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London to Nice Cycle

UK, France, Switzerland Cycle TOUGH
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About the Challenge

Setting off from London, we pass through picturesque Kent countryside, cross the Channel and continue through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France to Paris and the evocative landmark of the Eiffel Tower. After a day to rest, we head through rolling fields of wheat and sunflowers, and the famous vineyards around Chablis. The landscape is dotted with small medieval towns and sleepy villages, and the rolling hills provide the perfect preparation for the hair-pin bends of the Col de la Faucille (1323m) – a climb in the Jura mountains that has featured many times in the Tour de France. A wonderful descent takes us into Switzerland and down to beautiful lakeside Geneva. Another rest day sees us raring to go! We set off through the Alps to Provence, riding through beautiful scenery of towering mountain peaks, spectacular limestone cliffs and gorges, dense forests and lavender fields. With long, challenging days in the saddle, the magnificence of the landscapes motivates us to keep pedalling! Our unforgettable ride ends with a fabulous descent from the hills through the Gorge du Loup to Nice and the beach, where we have time to relax and appreciate our huge achievement.


London to Nice Cycle TdF

15 DAYS
  • An early start allows us to avoid the morning traffic as we pass through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads. It is not long before we are among the rolling fields and villages of rural Kent, passing orchards and traditional oast houses where hops are stored. We follow country roads across the hills of the North Downs to Dover and the coast. Taking the ferry to Calais, we have dinner on board and cycle the short distance (approx 5 miles) to our hotel. Night hotel.  (Dinner on ferry not included)

    Cycle approx. 136km (85 miles)

  • After a hearty breakfast we head south through beautiful rural landscapes. We ride through ancient Desvres, pedalling quiet winding roads running parallel to the coast. After lunch we reach the valleys of the Canche River and head further south towards Crécy-en-Ponthieu – site of the 14th-century Battle of Crécy. Continuing south, our final leg brings us to Abbeville, on the River Somme. Abbeville suffered badly from WW2 air raids, but its beautiful Flemish-style architecture is still in evidence and its Gothic church has been largely restored to its former glory. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 114km (71 miles)

  • Leaving Abbeville behind us we follow the River Somme east out of the town in the direction of Amiens. These lands are renowned for the terrible battles of the First World War and are scattered with cemeteries and other poignant reminders of the thousands of men who died here. Our route soon turns south and we follow shady beech-tree-lined avenues so typically French, into meandering valleys and traditional farming hamlets. The cycling is mostly flat and through agricultural lands. Our day ends at Beauvais, a town renowned for its large gothic cathedral. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 104km (65 miles)

  • Our final day’s cycling takes us over the river Théram and south of Beauvais towards the great capital city. Following small country roads we head towards the small town of Meru and continue south through beautiful countryside. 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. Reaching the suburb of St. Denis we come to the River Seine; following its northern esplanade in the shadow of the Bois du Boulogne, we ride until we reach the Pont d’Iena and 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.

    Cycle approx. 80km (50 miles)

  • After breakfast you are free to explore the famous sights pf Paris. Later you can enjoy the huge spectacle that is the Tour de France! The 71m-wide Champs-Elysées is by far the best place to watch the laps before the final sprint. The atmosphere will be electric as 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! Those ending their cycle ride in Paris will leave by train later in the day, while we meet again for dinner and a briefing, and meet our new group members who have arrived today. Night hotel. (Lunch not included)

  • We start early so we can negotiate Paris’s busy streets before rush-hour, and head from our hotel towards the Eiffel Tower, where we have the obligatory group photo. Our route takes us along the boulevards of the capital’s Left Bank; we see many recognisable landmarks such as Les Invalides and the Grand Palais as we ride south-east out of Paris, roughly following the course of the River Seine. Many of the streets we take have cycle paths, and it doesn’t seem long before we have left the suburbs behind us.

    We now ride through open, agricultural landscapes, passing villages with squat Norman churches, colourful shuttered houses and tree-lined market squares – peaceful rural scenes which are as quintessentially French as the grandeur of Paris behind us. This region is very historic, with many towns and villages dating back to medieval or Roman times.

