"Holidays behind bars..."

We offer a number of tours which get you a little bit further afield (see tour details further down for dates and availability):

 

- “Gorgeous Gorges” takes you to the Verdon Parc Naturel and the awe-inspiring Gorges du Verdon, the largest canyon in Europe and second only to the Grand Canyon worldwide. (Medium difficulty)

- “A taste of Italy” is an exploration of the Ligurian mountains north of San Remo, including the Poggio climb in San Remo itself, famous as the final climb in the Milan-San Remo classic, as well as Monte Ceppo, Colle Langan, Passo Ghimbegna, Passo Gouta and Passo di Teglia amongst others. (Medium to high difficulty)

- “High Rollers” is a chance to take on the highest paved road in Europe the Col de la Bonette, climbing 1,650m to an altitude of 2,800m, as part of an excursion into the Mercantour national park, including a selection of the most challenging climbs of the southern Alps: Col de Cayolle, Col de la Lombarde, Col d’Allos, Col de la Couillole, Col des Champs. (High difficulty)

- “The Giant of Provence” needs no introduction. Mont Ventoux is one of the most iconic climbs in the world and at 1912m, 6270ft is rightly known as one of the toughest climbs around. You have the choice of climbing it once, twice, or becoming one of the people who have been crazy enough to climb all three roads to the summit in a single day and, in so doing, have joined the hallowed ranks of the Club des Cinglés du Mont Ventoux (which translates roughly as the Brotherhood of the Crazy People of the Windy Mountain!). (High difficulty)

- “Aches in Provence” is our longest tour and takes in the very best of Provence: the highest (Col de la Bonette); the toughest (Mont Ventoux); the strangest (the Casse Déserte at the Col d’Izoard); the largest (man-made lake, the Lac du Serre-Ponçon); and the most infamous (Col de la Madone). (High difficulty)

 

You can join these trips as a lone cyclist joining a mixed group, or, depending on the bookings and the number in your group, it may possible to do these trips as a private tour if you prefer…please enquire.

Whether mixed or private, the group size is small, making these trips very relaxed and friendly.

For group rides, we ride together on the flat, and then everyone rides at their own pace up the climbs, regrouping at the top.  Depending on group size, we can offer route options varying in length and intensity.

As promised I have attached a couple of pics from our adventure last week! I am still buzzing from it and not happy about being back here cycling on flat land! I actually rode Monday morning in the dark so I could pretend I was back in France. Haha.

Anyway I had a really great time last week due to you. Your generous hospitality is definitely noted and it really made the whole trip even more special! Cycling, swimming and wine. Doesn’t get any better than that!

I can guarantee you that I will be back! Definitely some time in 2016 so watch this space.

I have been singing your praises to everyone who will listen.

Thanks again Justin for giving me the opportunity to cross something off my bucket list. Cycling into Italy for lunch :) #epic

Helena



"Gorgeous Gorges"

Les Gorges du Verdon

This is a short tour to experience the amazing Gorges du Verdon and surrounding countryside. The Gorges du Verdon lies a couple of hours north-west of Nice and is Europe’s largest and deepest canyon, second in the world only to the Grand Canyon in the US. It is an astonishing natural phenomenon and draws cyclists from all over the world. One minute you are close to the bottom of the gorge looking up at sheer cliffs towering above you, the next you are climbing to stunning vantage points high above the river, looking down at the vivid blue-green water snaking through the gorge.

The entire circuit is 115km long, starting and finishing in Castellane and with a few kms extra tacked on to reach Moustiers for lunch at the western end, but this can be easily shortened by missing out the 20km Route des Cretes loop (the loop includes one of the most challenging climbs of the day too), and where we have van support, it’s possible to ride just one side of the gorge to Moustiers, then take the van back to Castellane.

gorges du verdon

The Gorges du Verdon

Day 1 is arrival day into Nice airport, and depending on arrival time, the possibility of a ride from Nice.

We depart Nice early on day 2 and drive to Castellane, our base for the next two days. It’s a 1.5 – 2 hour drive, but even this is a beautiful stretch of road…from Grasse we pick up the famous Route Napoleon, the route Napoleon took with his army to cross the mountains, which offers beautiful far-reaching views. From Castellane we cycle the Gorges du Verdon, and stay overnight there.

