Provence, Alpes and Paris

2013 Provence, Alpes and Paris Trip

Our two week trip will begin and end in Paris and includes visits to the Chateaux of the Loire Valley, the Massif Centrale, Provence and Mont Ventoux followed by the Alpes and the 21 corners of Alpe d’Huez before witnessing the final stage in Paris.

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 14 days (13 nights)
Dates: Tuesday, 9 July to Monday, 22 July 2013
Start: Paris Finish: Paris
Accommodation: Quality 3 and 4 star hotels
Group Size: Maximum 35 people (5 Staff)
Cost: AUD$6950.00 – Single Supplement AUD$1490.00
Deposit: AUD $1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room.

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Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental $780.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance and Car Rental.
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • Experience the final 2 weeks of  the historic 100th edition of the Tour de France
  • Ride the biggest stages of the tour including Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux
  • See it all – visit  the Loire Valley, Provence, Alpes and Paris
  • High speed TGV from Annecy to Paris

Who is this trip for?

One of our most popular trips which will follow the Tour de France over the final 2 weeks from the Loire Valley, through to the famous climbs of the Alpes and on to Paris for the finish on the Champs Elysees. You’ll get to ride all the big climbs including Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez, plus enjoy some more leisurely rides exploring some of the most beautiful areas of France.  Off the bike we’ll explore the small villages of France and take in the awe inspiring chateaux of the Loire Valley. Our trip is topped off by the final stage on the Champs Elysees in Paris a perfect end to your trip.

Our trips are geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the biggest of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France. This (and riding our bikes) is our main focus for the trip although this trip will incorporate some tourist days as well. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day. To enjoy our trips you don’t need to be an athlete, but do need to be someone who cycles regularly and in good health.

Each day we’ll have options for rides to suit people who feel like a challenge, or an easy day enjoying the scenery. We ride on quiet scenic roads and where possible we ride on the race course ahead of the race. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

See what our clients said about us after the 2012 Tour: Client Comments

Itinerary

Tuesday, 9 July 2013: Bienvenue

We start today with our guests arriving in Paris and being met by our staff and transferred to our 4 star hotel, not far from Paris CDG airport. Once you are settled in to the hotel we’ll give you a hand to assemble your bike and store your bike bags safely away while you are on the tour. Later in the day our guides will escort you on an easy ride around the local area to help you loosen up and make sure everything is in working order.

For those who may want to travel into central Paris to explore, it’s possible to travel by train to the centre in 30 minutes.

Tonight we will host a welcome dinner where you can meet your fellow travellers and Bikestyle staff.  As it’s our first dinner together it’s a great opportunity to have all your questions answered about what’s in store for you over the next two weeks.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Dinner

Wednesday, 10 July 2013: The Loire Valley

This morning we leave Paris and head east for our first ride in the French countryside, along the Loire Valley to visit one of the famous chateaux. By mid morning we’ll arrive in the Loire Valley where we will take the chance to see the beautiful chateaus and ride on the quiet valley roads.

We will offer a short and long ride option today starting at Beaugency on the river Loire that will stop at the beautiful Chateau du Chambord. This is one of the most impressive of the Loire chateaux, with an amazing double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci, who spent much time in nearby Amboise and died there at his home of Clos Lucé in 1591. The structure contains 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, 13 great staircases, and stables to accommodate 1200 horses, stands in a park surrounded by a wall of 35 kms in circumference.

After our chateau visit we will travel on to Blois by bus or bike, where we spend the next two nights in a pleasant hotel on the Loire river. On arrival at the hotel in Blois we can catch the action of today’s time trial to Mont St Michel live on TV. The old centre of Blois has many restaurants to choose from for tonight’s dinner, followed by a stroll along the river where you can admire the town’s own Chateau.

