South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    4.6/5 (5)
    6 nights | 28 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1530
    Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours
    4.6/5 (5)

    6 nights | 28 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1530

    Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

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    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

      6 night self guided bike tour in France

      This cycling trip will take you through all the best places Languedoc has to offer!

      Your tour starts in St Guilhem le Desert, a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its cloister and declared as one of the “Most beautiful villages of France.” From there, you will ride on the famous Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, cycling through vineyards and typical villages of the south of France. Don’t miss out on the world renowned Languedoc wines!

      You will then cycle along the Canal du Midi. This waterway, also a UNESCO heritage site, links the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It was built in the 17th century. At the end of this adventure, you will arrive in Carcassonne, famous for its fortified castle. This medieval city with its Gothic cathedral, its narrow streets and of course its castle was restored by Viollet le Duc in the 19th century and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

      This tour will definitely show you the best of Languedoc, and all this in just one week!

      Photos ©Yann de Fareins / Noir d’Ivoire

      Highlights

      • Five UNESCO sites
      • St. Guilhem le Desert, classified one of The Most Beautiful Villages in France
      • Charming medieval villages
      • Lac du Salagou
      • Vineyards
      • Pre-history sites
      • Canal du Midi
      • Small Charming Villages
      • Roman ruines
      • Medieval villages
      • Fortress towns

      Learn More

      Learn more about self-guided tours.

    • Traveler photos

      • Photo 1 (photo by Jessicarae)
      • One of the many towns we passed. (photo by Jessicarae)
      • A road in Bezier (photo by Jessicarae)
      • The pool at Chateau de Siran (and the spa was amazing too!) (photo by Jessicarae)
      • Carcassonne - an incredible location! (photo by Jessicarae)
      • Such a cool city to visit! (photo by Jessicarae)
      • A sample of the amazing scenery. (photo by Go Legs Go)
      • Sample of the food. (photo by Go Legs Go)
      • Chateau de Siran (photo by Go Legs Go)
    • Daily program

      Day 1: Arrival
      Arrival in Montpellier and transfer to St Guilhem le Desert (UNESCO site #1) to start your bike tour. Check into your nice hotel where you will have an orientation about the tour, and then you can explore this fabulous village. Dinner is included, and then after, you should go to the central plaza for cafe or drink of your choice to soak up the ambiance of village dating to the year 804!
      Overnight in St Guilhem le Desert.

      Day 2: St Guilhem le Desert – Villeneuvette (28 miles/45 km)
      Take some more time after breakfast to explore this fascinating village before you go out on a nice cycling trip to Villeneuvette. On this cycling itinerary, you will travel through rural and quiet countryside with several stops possible in villages along the way.

      You will ride on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain (UNESCO site #2), the resting place of St James (UNESCO site #2) This is also an important wine country, so tasting is very possible. You will pass the Lake of Salagou before you reach Villeneuvette and your charming hotel. This little village is an outdoor place with some famous land formations that remind of the Italian Dolomites! 39km, flat to rolling. Dinner is included.
      Overnight in Villeneuvette.

      Day 3: Villeneuvette – Beziers (32 miles/51 km)
      Another day in the quiet backcountry of this region of Causse et Cévennes (UNESCO site #3) going to the city of Beziers. From Villeneuvette you drop down onto a plain and can enjoy some flat riding and vineyard country. Dinner on your own tonight.
      Overnight in Beziers.

      Day 4: Beziers – Canal du Midi – Siran (42 miles/67 km)
      Leaving Beziers after breakfast, you will drop further south and west toward the Canal du Midi (UNESCO site #4). The ride starts out flat before getting somewhat rolling. You will pass numerous villages dating from another time. The highlight, and maybe your lunch spot, is Minerve. It’s an old Cathar bastion and ranked "one of the most beautiful village of France." At the end of the ride you are in the village of Siran. Dinner included.
      Overnight in Siran.

      Day 5: Carcassonne (option: 29 or 45 miles/47 or 73 km)
      While you are just a short distance from Carcassonne (UNESCO site #5), the eventual goal for the day, we invite you on a ride along the canal direct into Carcassonne or a longer diversion to Fabrezan and Lagrasse and then dropping back into La Cite where you hotel is situated just outside the fortress walls. Dinner on your own tonight - suggestions inside the Cite included.

      *Please note that if you rent a road bike you will not be cycling on the canal path. Instead, you will be on roads nearby.
      Overnight in Carcassonne.