    After passing on wide shaded roads through the extensive green forests of Fontainebleau, formerly a royal hunting park, our route becomes a little hillier as we ride over the gently rolling chalk hills that make this region so good for wine-growing. There are no tough climbs on this first day, but we’ll no doubt be pleased to cross the River Yonne into the lovely medieval Burgundy town of Sens, complete with its beautiful town hall and gothic cathedral. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 125km (80 miles)

  • Today takes us further into rural Burgundy, over rolling hills with gentle inclines that open up to wonderful views over this typically French countryside. We leave our hotel on quiet, flat roads, passing small villages and open fields of barley and wheat. After about 15km we have a long, winding climb which flattens out to a striking tree-lined avenue through the fields. We start to pass fields of sunflowers and sections of woodland, and ride through some very picturesque villages with old churches and striking town halls. Some miles before our lunch-stop at Chablis – which gives its name to one of France’s most famous white wines – we come to the vineyards: rows upon rows of vines, mainly pinot noir and chardonnay, on the south-facing slopes.

    We pass several old wineries before riding right through the pretty old town of Chablis itself, then cycle on small, quiet country lanes connecting the abundant farms and villages that dot the landscape. There are some wonderful views as we crest the rolling hills, and every rise is followed by a lovely descent. As we approach the end of the day’s ride, our road brings us out at a wonderful viewpoint over the picturesque medieval hill-top town of Semur-en-Auxois; our hotel is only a short distance away. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 125 km (80 miles)

  • Our longest day is a day of two halves, separated by our most significant climb so far! The morning continues predominantly south-east on quiet rolling roads, riding through yet more picturesque towns and villages; some of the churches have the distinctive coloured roof-tiles typical of Burgundy. We pass fields of sunflowers, corn and small pockets of woodland and ride for a short stretch alongside the Canal de Bourgogne. A 250km-long feat of engineering, the canal connected Burgundy to both northern Europe and the Mediterranean, allowing it to prosper. We come to the picturesque town of Bligny-sur-Ouche, which lies at the foot of our most challenging climb so far – a 6km ascent which twists up through woodland before the road straightens out and an easier gradient takes us through pastures at the top. Our treat for conquering the climb is the wonderful descent that follows – at twice the length of the climb, we definitely tackle this hill from the best direction!

    Wide sweeping bends takes us through fields and woodland, passing small villages, right down into the town of Beaune below us. It’s an exhilarating descent with wonderful views of the countryside around us, and we’ll be buzzing when we reach lunch shortly afterwards. We cross the River Saône, heading towards Verdun, and the rest of our day is fairly flat. There are numerous reservoirs in this region which break up the browns and greens of the fields that we cycle through for most of the way. As we enter the Jura region we can see the ridge of mountains looming on the horizon, though they still look quite distant. Our last few miles see a few gentle uphill sections through lovely quiet woodland and we finally reach the Roman spa town of Lons-le-Saunier, pleased to be saving the real climbs for tomorrow!  Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 158km (98 miles)

  • A shorter day today, but our big challenge looms as we cross the Jura Mountains into Switzerland! We set off from Lons-le-Saunier and start climbing almost straightaway. This is the steepest hill we’ve experienced so far, so it’s important to pace yourself and not over-do it. The climb levels out after roughly 3km and we are suddenly in more mountainous scenery, with cow-bells clanging from the pastures around us. Following a flattish road – one of very few flat sections today! – through a beautiful valley surrounded by verdant wooded slopes, we reach the village of Orgelet with its pretty church, and then start to climb again gradually. Our road takes us through a scenic gorge and we cross the beautiful aquamarine Lac de Vouglans, a narrow sinuous reservoir hemmed in by the rocky cliffs around it. We climb for roughly 20km through lovely scenery; the gradient is not steep and there are some flatter sections. We then have a wonderful descent into the picturesque town of Saint-Claude; with its colourful buildings and its wonderful location tucked in between the mountains, this is worth a café-stop just to admire the views!

