In the Lavender Fields in Provence
France cycling holidays are just one of the types of trips on offer with UTracks. The company has a range of activity and adventure holidays, including walking, sailing, cycling, photography and culinary tours. Their holidays take in the whole of Europe, from Austria to Turkey, including France, Greece, Ireland, England, Scotland, Holland, Italy, and Spain.
Here are three of their France cycling holidays which particularly appealed to us.
The Loire Valley
Corsica Guided Cycling Holiday
If you prefer your cycling holiday to be guided, then UTracks do an 8-day (7 nights) guided bike tour on the rugged and beautiful island of Corsica, which has been described as 'the mountain in the sea'. It's therefore not surprising that the grading for this bike ride is Moderate-to-Challenging. However, each day there are at least two route options, allowing you to tackle the more strenuous route or an easier option. This is what the company says: "This circuit explores both the coast and Corsica's interior, through deserts, forests and mountains and along stunning coastal roads. There are a multitude of villages and historical sites to explore enroute to the night's accommodation in specially handpicked inns and hotels."
In 2013 trips to Corsica depart every Sunday from 12th May to 30th June and again from 25th August to 6th October. The trip includes 7 nights' accommodation, bike hire, luggage transfer and use of a guide and support vehicle. The holiday starts and ends in Bastia. Flights to Bastia are not included. For more details visit UTracks' Corsica Cycling Holiday page.
Loire Valley Barge
Loire Valley Bike and Barge Trips
You can also enjoy a bike and barge holiday cycling through the Loire Valley. Accommodation is on board the French canal barge, which sails along the Loire while you explore each day on bikes. Highlights include Apremont, the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire, the chateau at La Bussière, and the local market in Châtillon-Coligny.
There are weekly departures in 2013, every Saturday from 11th May to 21st September. The ride is graded Introductory-to-Moderate. The trip includes 7 nights' accommodation in a bunk bed in a twin ensuite cabin, bike hire, a visit to a winery and a chateau, services of a tour leader, and most meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners.
The price also includes transfers between Paris and the start and end points of the tour. Tours start and end alternately in Cours-les-Barres and in Rogny. The tour does not include travel to Paris. See our London to Paris page for the best ways to get to Paris from London.
Further details visit UTracks' Loire Valley Cycling Holiday page.
Cycling in the Vineyards of Provence
Provence Bike and Boat Tours
If you like cycling but also like to stay in the same accommodation each night, a bike and boat trip through Provence could be the ideal France cycling holiday for you. Your home base is a comfortable barge that drifts slowly between Avignon and Aigues Mortes, while you enjoy guided cycle rides each day to some of the highlights of what is one of our favourite parts of France. You visit Arles, Avignon, cycle through the landscapes that inspired Van Gogh, spend a whole day cycling in the Camargue, and enjoy a wine-tasting at the world-famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyard.
There are weekly departures in 2013, every Saturday from 11th May to 12th October. The first tour departs from Aigues Mortes, the second from Avignon, alternating throughout the season. The tour is graded as Moderate.
The tour includes 7 nights' accommodation on the barge in an ensuite twin cabin, bike hire, tour leader, support van, full information packs, a wine tasting in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and almost all meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners.
For further details visit the Utracks' Provence Bike and Boat Tours page.
JOINING THESE FRANCE CYCLING HOLIDAYS FROM LONDON
UTrack's prices do not include travel from London. Here's how you get from London to the various starting points for the holidays.
Loire Valley: For this tour you will be collected from and returned to Paris. See our London to Paris page for your transport options from London to Paris.
Provence: The nearest airport is at Avignon, and there are flights here from London City Airport through Air France's CityJet service.
Alternatively you can take the train from London to Paris and then the TGV service from Paris to Avignon. At the start or end of the tour you would need to take the train between Avignon and Aigues Mortes, via Nimes, with a journey time of between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, depending on the connection at Nimes. Train tickets can be booked through the SNCB website.
You could also consider driving, but the journey time is from 11-13 hours, including the Channel Tunnel crossing so it isn't the quickest or cheapest option.
For more details, itineraries, prices and booking, visit
the UTracks website.
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