Find your ideal cycling holiday
France - Languedoc (4-weeks with coach travel)
24th May 2019 - 23rd June 2019 (31 days)
Multiple-centre unsupported 4-week camping tour in the area west of Narbonne, an area full of the violent history of the Cathares, which left many ruined châteaux perched on hill tops. Today it is more peaceful, concentrating on the production of Corbières and Minervois wines. The terrain is varied, ranging from gentle undulations to mountain roads. Stay three nights at most campsites. You will need to carry all your luggage on moving-on days but will be able to ride unladen while at campsites.
Two week options also available, either using the European Bike Express (Bike Bus) or joining on a land-only basis.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Pat & Mike Strauss
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Camping
- Board Basis Self Catering
- Travel Arrangements Coach and ferry
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Multi-centre
- Holiday Ref 03349
Friday 24th May
Travel by Bike Bus from your chosen pick-up point to Dover for ferry crossing to Calais, thence through the night to Narbonne.
Saturday 25th May
Arrive Narbonne around 1000; cycle to Tuchan. Stay three nights.
Sunday 26th May
Monday 27th May
Tuesday 28th May
Cycle to St-Paul-de-Fenouillet. Stay three nights.
Wednesday 29th May
Thursday 30th May
Friday 31st May
Cycle to Chalabre. Stay three nights.
Saturday 1st June
Sunday 2nd June
Monday 3rd June
Cycle to Trebes.
Tuesday 4th June
Wednesday 5th June
Thursday 6th June
Cycle to Capestang. Stay three nights.
Friday 7th June
Saturday 8th June
Sunday 9th June
Cycle to Tarassac. Stay two nights.
Monday 10th June
Tuesday 11th June
Cycle to Pepieux. Stay three nights.
Wednesday 12th June
Thursday 13th June
Friday 14th June
Cycle to Montolieu. Stay three nights.
Saturday 15th June
Sunday 16th June
Monday 17th June
Cycle to Castres. Stay three nights.
Tuesday 18th June
Wednesday 19th June
Thursday 20th June
Cycle to Gaillac. Stay two nights.
Friday 21st June
Saturday 22nd June
Cycle to Bike Bus pickup north of Toulouse for overnight journey to Calais, departing at approx 1745.
Sunday 23rd June
Ferry crossing to Dover and your chosen Bike Bus set-down point.
Distances on moving-on days will generally range from 60-70km. Those on loop rides from campsites will vary, with shorter and longer options often available.
Accommodation & Meals
All nights will be at established campsites that are expected to be of a high enough standard to provide hot showers and clean washing areas. You need to bring your own tent and other camping equipment and will be expected to share a pitch (emplacement) with others in the group.
You are responsible for all your own meals. Current information indicates that there will be a supermarket (small or large) within a couple of kms from each campsite (and occasionally at the campsite), though things can change, so carrying an emergency meal would be wise. No cooking equipment will be provided by the campsites.
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 £600 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday 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 15th March 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Return coach travel for you and your cycle from your chosen Bike Bus pick-up/drop-off point in England to Narbonne and back from Toulouse
- 28 nights camping, using your own tent and other equipment
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from your chosen Bike Bus pick-up point in England
- Bike Bus supplements: cycle trailer (£10 each way); handlebars wider than 60cm (£10 each way); electric bikes (£15 each way)
- Car park fees associated with your pick-up point
- Any meals or drinks
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £100 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £500 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 15th March 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 15th March 2019
From 15th March 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Set between the Pyrénées to the south and the Monts Corbières to the north, with the Mediterranean lapping at its eastern edges, the landscape of the part of Languedoc-Roussillon covered by this tour offers a variety of scenery – wild rocky gorges, fertile orchards, some of France’s oldest vineyards, old hill villages, ruined castles, preserved monasteries and interesting towns. The routes will cover ground as flat as the Canal du Midi and follow river gorges but will also climb into the foothills of the mountain ranges.
Rides & Rest Days
Detailed route sheets will be provided for every day, often of two lengths, though any day when we are not moving on to another campsite can be shortened – or lengthened – depending on the weather, sightseeing opportunities or personal interests, or can be turned into a rest day. It is expected that nearly all the roads will be tarmac, although, as with any area, the condition of the surface is likely to vary.
The question of having to 'keep up' is not necessarily relevant, as there is no particular effort to keep everyone together. Small groups will form of riders with similar ability or riding style, allowing everyone to cycle at a pace comfortable to them, with chance meetings during the day at scenic viewpoints, cafe stops, lunch, etc. It is helpful if you have had some previous experience with cycle camping, carrying all your gear on your bike in lumpy countryside. However, fairly strong cyclists who have done other lightweight camping are usually able to put the two together without any real difficulty. It is important that you are fit enough to undertake the day’s ride as there is no support vehicle.
Detailed route descriptions will be send with the final tour information approx. 3-4 weeks before departure.
Accommodation & Meals
All campsites have been chosen for their location rather than for any particular amenities they might offer. It is usual to have between 3 and 5 tents on a ‘pitch’ depending on its size. All sites should have hot showers.
Both you and your bicycle will be transported from your chosen pick up point (between York and Dover) on a luxury air-conditioned club class coach to Narbonne where the cycling will commence. The service is operated by European Bike Express; cycles travel in a custom built trailer that offers maximum security and careful transport. The bus is non-smoking. The return journey will commence from just north of Toulouse and end at your chosen drop-off point in the UK.
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 number of participants on the 4-week option will be 18 excluding the Tour Managers. It is expected that those booking for the 2-week 'with coach' option and land-only participants will augment this number to approximately 35.
Weather & Clothing
At this time of year it should be reasonably warm, but rain is always a possibility, and you should carry clothing to ensure that you can remain warm and (reasonably) dry whatever the weather. Waterproofs and suncream will probably both be needed. None of the campsites are located at high elevations in mountain areas, but a warm sleeping bag might well be appreciated.
Cycles & Equipment
Each participant is expected to bring – and carry – all of his/her own lightweight camping equipment and personal gear for the tour on his/her own lightweight touring cycle or mountain bike suited to and set up for touring. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is strongly recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Cycle lights should not be needed unless you are likely to be riding in darkness getting to/from your EBE pickup point. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter.
You will be expected to carry all your luggage on each moving-on day plus sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs on loop rides. You are advised to do some riding before the tour with a similar load to that which you will be carrying during the tour to get a feel for how your bike will handle.
French law requires cyclists to wear yellow hi-viz waistcoats, ‘when riding outside of built-up areas under conditions of low-light or poor visibility’.
Maps & Guides
Detailed route sheets will be provided shortly before the tour, but it is recommended that you carry a map as well. Pages taken from a good road atlas are the lightest way of doing this, but if you want a proper map, those that cover the basic routes on this tour are:
Michelin 1:150,000 'Local' map 344, plus 343
IGN 1:100,000 series – maps 173 and 174, plus 168 and 169
GPS tracks will be provided.
For more background information, the Michelin Green Guide, ‘Languedoc, Roussillon, Tarn Gorges’, covers the route and provides excellent background (available in English).
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.