Best of France: Wine, Gastronomy and Bikes

Wine & Gastronomy Trip

Duration: 10 days (9 nights)
Dates: 15th August to 24th August (Trip Departure to be confirmed)
Start: Lyon Finish: Lyon
Accommodation: 4 star hotels
Group Size: A small group trip with a maximum 12 people (3 Staff)
Where we go: Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley and Provence
What we do: On most days, we ride in the morning (from 40 to 100km) and then relax in the afternoon for a wine tasting and/or visit of tourist sites.
Cost: A$6500 – Single Supplement A$1750
Deposit: A$1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room.

Reserve your Place Now
Register Your Interest or Ask a Question
Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental $540.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance and Car Rental.
Email us for details

Highlights:

Our new and very special small group trip that is suitable for cyclists and non cyclists alike will see, eat, drink and ride the best of France starting in Lyon we travel through the romantic countryside of Bourgogne, the hills of Beaujolais, the beautiful Rhone Valley and finally the garden of France, Provence. Special experiences include:

  • Fine dining in the 3 star Michelin Restaurant of Paul Bocuse
  • Wine tasting in the three different cellars of the wine regions we visit
  • Boutique accommodation including luxury chateaux
  • Wonderful cycling including the Giant of Provence – Mont Ventoux
  • Visit the historical Hospices de Beaune, Dijon and Avignon
  • Local cuisine of Machon Beaujolais with the option of a cooking class in Beaujolais.

Day 1, Bienvenue:

Our tour starts today at our hotel in the centre of Lyon.

There are frequent fast TGV services from Paris and other areas of France. If arriving by rail it’s a short stroll to get the hotel today. If you are arriving at Lyon St Exupery airport today then we will provide transfers from the airport to the hotel.

Once you have settled in to the hotel the first task is to assemble your bike, or fit you to your Bikestyle rental bike.  Early this afternoon we will run a ride from the hotel down to the Rhone river which flows through the centre of Lyon. It will be a short ride, just long enough for us to stretch our legs and make sure our bikes are working properly.

This afternoon we will head in to Lyon city where we can explore the old town of Lyon. The city of Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a city of many beautiful historic quarters spread out along the river Rhone.

Tonight at our hotel we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at a local brasserie a short distance from our hotel. Lyon has a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France and tonight’s dinner will be traditional French cuisine. Over dinner you have the chance to meet your fellow passengers and Bikestyle staff who will discuss your upcoming adventure.

Overnight: Mercure Lyon la Part Dieu
Meals: Dinner

Day 2, Bourgogne:

This morning we will transfer to Cluny (2hrs) to see the Benedictine Abbey. The monastery of Cluny was the largest in the Western Christian world before the building of St Peter’s of Rome.

The Benedictines were once the greatest power in Europe, controlling over 10,000 monks from Poland to Scotland. Cluny abbey today is a ghost of the past – only one tenth of the gigantic cathedral remains. This was the first monastery in Burgundy, started by the Benedictine monks in 910AD. At it’s peak over 1000 monks were in residence and 40 farms produced the food for the community.

The demise of this building is one of the architectural tragedies of history. Some damage was done during the French Revolution with the burning of the Church furnishings and wracking of the tombs. The town of Cluny has grown up around the remains. Rue Lamartine has attractive shops, including the chocolate maker Germain, and there are plenty of little restaurants with terraces to soak up the atmosphere.

After our visit to Cluny we will ride the 75 kilometres to Beaune across the rolling green hills of the south of Burgundy and finally the vineyards near Beaune. We will check in to our beautiful hotel in the centre of the old town before an introduction to the wines of Bourgogne with a tasting class just near the main square.  We will taste them in a more structured but relaxed way than we might in a cellar. There will be 9 wines, tasted blind (no labels exposed) – to avoid being influenced by the label. That will help us learn more about the wines of the region and the terroir.

Beaune:

In the middle of the Côte d’Or, Beaune is the capital of the wine region. The town has a majesty about it rather like one of the good vintages it is famed for. At its centre is the Hôtel Dieu, the Hospices de Beaune, with its inner courtyard and colourful tiled roof. Radiating out are the cobbled streets with boutiques of all kinds from wine and food to avant-garde fashion.

