Endeavour Grande Randonnée 2012
In order to contribute to this great cause we demand that you:
- Ride you bike through the French countyside
- Eat and Drink like a King (or Queen)
- Stay in Fabulous locations
What’s the catch you ask?
Well… there isn’t one. Reserve you trip and come with us and have a great cycling holiday in France.
Bikestyle Tours will take care of the rest! All profits go to the Endeavour Foundation.
This is a fabulous trip that will take you to some of the most beautiful areas in France in the 2 weeks and all for a great cause.
All profits from this trip will go to the Endeavour Foundation.
Endeavour Foundation is the largest non-government disability service provider in Australia.
They support more than 3,400 people with a disability, from 230 locations in Queensland and New South Wales.
Endeavour is one of Queensland’s oldest charities, founded in 1951 by a group of mothers who wanted to educate their children with an intellectual disability. Read about Endeavour’s history.
Their goal is to provide opportunities for people with a disability so they may participate in everyday life of the community.
They offer people with a disability a range of services including:
- aged support
- children focussed services
- employment opportunities
- education programs in literacy, technology and social skills
- lifestyle opportunities
Now back to how you can help by coming on a fabulous cycling holiday through the best of France in 2012.
The cycling will be a mix of the challenging and easy with plenty of time scheduled to relax and take in the scenery along the way. Your non riding partners are welcome to join the tour as the trip has been designed with plenty of sightseeing opportunities off the bike. Your trip will start with us meeting you at Paris CDG Airport on the first day and finish back in the French capital after a wonderful journey through the best of France on your bike! Each day on tour you will have a choice of rides guided by the expert Bikestyle team, with options to suit a variety of riders.
Duration:13 days (12 nights)
Dates: Sunday 12th August to Friday 24th August, 2012.
Start: Paris Finish: Paris
Accommodation: Selected quality 3 star hotels
Cost: AUD$5,500.00 per person twin share.
Deposit: AUD $1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. Single supplement if you wish to have a room on your own is $AUD780.
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- Visit the Loire Valley and Chateau Chambord
- Ride the famous Tour de France cols of the Pyrenees
- Cycling through the Bordeaux vineyards of St Emilion
- Visit the most beautiful villages in France
- Enjoy the cities of Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse
- Superb riding in the Dordogne and Lot river valleys
Day 1, August 12
Welcome to Paris. On arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport we will meet you and transfer you to our hotel in central Paris. Our first job for the day is to assemble your bike before we head off on a ride later in the day to stretch your legs after your long flight to France. You may choose of course to arrive a day or two early and spend some time sightseeing in Paris before we head off on our “randonée” around France.
As it’s Sunday many of the streets of Paris are closed to cars and the city belongs to cyclists.
Early this afternoon we will ride from the hotel along the river Seine to Notre Dame cathedral. From then continue along the river past the Louvre and down to the Eiffel Tower, before returning to the hotel later in the afternoon.
Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner in the pleasant surroundings of Bercy village.
Day 2, August 13
Paris to Chateauroux
This morning we head out of Paris early on our journey south and tonight’s destination of Chateauroux, an historic city 270kms south of Paris. Our first stop today will be the historic town of Bourges where we will enjoy lunch and explore the medieval centre. The main sights you might like to see today are Bourge’s magnificent 13th century cathedral, or the Palais Jacques Cour, a fine example of a gothic mansion built for a local nobleman who was part of the court of King Charles. After lunch we will commence our first ride and as it’s flat country we can easily fit in a longer ride today with a pleasant routes of between 45 and 90 km along the river Cher from Bourges to our hotel in Chateauroux.
Tonight we will have dinner at our hotel and refuel for tomorrow’s ride through the vineyards of Bordeaux.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3, August 14
We continue our journey south towards the Pyrenees today but will take a 2 night break in the riverside town of Libourne, situated between the city of Bordeaux and the regions famous vineyards.
This afternoon we will ride from Libourne through the vineyards to the Unesco World Heritage site of the town of Saint-Émilion in one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux. We’ll spend time exploring this delightful town, with the chance to sample some of the local wines, before the short ride back to our hotel. This is a very scenic ride with wonderful views and plenty of hills to provide a challenge. Tonight is free in Libourne to eat in one of the local restaurants in the historic centre.