On day 3, we ride north from Castellane taking in the beautiful Lac de Castillon and the Colle Saint Michel which the pro peleton tackled during the 2015 Tour de France, looping back to Castellane for the return journey to Nice and our final evening meal.

lac de castillon gorges du verdon

Lac de Castillon

Depart day 4. For those with later flights, there is the chance for a ride from Nice.

Where indicated on the right, you can extend your stay by tacking on extra days if you wish, so you can experience the fantastic terrain accessible from Nice: the Col d’Eze, the Col de la Madone, the Col de Braus, the Col du Turini, and location for the summit finish of Paris-Nice in 2016 the fabulous plateau of La Madone d’Utelle.

Dates for the “Gorgeous Gorges” tour:

Please enquire.

 

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – arrival Nice airport; transfer to accommodation; possibility of ride; everyone meets up in the evening

Day 2 – early departure for Castellane (1.5-2 hour drive); full-day group ride around Gorges du Verdon; stay overnight Castellane

Day 3 – full-day group ride from Castellane including Lac Castillon and Colle Saint Michel; return journey to Nice for final evening meal

Day 4 – possibility of ride; transfer to Nice airport and departure

 

Price:

€645 / £540 per person based on 2 people sharing

BOOK NOW >>

 

Included:

  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Route planning
  • Guide for ride or van support as appropriate

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Lunch and dinner, drinks
  • Travel insurance

 

Bike hire:

Avoid the hassle of breaking down and packing your bike, and the cost of transporting…just bring your own helmet, pedals and shoes, and you’re good to go on one of our full-carbon Trek road bikes with Shimano 105 groupset. 2 day’s bike hire €80, 3 days €110, 4 days €140 - details here >>


"A taste of Italy"

A bit of La Dolce Vita in the Ligurian Mountains

The Ligurian Mountains on the border with France offer a similar terrain not surprisingly to the neighbouring Alpes Maritimes, but with a distinct Italian vibe.

This exploration of mountains north of San Remo includes the short Poggio climb in San Remo itself, famous as the final climb in the Milan-San Remo classic, as well as a selection of significantly more challenging climbs from Monte Ceppo, Colle Langan, Passo Ghimbegna, Passo Gouta and Passo di Teglia amongst others.

Baiardo

The hilltop town of Baiardo from Monte Ceppo

For something a little different, we can cycle the 20km cycle path from Ospedaletti just west of San Remo all the way to San Lorenzo del Mare including a section of old railway tunnel which celebrates the history of the Giro d’Italia.

cycle path in san remo

The tunnel section of cycle path near San Remo

Where indicated on the right, you can extend your stay by tacking on extra days if you wish, so you can experience the fantastic terrain accessible from Nice: the Col d’Eze, the Col de la Madone, the Col de Braus, the Col du Turini, and location for the summit finish of Paris-Nice in 2016 the fabulous plateau of La Madone d’Utelle.

Dates for the “Taste of Italy” tour:

Please enquire.

 

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – arrival Nice airport; transfer to accommodation; possibility of ride from Nice; everyone meets up in the evening

Day 2 – ride from Nice into Italy; first day of riding in the Ligurian mountains; stay overnight in Italy

Day 3 – full-day group ride in Italy, returning to Nice for final evening meal

Day 4 – possibility of ride; transfer to Nice airport and departure

 

Price:

€645 / £540 per person based on 2 people sharing

BOOK NOW >>

 

Included:

  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Route planning
  • Guide for ride or van support as appropriate

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Lunch and dinner, drinks
  • Travel insurance

 

Bike hire:

Avoid the hassle of breaking down and packing your bike, and the cost of transporting…just bring your own helmet, pedals and shoes, and you’re good to go on one of our full-carbon Trek road bikes with Shimano 105 groupset. 2 day’s bike hire €80, 3 days €110, 4 days €140 - details here >>


"High Rollers"

The highest road pass in Europe, and more…

At 2802m, the Cime de la Bonette is Europe’s highest road pass, and as such, has to be on every serious cyclist’s bucket list. If we’re being pedantic, the actual Col de la Bonette is the natural pass over the mountain, and peaks at 2715m, but some enterprising soul decided to build a steep 2km loop from the Col de la Bonette around the Cime de la Bonette to reach 2802m, thus superceding the Col de l’Iseran (2770m) and the Stelvio Pass (2757m) and hence the “highest road pass” claim.