Overnight: Blois
Meals: Breakfast


Thursday, 11 July 2013: The Tour in Tours

The Tour de France moves south from the hills of Brittany to the Loire Valley with a stage finish in the city of Tours. One of the cities of the first 1903 Tour de France, Tours has hosted the race numerous times over the last 99 edition. We’ll get our first look at Le Tour, in Tours,  today with a visit to the stage finish.

This morning we will ride from the hotel for another tour of the Loire Valley before heading off to Tours in the afternoon. We will offer two rides this morning,  the longest being an 80km route along the Loire River and local vineyards to the town of Amboise.  It is a beautiful Renaissance town with a stunning Royal Chateau and the former home of Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years here. Our shorter ride of 45 kms will take us along the same scenic river Loire route but turn around at the Chateau of Chaumont-sur-Loire and return via some quiet back roads to Blois.

Early this afternoon after we’ve finished our rides we will drive to Tours to see the finish of today’s stage. We’ll arrive in town to see first the colourful race caravane, then finally the riders for what will almost certainly be a sprint finish.  You’ll know when the race is approaching as the noise from fans increase, the helicopters appear overhead and the parade of speeding official and team cars mark the arrival of the race!

After we’ve seen the finish we will head back to Blois where the evening is free for you to dine in one of the local restaurants in the old town at the foot of the chateau.

Overnight: Blois
Meals: Breakfast


Friday, 12 July 2013: Along the Race Route

We leave the Loire Valley this morning and follow the race south for the final week in Provence and the Alpes. Today’s stage from Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond will pass through the Cher and Indre river regions, past the famous chateaux, making for great television for the people back home. We’ll see it all live and take a ride to catch up with the race on the road today.

From Blois we’ll drive down to the Cher River and start our ride to meet up with the race route. Where we’ll see the race will depend on the final route. Maybe we’ll see those vying for the green jersey take some valuable points at an intermediate sprint, or perhaps we’ll wait for the race to pass through the feed station and see the riders skilfully pluck their musettes from the waiting soigneurs on the roadside.

After our ride and race viewing it’s off to our hotel in Clermont Ferrand, in the heart of France’s hilly Central Massif. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner and a restful night in our hotel to ready ourselves for another day at the Tour de France tomorrow.

Overnight: Clermont Ferrand
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Saturday, 13 July 2013: Heading South

The Tour de France is heading south after a journey through Brittany and the Loire Valley and we will rejoin the race again and follow it over the final 9 days through to the finish in Paris.

We’ll catch up with the race today around Roanne where we expect there will be an intermediate sprint. However once we know the final details of the race route we’ll choose a nice spot to end our ride and watch the race come through this afternoon.

This will be a perfect day on the bike for us with quiet roads and little traffic. After the flat roads of the Loire we’ll notice the hills today on what will be a chance for us to gauge our fitness before the upcoming mountains of the Alpes. As usual we will offer a longer option of around 100 kilometres and a shorter option of 40 to 60 kilometres.

After we’ve had our taste of Le Tour for the day we’ll continue on to our comfortable 4 star hotel on the outskirts of Lyon for the evening. We may even arrive in time to see the finish on TV.

Overnight: Lyon
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Sunday, 14 July 2013: A Day for the French

Today is a big day for us, and for the French people as it is the “fete nationale”, Bastille Day. It’s a tradition for French riders to try to score a stage victory today and being a holiday weekend the locals will be out in force to cheer on the local heroes. It’s a long stage today, not hard at first, but with a sting in the tail as the finish is on the summit of Mont Ventoux. If it’s a hot day then the late afternoon climb will be punishing for the riders as Ventoux is a notoriously hard climb in the summer heart with totally exposed slopes over the last 7 kms.

We will head off early this morning from Lyon and travel south to Provence. Along the way we’ll make a stop and take to the bikes again riding part of today’s route through the beautiful Drome region to a point near our hotel. The riding is stunning with beautiful scenery and nice roads with a few “challenges” along the way. After seeing the race we will ride the short distance to the hotel and watch the race unravel on Mont Ventoux.