Beaune has many unique and interesting shops to browse. You can buy homemade wild peach jam from the tiny shop with a big name, Palais des Gourmets on Place Carnot and be tempted every step of the way by the charcuteries and patisseries. Bouché in Place Monge is famous for its chocolate and cakes, Alain Hess for cheeses and Boutique Vedrenne has a glorious array of fruit liqueurs and marcs. Winelovers should visit L’Athenaeum de la Vigne et du Vin in Rue de l’Hôtel du Vin for books and accessories and Le Comptoir Viticole in Rue Samuel-Legay for more wine paraphernalia.

Overnight: Hotel le Cèp, Beaune
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3, Dijon:

This morning we head north on the bike to Dijon, passing through the vineyards of Côte de Nuits on our way to Dijon, the mustard capital of France.

The most famous and expensive red wines come from La Côte de Nuits, made up of a narrow band of hills south of Dijon. All of Burgundy’s red Grands Crus are produced here apart from one – the exception being the appellation Corton (in the Côte de Beaune). You may be familiar with the village names from the wine labels: Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Echézeaux, Vosne-Romanée, and Nuits-Saint-Georges.

The town of Dijon has an air of confidence and pride about it. It has the University of Burgundy so there has a lively atmosphere and buzz without the hassle, traffic jams and pollution usually associated with city centres. It has a rich history dating back to Roman times and was at the crossroads of many trade routes. It became capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy as early as the 5th century but the days of glory arrived in the 14th century when the Dukes of Burgundy held court there, turning it into one of the most important towns in medieval Europe.

Today (Friday) is one of three weekly market days so if you arrive early enough it will be worth a visit. The market hall is a masterpiece of metal and glass, designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame. The streets surrounding Les Halles are full of fascinating shops from elegant clothes and shoes to pâtisserie and of course, mustard. On market day, Le Bistrot des Halles is friendly and good value, or try the contemporary bistro, DZ’Envies with menus from 15 euros. You are free for lunch so try one!

After our visit to the market and lunch we will visit the The Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne which today houses the art museum, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and town hall. The view over the city from the tower of Philip the Bold, the Tour de Bar is impressive. Behind the church of Notre Dame, the Quartier Jean Jacques Rousseau is of particular interest. Antique shops, galleries and decoration shops make this the avant-garde place to be. Visit the Maison Millière, one of the oldest medieval buildings in Rue de la Chouette, and now a tea room with pretty garden terrace. The setting was used in the film Cyrano de Bergerac.

After our visit to Dijon we will return to Beaune where the evening is free to explore this charming wine town.

Overnight: Hotel le Cèp, Beaune
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4, Cote de Beaune:

This morning we will ride through Côte de Beaune and the well known vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault and Pommard before finishing in a cellar in Meursault for a winetasting.

The Côte de Beaune vineyard covers only about twenty kilometres, between Ladoix-Serrigny and Santenay. Along this stretch of land, the greatest dry white wines in the world grow alongside renowned red wines. The villages and towns are Ladoix-Serrigny, Aloxe-Corton, Pernand Vergelesses, Savigny-Lès-Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthélie, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Santenay. Apart from the Corton (red and white grand cru), the Grands Crus of the Côte de Beaune are all whites: Corton-Charlemagne, Bâtard-Montrachet, Montrachet, Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet.

On our ride will pass Château de Pommard, owned by Maurice Giraud  since 2003 and is the largest private vineyard in Burgundy. Its 20 hectares of wines in a single plot belonging to the same owner are enclosed by a two-metre high wall, a tradition in many of the prestigous wineries of Burgundy.

Afterwards we can climb the steep slopes on the road to medieval Chateau of La Rochepot, have a coffee in Nolay, a small medieval market town, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful towns on the southern edge of the Côte-d’Or with its 14th century Central Market and wooden framed houses.

Finally our ride takes us on to Santenay where the Canal du Centre passes through and then the villages of Montrachet before arriving in Meursault a little town, big on character. Château de Meursault possesses one of the largest wine cellars in Burgundy.

At the end of our ride we will visit Les Terrasses de Citeaux for a tasting of 5 wines from regions we have just ridden through. Bourgogne rouge et blanc , Meursault premier cru and Auxey Duresses. The Château de Cîteaux, is a family-run wine estate in the finest tradition of Burgundy wine making where we will taste the wines of the proprietor in the brand new tasting space Les Terrasses de Cîteaux.

