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Atlantic to Med (La Rochelle to Perpignan)

Shortest Day - 42 miles / 67 km
Longest Day - 66 miles / 106 km
Total: 12 days' riding. 50 - 60 miles a day. 613 miles total. Truly unspoilt France!

What you can expect

New for 2018. Ride from glamorous La Rochelle on the Atlantic Coast to Perpignan on the sandy Mediterranean. Discover some of France's most beautiful regions as we showcase quiet roads and pretty villages. 12 days' riding, 13 nights accommodation with breakfast, 11 dinners included.

More detail

We could probably best describe this new ride as a meander through some of France’s most lovely and historic countryside. Joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, you will ride along quiet roads (as is our custom at Green Jersey) and no day exceeds 60 miles – most are nearer the 50 mile mark. There will be plenty of time and things to stop and see along the way, and ample time for coffee and lunch whilst still arriving in plenty of time to explore the evening’s destination.

Highlights include:

  • Glamorous La Rochelle with its famous harbour
  • Brouage citadel
  • Cognac country
  • Sunflower fields
  • Ancient walled 'bastide' villages
  • Three Musketeers' country
  • Stunning Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop
  • Amazing Carcassonne
  • Canal du Midi
  • Cathar Fortresses
  • Fantastic local food and wine
  • Chateaux and cathedrals
  • A dip in the Mediterranean when you finish!
  • Bike transport out and back possible

Day 1: Arrive La Rochelle.

Day 2: Leaving La Rochelle we head south, passing through the historic naval town of Rochefort with its old sailing ships and rope-making factory. This predominantly flat day then continues through the wonderful old citadel of Brouage, once on the waterfront but now inland due to the low-lying land being reclaimed from the sea. We end beside the seaside where there is a good beach for a swim. This is the logest day of the ride but is very flat indeed with only a couple of bridges to cross. (66 miles / 106km).

Day 3: Today we ride east of the Garonne estuary and into the famous Cognac region. The countryside is once again pretty, being gently undulating and lightly wooded, and passing through typical old villages off the beaten track. We stay in a great hotel int e centre of town and you will be able to see some of the famous Cognac houses and perhaps enjoy a glass after your dinner! (47 miles / 76 km).

Day 4: Now heading south, we ride trhough old oak forests and vineyeards for most of the day. Our destination is a small town in the Gironde region where we will doubtless try some of the local wine with our supper. It's a good ride with some really lovely countryside. (60 miles / 96 km).

Day 5: Continuing south we stop in St Emilion for coffee before entering the Dordogne region, following the river of the same name as we finish in another historic town, Duras, a hilltop bastide with a lovely old centre where there remain half-timbered houses with covered arches, the castle and magnificent views. (45 miles / 71 km).

Day 6: Riding due south we leave the Dordogne and enter the northern fringes of Gascony, land of Armagnac, D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. This is a completely unspoilt area, very rural in nature, with lovely quiet roads where you will hardly see a car all day. We stay in a former coaching inn in a small town tonight in a a lovely hotel in the heart of a wonderful old town full of character. (55 miles / 89 km).

Day 7: You should be enjoying field upon field of sunflowers today; this region is famous for them and they can stretch as far as the eye can see, bestowing brilliant colour to contrast with the amazing blue skies. The fields aren’t growing these evocative plants are probably vineyards. The food is hearty and rich as the locals make best use of the plenteous gifts that nature has bestowed on them. (55 miles / 89 km).

Day 8: Skirting to the north of Toulouse the countryside remains as beautiful as before. Many of the roads we use are recognised as being even prettier than the ones we usually ride along – Michelin maps colour these green on the map and this is one of the reasons we have ‘green’ in our company name, as we like to use these roads where possible. You will see what must be one of the loveliest views in France, as the gentle hills of Gascony reveal the Pyrenees in the distance - a backdrop that you will see on and off until the end of the ride. Our lovely hotel is an former abbey. (53 miles / 85 km).

Day 9: Of all the villages in France, Cordes-sur-Ciel must be one of the most photographed and one of the prettiest, and it is to here that we ride today. If we are lucky we will be able to see the best view of the town perched above the early morning mist, giving the town its name as it seems to hang in the sky. Our hotel is right in the centre and words just cannot describe this most pretty of hilltop villages. (47 miles / 76 km).

Day 10: More unspoilt villages and pretty valleys today; there are so many but you won’t get bored of them! Today leaves plenty of time to photograph all of these wonderful places – it is easy to forget where things are at the end of a holiday, and a visual record certainly helps! We stay in the small town of Castres with its old houses overhanging the river, and a well kept and clean town centre with lots of cafes and brasseries from which to enjoy the world passing by. (47 miles / 76 km).

Day 11: Most people have heard of Carcassonne, with its fortress perched above the town and the Canal du Midi. The turrets and towers are visible a long way off, and with a short day today you will have plenty of time to explore this simply amazing place. We stay in a hotel in the lower town with stunning views of the floodlit citadel from the balcnony of your room. To get there is a climb up into the hills, which although long is a gentle gradient, followed by a long descent. (42 miles / 68 km).

Day 12: Plenty more history today as turning south we ride into a region known for its wine but also for its Cathar fortresses. In the Middle Ages the Crusaders came here to annihilate the heretic Cathars, who withdrew to their impressive castles before being wiped out. It is a hilly day through vineyards and along quiet roads, but with sensible pacing and the all-important van disepensing coffe, cake and other supplies, it eminently acheivable. (49 miles / 78 km).

Day 13: One of the most famous Cathar strongholds awaits us first thing and you will have a chance to walk the couple of hundred yards up to the ruins and experience a fantastic view over the Languedoc landscape. After that it is a simple run to the sea, to meet the Mediterranean beaches where you can enjoy a swim and a relaxing afternoon. We will then ride the 7 miles back to Perpignan for the night and have a fun last evening before departure tomorrow. (42 miles / 67 km).

Day 14: Departure.

Flights to La Rochelle from Gatwick, Stansted, Bristol, Manchester and Southampton.

Flights back from Perpignan to Stansted and Birmonham or from Carcassonne to Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow and Nottingham East Midlands. Alternative return airports include Beziers and Toulouse.

We will be taking some riders' bikes out and back for them so do enquire if this may be of interest to you.

Transfers from:  La Rochelle airport and TGV station

Transfers to: Perpignan and Carcassonne

Please note transfers only operate within certain timescales on the day of arrival or departure, please enquire for further details.

 

 

 

Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
18.08.18
Ends:
31.08.18
Rating:
Difficult
Price:
£2,395

Travel Information

Start: La Rochelle
Finish: Perpignan

Click here for our Travel Information page

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