Find your ideal cycling holiday
France - Manche to Med Supported
6th September 2019 - 22nd September 2019 (17 days)
A classic moving on End2End tour that uses rural roads to cycle from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea, passing chateaux, interesting medieval towns, regional and national parks. France offers varied scenery with the route passing through the gently rolling pastureland of Normandy and The Loire in the north, the hills of the ancient Massif Central and finally the spectacularly wild limestone plateau and gorges of the Languedoc in the south. The group moves on each day, sightseeing from the saddle, with one rest day and some short days that give time to explore in more detail.
New for 2019 is a final night stopping on the Mediterranean coast with time to celebrate your achievement.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Julie & Nic Hodgetts
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Ferry and Coach
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Luggage Transfer
- Holiday Ref 03204
Friday 6th September
Afternoon crossing on Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Ouistreham, Caen, France departing approx 1445 and arriving at 2130. Cycle 500m to hotel. Stay 1 night (no evening meal).
Saturday 7th September
Cycle to Falaise via D-Day Beaches through rolling Normandy countryside (68km). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 8th September
Cycle across Normandy to Mêle-sur-Sarthe via some interesting World War II sites (73km). Stay 1 night.
Monday 9th September
Cycle to Vendome, situated on the river Loir, through increasingly flatter countryside (110km). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 10th September
Cycle to Loches via Blois and the Loire Valley cycle path (110km). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 11th September
Cycle to Argenton-sur-Creuse through the Brenne Regional Park (85km). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 12th September
Cycle to Peyrat-le-Chateau through increasingly rolling countryside (110km). Stay 1 night.
Friday 13th September
Cycle to Mauriac in the Cantal department of the Auvergne (105km). Stay 2 nights.
Saturday 14th September
Rest day. Cycling options including possible ascent of Puy Mary.
Sunday 15th September
Cycle to Lacapelle-Viescamp via the medieval town of Laroquebrou and Lac St Etienne (60km). Stay 1 night.
Monday 16th September
Cycle to Estaing with its 15th century château, via the Lot Gorges (88km). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 17th September
Cycle to Meyruis via the spectacular Tarn/Jonte confluence and Jonte Gorges (101km). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 18th September
Cycle to Le Vigan through the Cévennes National Park, via Mont Aigoual and the Atlantic/Mediterranean watershed (64km). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 19th September
Cycle to Aniane via the Cirque de Navacelles (69km). Stay 1 night.
Friday 20th September
Cycle to Carnon-Plage on the Mediterranean coast (65km). Stay 1 night.
Saturday 21st September
Cycle to the European Bike Express pick-up point near Montpellier, departing at approx 2000 for the return overnight journey to Calais. (25km).
Sunday 22nd September
Early morning crossing to Dover then continue to your chosen EBE set-down point in the UK.
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation will be in 2 and 3-star hotels in rooms based on two people sharing. Half-board (other than the first night) with the possibility of vegetarian meals if indicated when booking.
Backup vehicle to carry luggage and offer mechanical support if needed.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,850 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the tour and is calculated at a rate of 1.12 Euros to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on www.x-rates.com on 14 September 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 28th June 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- Ferry travel for you and your cycle from Portsmouth to Caen.
- Coach travel from Montpellier for you and your cycle to your chosen Bike Bus set-down point in England
- 1 night hotel, sharing room, bed & breakfast
- 14 nights hotel, sharing room, half-board
- Backup vehicle to carry luggage
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to Portsmouth and from your Bike Bus set-down point in England
- Meals in transit
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees to any attractions
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel insurance
A deposit of £400 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,450 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 28th June 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 28th June 2019
From 28th June 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
This tour traverses France from north to south using rural lanes almost entirely, visiting villages and small towns chosen to be off the beaten track, and incorporating some interesting sites to visit. The countryside varies from flat to rolling, becoming increasingly hilly in the second half of the tour. Road surfaces are generally good. Completion of the route can qualify riders for the Audax UK 1,000 km brevet populaire, an internationally recognised award. Riders who wish to enter can do this via the Audax website. (www.aukweb.net/perms/detail/SS01)
Rides & Rest Days
Most of each day will be spent cycling and sightseeing from the saddle. We will lead one or two groups at a pace to suit participants, but you are welcome to ride separately at your own pace, meeting up at pre-arranged points along the day’s route.
It is important that you are fit enough to undertake each day’s ride as there will be only limited extra space in the support vehicle for people and bikes. A more detailed itinerary, with sketch maps and GPS tracks of each day, will be sent with the final tour information.
Accommodation & Meals
Participants will almost always be sharing rooms. Half-board has been booked at all the hotels (other than the first night), and vegetarian meals (if pre-booked) will be available. Breakfasts are continental style; a few offer only the minimum of fruit juice, bread and jams and hot drinks, but many also supply some or all of: cereals, yogurt, cheese, ham, eggs and fresh fruit. We buy supplies, individually or as a group, for lunch which can be taken as a group picnic or near a bar-café. Where possible we will try to have mid-morning and mid-afternoon café stops.
Outward travel will be via Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen, travelling during the day. Return travel will be via European Bike Express (Bike Bus), a luxury air-conditioned club class coach, travelling from Montpellier to your chosen drop off point in the UK. Cycles travel in custom-built trailers offering maximum security. The bus offers food and beverages for purchase.
When booking this holiday online it is also necessary to complete a booking form for the European Bike Express and to email this to the Tour Manager. The form can be downloaded here.
The maximum group size will be 18 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
Initially the weather should be similar to early summer in southern England, becoming progressively warmer, especially after crossing the Loire. Southern France at this time should feel like a good British summer. Sun cream is strongly recommended.
You should carry lightweight spring clothing, with some extra layers should the weather turn cool, a change for evenings and a light waterproof. However, the weather can be cold and wet, so make sure your extra layers are adequate. For riding at night or in poor light, a reflective yellow gilet is required.
Cycles & Equipment
A road or touring cycle or a hybrid would be suitable and must be in good working order, especially the brakes. A bottom gear of 27 inches or lower (eg a small chainring approximately the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Managers. Mudguards are optional, though you should consider bringing a small front light and flashing rear LED light in case of poor weather conditions or unexpected evening riding. Each participant is expected to carry spares and tools and be able to deal with punctures and minor repairs athough one of the Tour Managers, Nic, is a very competent bike mechanic and will have tools and some spares in the support vehicle and can usually fix most things.
Maps & Guides
Garmin GPS is recommended; if you need any help with choice of mapping please feel free to contact the Tour Managers. You could also carry maps: Michelin maps nos 303, 310, 317, 323, 325, 329, 330 and 339 at 1:150 000 (or 1:175 000) scale, or the relevant pages cut from a Michelin Atlas. Four Michelin Green Guides – Normandy, Châteaux of the Loire, Dordogne Berry Limousin, and Languedoc Roussillon Tarn Gorges – provide excellent background, but it is not recommended that you carry them on tour.
Travel Insurance & Advice
In addition to travel insurance, EU nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card, obtainable from www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/. This enables you to take advantage of emergency medical services free or at a discount under a reciprocal provision that exists between EU member states. Your travel insurer may refuse to meet the extra costs of medical treatment if you do not carry this card.
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.