    After Saint-Claude our climbing starts in earnest – we ascend gradually on hair-pin bends through trees, passing waterfalls and gushing streams. At some points the views open out so we can fully appreciate the mountain scenery we are climbing through. As we get higher up we reach pastures and the terrain levels out more; we pass a giant model of a bike which pays homage to the popularity of cycling in this region: this climb has featured in the Tour de France on many occasions, as well as other professional races.  Shortly after this, the road plunges downhill into a secluded valley. It’s frustrating to lose even a fraction of our well-earned elevation knowing we have to re-gain it, but it’s a wonderful descent and very beautiful!

    From the valley we start to climb again, on hair-pin bends that take us once more through forest. These are our last miles uphill, and although it is steep in places we know the end is in sight! We finally reach the Col de la Faucille (1323m), and gather for a group photo before our big descent. We have time to savour this – we should be feeling justly proud of ourselves for reaching the summit. In clear weather we should get great views of the Mont Blanc massif, and there are wonderful views over Lake Geneva as we descend the 12km to Gex, the small Swiss village at the foot of the mountain. We pass through the international border with Switzerland, and cruise on flat roads with cycle lanes to our lakeside finish point in Geneva. This evening we enjoy a great celebration! Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 110km (70 miles)

  • Your day is free to explore the clean streets of cosmopolitan Geneva, or head for the lovely lakeside gardens and famous fountain. Those ending their cycle ride here will fly out later today, while we meet again for dinner and a briefing, and meet our new group members who have arrived today. Night hotel.  (Lunch not included).

  • Heading south out of Geneva, we leave Switzerland and the Geneva Valley behind us. A gentle climb on quiet back-roads takes us into France. Beautiful views of the Alps accompany us almost the entire time today – a very inspiring start! We ride south to the beautiful town of Annecy, a lakeside jewel nestled among mountain peaks. We cycle alongside the shores of crystal-clear Lake Annecy for a few miles before continuing south on an undulating road through the forests and quiet villages of the Massif des Bauges. A steady, gradual ascent through lovely scenery takes us to the Col du Frêne – at 950m not a high mountain pass, and not a steep climb, but nevertheless our first real encounter with hair-pin bends! We descend via more sweeping bends to the Isère river, crossing it and climbing again on a quiet road up to Allevard, a lovely village partway up the mountain-slopes. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 132km (85 miles)

  • Starting the day with a gentle descent back to the Isère valley, we pedal parallel to the river for some time before approaching the historic city of Grenoble. Situated in a broad valley between mountains, the terrain is flat for many miles, though new views of the surrounding peaks continually open up to us. Skirting the city, we follow quiet roads which steer us between the high ridges but give us only a few lumpy undulations to tackle! We climb a gently sloping hill to Roissard, pausing to appreciate the spectacular views of the twists and turns of the lovely Drac river, before continuing through to the small village of Mens. A stretch of more rolling road takes us to the shores of the lovely Lac du Sautet; we then have a short climb up into the small town of Corps. Tomorrow we will start riding on the Route Napoleon, a classic stretch of road that traces Napoleon’s route from Elba in 1815, and you can’t fail to notice that Corps is proud of its position on the route – there are references everywhere. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 120km (75 miles)

  • Leaving Corps behind us, we continue our journey south through the southern Alps. Many of the roads we ride on today have featured regularly in the Tour de France. Our morning’s ride takes us predominantly along the scenic, hilly Route Napoleon: look out for the flying-eagle road markers that commemorate the route. Striking out on back roads for a short while, we climb the relatively gentle gradient of the Col de Manse – at 1268m our highest point of the challenge – before reaching the Alpine town of Gap. Continuing south on back-roads, the landscape around us gradually changes to thickly-forested limestone hills and sheer cliffs – spectacular scenery. Entering Provence, we reach the ancient, picturesque town of Sisteron, situated in beautiful scenery on the riverbank between towering mountain ridges. From here it becomes more and more evident that we are leaving the high mountains behind, as we ride east to the lovely old spa town of Digne-les-Bains. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 144 km (90 miles)

