|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||45 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: May 1-Sep 30, 2014|
|Start city:||St. Malo, France|
|End city:||Bayeux, France|
In Normandy, an "artist's paradise," wonderful coastline, woodlands and countryside combine to make a fabulous bicycle vacation. Of course, Normandy is also well known for the WWII landing beaches used by the Allied armies. There is much to see and remember here of that time. This region of France is also renowned for its dairy products, and the gastronomical delights won't disappoint. In addition to its cider and Calvados, Normandy produces the famous Camembert cheese. You're certain to enjoy this countryside as you bicycle through the green pastures and seaside towns, discovering the history that has made this area so famous.
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive in Saint Malo. The town is easily accessible from Paris by TGV. You stay in a charming 2-star hotel in Saint Malo. Orientation at 6pm and dinner on your own. To visit in Saint Malo: The walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros); The chateau of Saint-Malo with The Solidor tower of Saint- Servan
Overnight in Saint Malo.
Day 2: St Malo - Mont St Michel (32 miles/52 km)
Cycle from Saint Malo in the direction of Cancale where you reach the coast after Cancale and can see all the oyster farms that make Cancale famous. You ride through the fisherman village of St Benoit des Ondes, as well as the Mont Dol, from where there is a beautiful view.
On a clear day from here you can also start to see the Mont St Michel - Unesco World Heritage site and architectural marvel. Upon reaching this historical site, you have a 4 star hotel waiting to take you in. Leave time to explore the Mont and walk its tiny streets!
Overnight in Mont St Michel.
Day 3: Ride along Coast to Granville (38 miles/61 km)
A good part of this ride is coastal with a trip around the Bay of Mont St Michel to Avranches where there are several worthwhile stops in this town that dates to the Roman era. Continue on the coast to Granville and a nice 3 star hotel overlooking the beach.
Overnight in Granville
Day 4: Granville - St Lo (38 miles/62 km)
The tour turns inland today to cut across Normandy to reach the beaches of D-Day. You will stop today at St Lo. Along the way you will pass the town of Coutances where you must stop to visit the Cathedral of Coutances, which is visible for many kilometers as it stands 80 meters (295 ft).
At St Lo you have a very charming 3 star chateau hotel with dinner on your own. In St Lo you will find a virtually newly rebuilt city. The town near totally destroyed during the Battle of Normandy as St Lo lies on an important crossroads and was a regional German stronghold. The city is however rich in history and war has been part of the long history of St Lo.
Overnight in St. Lo
Day 5: St Lo - St Mere Eglise/St Marie du Mont (36 miles/59 km)
This ride is mostly a flat to rolling ride coming up to the coast of Normandy where the D-Day landings took place. St Mere Eglise is an old settlement dating to the 12th century but is most famous for its role in the allied invasion of Normandy.
Paratroopers famously landed here and fought some decisive battles that made this town the first, or among the first liberated. The movie The Longest Day depicts many events in St Mere Eglise. Your hotel is nearby in the town of St Marie du Mont. Dinner is included tonight.
Overnight in St. Marie du Mont
Day 6: Loop ride day (40 miles/65km)
A loop tour from your hotel will first focus on the Utah Beach landings close to your hotel, then move north toward the point on the coast at St Vaast. Return inland or by the same route; you can ride more or less today or take more time to visit in St Mere Eglise. Same hotel and dinner again tonight.
Overnight in St. Marie du Mont
Day 7: Ride Bayeaux via Point du Hoc (43 miles/70 km)
A slightly long route, you need to leave early to leave time for the important stops today. We suggest you cycle all the way to Point du Hoc, immortalized in The Longest Day, and then leave more time for the most famous WWII sites in the area: Colleville-sur-Mer and Omaha beach. In Colleville take some time to visit the US Military cemetery, (172.5 acres). Continue to Bayeux and your excellent 3 star hotel.
Overnight in Bayeaux.
Day 8: Departure
You can take your time with breakfast before departing.
Daily: May 1-Sep 30, 2014
|Category A: 3- and 4-star hotels|
|Category B: 2- and 3-star hotels|
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 3: Mercure Le Grand Large, Granville
Day 4: Hotel Chateau d’Agneaux, St. Lo
Day 5 and 6: Hotel Le Grand Hard, St Marie du Mont
Day 7: Hotel Le Lion d’Or, Bayeaux
Bikes available for this tour are:
The SCOTT Sportster P3 or P4, or P40 hybrid bike is featured on all of the Discover France tours. All bikes are turned over every year to 2 years and is the reason for different models on what is essentially the same bike. Of note: this model is a superior quality all terrain bike that we call a hybrid. It is meant for the road or dirt surfaces that are relatively wide and free of objects. It is a lean 12.75 kg without extras, pretty good for an ATB or as they say in French: VTC. These bikes are equipped with GPS when rented for use on any of our France tours (1 per 2 bikes).
The terrain is rolling countryside, occasional hills, possible short gradients of low percents.