Day 4, August 15
This morning we’ll take a ride north of Libourne and cross the Dordogne river and up on to the quiet roads through the wine villages of Bordeaux. Like most of our rides there will be a few hills, but little traffic apart from the odd tractor making it’s way through the vineyards. It’s one of the delights of cycling in France that even near a large city like Bordeaux there are rides that take you back in time and amaze you with their beauty.
Late in the morning we will head by coach into the city of Bordeaux with the afternoon free to enjoy lunch and explore this elegant city. The city centre is lined with impressive 18th century architecture, reminiscent in many ways of Paris, although with a population of just over one million it is a much easier city to explore on foot. Worth checking out are the old wine warehouses along the river Garonne, as well as the 1.2 km long Rue St Catherine which is the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe.
Day 5, August 16
To the Pyrenees
We will leave Libourne this morning and continue on to the Pyrenees. We’ll spend the next 3 nights in the famous pilgrimage city of Lourdes, which is ideally located in a beautiful valley between some of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France. Our hotel is a newly renovated apartment style building close to the river Gave in a quiet location. Lourdes was once a quiet Pyrenean village until in 1858 Bernadette Subirous had her 18 apparitions of our Lady of Lourdes that brought the town its fame.
This afternoon we start our ride in the valley town of Argeles-Gazost and up in to the Parc National des Pyrenees to the town of Cauterets, a stunning ride of about 60kms with an easy climb through a rugged gorge, with the option to continue on to the famous Pont d’Espagne. It’s a lovely ride that will leave us with plenty of energy for tomorrow’s big challenge of Col du Tourmalet. Tonight we’ll have a group dinner in a local Italian restaurant for a bit of carbo loading for tomorrow’s challenge of Col du Tourmalet.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6, August 17
Col du Tourmalet
This morning we tackle the highest road in the central Pyrenees, the 2115 meter Col du Tourmalet. You’ve all seen the tv images of this mighty mountain each year on the Tour de France, now is your chance to see what it’s all about. We will ride from the hotel on a hilly 35km to St Marie de Campan where we begin the final17 kilometre ascent to the summit of the Tourmalet. The cafe at the top is a nice warm place to be and has a nice collection of cycling memorabilia.
From the top of the Tourmalet it is 35km downhill back to the hotel making a ride of 100 kms. Of course their will be shorter options available today including riding with the group from Lourdes to St Marie de Campan, a pretty little town at the foot of Col du Tourmalet, riding the easier Col d’Aspin, or cutting the ride short by travelling part of the way in the support van.
Day 7, August 18
Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque
Today we have the chance to ride one of the most scenic routes in the Pyrenees that will take us to the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque, two high Pyrenees passes that feature regularly in the Tour de France. From Lourdes we travel up the valley to Argeles-Gazost where we start the climb up to Col du Soulor. It’s a long steady climb with a few nice villages along the way where we can take a break for coffee and admire the view. Once we reach Col du Soulor you have the option of returning to Lourdes making it a 66 km round trip, or continuing on to Col d’Aubisque for a longer 100km ride. The road to Aubisque is spectacular, carved out of the side of the mountain with jaw dropping views to the valley below.
On return to Lourdes the remainder of the day is free to explore Lourdes and it’s many attractions. Apart from the religous sites there is also the castle of Lourdes high above the town, or the funicular railway trip to Pic du Jer.
Day 8, August 19
Midi Canal to Toulouse
This morning we leave the Pyrenees for a special day visiting the “Rose City”, Toulouse and taking a recovery ride along the famous Canal du Midi. We will drive to a scenic point along the canal where we will enjoy a typical French picnic lunch of fresh baguettes, cheese, ham and seasonal fruits before starting our ride along the canal. The ride is delightful and we emerge in the city centre of Toulouse where it’s a short ride to our hotel. Toulouse is one of France’s largest cities with a unique red brick historic city centre earning it the name of “Ville Rose”. It’s also the headquarters of Airbus Industries and the assembly point for the giant A380 Airbus.