  • Today is a long day, and a hilly one, but it’s also our last day of cycling so we enjoy every kilometre of beautiful countryside! Setting off from Digne, our day starts on a quiet rolling road which warms us up nicely before the Col de Corobin (1230m), which sees up pedalling uphill for almost 10km. The well-earned descent is wonderful, and you’ll be glad to know it’s steeper than the side we ascended! Rejoining the Route Napoleon, we tackle several more testing climbs and descents as the road winds through stunning hilly scenery, passing the lovely town of Castellane on the river Verdon en route. Taking our leave of our historic companion, the Route Napoleon, we head east on very quiet back-roads through small villages. The landscape is made up of rocky outcrops and ridges, verdant forests and deep blue rivers, and provides a breathtaking backdrop to our final day. We reach the photogenic medieval hilltop town of Gréolières, perched high up in the hills behind the coast, and then we can freewheel almost all the way on quiet roads right to the coast! Our descent takes us through the stunningly beautiful Gorge de Loup, before reaching sea level; we join a lovely flat cycle path and pedal our way on the famed Promenade des Anglaises into the heart of Nice. We finish this long day and our incredible challenge celebrating beside the Mediterranean Sea. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 140 km (88 miles)

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we have time to relax on the beach or wander the Promenade until it’s time to transfer to the airport.  (Lunch not included)

London to Nice Cycle

15 DAYS
  • An early start from Blackheath Common allows us to avoid the morning traffic as we pass through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads. It is not long before we are among the rolling fields and villages of rural Kent, passing orchards and traditional oast houses where hops are stored. We follow country roads across the hills of the North Downs to Dover and the coast. Taking the ferry to Dunkirk, we have dinner on board and cycle the short distance to our hotel. Night hotel.  (Dinner on ferry not included)

    Cycle approx. 136km (85 miles)

  • We head south from Dunkirk, riding roughly parallel to the Belgian border. A long day in the saddle lies ahead, but the terrain is fairly flat as we pass through small villages and farmland, with some areas of shady woodland. A few hills mid-way through our morning stretch the legs a little! The area we pass through saw a great deal of action in WW1 and many road-names in towns and villages testify to the history. Our afternoon is predominantly flat as we ride southeast, though a few hills await us before Cambrai, a town which dates back to Roman times. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 161km (100 miles)

  • Today is shorter, but almost continually hilly, as we cross beautiful rolling landscapes, where fields of crops stretch for miles. For the first part of the day we pass small war cemeteries, reminding us of events a century ago. We have a great view of the River Somme, which we cross before our first water-stop. Narrow lanes lined with hedgerows take us through small villages with ancient crumbling buildings, and we follow wider boulevards through historic towns with striking churches and town halls. The last section of our route runs through an area involved in the WW1 Battles of the Aisne, with more cemeteries and memorials to the fallen. With roughly ten miles to go, the road climbs steeply out of the pretty village of Vauxaillon, winding through woodland and into open fields with wonderful views. A rewarding descent brings us to Soissons, an ancient town which lies on the River Aisne. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 114km (70 miles)

  • Our final day’s cycling takes us southwest, on yet more undulating roads through small villages and farmland. There are some short sharp climbs in the morning, before we reach busier roads. As we cycle through the Parisian streets we look out for distinctive landmarks, feeling excited at being this close to our goal! Then we sweep around the Arc de Triomphe and down the famed Champs-Elysées to our finish beneath the lofty arches of the Eiffel Tower. We head to our hotel and get ready for a celebration meal to mark our achievement. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 121km (75 miles)

  • After breakfast you are free to explore the city; why not go up the Eiffel Tower or visit renowned attractions such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Those ending their cycle ride in Paris will leave by train later in the day, while we meet again for dinner and a briefing, and meet our new group members who have arrived today. Night hotel. (Lunch not included)

  • We start early so we can negotiate Paris’s busy streets before rush-hour, and head from our hotel towards the Eiffel Tower, where we have the obligatory group photo. Our route takes us along the boulevards of the capital’s Left Bank; we see many recognisable landmarks such as Les Invalides and the Grand Palais as we ride south-east out of Paris, roughly following the course of the River Seine. Many of the streets we take have cycle paths, and it doesn’t seem long before we have left the suburbs behind us.