Not for the faint-hearted, this tour tackles the Col de la Bonette which featured as recently as 2008 in the Tour de France, as well as some of it’s neighbours, all over 2000m elevation: the Col de Cayolle, Col d’Allos, Col des Champs, Col de la Lombarde, as well as other notable climbs including the beautiful Couillole, Valberg, Auron, and St.Martin. Here we are in the heart of the Mercantour mountains – big vistas, stunning views as far as the eye can see.

Col de la Bonette

The Col de la Bonette

Day 1 is arrival day into Nice airport, and depending on arrival time, the possibility of a ride from Nice.

We depart Nice early on day 2 and drive to Isola or St Etienne sur Tinée to start our climb of the Bonette; we the option of a there-and-back ride climbing one or both sides of the Bonette, or a long, tough loop taking in the Col de Larche and the Col de la Lombarde. We stay overnight in the Mercantour.

On day 3, there are lots of options from which to choose, but the Cayolle / Allos / Champs trinity makes for a superb day in the high mountains.

Col de la Cayolle

Col de Cayolle

At the end of day 3 we return to Nice for the final night, with departure on day 4 with the option of a ride from Nice for those whose flights allow.

Where indicated on the right, you can extend your stay by tacking on extra days if you wish, so you can experience the fantastic terrain accessible from Nice: the Col d’Eze, the Col de la Madone, the Col de Braus, the Col du Turini, and location for the summit finish of Paris-Nice in 2016 the fabulous plateau of La Madone d’Utelle.

Dates for the “High Rollers” tour:

Mon 04 – Thu 07 September

Other dates available on request.

 

Please note, this tour is heavily weather-dependent.

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – arrival Nice airport; transfer to accommodation; possibility of ride from Nice; everyone meets up in the evening

Day 2 – drive from Nice into the Mercantour mountains. Col de la Bonette. Overnight stay in the Mercantour

Day 3 – full-day group ride in in the Mercantour, returning to Nice for evening meal.

Day 4 – possibility of ride; transfer to Nice airport and departure

 

Price:

€645 / £540 per person based on 2 people sharing

BOOK NOW >>

 

Included:

  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Route planning
  • Guide for ride or van support as appropriate

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Lunch and dinner, drinks
  • Travel insurance

 

Bike hire:

Avoid the hassle of breaking down and packing your bike, and the cost of transporting…just bring your own helmet, pedals and shoes, and you’re good to go on one of our full-carbon Trek road bikes with Shimano 105 groupset. 2 day’s bike hire €80, 3 days €110, 4 days €140 - details here >>


The Giant of Provence

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux is a 3-hour drive from Nice, but its legendary status makes this a worthwhile and unforgettable trip.

Day 1 is arrival into Nice, with the possibility of a ride from Nice.

We depart Nice early on day 2 for one of the towns at the foot of Ventoux, from where we embark on our first day’s ride, including the stunning Gorges de la Nesque, with an overnight stay near Ventoux.

Gorges_de_la_Nesque

Gorges de la Nesque – the calm before the storm!

Day 3 is Mont Ventoux itself. We climb from Bedoin, the classic route up through the forest and past Chalet Reynard. Those who want to can do a second ascent from Malaucene (100m less climbing than from Bedoin, but with some longer steep sections), and the most hardcore of all can do the third ascent from Sault. We reconvene at the end of the day for the return to Nice.

Mont Ventoux

The famous moonscape at the summit of Mont Ventoux

We depart day 4 with the option of a ride for those with later flights.

Where indicated on the right, you can extend your stay by tacking on extra days if you wish, so you can experience the fantastic terrain accessible from Nice: the Col d’Eze, the Col de la Madone, the Col de Braus, the Col du Turini, and location for the summit finish of Paris-Nice in 2016 the fabulous plateau of La Madone d’Utelle.

Dates for the “The Giant of Provence” tour:

Please enquire.

