Day 1: Arrival, bike fitting, ride in the vallespir valley. Dine and spend the night at Sanglier lodge.
Day 2: After breakfast, we ride from Sanglier lodge around the eastern face of Mount Canigou on a tiny, picturesque road with views of the sea and Mount Canigou, ending in the medieval town of Ille sur Tet, where we will stay at Espinyoldiva lodge in the capable hands of Anne Guthrie. We may have time to explore the town a little, or visit some of the many attractions of the area.
Day 3: Today’s ride meanders through the wine country of Caramany and takes us through the awe inspiring gorge of Calamus. We are in Cathar country now, home of an unusual religious sect who built spectacular castles on pinnacles of rock. We shall visit one of them if time permits. The ride takes us up the Aude river in the direction of the City of Carcassonne with it’s fairy tale walls and ramparts… We will stay in the domaine des Castelles, a 19th century ‘Gentleman farmer’s’ house, and explore the walled city the following morning.
Day 4: After seeing the city of Carcassonne we ride east along the attractive canal du midi towards Narbonne a flat ride, hopefully with the wind behind us, with no traffic, unless the barges count as such! We spend the night in the Domaine d’Estarac: Built in the 19th century, it is a Catalan style, rambling old house, 8 km south of Narbonne, located in a protected nature resort surrounded by pinewoods, garrigues and vineyards, with a beautiful garden.
Day 5: Today’s ride begins at the fine old cathedral in the center of the old Roman City of Narbonne and takes us along an exclusive cycle route leading between two beautiful lagoons, where thousands of flamingos can often be seen picking their way through the shallows. We then skirt the coast, usually with the wind behind us if there is one, next to the beach as far as St Cyprien, from whence we will embark on the bus and return to Sanglier lodge for the evening meal and the night.
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Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring
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