    We now ride through open, agricultural landscapes, passing villages with squat Norman churches, colourful shuttered houses and tree-lined market squares – peaceful rural scenes which are as quintessentially French as the grandeur of Paris behind us. This region is very historic, with many towns and villages dating back to medieval or Roman times.

    After passing on wide shaded roads through the extensive green forests of Fontainebleau, formerly a royal hunting park, our route becomes a little hillier as we ride over the gently rolling chalk hills that make this region so good for wine-growing. There are no tough climbs on this first day, but we’ll no doubt be pleased to cross the River Yonne into the lovely medieval Burgundy town of Sens, complete with its beautiful town hall and gothic cathedral. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 125km (80 miles)

  • Today takes us further into rural Burgundy, over rolling hills with gentle inclines that open up to wonderful views over this typically French countryside. We leave our hotel on quiet, flat roads, passing small villages and open fields of barley and wheat. After about 15km we have a long, winding climb which flattens out to a striking tree-lined avenue through the fields. We start to pass fields of sunflowers and sections of woodland, and ride through some very picturesque villages with old churches and striking town halls. Some miles before our lunch-stop at Chablis – which gives its name to one of France’s most famous white wines – we come to the vineyards: rows upon rows of vines, mainly pinot noir and chardonnay, on the south-facing slopes.

    We pass several old wineries before riding right through the pretty old town of Chablis itself, then cycle on small, quiet country lanes connecting the abundant farms and villages that dot the landscape. There are some wonderful views as we crest the rolling hills, and every rise is followed by a lovely descent. As we approach the end of the day’s ride, our road brings us out at a wonderful viewpoint over the picturesque medieval hill-top town of Semur-en-Auxois; our hotel is only a short distance away. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 125 km (80 miles)

  • Our longest day is a day of two halves, separated by our most significant climb so far! The morning continues predominantly south-east on quiet rolling roads, riding through yet more picturesque towns and villages; some of the churches have the distinctive coloured roof-tiles typical of Burgundy. We pass fields of sunflowers, corn and small pockets of woodland and ride for a short stretch alongside the Canal de Bourgogne. A 250km-long feat of engineering, the canal connected Burgundy to both northern Europe and the Mediterranean, allowing it to prosper. We come to the picturesque town of Bligny-sur-Ouche, which lies at the foot of our most challenging climb so far – a 6km ascent which twists up through woodland before the road straightens out and an easier gradient takes us through pastures at the top. Our treat for conquering the climb is the wonderful descent that follows – at twice the length of the climb, we definitely tackle this hill from the best direction!

    Wide sweeping bends takes us through fields and woodland, passing small villages, right down into the town of Beaune below us. It’s an exhilarating descent with wonderful views of the countryside around us, and we’ll be buzzing when we reach lunch shortly afterwards. We cross the River Saône, heading towards Verdun, and the rest of our day is fairly flat. There are numerous reservoirs in this region which break up the browns and greens of the fields that we cycle through for most of the way. As we enter the Jura region we can see the ridge of mountains looming on the horizon, though they still look quite distant. Our last few miles see a few gentle uphill sections through lovely quiet woodland and we finally reach the Roman spa town of Lons-le-Saunier, pleased to be saving the real climbs for tomorrow!  Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 158km (98 miles)

  • A shorter day today, but our big challenge looms as we cross the Jura Mountains into Switzerland! We set off from Lons-le-Saunier and start climbing almost straightaway. This is the steepest hill we’ve experienced so far, so it’s important to pace yourself and not over-do it. The climb levels out after roughly 3km and we are suddenly in more mountainous scenery, with cow-bells clanging from the pastures around us. Following a flattish road – one of very few flat sections today! – through a beautiful valley surrounded by verdant wooded slopes, we reach the village of Orgelet with its pretty church, and then start to climb again gradually. Our road takes us through a scenic gorge and we cross the beautiful aquamarine Lac de Vouglans, a narrow sinuous reservoir hemmed in by the rocky cliffs around it. We climb for roughly 20km through lovely scenery; the gradient is not steep and there are some flatter sections. We then have a wonderful descent into the picturesque town of Saint-Claude; with its colourful buildings and its wonderful location tucked in between the mountains, this is worth a café-stop just to admire the views!

