Day 1: As the Côte d’Azur unravels its roads before us, you will enjoy the wonderful cliffs, the sea, and the charming little villages of this beloved coast. The day will end in Cassis, but before getting there you will have experienced the route des Crètes high above the sea, with its fabulous panoramic views of the area. Cassis is a little seaside resort snuggled at the foot of a very tall cliff called Cap Canaille.
Day 2: A ride through the Camargue (see our Camargue Tour) will end in Languedoc, a region well known for its astounding Roman towns and monuments, as well as its wine and aperitifs! We will spend the night in Sète, the largest fishing port of Languedoc-Rousillon, also know as the Venice of Languedoc. The charm of Sète is in the effortless energy that spills from the canal, the sea, the streets, and the restaurants. It is no wonder that Georges Brassens, who is buried here, was imbued with song and word, and also that it provided the inspiration for Paul Valèry.
Day 3: Leaving the coast to climb slowly up the “Black Mountain,” we will visit the “Cité de Carcassonne”, following the Canal du Midi and driving through some of the historical towns on the way. Carcassonne and its Cité, built during the 5th century, has medieval fortifications that are ranked among Europe’s finest.
Day 4: Time to go up into the mountains along their twisting roads! After a day ride up the Pyrénées, the tour will stop in Andorra. This tiny principality in the Pyrénées -- a mere bump on the border between France and Spain – is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Day 5: After loading our van with the tax-free gifts from Andorra we will be back on the bikes on our way down the Pyrénées to the Mediterranean coast and the region of Roussillon, until we get to Béziers, the “Capital of vineyards and vine” and its cathedral.
Day 6: After leaving the coast, the tour takes the winding roads up the Cévènes, land of hills and valleys to reach Florac for the night. Florac is a real geological crossing of the schist Cévènnes in the South, the Mont Lozère in the North and the Causse Méjean plateau. It’s also the place where the rivers Tarnon, Mimente and Tarn come together. The water flows cheerfully through the center of the town with little waterfalls and very big trout, giving it a unique character.
Day 7: The plan for this day is to cruise down the Cévènes, past the Rhône and to start to climb the Pré-Alps. The group will enjoy picturesque canyons and winding roads, spending the night in Sisteron. This site has been fortified since time immemorial; its citadel and the solitary bridge across the River Durance stand as a fearsome sentinel over the city. Way back when he cam bask into “business”, Napoléon’s march passed through Sisteron.
Day 8: Time to head towards home and descend the Alps towards the French Riviera and the sea.
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