The tour is for cyclists in good physical condition and of some experience and average fitness working out regularly. Due to the distances and frequent headwinds, many cyclists may consider this tour challenging.
Nearest airport: Paris airports
Nearest train station: Saint Malo
Nearest airport: Pairs airports
Nearest train station: Bayeux
Tips for getting to and from your tour >
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Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
DISCOVER FRANCE ADVENTURES is the leader in self-guided bicycle tours to France. With our offices in both France and the USA, we are positioned to provide the best trips, itineraries, and value to customers from anywhere in the world coming to France. It is our mission to provide exceptional cycling services that allow our clients to experience their destination in their own unique way.
We are French and American owned and operated. We provide consistent quality bicycle equipment from our bicycle shop in Lunel, France. Local French guides create our road books, utilizing their native knowlegde to create the most interesting and uncrowded routes. Our clients can travel knowing they have local support and will have an orientation with an local guide at the beginning of their tour.
We hope to make you a customer soon, if you aren't already! Never hesitate to contact us, we welcome all questions and all comers; we will help the beginner or the expert!
Cancellation of Tours
Once a deposit is received, a reservation confirmation is made, and final payment is due 60 days prior to tour departure. If a cancellation is made after deposit but before the 60-day period, all deposits are returned except $125 per person. Within 60 days, but more than 45 days, all of deposits are retained, and within 45 days additional penalties may apply, up to 100% of tour costs. No refunds are available once the trip commences. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control. We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason, in which case a full refund will be processed. If the tour is cancelled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip in addition to the full refund.
Discover France (DF) acts as an agent in securing all aspects of these tours and is responsible to the participants for the arrangements, services, and accommodations included only in such capacity. DF, its agents, and/or employees shall not be responsible for personal injury or property damage arising out of the act of negligence of any direct or associated carrier, hotel, or other person rendering services or accommodations; nor is DF responsible for injury, death, damage, loss, or delay in any means of transportation or any event beyond the actual control of DF, its agents or suppliers or due to force majeure. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable, for any reason, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made. Additional expenses, if any, will be paid by passengers, likewise, any savings will be shared by passengers. DF reserves the right to decline, accept, or retain at any time, any person as a participant of any tour, or to cancel any tour. Instruction in bicycle use is not provided, and participants assume all risks associated with the activity they have booked; and participants affirm they are familiar with the operation of a multi-speed bicycle. By completing this booking you affirm that you and all participants are in good health and capable of engaging in the activity you are booking. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED.
Reservations, Deposits, and Final Payment
AGREEMENT: by completing a booking form and signing your acceptance either by hand writing or by typing your name; you agree that you accept all Terms herein and that this is a directive to perform services on your behalf. All persons named in this booking are subject to this agreement and your signature implies acceptance of all terms by all participants named and that as signer, you have made all persons aware of the terms – regardless of how final payment is made.
Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure. The tour price is per person based on double occupancy and includes those items mentioned in the itinerary, plus any prepaid optional items. Single room requests are subject to supplemental charges, and must be requested at time of booking. Group sizes are limited to a maximum and a minimum; a deposit will confirm space. A reservation is made by completing our online booking form or fax form. You may make your reservation tentatively by phone, or provide a credit card number by phone, but all bookings must be made by online system or by fax form in writing. This is to ensure that you are familiar with these terms and our release of liability.
Check each tour description to see what each trip includes. Self guided and guided trips vary on what is included, and among those there are variations.
If we do not receive payment or hear from you about your intentions to pay by 60 days prior then we may assume that you intend to cancel and you will be subject to terms of cancellation below.
Hotels from the point of tour departure through tour completion. Rooms are doubles and include private bath or shower. Single rooms are limited and require supplemental charges, singles not requesting single rooms will be booked into a double, and if a share arrangement is unavailable then the supplement will be assessed. If alternative hotels of the same category/standing are booked because of lack of availability, there will be no change to the tour price. If availability forces the booking of inferior/superior category hotel or room; you will be advised in advance and given the option to accept or decline the change as well as any change in tour price.
Meals included vary; check the individual trip description, however normally dinner in the tradition of each property is included.
Transportation includes a variety of situations. Longer trips may include transfers, and often, guided trips include transfers. Please refer to the trip description to be sure what is included. If you wish to arrange for separate transportation our agency can complete your needs. Also, daily vehicle support will transport baggage. Sightseeing and side touring are included only when paid in advance or noted on the itinerary. Tips, taxes and service charges are included on each included item such as hotels, restaurants, governmental, guides. Most attractions such as chateau entrance fees are not included.
The tours do not include all other trip costs such as airfare, trip and/or medical insurance, excess baggage charges, or any personal items. Meals in addition to those mentioned in the itinerary are excluded, as well as any unpaid optional tour or sightseeing event. Drinks are typically excluded.