    After Saint-Claude our climbing starts in earnest – we ascend gradually on hair-pin bends through trees, passing waterfalls and gushing streams. At some points the views open out so we can fully appreciate the mountain scenery we are climbing through. As we get higher up we reach pastures and the terrain levels out more; we pass a giant model of a bike which pays homage to the popularity of cycling in this region: this climb has featured in the Tour de France on many occasions, as well as other professional races.  Shortly after this, the road plunges downhill into a secluded valley. It’s frustrating to lose even a fraction of our well-earned elevation knowing we have to re-gain it, but it’s a wonderful descent and very beautiful!

    From the valley we start to climb again, on hair-pin bends that take us once more through forest. These are our last miles uphill, and although it is steep in places we know the end is in sight! We finally reach the Col de la Faucille (1323m), and gather for a group photo before our big descent. We have time to savour this – we should be feeling justly proud of ourselves for reaching the summit. In clear weather we should get great views of the Mont Blanc massif, and there are wonderful views over Lake Geneva as we descend the 12km to Gex, the small Swiss village at the foot of the mountain. We pass through the international border with Switzerland, and cruise on flat roads with cycle lanes to our lakeside finish point in Geneva. This evening we enjoy a great celebration! Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 110km (70 miles)

  • Your day is free to explore the clean streets of cosmopolitan Geneva, or head for the lovely lakeside gardens and famous fountain. Those ending their cycle ride here will fly out later today, while we meet again for dinner and a briefing, and meet our new group members who have arrived today. Night hotel.  (Lunch not included)

  • Heading south out of Geneva, we leave Switzerland and the Geneva Valley behind us. A gentle climb on quiet back-roads takes us into France. Beautiful views of the Alps accompany us almost the entire time today – a very inspiring start! We ride south to the beautiful town of Annecy, a lakeside jewel nestled among mountain peaks. We cycle alongside the shores of crystal-clear Lake Annecy for a few miles before continuing south on an undulating road through the forests and quiet villages of the Massif des Bauges. A steady, gradual ascent through lovely scenery takes us to the Col du Frêne – at 950m not a high mountain pass, and not a steep climb, but nevertheless our first real encounter with hair-pin bends! We descend via more sweeping bends to the Isère river, crossing it and climbing again on a quiet road up to Allevard, a lovely village partway up the mountain-slopes. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 132km (85 miles)

  • Starting the day with a gentle descent back to the Isère valley, we pedal parallel to the river for some time before approaching the historic city of Grenoble. Situated in a broad valley between mountains, the terrain is flat for many miles, though new views of the surrounding peaks continually open up to us. Skirting the city, we follow quiet roads which steer us between the high ridges but give us only a few lumpy undulations to tackle! We climb a gently sloping hill to Roissard, pausing to appreciate the spectacular views of the twists and turns of the lovely Drac river, before continuing through to the small village of Mens. A stretch of more rolling road takes us to the shores of the lovely Lac du Sautet; we then have a short climb up into the small town of Corps. Tomorrow we will start riding on the Route Napoleon, a classic stretch of road that traces Napoleon’s route from Elba in 1815, and you can’t fail to notice that Corps is proud of its position on the route – there are references everywhere. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 120km (75 miles)

  • Leaving Corps behind us, we continue our journey south through the southern Alps. Many of the roads we ride on today have featured regularly in the Tour de France. Our morning’s ride takes us predominantly along the scenic, hilly Route Napoleon: look out for the flying-eagle road markers that commemorate the route. Striking out on back roads for a short while, we climb the relatively gentle gradient of the Col de Manse – at 1268m our highest point of the challenge – before reaching the Alpine town of Gap. Continuing south on back-roads, the landscape around us gradually changes to thickly-forested limestone hills and sheer cliffs – spectacular scenery. Entering Provence, we reach the ancient, picturesque town of Sisteron, situated in beautiful scenery on the riverbank between towering mountain ridges. From here it becomes more and more evident that we are leaving the high mountains behind, as we ride east to the lovely old spa town of Digne-les-Bains. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 144 km (90 miles)

