About the challenge
This exciting, short cycling challenge links the two classic cities of Paris and Geneva, crossing the border with a fabulous climb in the beautiful Jura Mountains. Our route takes us south-east from Paris, crossing rolling chalk hills, quiet woodland and rural plateaux. The landscape is dotted with small medieval towns and Romanesque churches as we cycle through the famous vineyard region of Burgundy. Skirting Dijon, we head to the Roman spa town of Lons-le-saunier, at the foot of the Jura. Our legs feel well-prepared as we tackle the hair-pin bends of the Col de la Faucille (1232m), our gateway into Switzerland and the toughest part of our challenge. We finish beside the lake in beautiful Geneva.
PLEASE NOTE: £50 supplement for Tour de France dates
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|23 Jul 2017||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1800||Or||£900||Book now|
|03 Sep 2017||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1700||£850||Book now|
|22 Jul 2018||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1850||£925||Book now|
|02 Sep 2018||6||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1750||£875||Book now|
Cycle through rural northern France to lake-side Geneva
Pass sunflower fields and vineyards of Burgundy
Cross the beautiful Jura Mountains with a Tour de France climb
See Tour de France finish in Paris on July date
Hotels in picturesque towns en-route
Day 1: Eurostar from London to Paris
Day 2-4: Cycle from Paris through small towns and farmland, pass Chablis vineyards to foot of mountains
Day 5: Challenging climb over Jura col; descend to Geneva
Day 6: Free time Geneva; depart
NB: Return flight not included
What makes it demanding?
Progress from rolling hills to Jura Mountains
Longest day over 90 miles on undulating terrain
Climb a col used in the Tour de France (1323m)
Strenuous last day with over 2300m total climbing
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as transport (by Eurostar), and all meals except four as specified in the itinerary. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders, drivers and mechanics.
It does not include your homebound flight, personal travel insurance, four meals as specified, a bicycle, drinks or personal items. It also does not include entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions you may wish to visit. Bear in mind that airlines are likely to charge a fee for bike carriage. Remember to allow extra for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
We do not arrange a homebound flight for this challenge, enabling you to take advantage of the many competitive fares between Geneva and different UK cities. Airlines include British Airways, Air France, Flybe and Easyjet. We recommend you book flights that depart Geneva in the morning. The best deals are usually open to those who book early, but bear in mind that we do need a minimum number for this trip to run, and booking your flight before you are advised the trip is guaranteed is entirely at your own risk. Please be aware that the best deals usually allow little flexibility if you need to change them. Please ensure that you inform your airline that you will be travelling with your bike when you book. It may not be possible for them to guarantee bike carriage at a later date. Most airlines charge a bike carriage fee, which you are responsible for paying. We can provide you with guidelines on packing a bike for flight, but it’s best to check the airline’s specific instructions.
Accommodation is in 2-3* hotels, picked for their proximity to our route. The hotels are comfortable with en suite facilities; standards may vary between the hotels.
All food is included except four meals where specified. Lunches are generous buffet-style with plenty of energy food to keep you going! Dinners are generally eaten in the hotels.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Bear in mind that being vegetarian is not generally well-understood in France, so meals may not be as varied as you are used to. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities, where you are free to explore and find something to suit your budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: cyclist ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Support vehicles are with the group all of the time. All luggage and spares will be carried in them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening. Bikes will be well-packed and protected during outbound transit in our vehicles, but if you have an expensive or delicate frame, you may prefer to bring extra lagging to protect it more, or a soft bike bag. On your return journey, your bike can be flown back with you (airlines usually charge a small fee for this) – you will need to bring a cardboard bike box or bike bag with you to pack your bike for flight.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency mobile phones, first-aid kits and other safety apparatus where necessary. Your crew will always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
The cycling is mainly undulating. Distances are fairly long, averaging about 80 miles (130km) per day; you should make sure you are fit enough to manage these distances confidently. We ride mainly on small country roads. Traffic is light on most of the roads but when we pass through busy areas we may go through as a group. French drivers are generally far more considerate to cyclists than here in the UK. The final climb is long, though not too steep. Using Tour de France terminology, it is usually rated 2nd Category, which designates it as an official mountain climb (though only the third-hardest of the 5 categories used). It will give you an unbeatable sense of achievement on your final day: you must have trained for this, be used to cycling and very familiar with the range of your gears. You cycle approximately 325 miles (520km) on this trip overall. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
We strongly recommend that you ride a road/racing bike (rather than a mountain bike) for this trip due to the long distances involved on well-surfaced roads. However Discover Adventure can provide hybrid or mountain bikes at an extra cost if you wish.
There will be a range of spares in the vehicle along with a full tool kit. However it is impossible for us to carry spares for every eventuality so it is vital that when bringing your own bike it is in good order before departure. It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with the straps done up.
Clothing & Equipment
We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures and remember that weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
The climate is generally good in the regions we pass through at this time of year, though temperatures can vary widely and weather conditions can become unsettled. Rain is always a possibility and it may be windy in flatter areas. In the mountains the weather can change rapidly.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it must be valid for at least six months after entry into France and Switzerland. There is no visa requirement for UK citizens. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.