Afterwards we will return to Beaune where we are free for the evening.

Overnight: Hotel le Cèp, Beaune
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5, Beaujolais:

Reluctantly this morning we must leave Beaune but there is more great riding and gastronomy in store yet!

First we will drive close to Mâcon and the prehistoric site of La roche de Solutré  in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé wine-producing area. This strange, precipitous rock rises out of the vineyards to 495m and presents a sheer cliff face at its summit. The Solutrean era was about 20,000 years ago. It was when Cro-magnon man and woman were hunters and followed the herds, and spent their evenings cave-painting and carving animals out of stone. At Solutré engravings of horse heads were found, and it is the horse that gives the rock its fascinating allure.

In 1866 two men discovered thousands and thousands of horse and reindeer bones buried in a compacted layer over a large area around the rock. From this came the theory that the preferred hunting method of the Cro-magnon and his mates was to chase herds of horses along the spur of the rock to the summit where the terrified beasts fell down the sheer cliff to their deaths. Current archaeological techniques have discredited that theory completely but it is the violent image of the plummeting horses that has captured the imagination and will live on.

Today we pass through the spectacular (and hilly) Beaujolias region. Our ride will end at Quincié en Beaujolais at the base of Côte de Brouilly where a traditional lunch called Mâchon Beaujolais will be served in a local cellar.  Mâchon Beaujolais consists of cold meats, cheeses, desserts and of course wines…

After lunch it’s a short way to our accommodation for the evening at the beautiful Château de Pizay.  Château de Pizay cultivates the art of living, in the very heart of Beaujolais country. The garden in the French formal style of Le Nôtre and the 75 hectares of vines around this manor built between the 11th and 19th centuries make a romantic venue for a wine- and history-lovers’ trail in one of the grandest domains in the region. Daily cares give way to well-being, with an outdoor heated swimming pool and an exceptional spa adding to the serenity.

Overnight: Château de Pizay, Saint Jean d’Ardières
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6, Provence:

Today we have a choice of things to do. Maybe you would like a day off the bike to try your hand at a cooking class?

In the heart of the Beaujolais province in a small village called Le Perreon you will find Chef Fred in the kitchen of his warmly decorated house where you will feel at home.
Discover and learn Fred’s recipes and tips in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere in the heart of the Beaujolais. With many years of experience in cooking and pastry-making, Fred provides cooking and pastry classes combining theory, hands-on learning, and tasting on various themes. Food lover and gourmet, Chef Fred will help you discover his creative and gastronomic cooking that often has a healthy aspect to it.

While the cooks will be preparing lunch, those who are riders and not cooks we will head off for a two hour discovery by bike through the magnificent Beaujolais. At the end of our ride we will all come together for a superb lunch prepared by our new Master Chefs at Le Perreon.

After lunch you can sleep it off as we drive you through the Rhone Valley to Provence, where we will spend the next three nights at the Chateau de Mazan. Conveniently nestled at the foot of the legendary Mont Ventoux, the Chateau de Mazan is located in the charming village of Mazan, in the heart of Provence. In this elegant 18th century building, former residence of the famous Marquis de Sade is a sumptuous setting blending charm, gourmet dining and comfort. Enjoy the landscaped gardens with its Provencal vegetation, take a dip in the swimming pool  or relax in the lounge bar before dinner.

Overnight: Château de Mazan, Mazan
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7, Provence:

This morning our ride through the Côte du Rhône continues with such famous appellations Beaumes de Venise, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Rasteau. The riding here is spectacular with beautiful small roads passing through vineyards with the ever present Mont Ventoux hovering in the distance.

We will circumnavigate the Dentelles de Montmirail national park. The Dentelles is an area of dramatic limestone ridges, reminiscent of lace from where it gets its name, with expansive views of vineyards and farm country cultivated since Roman times. First we will visit Beaumes de Venise, a village best known for its fortified sweet wines followed by Vacqueyras at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The consistent quality of its wines (particularly the concentrated, powerful reds) earned it an upgrade to a full, independent AOC in 1990 making it the new kid on the block. We will then ride onto Gigondas, founded by Julius Caesar’s Roman legions as an R&R camp for their troops. They called it Jocunditas, place of pleasure, and planted the first vines here. Today Gigondas is one of the premiere wine villages of the southern Cotes du Rhone. From here we continue to Rasteau where our ride will end with a wine tasting of sweet wines served with chocolates! The perfect finish to the last official wine tasting of our trip.