      Day 6: Free day or Optional bike ride Carcassonne (option: 27 or 42 miles/44 or 67 km)
      Bike ride optional today. With all there is to see and do in Carcassonne, we inserted this day to use as you wish. We will include 2 cycling tours, 44km or 67km, over flat terrain to see more of the surroundings but leaving time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site at Carcassonne. Dinner on your own tonight.
      Overnight in Carcassonne.

      Day 7: Departure
      Departure after breakfast. Trains from Carcassonne possible. Extra nights also possible, please inquire at time of booking.

      Surface and terrain

      The route is mainly on quiet roads (about 95% of the time) and the terrain is flat with occasional hills.


      Hotels

      These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.

      The accommodations on this tour are 3-star hotels.

      Le Guilhaume d'Orange, St Guilhem le Desert
      www.guilhaumedorange.fr

      Hotel de la Source, Moureze-Villeneuvette
      www.hoteldelasource.com

      Café Hôtel XIX, Béziers
      www.hoteldixneuf.com

      Chateau de Siran, Siran
      www.chateau-de-siran.com

      Hotel Montmorency, Carcassonne
      www.lemontmorency.com

      Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


      How to get there

      Tour start
      Nearest airport: Montpellier (MPL)
      Nearest train station: Montpellier

      Transfer from Montpellier to St. Guilhem is included in the tour cost.

      Tour end
      Nearest airport: Carcassonne (CCF)
      Nearest train station: Carcassonne

      Tips on getting to and from your tour

    • Dates

      Daily: Apr 1-Oct 31, 2022

      Prices

      Tour package

      Per person, double occupancy € 1530
      Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 180
      Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party) € 705

      Bike Rentals

      Electrically-assisted bike € 135
      Road bike (on request in July) € 135
      Tandem bike € 40

      Included services

      • 6 nights accommodations in 3-star hotels
      • All breakfasts, 3 dinners (noted in the program)
      • Luggage transfers
      • Detailed road book, including details maps, touristic information, step by step itinerary and cue sheets
      • Technical and emergency support
      • A personalized welcome and orientation
      • Hybrid bike rental
      • GPS data available with specialized app for navigation

      Bike rentals

      Bikes available and included in the tour cost (must be reserved in advance at time of booking) include:

      • Hybrid touring bikes

      Bikes available for rent (must be reserved in advance at time of booking)

      • Road bikes (not available in July)
      • Electrically assisted bike*
      • Tandem

      *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

      Equipment included with bike:

      • Helmet
      • Odometer
      • Lock
      • Pannier and handlebar bag (hybrid bike)
      • Saddle bag (road bike)
      • Repair kit (spare tube, tool kit, patch kit, pump)

      Pedals:
      The bikes will have flat pedals. If you bring your own pedals, be sure to bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

      Helmet:
      A helmet is included with your bike rental, however, we recommend that you bring you own helmet for saftey and hygiene reasons.


      Tour Company

    • Route Map

      Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

      • Htim November 10, 2019

        Beautiful and Fascinating

        Beautiful routes, fascinating history, quaint, picturesque towns, grand castles and walled cities. Lodging ranged from excellent to very good. Bicycles and computer were great—we opted for carbon road bikes. Only negative was that the tour was short—one day had to be cancelled because of very heavy rain, and the last day was just a loop from Carcassonne to Limoux and back.

        What was the date of your tour?
        October 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        8
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        No
        • 4/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 4/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • BadgerBiker October 4, 2019

        South France self-guided

        Hotels and most meals were very good to excellent. Very good scenery and most roads were paved, in good or better condition and lightly travelled. Bikes were heavier than necessary for terrain, but sturdy (only needed hybrids on the Canal day). Detailed cue sheet, but hard to follow on-the-fly, especially through the towns. GPS was more helpful, but wrong route on Canal du Midi day. Accommodated 1 vegan traveller well, except 1 place where there was a communication snafu. Overall a very good tour, but could work on routing accuracy and tips on scenery/history along the way (and maybe lighter hybrid bikes!).

        What was the date of your tour?
        Sept 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        3
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 4/5 Value
        • 4/5 Included meals
        • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 3/5 Ease of navigation
        • 3/5 Tour documents
        • 3/5 Local tour company services
        • 4/5 Route selection
      • Jessicarae July 3, 2019

        Wonderful trip and incredible moments!

        Bike trips are such an incredible way to see a country. This trip did not disappoint. The rides were definitely hilly - as hobby cyclists with not enough time to bike at home before the trip - we did great, but did walk a few hills. The hotels we stayed at were INCREDIBLE, each in their own way. All and all - I'd recommend this trip to any one that wants to really see and experience the south of France.