We want to give everyone their best opportunity to make it to the top of Mont Ventoux so we will ride it tomorrow and avoid the crowds and road closures today. Plus we’ll miss the hours of traffic jams around Ventoux in favour of a nice ride with an early arrival at the hotel and a relax around the pool with a drink in hand. Nice preparation for tomorrow!

We spend the next 3 nights in a Provencale style hotel in a quiet location in the middle of the local vineyards. It’s one of our favourite stops in France, with a great restaurant where we will enjoy dinner each evening.

Overnight: Valaurie
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday, 15 July 2013: Mont Ventoux, Le Geant de Provence

Today is a rest day for the pros of the Tour de France, but it’s not for us. Today we’ll take our turn at riding Mont Ventoux and see how our efforts compare with the riders of the peloton. We may take a bit longer but we’ll enjoy it a bit more perhaps!

We’ll get away in the cool of the morning and travel to the village of Malaucene where we will begin our warm up ride over to the base of Mont Ventoux, Bedoin. For those who want an easier ride today we can propose an option around some local villages that will be much easier.  This is the the direction the race went yesterday and the most famous and traditional route of the Tour de France that winds its way up through the forest to Chalet Reynard where the well known “moonscape” of Mont Ventoux comes into view. With the hardest section now behind us, the last 6 kilometres of bare landscape provides magnificent views over the plains of the Luberon as you pass by the monument to Tom Simpson, who died tragically on the slopes of the mountain in the 1967 Tour de France.

It will be very busy on the mountain today with lots of cyclists doing the same as us. You’ll be able to see the freshly painted names on the road as you ride and imagine what it might have been like for the leaders of the race yesterday!

After the compulsory photographs at the summit we’ll head back down via the thrilling descent to Malaucene for lunch and a cool drink in the shade. Once we’ve recovered its back to the hotel in the bus, or if you still have the energy a 50km ride!

Overnight: Valaurie
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Tuesday, 16 July 2013: See the Race Start

Today’s stage of the Tour de France is from Vaison la Romaine to Gap, a route that’s been travelled many times in the Tour de France. After a day of rest the riders will be re-energised and this is about the last opportunities for those that aren’t pure climbers to make their mark on the race. Although today’s stage gains altitude all the way to Gap it features only one not too difficult col, the Cat 2 Col de Manse right at the end of the stage.

After our hard day yesterday and the one to come tomorrow we will have a leisurely start this morning and ride the 40 kms to Vaison to experience a race start. Vaison la Romaine is like many old French towns, divided between the modern town where the majority of people live and the historic medieval old town perched on a hill above the newer town and old Roman ruins. Vaison is also known for having a large and colourful weekly market every Tuesday, so hopefully we can visit today.

We’ll arrive in Vaison in plenty of time to see the riders make their way through the town to the sign on area in the hour before the stage start and perhaps grab a few autographs and photos. Starts are very busy with lots going on from street performers to the Caravane departing, riders signing on and then finally the race starting followed by the team cars and official vehicles.

After the race departs Vaison we’ll have lunch and then travel back to the hotel in the bus or by bike. If you choose to ride then we’ll choose a different route then the way out riding through the small villages and vineyards of the area.  Back at the hotel you can relax, cool off in the pool and catch the rest of the race live on TV.

Overnight: Valaurie
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Wednesday, 17 July 2013: The 21 Corners of Alpe d’Huez

Today we leave the Mediterranean feel of Provence and head north to the majestic scenery of the French Alpes. With the race arriving on Alpe d’Huez tomorrow we’ll make today our day to ride Alpe d’Huez, as it could possibly be closed on race day and we don’t want you to miss out on climbing this mythical mountain.

From Valaurie we will drive to the small town of Le Bourg d’Oisans at the base of Alpe d’Huez. The town will be filled with cyclists who like us have made a pilgrimage to climb Alpe d’Huez before the race. It’s a pleasant place to enjoy lunch and shop for a souvenir jersey to take home to impress your friends!

