’t be a ride in the South of France without an iconic avenue of plane trees.

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12:30pm Time for a well earned break and to enjoy a delicious lunch in a vine covered courtyard. This is dining like a local, being treated like a visitor not a tourist.

After lunch we ride 22km back to your B&B, to shower and relax.

St Michel

6:00pm. Depart for Sunset Aperos. This evening we take a drive to the ruins of a 14th century village perched atop a ridge over looking the Jaur Valley. Enjoy a chilled glass of rosé as you watch the sunset.

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 4 – Saturday – samedi

Ride Rest Day. This morning is a chance to experience a popular local market and enjoy walking the streets of a medieval town. There are some excellent opportunities to pick up some gifts and souvenirs with the historic centre of town full of art and craft stores.

Markets saucisson

 

Pezenas Markets

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After enjoying the morning at the markets we head to the Mediterranean coast for lunch at a local waterfront restaurant. Take a walk along the waterfront and maybe even dip your toe in the Mediterranean before we return to the B&B.

7:30pm Relaxing dinner at your B&B.

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 5 –  Sunday – dimanche

It’s time to bag a Col! 
68km ride with 1626m accumulated elevation. 

7:30am Breakfast
8:00am.  Today you will experience the thrill of conquering one of the most spectacular HC rides in the Massif Central. After a short transfer in the vehicle, we set off on the bikes along the valley Hannibal brought his elephants through in 200 BC.

Our 23 kilometre climb commences in the local thermal spa town of Lamalou les Bains. Leaving the town, we climb through many levels of forest with chestnuts, pines and birch. The views along the route take in some breathtaking scenery, that will stay with you forever.

Espinouse Rosis

Espinouse

If you join us for our October tour you will also be rewarded with spectacular Autumn colours!

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Peaking at 1124 meters, you have earned your victory VeloRoo Salute of a HC climb conquered!

Espinouse Salute

Our next part of the ride is no less spectacular, as we descend from the roof of the Cevennes, and follow the river all the way to our lunch stop. 35km of descending! Woo hoo!

1:00pm We arrive into a historic picturesque silver mint town. That’s your riding done, so it’s time for a well earned drink and refuel with lunch at a cafe with beautiful stone arched ceilings.

After lunch we transfer back to the B&B for you to freshen up and have some time to rest and relax before dinner.

7:30pm. A relaxing dinner at the B&B.

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 6 –  Monday – lundi 

Todays Ride – Circulade Villages – 1,000 years of medieval village history
62km with 800m elevation

8:00am Breakfast.
9:00am. Location Location Location! Framed by both the Mediterranean sea and the dramatic Massif Central this narrow region is blessed with fertile land and a natural gateway between Spain and Rome. You will discover how, through the construction of its villages, it has survived intact despite it’s turbulent history of religious crusades and land conquests.

Margon

Our ride takes us to the best medieval Circulade villages, unique to this tiny region of France, they have protected their citizens for over 1,000 years and recognized as some of Europe’s oldest examples of small town planning. Each sun bleached village embraces its culture, celebrating its own history and remain largely as they have for generations.

The quiet roads we ride offer enchanting views over the undulating landscape and time to take in the villages and their surrounds. We also pass some of the 18th Century castles and chateau’s that were established on the wealth from success of the new age agricultural exploitation of the time.

We will return to your B&B to freshen up and shower.

1:00pm For our lunch location today we will picnic in the ruins of a chateau dating back to the XIIth century and the adjacent chapel with beautiful romanesque windows. Whilst enjoying your local favourites take in the outstanding panorama from the Mont de la Gaurdiole to the Pyrenees. We will then visit a 16th century restored working windmill perched on a 417m hill.

Afternoon  Some free time to rest or to explore the local village.

6:30pm. This evening we dine at a wine & tapas bar in one of the neighbouring villages. They have an amazing selection of wines, a great place to try some variety!

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 7 – Tuesday – mardi

Gorges l’Orb 
50km ride with 1071m accumulated elevation

7:30am Breakfast
8:30am Our last riding day together is one we are delighted to share with you. Today’s cycling route will highlight the diversity of the landscape over a relatively short distance. Starting with our beautiful winery landscapes we head into the foothills with a gentle climb through medieval village streets to the limestone plateau and into the native scrub land. At 20km in we will stop for a coffee in a picture postcard village on L’Orb river.

Roquebrun l'orb

 

After taking in the views, we discover the L’Orb river gorge,  flanked either side by the mountains. With picturesque views we follow the river to its junction with the river Jaur. After a short back track we cross the river and commence climbing. But don’t worry the scenery is your reward as the expanding views unfold before you.

12:30pm We arrive at our lunch stop in a quaint little village tucked away in the valley. After our last long lunch together we take the VéloRoo bus back to your B&B where you can enjoy a few hours to relax as you choose. Or for those feeling the need for a last few k’s, you may choose to ride the 25km’s home.

7:30pm Our farewell dinner at the B&B.

Included meals – breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 8 – Wednesday – mercredi

Breakfast at your leisure.

Your chance for an optional morning ride if your travel plans permit. This ride will not have vehicle support.

Transfers to Beziers train station or Beziers airport at pre arranged times.

Included meals – Breakfast

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