Find your ideal cycling holiday
France - Languedoc (2 weeks with coach travel)
7th June 2019 - 23rd June 2019 (17 days)
Multiple-centre unsupported 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.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Pat & Mike Strauss
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Camping
- Board Basis Self Catering
- Travel Arrangements Coach
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Multi-centre
- Holiday Ref 03385
Friday 7th June
Travel by Bike Bus from your chosen pick-up point to Dover for ferry crossing to Calais, thence through the night to Narbonne.
Saturday 8th June
Arrive Narbonne around 1000; cycle to campsite at Capestang. Stay one night.
Sunday 9th June
Cycle to Tarassac. Stay two nights.
Monday 10th June
Tuesday 11th June
Cycle to Pipieux. 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 Toulouse to rejoin the Bike Bus. Overnight journey to Calais.
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 oftenavailable.
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 £490 is based on a minimum number of 1 person 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 29th 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 point in England to Narbonne and back to your chosen drop-off point from Toulouse
- 14 nights camping, using 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 £390 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 29th 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 29th March 2019
From 29th 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 nearly 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 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, but rather 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.
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.
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 this land-only version of the tour will be 4 excluding the Tour Managers. It is expected that those booking for the 4-week options will augment this number to approximately 25.
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. Suncream is strongly recommended. A warm sleeping bag would also be appropriate.
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' maps 344 and 343
IGN 1:100,000 series – maps 168 and 169
IGN maps are more detailed, with a few more roads, and show contours, whereas the Michelin maps indicate gradients with arrows and highlight 'scenic' routes.
GPX 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.