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Channel To Med (15 days) – 2024


TYPE: Road Cycling
LEVEL: Challenging
08 June – 23 June 2024
DURATION: 16 days / 15 nights (14 days cycling)
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    • 675 £
    • 85 £
    • 85 £
    • 70 £

Channel To The Med – 15 days

  • A French ‘End to End’ taking you all the way from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea, including a stop in in the incredible medieval city of Carcassonne
  • Stunning scenery, plains, hills, picture postcard villages and even a Tour climb over Puy St Mary!
  • This is a superb early summer ride that takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of France – it should not be missed

Launched in 2013, this route has already been enjoyed by numerous riders.  The holiday offers similar challenges to the UK ‘End to End’, but the weather is usually better, the total distance is less and a rest day is included. 

The holiday starts with the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais from where you start the journey south. Our route takes us through the pretty farming countryside of northern France and into Normandy, with its lush green countryside and distinctive timber framed houses.

After crossing the River Seine we cross the vast plains via Chartres and continue south through the magnificent chateau region of the Loire Valley. The scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as we head into the mountains of the Massif Central and around the Category 2 ‘Tour’ col of Puy St Mary.  Our penultimate stop is the stunning medieval city of Carcassonne where we will stay within sight of the old city walls, and this is a short day to allow time for sight-seeing.

We continue through some spectacular scenery with the landscape becoming drier and rockier as we pass over the Black Mountains. We then drop down to the plains of southern France to arrive at the Mediterranean Sea in Cap D’Agde.

You return to the UK from the nearby airport of Beziers or, for a small supplement, we can arrange transport back to Carcassonne or Toulouse. There is one rest day at Aubusson. 

This is a superb ride and our cycling holiday groups are always great fun. 

If you would like to read other people’s comments on our holidays then check out the Customer Comments page.

Tour Price includes: 

Hotel accommodation
Vehicle support
Services of leader/mechanic
Local transfers
Route information
Transport to Bezier at end of holiday (Transport to Carcassone or Tououse is available for a small supplement)
Channel to the Med certificate for those that complete the trip

Tour Price does not include:

Lunches or evening meals
Snacks or drinks required during the day
Travel to Dover/from Bezier
Cost of any optional excursions, entrance fees etc.

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1 – Calais to Wimeraux – 26 Miles
We assemble at Dover for the 90 minute crossing on a late morning ferry to Calais. We are quickly away from the bustle of the port and, after a brief dipping of the back wheel in the Channel at Sangatte, we take to the quiet back roads of northern France, roughly following the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Wimeraux, just outside Boulogne.

Day 2 – Wimeraux to Abbeville – 63 miles
We head south west to bypass Boulogne and then south through rolling countryside, and then along the Course River valley to the pretty walled town of Montreuil. We pass close by the Abbey at Valloires and through Crecy Forest before reaching Abbeville.

Day 3 – Abbeville to Gisors – 72 Miles
We cross the River Somme and head through the lovely countryside of Normandy, passing though Gournay-en-Bray to Gisors .

Day 4 – Gisors to Chatres – 74 Miles
We cross the River Seine at and Bennecourt and pass east of Paris, far enough away to retain beautiful scenery, touching the River Eure at Coulombs before finishing in Chatres.

Day 5 – Chatres to Beaugency – 62 miles
A gloriously flat day across cross the plains of central France to the banks of the Loire at Beaugency with its sensational bridge. A long day but very easy riding.

Day 6 – Beaugency to Vierzon – 64 miles
Another easy day that takes us through rich farming countryside south of the Loire Valley and through the Foret Domaniale de Boulogne – a feudal hunting forest. For those with time to spare the magnificent chateau at Chambord is a short detour away.

Day 7 – Vierzon to La Chartre – 56 miles
Another day of beautiful quiet roads interrupted only by the major town of Issoudun. For the campers a night in the grounds of a chateau awaits!

Day 8 – La Chatre to Aubusson- 56 miles
The going becomes lumpy as we head into the northern foothills of the Massif Centrale, finishing in Aubusson.

Day 9 – Rest Day in Aubusson
You will find plenty to see and do in the interesting town, or just laze by the pool.

Day 10 – Aubusson to Neuvic – 59 Miles
A wonderful day riding through Limousin, though now getting quite ‘lumpy’. The hotel and camping accommodation is perfectly situated beside the lake.

Day 11 – Neuvic to Aurillac – 66 Miles
A sensational but tough day in the hills. Our route takes us over Puy St Mary, a regular Tour climb, before a long run down the valley of the Jordanne River to Aurillac.