After our tasting we will return to Mazan to freshen up and head into Avignon for the afternoon. Avignon invites you to meander its elegant cobblestones in the shadow of the world’s largest Gothic palace, the 14th-century Palais des Papes. Nowadays papal fervor has been replaced by an upbeat, arty vibe. The capital of the Vaucluse is full of life from its squares and museums to its bustling cafe terraces, and atop the ruins of one of the world’s most serenaded bridges, the Pont d’Avignon.

Overnight: Château de Mazan, Mazan
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8, Mont Ventoux:

We have a big day planned today with the Mont Ventoux on the menu. Today we have the opportunity to ride one of the most famous cols of the Tour de France, Mont Ventoux.

First thing we’ll have a little warm up ride from our hotel to the base of Mont Ventoux and the pretty little village of Bedoin. This is 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 is 21,8 km to the summit, gaining 1620 meters from Bedoin, with an average gradient of 7.4%. The fastest time so far recorded has been that of Iban Mayo in the individual climbing time trial of the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré: 55′ 51″. The time was measured from Bédoin for the first time in the 1958 Tour de France, in which Luxembourg’s Charly Gaul, the Angel of the Mountains, was the fastest at 1h 2′ 9″.

After the compulsory photographs at the summit we’ll head back down via the thrilling descent to Malaucene. Afterwards we can ride back to the hotel or take the bus. It’s a little under 50 kilometres.

For those not wanting to tackle the difficult climb that is Mont Ventoux, we’ll offer an alternative easy ride via Bedoin and the little Col de Madelaine to Malaucene capturing some wonderful views of the Mont Ventoux along the way before returning to Mazan.

This afternoon we will be able to relax and enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel with a refreshing drink in hand.

Overnight: Château de Mazan, Mazan
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9, Cote du Rhone:

This morning we leave Provence and had back towards Lyon, with a stop on the way for a very nice ride following the Rhône River. Our ride will take us from Crozes-Hermitage to Condrieu, which is located on top of a hill where the grands crus produce some of the finest wines of the Côte du Rhône.

We will arrive at our hotel in Lyon not too late in the day in order to pack up our bikes and relax before our special last night together.

Tonight we have a special treat for our farewell dinner at the restaurant of Paul Bocuse,  a French chef who is famous worldwide for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine. He is one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine. Bocuse’s main restaurant is the luxury restaurant l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, where we will dine tonight, which has been serving a traditional menu for decades. It is one of a small number of restaurants in France to receive the coveted three-star rating by the Michelin Guide, the highest rating possible for any restaurant.  Bon Appetit!

Overnight: Mercure Lyon la Part Dieu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10, Au Revoir:

Its farewell to your new friends as our trip comes to an end this morning.
You will be offered transfers to Lyon airport or train station (TGV) for your onward journey. Over the past week you’ve experienced some of the finest wines, food and scenery that France has to offer, you have challenged yourself on the bike and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

_____________________________________

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
– Transport throughout by private vans
– Services of our experienced tour guides
– 9 night’s accommodation, in excellent hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
– 3 course evening meals on 5 nights including the 3 star Michelin Restaurant of Paul Bocuse
– 3 Organised Wine Tastings
– Transfer to and from Lyon St Exupery airport on the first and last day of the trip
– 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


_____________________________________

 

Reserve your Place Now

Payment by Credit Card

If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2015 Best of France ($1000pp)
2015 Best of France Bicycle Hire ($540.00)
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

_____________________________________

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.

_____________________________________

Register Your Interest or Ask a Question

Best of France: Wine, Gastronomy and Bikes Update Signup
 

Powered by MailChimp

Not sure which trip is right for you?

Or just want to know more. Contact us below with any questions or queries you might have.

2016 TDU Fan Cam

Follow a day at the Tour Down Under.
mpu

Proudly Supported by Morgan Blue

Navigation