Cycling from London to Paris is one of the great cycle experiences in Europe. Passing through picturesque Kent countryside, we cross the Channel and continue through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France. With long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, the sight of the Eiffel Tower, our finishing point, will evoke a real sense of achievement. Our last day in Paris allows us to explore the sights and soak up the romantic atmosphere of this majestic city!
An early start from central London allows us to avoid the morning traffic as we pass through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads. We continue south towards Croydon, riding through beautiful rolling Surrey countryside and small, quiet villages. As we head further south a long climb takes us into Sussex; we then follow rolling roads up and over the beautiful chalk downs and descend into the harbour town of Newhaven. We board the ferry and have dinner en-route to Dieppe. Night hotel.
We enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading out on today’s challenging ride. Leaving Dieppe, initially along the coast, we soon ride inland and south through the beautiful Saâne valley. This is a lovely area that cuts through the low-lying hills; we pass lots of small tranquil villages enroute. We skirt the small town of Yerville and cycle southwest, arriving at the banks of the wide River Seine. Crossing 30km short of the river-mouth is an impressive experience as large vessels ply the waters far upriver. Keeping the sweeping curve of riverbank to our right, we pedal through the Brotonne Forest, a picturesque area of oak and beech trees surrounded by a wide loop of the Seine. Leaving woodland and river behind, we continue southwest until we reach Pont-Audemer, a pretty town of half-timbered buildings and canals lying on the River Risle. From here we continue, still southwest, through small villages and hedged farmland, to our finishing-point, Lisieux. Night hotel.
Leaving Liseux behind us, we head due east through rolling farmland and villages. This is farming countryside, renowned for its production of cheeses, cider and calvados. Continuing east to Brionne, a small town on the River Risle, we cross the river and ride southeast to Neubourg. We stop for lunch, then continue through green forests which provide a real contrast to the first part of our day. Heading through villages north of Evreux, we cross the River Eure and then ride the final leg to Vernon, an historic town on the Seine where we stay for our final night before arriving in Paris. Night hotel.
Our final day’s cycling takes us south on small village roads to Breval; from here we continue predominantly east on a slightly larger road through Septeuil and Crespières, small traditional towns. As we reach the suburbs of Paris we look out for the distinctive landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur standing out on the skyline. Crossing the River Seine for the final time, we reach the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and continue through the Paris streets to our finish beneath the lofty arches of the Eiffel Tower. We check into our hotel and enjoy a great celebration to mark our achievements. Night hotel.
After breakfast you are free to explore the famous sights of Paris. Later you can enjoy the huge spectacle that is the Tour de France! We don’t have a set area to gather, but the 71m-wide Champs-Elysées is by far the best place to watch the laps before the final sprint; head over with your new cycling buddies, pick a spot and enjoy the incredible atmosphere. Spectators gather early to watch the world’s most famous cycling event arrive home, and if you want a good view you are advised to get there many hours before the peloton! You are responsible for getting yourself and your bags to the Gare du Nord in time for your evening Eurostar train back to St Pancras, where you will be reunited with your bike. If you would rather see the whole Tour de France finale, we would suggest that you stay in Paris for an extra night and make your own travel arrangements back to the UK (at your own cost). If you intend on doing this, you will need to inform us prior to the confirmed deadline, so that we may cancel your return ticket and reduce your trip cost accordingly.
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew, including mechanics. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.
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. Support vehicles are with the group all of the time, and carry all luggage and spares.
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 communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They 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 medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.
We usually stay in hotels or lodges of a 2-3* standard or equivalent. Standards may vary between the hotels but they are generally comfortable and convenient for our route. Hotels are often on the outskirts of towns to minimise unnecessary extra mileage and avoid traffic.
Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels convenient to our route. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.
There may be a limited number of single rooms subject to request, on a first-come first-served basis, after you have booked. Extra charges will apply.
We like to support local businesses and will source food locally. Lunches will be in restaurants along the route and dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. Do make sure you eat enough to give you the energy for your exertions. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. 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.
We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. 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.
If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.
Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date).
You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.
You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!
For more information about travel insurance, please click here.