Day 12 – Aurillac to Villefranche-de-Rouergues – 61 Miles
The hills slowly diminish as we reach the perfectly preserved medieval town of Villfranche.

Day 13 – Villefranch-de-Rouergue to Castres- 74 miles
Easier going now that the Massif Centrale is behind us but a longer day. Our accommodation is in the old quarter of the town.

Day 14 – Castres to Carcassone- 42 miles
The cameras will get a good workout as we cross the Black Mountains past incredible rock formations and picturesque hill villages. We then enjoy a good run down to Carcassonne where we will stay within sight of the walls of the old city. A short day with time to explore Carcassonne.

Day 15 –Carcassonne to Cap D’Agde- 70 miles
  A long but easy and flat last day as we skirt Narbonne and bear west to meet the Med in Cap D’Agde.  A beach finish so we can dip the front wheels.

Day 16 – Transfer to Bezier airport for the journey home

Holiday Details:

The Country: France is perhaps the ideal destination for a cycling holiday. The country has a very varied landscape. There are high snow capped peaks, rich green dairy pastures, vast acres of vineyards, limestone cliffs and deep rocky gorges, as well as huge areas of forest, and one of the largest wetlands in Europe. Although it is three times the size of the UK the population of the two countries is more or less the same, and France remains relatively rural, with a wealth of quiet minor roads linking peaceful villages and hamlets.

The Tour: This is a Fully Supported Cycling Holiday with a leader, and support vehicle to carry all the luggage and provide any necessary assistance. The holiday is designed to offer you the challenge of riding all the way from the north coast of France to the Mediterranean Sea, while at the same time taking you through the great variety of scenery that France has to offer. The distance from Calais to the Mediterranean Sea is about 850 miles.

The first part of the ride is through rolling countryside with a few short steep climbs. The area around the Loire Valley is mostly fairly flat, but south of the Loire the route becomes increasing hilly with quite a lot of up and down. The second week takes you through the Massif Centrale where the terrain is mountainous with some long climbs and descents, but most of these are well graded and should not provide too much of a problem to regular cyclists. The average daily distance is 62 miles, and there is one rest day in Aubusson, centre of a thriving tapestry industry. Most of the Bike Adventures route follows minor roads, and traffic is generally very light. However the route does take you through some larger towns and villages where the traffic can be heavier for a while, and on the final day of the trip there are some busier roads close to the coast.

Accommodation & Food:  Accommodation will be in small family run hotels, generally graded 2* – 3* or similar, offering clean and comfortable rooms. Single people travelling alone will be booked into a twin bedded room with another person of the same sex – unless the additional single supplement has been paid. We book rooms with en-suite facilities where available, but this cannot always be guaranteed. Breakfast is provided at the accommodation, most hotels also have a restaurant attached for an evening meal, or there is at least one other restaurant nearby.

Start: This holiday starts on the English side of the Channel at Dover. From here we will catch the ferry to Calais to France. The exact time and location of the meeting point will be given in the final details for the holiday, however you should plan on meeting in Dover at approximately 10:30. The sailing time to Calais is about 1½ hours. After arriving in France there will be a half-day ride that afternoon to the accommodation for the first night.

Finish: The holiday ends in Cap D’Agde. Flights are currently available direct from Beziers. Toulouse is about 120 miles away and offers flights to most UK airports.. Transport will be provided to Bezier airport, or a transfer to Carcassonne or Toulouse can be arranged for a small supplement.  Note: The cost of the return flight is not included in the price of the holiday. You must book the flight yourself (or make your own alternative arrangements).

Cycle Transport: If required, and for an additional fee, we can also arrange for your cycle to be transported to the start at Dover and/or to return your bike from Cap D’Agde to anywhere in the UK.

Documents: You require a passport to visit France. Nationals of some other countries also require a Visa. Non EU passport holders should check with the nearest French Embassy. You are also required to have travel insurance for the duration of the holiday. If you do not purchase insurance from us you will be required to provide evidence of a suitable alternative travel insurance policy.

Bikes: All types of cycle are suitable for the trip. The most important thing is that the bike functions properly and that you are comfortable riding it. However you should make sure that your bike has suitable gears as parts of the route, particularly through the Massif Central, are hilly, with some quite long climbs. Most people will require a cycle with a triple chainset. If you are riding a mountain bike then you should fit it with narrow ‘slick’ tyres.

You should also make sure that you are able to carry some spare food and clothing with you on the bike. The route does cross some wild exposed areas with little in the way of shelter and no services, and you can get cold descending some of the higher passes, particularly if the weather is bad.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about any of our trips, please call us on 0800 002 9559 or send us a message below.