Bicycle Tours in France: Cycling the Languedoc

   
 

Bicycle Tours in France: Cycling the Languedoc

BY EXPERIENCEPLUS! BICYCLE TOURS
www.experienceplus.com

UPDATED

9 months ago

DURATION

8 Days/7 Nights

SEASON

May, June, September

RATES

USD 3,900.00 per person

EXPIRES

Dec 31, 2017
Bicycle Tours in France: Cycling the Languedoc
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DESCRIPTION

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The South of France or Langue d'Oc region as it is known has always been a border region - between Spain and France, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and, in ancient times, between Rome and northern Gaul. Today it is classic Mediterranean France with vast expanses of vineyards, vestiges of Roman history in Nimes and Narbonne, and a mix of languages that include classic French, traditional Occitan and Catalan. Join us to bicycle and explore this little traveled region on roads not much wider than bike paths.

Highlights: Canal du Midi, Nimes, Bamboo Forest Reserve, Carcassonne, Great bicycle rides, Languedoc wines.

***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling the South of France Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Single Supplement*: $550.00

*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive In Nimes
Nimes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: Roman buildings including the amphitheater or "Arena" and the Maison Carrée, a Roman temple in the Center of Nîmes

Our tour begins today in Nimes, one of several cities founded along or near the Rhone River by the Romans in the first and second centuries B.C. Take time to visit the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in France, the "Arena" which is still used for Provencal-style bull fights and the Maison Carrée, a perfectly-preserved Roman temple dating to 16 BC. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon and suggest a warm up ride for those who wish. We have a welcome dinner together this evening.

Distance: Warm up rides of 5-15 km (3-9 miles). Meals: D

Day 2: Bicycle From Nimes To Anduze
Anduze, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: Mediterranean villages, lavender, sage, rosemary, Costières de Nimes wines, Bamboo Forest

We ride west into Languedoc through small wine villages of the Costières de Nimes today. Aromatic drought resistant scrub bushes and plants, including lavender, sage and rosemary, dot the landscape. Our hotel is in the foothills of the Costiéres de Nimes a few kilometers outside of Anduze. Take time to visit the Bamboo Forest that you'll pass by just before our hotel. It hosts a fascinating collection of exotic, tropical plants including 150 species of bamboo, Sequoia and banana trees.

Distance: 59 km (37 miles). Meals: B, D

Day 3: Loop Ride In The Cévennes
Cevennes, France
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Highlights: Tiny mountain roads, Alés

We pedal in the foothills of the Cévennes Mountains where you'll have spectacular views and a gentle pace as we explore medieval villages that seem frozen in time. It was in the high Cévennes that Robert Louis Stevenson walked with his donkey, Modestine, and wrote his classic Travels with a Donkey. Plan to enjoy lunch in Alés, an important town in the Protestant fight for religious freedom, and home to Alphonse Daudet, and Louis Pasteur.

Distance: 47 km (29 miles). Meals: B, D

Day 4: Ride From Anduze To St-Guilhem-Le-Désert
Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, Occitanie, France
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Highlights: One of our favorite bicycle rides anywhere, Market day in St Jean du Gard

People who have ridden today's route tell us it is one of the prettiest rides on any of our tours. Enjoy traffic-free roads not much wider than a bike path, and get picnic supplies at one of the most charming local outdoor markets we know. We leave the Cévennes mountains behind as we glide downhill through the gorge of the Herault River to St-Guilhem-le-Désert ("desert" because it is the lone village on this limestone plateau).

Distance: 87 km (54 miles). Meals B, D

Day 5: Bicycle St-Guilhem-Le-Désert To Sète
Sete, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: St-Guilhem-le-Désert, oyster beds, the Mediterranean Sea

It's an easy ride to the Mediterranean coast today, so take some time to explore more of St. Guilhem's medieval atmosphere. Here, in 904 AD William of Gellone established a monastery. The village still retains an ancient Medieval atmosphere. Part of the cloister from the monastery was moved to Manhattan in the 1930s and is now "The Cloisters" portion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stop in St. Guilhem for coffee and a stroll before heading on to the Mediterranean Sea. Our approach to the delightful seaside town of Sète will be via ferry and you'll visit the famous oyster and mussel beds of the Etang de Thau.

Distance: 52 km (33 miles). Meals: B

Day 6: Bicycle From Sète To Narbonne
Narbonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: Roman Narbonne, Narbonne's 13th century cathedral, Canal du Midi

We're on the road again today among vineyards and farmland as we head to the ancient Roman city of Narbonne. Narbonne was built along the Via Domitia, the Roman road that connected Italy with Spain during the second century B.C. when Rome expanded beyond the Alps. We'll bypass the busy city of Beziers and ride along the famous Canal du Midi. The canal connects Atlantic France with the Rhone River and Mediterranean France. Narbonne was and continues to be a major transportation corridor on the great coastal plain of Languedoc.

Distance: 85 km (53 miles). Meals: B

Day 7: Bicycle From Narbonne To Carcassonne
Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: Small country roads, Corbières vineyards, Canal du Midi, Carcassonne

Our leisurely ride today takes us across the flat plains of Languedoc to the perfectly preserved late Medieval town of Carcassonne. This corridor between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, bounded on the south by the Pyrenees Mountains, has been an important transportation route since pre-Roman times. Completed in the 13th century, the famous walls of Carcassonne were restored in the late 19th century.

Distance: 76 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

Day 8: Tour Ends In Carcassonne
Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Highlights: Carcassonne

Our tour ends today in Carcassonne. You might choose to stay another day here to take in all of the sights or head over the "pink" city of Toulouse to continue exploring. Whatever you choose, "bon voyage," or, as they say in Catalan "bon viatge!"

***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling the South of France Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle
  • 8 days, 7 nights' accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners with wine
  • Oyster tasting
  • Guided visit of Carcassonne
  • And more!

NOTES

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Total Distance: 421 - 431 km (260 - 266 miles)

Daily Distance: Average daily mileage: 61 - 62 km (38 miles) with options for days off the bike

What to Expect: Southern France's border region of Languedoc, features wine estates, Roman ruins, the Medieval fortress town of Carcassonne. Flat rides with some gentle climbs on Days 2, 6 and 7. Days 3, 4, 5 have some more challenging climbs in the Cevennes Mountains.


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