The route up to the 1850 meter Alpe d’Huez via the 21 switchbacks is only 13.5 km, with the first few kilometres being the toughest, but it’s an achievable ride for most people.

The ride is not easy but certainly memorable and you will be cheered on all the way up by the thousands of enthusiastic fans camped out on the mountain side waiting for the arrival of the race tomorrow.  Once at the top you can have your photo taken on the podium there and enjoy the accomplishment of reaching this famous village.

After we have returned to Bourg d’Oisans we will drive to our hotel for the night in Grenoble, with the option of riding the 50kms down the valley to the hotel if you have the energy. Grenoble is set in a spectacular location at the foot of the Chartreuse mountain range.  Although Grenoble’s history goes back more than 2000 years it is now one of the most modern and prosperous cities in France with a reputation for scientific research and advanced industries. Our hotel in Grenoble is close to the historic centre where you will find many restaurants to choose from tonight.

Overnight: Grenoble
Meals: Breakfast


Thursday, 18 July 2013: Double Trouble, twice up Alpe d’Huez

This is the day that many race fans have been waiting for, the double ascent of Alpe d’Huez. Although this famous climb has featured many times before as a stage finish and even a time trial, it has never been ascended twice before in the one stage. After the first ascent up the traditional route from Le Bourg d’Oisans the race will descend down the small road that goes over the Col de Sarenne and back to Le Bourg d’Oisans. The race will then climb the 21 switchbacks a second time before crossing the finish line at the top of Alpe d’Huez.

This morning you will have the choice of riding the 50km along the Isere valley to Le Bourg d’Oisans, or travelling in the coach. The crowds will be enormous and the atmosphere electrifying around Alpe d’Huez today.

We can see the race midway up the climb to Alpe d’Huez or around Bourg d’Oisans depending on your preference. As soon as the race has passed it’s important to get back to the bus before the traffic pours off the mountain clogging up the valley road for hours. We’ve got a bit of a drive to our hotel in Aix-les-Bains, but it’s worth the effort to be in the perfect place to ride to the race route tomorrow. Don’t worry we’ll let you sleep in tomorrow!

We’ll have dinner either on our way to the hotel or on arrival at the hotel.  Our hotel for the next 2 nights is a modern hotel near the lake with a rooftop restaurant that has a splendid view of Lac du Bourget and the surrounding mountains.

Overnight: Aix les Bains
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Friday, 19 July 2013: Lakes and Mountains

The 20th stage of the race will depart this morning from Le Bourg d’Oisans at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez and head across the mountains to a finish at the ski resort of Le Grand Bornand. This is an epic stage that passes over no less than 5 climbs including 2 hors categorie climbs before finishing at the ski station of Le Grand Bornand.

After a long day yesterday we will be rewarded with a more leisurely start this morning and enjoy the splendid surroundings and lake views from our hotel.

After a leisurely breakfast we will head across to see the race at the climb to the Col de l’Épine, the second last climb of the day. On our way we will ride (in reverse) a nice section of the race route for tomorrow including the Col de Leschaux before we descend down to the lake and along the bike path that will take us right to the base of the climb. From here we can climb up as far as we wish to see the race pass before we descend back to the bus for a transfer back to Aix-les-Bains for the evening. This will be an 80 kilometre ride however for those wanting a shorter ride the bus will take you to the bike path after the climb for a ride to the see the race.

Overnight: Aix les Bains
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Saturday, 20 July 2013: The Last Day in the Mountains

The penultimate stage of the race today starts from Annecy today and breaks with recent editions of the race, which have been time trials. Instead the stage today is a full on road stage …..

Our hotel is just a few kilometres from the race course today so we have the opportunity to see the race in a number of locations. You could choose to see the race on the climb of Mont Revard just behind Aix les Bains by doing a nice loop, riding up the race route to the top of the climb, see the race pass and then drop down to the hotel to see the finish on TV. This would be approximately 50 kilometres.