Tonight we will take a walk through the historic centre of Toulouse to a popular local restaurant where we will enjoy a fine meal and some local wine.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9, August 20
Gorges de l’Aveyron
Its farewell to Toulouse this morning and off to explore one of France’s best kept secrets, the Gorges de l’Averyon. From Toulouse it’s a short drive to Montricoux where we start our 50km ride up the gorge to Cordes-sur-Ciel. Our first stop will be Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, an undiscovered gem that will fascinate you. Our destination for lunch is the walled bastide of Cordes-sur-Ciel, a small town of steep narrow cobbled streets with fabulous views.
After lunch you can choose to escape the heat of the afternoon and travel in the coach to Villefranche to meet those who have chosen the harder option today which will see them riding a total of 100 kms for the day. We spend the next two nights in a small riverside hotel in Figeac, a delightful small town with a medieval centre which is famous as the home of Jean-François Champollion, who cracked Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the triple text of the Rosetta Stone. Tonight we will enjoy dinner on the hotel terrace overlooking the Rive Cele.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10, August 21
Lot River and St Cirq Lapopie
We have a special ride planned for this morning. From Figeac we will ride along the Lot river valley to the picture book village of St Cirq laPopie, which is an official “plus beaux” village of France. This is one of our favourite rides in France. A gentle ride following the river, where the cliffs overhang the narrow road so low that in some places you’ll feel like you need to duck. It’s 48km in each direction, so it’s an easy 48 km or a more challenging 96 km ride today.
After lunch in the village you can choose to ride back to Figeac for the longer ride option, or travel back with the to Figeac in the coach. This afternoon you will have some free time to explore Figeac, and tonight is free to eat at one of the small restaurants in the medieval centre.
Day 11, August 22
Gouffre de Padirac
We begin our journey back to Paris today, but first we visit one of France’s most popular natural attractions, the massive cave system of Gouffre de Padirac. The chasm itself is approximately 99 m (325 ft) around its rim with a diameter of approximately 35 metres. This cave system is regarded as one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of France.
After our visit we will head off in the coach to our hotel near Amboise in the Loire Valley. On arrival at our hotel, a former manor house, you will have the option of a ride along the Loire to visit Amboise, or perhaps downstream to Bloise. Amboise is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France. Tonight we will enjoy dinner in the delightful setting of our chateau hotel’s fine restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12, August 23
Chateaux of the Loire
Our final day on the road sees us tapering off our riding with a gentle ride in the Loire Valley from Amboise with a visit Chateau du Chambord, the largest and one of the most impressive of the Loire chateaux. The chateau was begun by Francis I in 1519contains 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, 13 great staircases, and stables to accommodate 1200 horses! We will have two ride options, a 60 km ride on the backroads of the Loire and a shorter 45km ride that follows the river all the way to the chateau.
Later this afternoon we will arrive in Bercy, one of the prettier and little known parts of Paris for our final night. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell celebratory dinner at a famous Parisian restaurant, Le Train Bleu, close to our hotel in the halls of the Gare de Lyon rail station. Dining in this beautiful Belle Epoque restaurant will be an unforgettable way to finish our tour in style.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13, August 24
Sadly our tour ends after breakfast this morning and we will be available to transfer you to Paris CDG airport today. We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip with us through France and hope to see you again soon.
Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
-Transport throughout by private luxury coach with custom bike trailer.
-Services of experienced tour guides, plus our coach driver.
– Services of support van and driver.
– Airport / Hotel /Airport transfers on first and last day of trip.
-12 night’s accommodation, in selected hotels (with private facilities).
-Buffet breakfast daily
– Picnic lunch on the Canal du Midi
-3 course evening meals on 7 nights
-Mechanical assistance with your bike
-Sightseeing as listed including entrance fees
-Detailed itinerary and route maps for each day
-Bikestyle Tours jersey, cap and musette bag
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- By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If you have any further enquiries please email us at email@example.com.
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Purchase your International Travel Insurance here.
- * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.