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Nice To Carcassonne Cycle

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About the Challenge

This beautiful cycle challenge takes us from the lovely Mediterranean resort of Nice along the Côte d’Azur, passing through the traditional villages and vineyards of Provence and Languedoc as we head inland and west towards the Pyrenees. En route we take in the Roman town of Arles and the Camargue, and finish at the impressive fortified town of Carcassonne.

This is a varied route, with predominantly flat coastal roads, rolling Provençal scenery and more strenuous hills in Languedoc. With long days in the saddle, it’s a demanding challenge and we’ll be glad to see the castle of Carcassonne on the horizon!

Nice To Carcassonne Cycle

  • On arrival in Nice you can check into our hotel and we’ll spend some time ensuring all the bikes are properly assembled and comfortable. Spend your free time (flight-times dependent) wandering along the famed Promenade des Anglaises or around the harbour – or go to the beach! We meet up in the evening for dinner and a detailed trip briefing before getting a good night’s rest in preparation for tomorrow’s efforts.

    (Lunch not included)

  • After an early breakfast we set off, heading out of Nice along the beautiful Côte d’Azur. This is a lovely way to start our ride; the roads are fairly flat and the coastal scenery is lovely. The road starts to undulate gently as we reach Fréjus, and then heads inland, again on flattish roads for a while. Our first real test comes not far from the end, when we climb for roughly 10 miles, though it’s a relatively gentle gradient. We then descend most of the way into Brignoles, a lovely old town which was the summer residence of the counts of Provence. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 135km (83 miles)

  • Today is a hillier day as we cross the rolling landscapes of Provence. Although the hills are more frequent than yesterday’s, they tend to be short, steep climbs followed by lovely long gentle descents, making for very rewarding cycling! The scenery is very picturesque and we pass ancient towns with castles and beautiful old churches, with olives and vines growing amongst the wheatfields. We descend to Salon-de-Provence, a Roman town with one of the biggest castles in Provence; Nostradamus lived and is buried here. The last part of our route is flat as it takes us west to Arles, known for its Roman amphitheatre and other monuments which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 147km (91 miles)

  • Leaving Arles, we head west, crossing part of the beautiful Camargue area of wetlands. The Camargue is famous as a habitat for flamingos and thousands of other birdlife, and the beautiful wild white Camargue horses. We ride through a string of attractive small towns and villages, most dating back to Roman times. Our morning is fairly flat, but as we head further inland, passing north of Montpellier, the terrain starts to change. Our afternoon is quite hilly by comparison, with a long (though fairly gentle) climb taking us up to the lovely old village of Viols-le-Fort, with its striking bell-tower. Our road continues to undulate through wooded hills and small villages as we ride further into the lovely Languedoc hills, until we reach the town of Lodève. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 135 km (83 miles)

  • Our last day of cycling is a very varied day as we ride roughly southwest towards Carcassonne. We load up on energy at breakfast as our day starts with our steepest climb so far as we head out of Lodève. Rolling roads then take us for miles through the Orb valley, a lovely area of the southern Cevennes with fabulous views over the rocky cliffs, craggy peaks and winding rivers of Languedoc. We pass lovely villages tucked away in the wooded hills and some small towns with picturesque buildings. Our last significant climb lies around the day’s mid-way point, as we ride up through the small town of Saint-Pons-de-Thomieres, with its 10th century abbey, and into the hills beyond. A fabulous descent takes us through the Minervois wine region, and down to the lower slopes of the Aude valley. From here our last section is predominantly flat as we pass through more villages and cross the River Aude. As we near Carcassonne we catch glimpses of the fortified ancient city dominating the lower town from its hilltop; it’s a fabulous sight and a wonderful place to celebrate the end of our challenging ride. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx. 145km (90 miles)

  • After a leisurely breakfast, you are free to explore the fabulous castle and surroundings 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 £149 Fundraising target £1,800 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,300 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £900 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


    • All meals except where specified, and accommodation on a twin-share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Bike collection from Nice airport
    • Transfer to Carcassonne airport
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meal in Carcassonne


    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Nice and from Carcassonne
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions and 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.

    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.

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 up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    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.


David - November 2016

My first ever bike ride challenge. The support was excellent, Well planned, friendly and great food to keep us all going. Thank you.

Cycle Training Weekends


£160 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!


grade | CHALLENGING (1)

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

CHALLENGING trips involve full days of activity, and are designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, but are achievable for most people with a commitment to training and a can-do attitude.

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