 

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – arrival Nice airport; transfer to accommodation; possibility of ride from Nice; everyone meets up in the evening

Day 2 – drive to Ventoux; ride and stay locally

Day 3 – Mont Ventoux climb, returning to Nice for final evening meal

Day 4 – possibility of ride; transfer to Nice airport and departure

 

Price:

€695 / £555 per person based on 2 people sharing

BOOK NOW >>

 

Included:

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Route planning
  • Guide for ride or van support as appropriate

Not included:

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunch and dinner, drinks
  • Travel insurance

 

Bike hire:

Avoid the hassle of breaking down and packing your bike, and the cost of transporting…just bring your own helmet, pedals and shoes, and you’re good to go on one of our full-carbon Trek road bikes with Shimano 105 groupset. 2 day’s bike hire €80, 3 days €110, 4 days €140 - details here >>


"Aches in Provence"

An 8-day tour showcasing the best of Provence

Come and join us on this amazing 8-day tour which offers the very best and most challenging cycling that Provence in the south-east of France has to offer.

Tour highlights:

The highest – at 2800m (9200ft) elevation, we will cycle over the highest road pass in France, the Col de la Bonette

Col de la Bonette

 

The toughest – the “Giant of Provence” Mont Ventoux (1912m, 6270ft) is rightly known as one of the toughest climbs around. You have the choice of climbing it once, twice, or becoming one of less than 7500 people world-wide who have been crazy enough to climb all three roads to the summit in a single day and, in so doing, have joined the hallowed ranks of the Club des Cinglés du Mont Ventoux (which translates roughly as the Brotherhood of the Crazy People of the Windy Mountain!)

Mont Ventoux

 

The deepest – the Gorges du Verdon is Europe’s deepest canyon, second in the world only to the Grand Canyon

gorges du verdon

 

The largest – the Lac du Serre-Ponçon, famous for its vivid green / blue colour, is Europe’s largest artificial lake, created by the damming of the Durance riverlac du serre-poncon

 

The strangest – the Col d’Izoard features the famous “Casse Déserte” – an awe-inspiring alien and barren landscape

Col d'Izoard Casse Déserte

 

The most infamous – the Col de la Madone is notorious as being the 925m climb on which Lance Armstrong used to test his EPO-fuelled form ahead of winning the Tour de France seven consecutive years

col de la madone

 

The most glamourous – cycle the Formula 1 circuit in Monaco, home to supercars, superyachts, supermodels, and let’s not forget the supercyclists: Chris Froome, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas and many of Team Sky, and Team Astana.

monaco-monte-carlo

 

Enjoy all of this and more in the stunning landscape of the sunny south-east corner of France, as we experience 5 of the major regions of Provence: the Var, the Vaucluse, the Alpes de Haute Provence, the Haute Alpes and finishing with the Alpes Maritimes.

Our reward at the end of each day is the rich and satisfying flavours of Provençal cuisine, the Mediterranean diet rightly famous for promoting healthy living and long life. Provençal food is very distinctive from the rest of French cuisine: the Mediterranean influence results in recipes with spices, and of course seafood features strongly. Garlic, olive oil and olives are the leitmotif, with an abundance of “Herbes de Provence”. Because of the mountainous country, without the rich farmlands and herds of dairy cattle, Provençal cooking uses very little milk, and where cheese does feature, it tends to be goat’s cheese which predominates.

Each day offers a very distinct cycling flavour too, from the mountain peaks of the Hautes-Alpes region in the north to the the glitz and glamour of the Côte d’Azur in the south, from the precipitous ravines and gorges of the Var in the east, to the vast open landscapes of the Vaucluse to the west.

The mediaeval capital of Provence, Aix-en-Provence, provides the inspiration for the name of our tour – “Aches in Provence” – although we don’t actually cycle in Aix itself…it was just too relevant a pun to resist.

For the full itinerary and further details, please contact us >>

Summary:

8 days, 7 nights

For 2017 dates, please enquire.

 

Price:

€1765 / £1,470 per person based on 2 people sharing (own bike)

€1995 / £1,665 per person based on 2 people sharing (full-carbon Trek road bike provided, subject to availability)

Book now >>

 

Included:

  • Nice airport transfers (subject to flight times)
  • 7 nights accommodation (3* and 2* hotels)
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Water and high-energy snacks and fruit en route
  • Detailed itineraries
  • Van support

 

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Lunch, drinks
  • Travel insurance

 

Bike hireAvoid the hassle of breaking down and packing your bike, and the cost of transporting…just bring your own helmet, pedals and shoes, and you’re good to go on one of our full-carbon Trek road bikes with Shimano 105 groupset. Bike hire special rate €230 - details here >>