Emergency Service: each self-guided cycling and walking tour includes what we call Emergency Service. This is a local contact available by telephone with English speaking staff. Examples of reasons to call: broken down equipment (other than flat tire); minor injury/illness that hampers or prevents continued cycling or walking, (serious injuries must first be reported to emergency medical responders – numbers are provided), missed trains/connections that would change your services, or the need to schedule additional services such as transfers. This service is only available during daylight cycling/walking hours. Hotel staff are available for other non-emergency related matters outside of your cycling/walking activities. PROBLEMS: If you find a problem or something that doesn’t meet with your expectation you may call this service to seek help. A resolution will be attempted in a timely manner. If you do not avail yourself of this service before making changes on your own you assume responsibility for any added costs you may incur as well as forfeiting any potential refunds. Problems must be brought to the attention of Emergency Service during the trip as resolutions after completion of travel are nearly always impossible to fix. Our USA office is your backup Emergency Service number if needed – mind the change in time zones and office hours.
For tours longer than 8 days, a participant may wish to bring their own bicycle for assured comfort and better trip enjoyment. You know your bicycle inside and out, which leaves less to adapt being in new terrain. Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours, and can be made available for an additional charge for those who prefer. Bicycles are typically hybrids equipped with necessary gear for this type of travel/terrain. You may rent a road bicycle on many tours, but you must explicitly request this type of bike in your booking or at least 60 days prior to travel – supplements will apply for road bike rentals. Hybrids are multispeed bicycles equipped with bags, locks, water bottles, repair kit, and other misc items. All bicycles are kept exclusively for our customers. Any customers who choose to bring their own bicycles are responsible for all mechanical issues, for all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. (See our recommendations in your travel documents.) If you plan to rent a bicycle, you are responsible for the bicycle once you take possession of it at your first hotel. Your responsibilities include any costs for damage or theft up to the full value of the bicycle.
Air and Train Reservations
We do not handle air reservations. Customers are encouraged to contact a travel agent or web service. Car and train reservations/tickets can be arranged by us in advance. If we should make any such reservation or ticket purchase on your behalf you agree and understand that we do so in an agency capacity and are performing a reservation service only. Fees for this service may apply. You further agree that you are subject to all terms and conditions of the car/rail/service provider. You are responsible to be familiar with those terms and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the car/rail/service provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, disputes or other regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf. With respect to train travel with bicycles, you are advised that rules exist for transport on TGV and other high speed trains. Please ask for information on baggage limits if traveling by TGV prior to purchasing tickets. We are not responsible for any problems you may have traveling on the TGV with your bike. See your travel documents for our suggestions.
Once a booking request is received and confirmed, any modification of dates or alteration of itineraries will require a change fee. Fees vary according to the scope of the change but can be substantial if last minute changes lead to hotel or other service cancellations. A minimum change fee of $20 applies to any change within 60 days of travel.
In the event that any significant changes are made because of a problem with a supplier, for example a hotel bankruptcy, we will advise you as soon as is reasonably possible with the alternatives available. Such changes may require a supplement or even offer a refund, but except in extreme circumstances, all Terms still apply. This does not apply in the case of Force Majeure.
Force Majeure: Refunds and compensation payments are not liable in circumstances beyond our control or our supplier’s control. This includes but is not limited to changes due to war, threat of war, acts of terrorism, civil strife, strikes, natural disaster, fire, adverse weather or other acts of God.
Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the tour price but is strongly recommended. This will protect you should you need to cancel for certain necessary reasons such as illness, and provides your refunds for air and tour in full. Additional insurance for baggage, health/accident is also strongly recommended. An insurance offer will be included with your initial confirmation and final documentation after receipt of your deposit. Our preferred insurer is CSA who is well respected in the industry and highly rated. We assume that if you choose not to use our preferred provider that you are taking protection through another provider of your choosing.
After receipt of your final payment, a variety of documentation will be sent by email delivery including suggestions for clothing, preparations, packing, money, etc. Also, included will be confirmations, travel info, release forms, and an outline of what to expect. You are responsible for passport requirements, and we suggest you plan early to apply for a passport. Some foreign nationals will be required to have a visa to enter France. Please check your government requirements. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and use this information. Instructions will be provided to you. We can ship materials to you, but must add $25 for USA/Canada and $45 for all other destinations to your invoice for DHL delivery. (HI, AK, Puerto Rico and US territories get $25)
Additional responsibilities of you the traveler include, but are not limited to the adherence of all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your abilities, respecting other trip members privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide.
All information provided in a booking will be kept in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed or sold to other companies for any purpose beyond what is needed to secure your travel arrangements with our suppliers. Credit card information will be destroyed or deleted from files, but mailing information and past travel information will be retained by us. You may receive mailings from us periodically unless you explicitly ask to be removed from said mailings. Any photos that you send, or that are taken by our guides with your permission, are deemed to be our property and available for use in promotions we make without any compensation to you for their use.
You are enrolling in a self-guided vacation and accept the Terms above as stated. You understand what self-guided travel involves and agree that you are capable of managing by yourself during the tour and comfortable with the independent aspect and freedom of travel that this style of vacation offers.