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France - Haute Provence
11th August 2019 - 18th August 2019 (8 days)
This is the 15th year for this popular fixed-centre tour, with a mix of flat and mountainous terrain, hotel-based at Buis-les-Baronnies. There will be a choice of gentle or more challenging rides with rest days and the option of 'doing your own thing'. The shorter rides will be simple to follow, though will not usually be led or guided. A support vehicle will accompany the longer rides. A limited number of non-cycling partners can be accommodated.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Chris Ellison
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Centre-based
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03276
Sunday 11th August
Arrive and check in at the hotel in Buis-les-Baronnies from 2pm onwards. Stay 6 nights.
Monday 12th August
Both groups go over the Col d'Ey with its wonderful panorama to St-Jalle. The 'A' ride continues over the Col De Soubeyrand to view the colony of Gryphon Vultures at Remuzat before returning via the gorge of the river L' Eygues. The 'B' ride returns over the gentler Col de Peyruegue with great views of the hills of the Baronnies and a gentle downhill most of the way home.
Tuesday 13th August
Both rides go over the Col de Fontaube to the mountainside village of Brantes; from here the 'A' group return via Montbrun-les-Bains and Séderon over another col. The 'B' ride first turns west and returns via Mollans.
Wednesday 14th August
Rest day. Market day in Buis-les-Baronnies or long ride through the Gorges de la Nesque.
Thursday 15th August
The 'A' ride goes to Villedieu and Vinsobre, while the 'B' ride visits Vaison-la-Romaine and the Roman ruins.
Friday 16th August
The 'A' group follows a route to Beaumes-de-Venise around the Dentelles de Montmirail, meeting the 'B' group at Malaucene at the western foot of Mount Ventoux and visiting the award winning 'Cave' (vineyard) at Entrechaux on the return.
Saturday 17th August
Keen riders can cycle to the top of Mount Ventoux (1,990m) via Sault, returning through Malaucene for lunch at the bar below the summit. Easier rides will be suggested, or the more laid-back can potter around or shop for souvenirs and relax.
Sunday 18th August
Tour ends after breakfast. Check out of the hotel by 11am.
Distances: 40-100km per day depending on choice. ‘A’ rides average 90km, ‘B’ rides average 45kms.
Accommodation & Meals
The week will be spent at a small family-run 3-star hotel. Rooms are based on two people sharing, breakfasts included. Evening meals are also included, in the hotel on some nights and in local restaurants on others. Choices for vegetarians are likely to be very limited and poor quality.
A support vehicle will be provided for the longer rides.
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 £679 is based on a minimum number of 8 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 2nd June 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- 7 nights hotel, sharing room, half-board
- Support vehicle for the longer rides
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from the tour
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single room supplement (£275, subject to availability)
A deposit of £300 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £379 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 2nd 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 2nd June 2019
From 2nd June 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Based at Buis-les-Baronnies (Buis pronounced 'Bwee'), sometimes described as one of the most beautiful small towns in France. Buis is just north of Mount Ventoux and the Luberon where Peter Mayle wrote A Year in Provence. The scenery is interesting, with olive and apricot groves, vineyards, lavender fields and cherry orchards and often spectacular with gorges and cols (mountain passes). The area is also known for the Roman ruins at Vaison-la-Romaine and wine making. The terrain varies from flat (the plain of the Rhone) to rugged. The roads are mostly very quiet with little traffic.
Rides & Rest Days
The 'A' group will spend most of the day cycling and sightseeing from the saddle at a pace of 16-20kph on the flat, slower on the hills. The 'B' group will spend about half of each day cycling with plenty of time allowed for sightseeing. The pace will be slower perhaps 12-16kph. You are of course free to ride separately. We usually ride spread out in small sub-groups meeting up at road junctions, cafes etc, and both groups follow the same route to morning coffee. Everyone should return with plenty of time for a rest or swim in the hotel swimming pool. The rest day can be used to visit the local market or we can suggest rides for the more energetic.
If you cycle fairly regularly and know that you can climb hills slowly but steadily, in a low gear, then you will almost certainly rate this tour as ‘easy’. If you are not used to hills but are willing to gear low and have a go, then you will probably find the tour moderately challenging. Having said that, most people find alpine climbs easier than the equivalent English climbs in that they are well graded and longer, allowing riders to settle into a steady pace. Beginners should aim to build up to a target of at least 50km (30 miles) in a day before coming on this holiday.
Detailed route descriptions will be sent with the final tour information approximately three weeks before the tour starts.
Accommodation & Meals
The hotel has a swimming pool and gardens and is close to the centre of town. The hotel breakfasts are 'continental'. There is a range of restaurants and bars that do meals within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel, and four of the evening meals will be at restaurants in the town. Choice for vegetarians may be limited. There will be bars and cafes on all the routes that do light lunches: sandwiches, salads, etc. We usually find a bar for ice cream or drinks two or three times a day.
Transport is not included in the price of this tour, however Buis-les-Baronnies is about 112km (70 miles) from Nimes airport and 72km (45 miles) from Avignon airport. Transport by high speed train (TGV) to Avignon is also available. Using the N7 toll motorway from the North, it is possible to drive from Calais to Buis-les-Baronnies in a day, though taking two or three days is more enjoyable. Please contact the Tour Manager for more detailed travel information.
As there are no travel arrangements to France included in the tour price, it is very important to note that neither your Tour Manager nor CTC Holidays & Tours are responsible for you in any way until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. Should you fail to arrive at the appointed time for whatever reason, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses you may incur in order to meet up with the tour group. Before finalising travel arrangements to meet the tour, you should ensure that you have read and understood our booking conditions. Should this tour not attract sufficient bookings to reach the minimum operating size, we may cancel the tour at any time up to 10 weeks before departure. It is therefore recommended that you book fully flexible and refundable transport and accommodation or wait until you know the tour is going ahead, as, in the event of the tour being cancelled, we will not be responsible for any losses incurred.
The maximum number of participants will be 22 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
At this time of year it should be warm and sunny but rain is a possibility, and you should carry clothing such as a lightweight windproof / showerproof to ensure that you can remain warm at the top of the Cols and Mount Ventoux and (reasonably) dry. Suncream is strongly recommended.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable and must be in good working order, especially the brakes. Lights are recommended for the two very short tunnels we encounter. A bottom gear of 30 inches or less is recommended. Mudguards are optional. Each participant will be expected to carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. Two inner tubes, a pump and a mobile phone enabled to work in France are useful accessories. There is a small bike shop in Buis with a well-equipped workshop, but it might not be open when needed.
Cycle hire is possible but needs arranging well in advance. See www.ventoux-bikes.fr. The hire price for a good quality carbon framed Scott is 200 Euros for seven days; there are cheaper bikes available, including hybrids at around 130 Euros. We can help you pick up and drop off the bike if necessary. Please note, though, that CTC Cycling Holidays do not recommend specific hire bikes and accept no liability for participants using them. You are entirely responsible for the safety and suitability and maintenance of the bike you ride. Cycle hire is not part of your holiday contract.
Maps & Guides
Daily route plans will be provided, but it is useful to carry a map in case you become separated from the group. Maps can be purchased in Buis-les-Baronnies at the newsagent in the centre of town.
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.