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Tours

Channel to Med (Challenge) – 2019/20

£1,365.00£1,385.00

TOUR REF: CM92 / CM22
TYPE: Road Cycling
LEVEL: Strenuous
DATES:
15 June – 25 June 2019
13 June – 23 June 2020
DURATION: 11 days / 10 nights (9 days cycling)
ACCOMMODATION LEVEL: Standard

Clear
  • Optional extras

    • 300 £
    • 60 £
    • 60 £
    • 60 £

Channel to Med Challenge – 9 days

  • A faster version of our classic 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!
  • If you can average 95 miles per day this is an unbeatable way to see some of the most beautiful areas of France.

A new take on Bike Adventures long-running holiday at a most delightful time of the year with an all new route. The holiday offers similar challenges to the UK ‘End to End’, but the weather is usually better, the total distance is slightly less.

The holiday starts with an overnight stay in Dover then the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais from where you start the journey south. Our route takes you 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. 

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.

This is a superb challenge and our cycling holiday groups are always great fun. The trip includes a certificate for those that make it all the way down to the Mediterranean Sea, just to show you did it!!!

We are also running a 15-day version of the trip for those who prefer lower daily mileages and a rest day.

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

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Assemble
Arrive in Dover during the evening, staying in a hotel convenient for the ferry.

Day 2 – Calais to Abbeville – 90 miles
We take the early morning ferry to Calais and initially follow the coast before veering southwest and finally south through rolling countryside.  We then follow the Course River valley to the pretty walled town of Montreuil., pass close by the Abbey at Valloires and through Crecy Forest.

Day 3 – Abbeville to Vernon – 90 Miles
We cross the River Somme and head through the lovely countryside of Normandy, passing though Gournay-en-Bray and Gisors .

Day 4 – Vernon to Beaugency – 115 miles
Leaving Vernon we cross the River Seine passing east of Paris, far enough away to retain beautiful scenery, before heading 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 5 – Beaugency to Issoudun – 84 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 6 – Issoudun to Aubusson- 85 miles
The going becomes lumpy as we head into the northern foothills of the Massif Centrale. 

Day 7 – Aubusson to Mauriac – 73 Miles
A wonderful day riding through Limousin, becoming hilly in the second half of the day.

Day 8 – Mauriac to Villefranche-de-Rouerguees – 108 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.  The hills slowly diminish as we reach the perfectly preserved medieval town of Villefranche.

Day 9 – Villefranch-de-Rouergue to Carcassonne – 115 miles
A long and hilly day but with the reward of great scenery and a finish in Carcassonne.  Our usual hotel lies just outside the old city walls.

Day 10 – Carcassonne to Cap D’Agde – 67 miles
A short and relatively easy last day as we skirt Narbonne and gradually work our way to the coast and a triumphant finish in Cap D’Agde.

Day 11 – 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 800 miles, to which we add another 50 to finish in Carcassone, the jewel of the Languedoc.

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 part takes you through the Massif Central 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 95 miles, and there no rest days. 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: This holiday uses hotel accommodation. Accommodation will be in 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 the night prior to the crossing. From here we will catch the ferry to Calais to France.  The sailing time to Calais is about 1½ hours.

Finish: The holiday ends in the medieval city of Carcassonne. Flights are currently available direct from Carcassone to Stanstead, Liverpool, Nottingham and Glasgow.  Toulouse is about 65 miles away and offers flights to most UK airports.. Transport will be provided to Carcassone or Toulouse airports.. 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 Carcassonne 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

Tour Price includes:

H hotel accommodation
Breakfast
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.

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.