As a second option we could offer a longer ride where we will see the race twice. We will ride from the hotel and see the race early, just out of Annecy on the lake and then ride up to see the race very close to or at the finish on top of Semnoz. From here we could drop down the climb to meet the bus for a short trip to the hotel or ride back to the hotel. The full ride would be approximately 90 kilometres or the shorter option 60 kilometres.

As it’s a big day for us tomorrow, we will have a special farewell dinner tonight, leaving tomorrow evening free for everyone to see the race arrive in Paris and the spectacular fireworks in the French capital to celebrate the end of the 100th edition of Le Tour. We will dine at a local restaurant close to our hotel and drink a toast to what has been a great tour.

Overnight: Aix les Bains
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Sunday, 21 July 2013: The Finale in the City of Lights

This morning we will make the short walk to the TGV station where it’s on to the high speed train to Paris, arriving in the French capital late morning. On arrival in Paris we will transfer to our 4 star hotel situated in the revitalised Bercy area of Paris.

This afternoon we have a special treat in store. We will offer a ride through the streets of Paris taking in some of the famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees where preparations will be in full swing, the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. Mid-afternoon we will return to the hotel to pack our bikes (if necessary) and freshen up, get a bite to eat and head down to the Champs Elysees. If you don’t fancy a ride today then all the delights of Paris are available for you to explore before seeing the race this evening.

The final stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France will come to a close on the Champs-Elysees as night falls, with the stage finish in Paris set for 9:45pm. If the race timing follows as other years the riders will arrive at the Champs Elysees around 7.30pm but the caravan will be there to entertain you from around 6.00pm.

In another first the peloton will go all the way to the top of the Champs-Elysees and around the Arc de Triomphe as part of the finishing circuit, as Paris showcases itself as the City of Lights. After the presentation a fireworks display is expected to follow and also of course the traditional lap of honour by the teams so don’t expect to be in bed till very late and don’t book an early flight on Monday morning!

The last stage is traditionally a procession until the entrance onto the Champs-Elysees where the racing really starts. Riders traditionally chat, celebrate the final stage, pose for photographs, drink Champagne… sometimes they even dress-up, swap bikes and generally horse around. Once the race gets into Paris, the Yellow jersey and his team lead the peloton onto the Champs-Elysees for what is a big criterium in the centre of the French Capital or in the case of 2013 we can use another French term, nocturne as it will be set in the twilight.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Breakfast


Monday, 22 July 2013: Au Revoir

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. For those flying out today from Paris CDG airport our staff and coaches will be available to help you on your way.
It is the final day of our tour. Over the past weeks you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, challenged yourself over some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
-Transport throughout by private luxury coach with custom bike trailer
-Services of our experienced tour guides, plus our coach driver
-13 night’s accommodation, in selected quality hotels (with private facilities)
-Buffet breakfast daily
-3 course evening meals on 9 nights
-TGV train transfer from Aix-les-Bains to Paris
-Transfers on Wednesday, 10 July from Paris CDG airport to hotel
-Transfer on Monday, 22 July to Paris CDG airport
-Mechanical assistance with your bike
-Sightseeing as listed
-Maps and Bikestyle guide to the Tour de France
-Bikestyle Tours cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

 

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Reserve your Place Now

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If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

2013 Provence, Alpes and Paris Trip ($1000pp)
2013 Provence, Alpes and Paris Trip Bicycle Hire $780.00
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions


  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions.
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD). We recommend that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque. Please see below.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
  • * 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.

If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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Payment by Bank Deposit and Cheque

If you wish to pay by Bank Deposit or Cheque please tick the box below to go to our Bank Details

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to our Office Manager Michelle Knibbs, michelle@bikestyletours.com or telephone our office on 1300 882494.

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • 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 tours@bikestyletours.com.
  • Don’t forget it is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
    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.

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