  • Today is a long day, and a hilly one, but it’s also our last day of cycling so we enjoy every kilometre of beautiful countryside! Setting off from Digne, our day starts on a quiet rolling road which warms us up nicely before the Col de Corobin (1230m), which sees up pedalling uphill for almost 10km. The well-earned descent is wonderful, and you’ll be glad to know it’s steeper than the side we ascended! Rejoining the Route Napoleon, we tackle several more testing climbs and descents as the road winds through stunning hilly scenery, passing the lovely town of Castellane on the river Verdon en route. Taking our leave of our historic companion, the Route Napoleon, we head east on very quiet back-roads through small villages. The landscape is made up of rocky outcrops and ridges, verdant forests and deep blue rivers, and provides a breathtaking backdrop to our final day. We reach the photogenic medieval hilltop town of Gréolières, perched high up in the hills behind the coast, and then we can freewheel almost all the way on quiet roads right to the coast! Our descent takes us through the stunningly beautiful Gorge de Loup, before reaching sea level; we join a lovely flat cycle path and pedal our way on the famed Promenade des Anglaises into the heart of Nice. We finish this long day and our incredible challenge celebrating beside the Mediterranean Sea. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 140 km (88 miles)

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we have time to relax on the beach or wander the Promenade until it’s time to transfer to the airport.  (Lunch not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £5,450 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £4,450 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,725 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • Transport by ferry to France
    • Transfer to Nice airport at end of trip
    • All meals except where specified, and hotel accommodation on a twin-share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders, mechanics and drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meals in Paris, Geneva and Nice

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Four meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Homebound flight from Nice
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £5,250 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £4,250 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,625 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • Transport by ferry to France
    • Transfer to Nice airport at end of trip
    • All meals except where specified, and hotel accommodation on a twin-share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders, mechanics and drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meals in Paris, Geneva and Nice

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Four meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Homebound flight from Nice
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • 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 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.

  • The food provided is plentiful and will give you plenty of energy. Lunches are generally buffet-style while dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. 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.

  • 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.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • 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.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. 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 may 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.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.


Testimonials

- August 2017


First class support from DA throughout the entire trip. I have 100% confidence in the knowledge and abilities of the on road teams who always had smiles on their faces and were quick with useful advice and practical help when needed.....truly supportive! The weather was
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sometimes a disappointment but team leader Alan was very clear that despite appearances he can't actually organise everything! - Chris
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Chris - August 2017


I will certainly be writing a review, but just wanted to tell you how impressed and delighted I was with the organisation and support from DA. You probably already know but you have a great bunch in your teams...I cannot but praise the lot of em! I thoroughly enjoyed
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both the challenge and the company of your guys and fellow riders.....15/10. Thanks to all of you. Personally I am 100% satisfied, the support was spot on and the food and hotels were all great.
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Andy - August 2017


A great team from DA helped us down the road. Greg to start with and Alan are both stars and kept us rolling with some white lies and humour. Also Roger and Jamie from the bike support front are both excellent. Feel like I should be cycling today having had a day
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off! Need to sort out next year and try to top what we managed this year but no ideas on that one as yet!
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James - November 2016


For me, as a lone traveller and keen cyclist, these trips are a wonderful way of meeting like minded people and making new friends. The cycling itself is as challenging as you need it to be and the stated levels of difficulty which you display on your website are pretty
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accurate. The whole experience of cycling with a large group and the support you receive, both from other group members and DA staff all contribute positively to the experience. The level of support from the crew and the camaraderie of the group were fantastic. My biggest problem now is deciding which of your challenges to do next!
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Cycle Training Weekends

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£180 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Cycle Training Weekends take place in and around the valleys and ridges of the chalk downs around Salisbury. They are designed to gauge your fitness so that you can be confident you are well prepared for the challenge ahead!

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

TOUGH trips involve tough terrain, with some very rigorous days; weather, altitude and/or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. They demand good stamina, fitness and a determined attitude.

Latest Brochure from Discover Adventure

Get our latest Brochure

Our 2017 / 2018 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download