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South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • 4.5

    (2)

  • 6 nights | 28 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Self-guided from: €1290
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

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

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 – Lignan Sur Orb (28 miles/45 km)
Another day in the quiet backcountry of this region of Causse et Cévennes (UNESCO site #3) going to the village of Lignan. From Villeneuvette you drop down onto a plain and can enjoy some flat riding and vineyard country. Dinner is included. 
Overnight in Lignan.

Day 4: Lignan – Canal du Midi – Siran (37 miles/60 km)
Leaving Lignan 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 Catharbastion and ranked "one of the most beautiful village of France." At the end of the ride you are in the village of Siran.
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.

Dates

Daily: Mar 1-Oct 31, 2018

Prices

Tour package

3- and 4-star hotels

Per person, double occupancy
€1290
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€280
Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party)
€650
Bike Rentals
Electrically-assisted bike
€95
Road bike (on request in July)
€95
Tandem bike
€30
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Active 4 Adventures Terms and Conditions

Cancellation of Tours 
If a cancellation is made:

  • after confirmation 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
  • 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 canceled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip in addition to the full refund.

Responsibility: 
The tour operator 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. The tour operator, 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 the tour operator responsible for injury, death, damage, loss, or delay in any means of transportation or any event beyond the actual control of the tour operator, 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. The tour operator 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 handwriting 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. 

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. 

Exclusions 
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. 

Bicycles 
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. 


Modification/Changes 
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. 

Insurance 
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. 

Pre-departure Documentation 
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. 

Privacy
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.

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 1
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.5

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.5
  • Value 4.5
  • Included meals 4.5
  • Bikes & equipment 4.5
  • Hotels or boat 4.5
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 5
  • Tour documents 4.5
  • Local tour company services 4.5
  • Route selection 4.5

Reviews

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.

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson, Founder and president April 21, 2018
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!
Go Legs Go April 27, 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!