        What was the date of your tour?
        June 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        2
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        Somewhat harder
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • Photo 1 (photo by Jessicarae)
        • One of the many towns we passed. (photo by Jessicarae)
        • A road in Bezier (photo by Jessicarae)
        • The pool at Chateau de Siran (and the spa was amazing too!) (photo by Jessicarae)
        • Carcassonne - an incredible location! (photo by Jessicarae)
        • Such a cool city to visit! (photo by Jessicarae)
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 4/5 Ease of navigation
        • 4/5 Tour documents
        • 4/5 Local tour company services
        • 4/5 Route selection
      • JayF September 23, 2017

        Some Surprises!

        We had some terrific rides on this tour. The most notable being the third day of riding with a stop at Minerve. The scenery was incredible. The first two days also had some great vistas.
        We took the time to explore the first night's village of St. Guilhume le Desert. Worth the time. We also stopped and walked the cave at Clamuse. The vineyards on the hillsides and in the valley were treats to cycle through. We enjoyed exploring the villages in which we stayed such as Villeneuvette and Siran.
        The accommodations were all adequate with a couple highlights with the Chateaus in Lignan sur Orb and Siran. La Source in Villeneuvette was also charming.
        The staff at all the accommodations were all very helpful and friendly.
        The included meals were lovely.

        I do have some criticisms/suggestions:
        1. When we booked this trip we wondered how we were going to achieve our usual daily mileage of 80-100kms. The tour is rated a 3 "rolling, hilly terrain". Discover France rates it as Hobby or Active. We were surprised when meeting with our Discover France contact at the 1st hotel that every ride except the canal ride into Carcassonne is rated Active/Pro. We have cycled frequently in rolling, hilly terrain such as Kentucky, rolling hills do not have names (as at least one of the climbs did). There were a few long climbs that by no measure qualify as rolling hilly terrain. We are also familiar with categorized climbs so we adjusted our expectations and pedaled. One steep incline on a rare broken pavement type road will stay with me for a while.
        2. Discover France titles this ride "The Best of Languedoc" which is exactly what it is, you may want to adjust Biketours.com title as Narbonne is not on the itinerary.
        3. A shorter road bike option into Carcassonne should be provided. There is a hybrid bike ride along the canal or a long road bike option. The weather was not co-operative on that day and we had to make our own shorter road option into Carcassonne.
        4. The Hotel Montmorency was the smallest room on the trip and frankly a let down after the Chateau de Siran. At the end of the trip with all your stuff for two days it gets cramped. As well the hotel is really an annex of another with check in at the Chateau du Hotel, although there is no mention of the need to go across the street to check in. Checking in through a 4 star hotel had me questioning "why are we not staying here?". As noted previously the staff were excellent at Hotel Montmorency (really Chateau du Hotel), strictly room size issue. The location cannot be beat either.
        5. Another day in Carcassonne might be offered as an option. The medieval city and the other sites in Carcassonne cannot be done justice in half a day. To chose between riding and properly seeing a place such as Carcassone is one that should not have to be made.

        What was the date of your tour?
        Sept 14-20 2017
        How many tours have you completed?
        Countless
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        Somewhat harder
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • BikeTours.com staff reply from Jim Johnson, Founder and president September 24, 2017

          I very much appreciate your detailed feedback, which I've passed along to our tour team. We will also inform the local tour company of your helpful comments. I'm glad you had some great rides despite some of the surprises!

        • 4/5 Value
        • 4/5 Included meals
        • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 4/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 4/5 Tour documents
        • 4/5 Local tour company services
        • 4/5 Route selection
      • Go Legs Go April 26, 2016

        Excellent Company to use for Cycling in France.

        My husband and I did this self guided cycle tour. I can not recommend this tour highly enough. The bikes were in perfect condition. Extremely well maintained. The maps and GPS provided made for easy navigation - we did however get lost once. The cycling was sensational. Discover France had obviously put a lot of thought into the routes chosen to avoid main roads and show case the amazing scenery. Accommodation provided was perfect (even stayed in Chateaus). The food variety and quality available was exceptional. We generally ate where we were staying if they had a restaurant in house. At Carcassonne we ate at the Michelin star restaurant in the old town. This was fantastic food and outstanding value. On a personal note I had a day where I "hit the wall" and couldn't continue cycling for fear of fainting. We were in the middle of nowhere and it was 39 degrees.. I rang Discover France and they had us and our bikes picked up within 30 minutes and took us to our accommodation. Now that is service!

        How many tours have you completed?
        6
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • A sample of the amazing scenery. (photo by Go Legs Go)
        • Sample of the food. (photo by Go Legs Go)
        • Chateau de Siran (photo by Go Legs Go)
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection