South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

4.8/5 (8)
6 nights
28 miles/day
Self guided from EUR € 1890
Bike tour in France
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

4.8/5 (8)

Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

6 nights
28 miles/day

Self guided from EUR € 1890
Bike tour in France

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Cycle to the most spectacular sites in Southern France

    This cycling trip is your one-stop-shop for the best sightseeing opportunities Languedoc has to offer!

    Starting in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its cloister and declared one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France', you'll ride onwards along the famous Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, cycling through verdant vineyards and charming villages typical of the landscape of Southern France. Don't forget to sample the celebrated Languedoc wines along the way!

    Continuing along the Canal du Midi, you'll have the chance to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site waterway, built in the 17th century, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

    At the end of your adventure, you'll arrive in captivating Carcassonne. This medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is celebrated for its Gothic cathedral, narrow cobbled streets, and the grand castle restored by the world-famous French architect Viollet-le-Duc.

    Don't miss the opportunity to explore the wonderful World Heritage Sites of Southern France in a single week!

    • Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Alexander Schimmeck@Unsplash
    • Cathedral of Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Victorianoizquierdo@Unsplash
    • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, France. Peter@Flickr
    • Place Gabriel Peri, Béziers, France. CC:Deemeester
    • Canal Du Midi, France. Steve Douglas@Unsplash
    • Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. CC:stephenD
    • Cévennes National Park, France. CC:Myrabella
    • Minerve, Occitania, France. CC:BlueBreezeWiki

    View more photos

    Highlights

    • 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, classed as one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France'
    • Charming medieval villages
    • Lac du Salagou
    • Vineyards
    • Pre-historical sites
    • Canal du Midi
    • Roman ruins
    • Fortress towns
    • Carcassonne, fascinating medieval city

    Learn More

    Learn more about self-guided tours.

    Interested in adding to your itinerary? Take a look at our cycling day tours in Provence.


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    Photos 

  • 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)

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Tour Description Daily Program 

  • Daily program

    Day 1: Arrival in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert
    Arrive in Montpellier and transfer to the tour starting point in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert (UNESCO World Heritage Site #1). Check into your hotel and receive a tour orientation, then head out to explore this blissful village. Dinner is included tonight, and we recommend heading to the Central Plaza afterwards for a coffee or drink in the unique ambience of these atmospheric surroundings - this village dates back to 804!

    Overnight in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert.

    Day 2: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Villeneuvette (28 miles/45 km)
    Take some more time after breakfast to explore this fascinating village before heading out on your ride to Villeneuvette. Today's cycling itinerary features quiet, rural countryside scenery with several stops in charming villages available along the way. You'll cycle along the famous pilgrimage route towards Santiago de Compostela (UNESCO World Heritage Site #2) through important wine country - tantalizing tastings are possible!

    Pass by the serene Lake of Salagou before reaching Villeneuvette and today's lovely hotel. This little village is set in sublime natural surroundings which lend themselves to outdoor exploration - here you can find famous land formations reminiscent of the Italian Dolomites. Dinner is included tonight.

    Overnight in Villeneuvette.

    Day 3: Villeneuvette – Béziers (32 miles/51 km)
    Another day in the quiet backcountry of this region of Les Causses et Les Cévennes (UNESCO World Heritage Site #3) heading towards Béziers. From Villeneuvette, you'll drop down onto a picturesque plain and enjoy flat riding through vineyard country.

    Overnight in Béziers.

    Day 4: Béziers – Canal du Midi – Siran (42 miles/67 km)
    Leaving Beziers after breakfast, you'll venture further south and west towards the Canal du Midi (UNESCO World Heritage Site #4). The ride starts out flat before become slightly more rolling. Along the route, you'll pass numerous villages all evocative of past eras, with a beautiful lunch spot available in Minerve. This village is among France's more impressive stone settlements, forming an old Cathar bastion. At the end of today's ride, cycle into the village of Siran, where dinner is included.

    Overnight in Siran.

    Day 5: Carcassonne (option: 29 or 45 miles/47 or 73 km)
    You're now only a short distance from Carcassonne (UNESCO World Heritage Site #5), and today you'll ride along the canal directly into the city or take a longer diversion to Fabrezan and Lagrasse before finding your hotel just outside the medieval city walls. Dinner is not provided tonight, but you'll find plenty of ambiant eateries in this sensational site of wonderful history.

    Overnight in Carcassonne.

    *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.

    Day 6: Free day or optional bike ride Carcassonne (option: 27 or 42 miles/44 or 67 km)
    Today is a free day and so the bike ride is optional. This relaxed day is included in the itinerary to give you the choice of how best to experience spectacular Carcassonne. There are 2 cycling tours to choose from - 44 or 67 km - over flat terrain in the beautiful surroundings encircling the city, with time left for exploring the treasures within Carcassonne itself. Dinner is not provided tonight.

    Overnight in Carcassonne.

    Day 7: Departure
    Departure after breakfast. Trains from Carcassonne are possible, as are extra nights - please inquire at time of booking.

    Don't want the adventure to end? Consider taking a cycling day tour in Provence.


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Photos Accommodation 

  • Accommodation

    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.

    The accommodations on this tour are 3-star hotels.

    St Guilhem le Desert: Le Guilhaume d'Orange

    Moureze-Villeneuvette: Hotel de la Source

    Béziers: Café Hôtel XIX

    Siran: Chateau de Siran

    Carcassonne: Hotel Montmorency

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


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Daily program Bikes 

  • Bikes

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

    • Standard touring bikes

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

    • Road bikes
    • Electrically assisted bike*

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    Equipment included with bike:

    • Helmet
    • Odometer
    • Lock
    • Pannier and handlebar bag (standard 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.

    Bike Protection:
    Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Accommodation Dates & Prices 

  • Dates

    Daily: year-round, 2024

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy €1890
    Single use room(1 person/1 room) €2124
    Solo traveler (1 person in party with single use room) €2450

    Bike Rentals

    Electrically-assisted bike €163
    Road bike €163

    Included services

    • 6 nights accommodations in 3-star hotels
    • Transfer from Montpellier to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert
    • 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
    • Standard bike rental
    • GPS data available with specialized app for navigation

    Tour Company


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Bikes Other Details 

  • Map

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

    Surface and terrain

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


    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.


    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Dates & Prices Tour Reviews 

    • Beth Alcorn 2 months ago

      Cycling the south of France

      Excellent trip and experience. Every detail was covered from the first pick up and orientation to the drop off of our bikes. Route instructions were spot on, accommodations amazing and overall route beautiful. Highly recommend this trip!

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 2024
      How many tours have you completed?
      8
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 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
    • Eric Meer 9 months ago

      Great Trip for September!!

      Trip went very smoothly. Towns were beautiful and quaint, hotels were accommodating as advertised, ebikes were brilliant and easy to use. Would definitely recommend standard bike seats or gel seats vs. the wider ones. 4-5 days takes a toll on the sitting muscles :). Would recommend adding a 2nd night in Bezier and doing only 1 night in Carcassonne.

      Also, would recommend the company update it's map of Montpellier train station. The meeting point didn't match the map, but we figured it out.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      This was the first
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 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
    • Helen Beban 12 months ago

      Languedoc Adventure

      Did this tour as a couple in our early seventies. We have done many cycle trips mostly self guided carrying our own luggage. This time we hired ebikes. Bikes were perfect. Hotels stunning. The trip notes comprehensive and the GPS really excellent. We had good communication. Meals average.
      We have feedback for Adventure France about the route: on the Canal day MIDI Day the trip notes and GPS gave different routes. This was unexpected and a bit confusing.
      We followed the Canal du MIDI using the trip notes it worked well. The route to the hotel in Carcassonne used many small roads with 4 way intersections. Difficult. Also used the traffic bridge and main roads. Using the cycle/ pedestrian bridge would have been much better. We loved the routes especially the fascinating rock formations on the first cycling day and the high route above the lake. Magic.

    • 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

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

     Other Details Book This Tour 

Related locations