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Duration
12 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 11 nights in 2 - 3 star hotels
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 11 Breakfasts

Price

$3490USD

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Overview

Trip Code: VVC

Trip highlights


  • Cycling the Veloscenic cycleway from Paris, through Normandy to the wondrous sight of Mont St Michel
  • Experiencing the marketplaces and rural delights of the region
  • Exploring natural parks, tiny villages and medieval manor houses
  • Arriving at Mont St Michel by bike
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties

This outstanding cycle journey from the heart of Paris to the spectacular fortified ramparts of Mont St Michel will offer you a unique insight into the gorgeous landscapes and rich history of rural Normandy in the north of France. Beginning in Paris, the city of lights, there are a multitude of highlights to be enjoyed such as the gothic cathedral at Chartres with its famous labyrinth, the quintessential French countryside of the Perche area with its woods interspersed with medieval chateaux and the rolling hills of the Basse Normandie area. There will be plenty of opportunities to really immerse yourself in this special part of France. Staying in comfortable family run hotels your efforts in the saddle will be rewarded with local specialties including some of the best French cheese, local cider and seafood. Arriving at the rocky tidal island of Mont St Michel is without doubt the icing on the cake to this epic cycling trip.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

On arrival in Paris, make your way to the joining hotel. On check in you will receive your information pack inclusive of route notes, maps and tourist information. This afternoon or early tomorrow morning you will receive your rental bike. The remainder of the day is free to explore this beautiful city: ascend the Eiffel Tower or the steps to the Sacre Coeur; stroll along the Boulevard St Germain, or the banks of the River Seine, discover the Latin Quarter or the Louvre. The choice is yours.

Meals:  Nil

Following breakfast, you begin your cycle tour along a dedicated cycle way, passing by the Cathedral Notre Dame. Then pedal along the Bièvre Valley to reach the royal city of Versailles and its prestigious castle. Don’t miss the famous 'Mirror Gallery' and the gardens by Le Nôtre.

Meals:  B

The route this morning takes you out of the city of Louis XIV towards the Natural Parc of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse. Ride through small picturesque villages full of many treasures: châteaux, museums, old wash houses to reach Rambouillet. Surrounded by its well known former royal hunting forest, Rambouillet is a real breath of fresh air close to Paris. Take time to visit the historical town centre and its elegant chateau where French Lords, Emperors and Presidents used to frequent! Overnight 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Ride to Epernon and Maintenon to have a look at the sumptuous Chateau de Maintenon of the housekeeper who had became the secret wife of King Louis XIV. Then proceed to the small city of Chartres and its old quarters. Chartres is called the 'Capital of Light and Perfume' as it is in the heart of Cosmetic Valley. In town you will find many cafes and restaurants to enjoy, and don't miss out on admiring the stained glass windows of the amazing 12th century gothic cathedral Notre Dame, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list as of 1979 and is a surviving example from the High Gothic period. Overnight in 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Ride along the peaceful roads of this wheat belt to reach the tiny town of Illiers-Combray, where the French poet Marcel Proust lived. Illiers-Combray has not changed much and has preserved its charm of past times. It was known as Illiers until 1971, when it was renamed Illiers-Combray to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Proust's birth. The Church of St. Jacques is the model for the church featured so prominently in the first part of Marcel Proust's literary masterpiece, À La Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). The church dates back to the 13th century and was rebuilt in 1497, with the aid of Florent d'Illiers, who fought alongside Joan of Arc. Other sights worth a visit are the Pré-Catalan Gardens, which also features in Proust's masterpiece, and the Marcel Proust Museum, lodged in the house of Proust's aunt Elisabeth Amiot and filled with objects and furniture of the late 19th century, the period of Proust's childhood. Dinner and overnight in 2 star hotel.

Meals:  B,D

Today's cycle leads us to the Perche area, a land of woods, meadows and farming. You will discover charming chateaux and manor houses (like the beautiful Chateau de Frazé), picturesque villages and churches before reaching Nogent le Rotrou. This town is home to the medieval Chateau Saint-Jean and was once the capital of the Perche area in the Middle Ages. Overnight in 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Reach the 'Basse Normandie' area, a green and hilly land which offers a beautiful cultural heritage among exceptional landscapes. Along the hills, you will ride from old manor-houses to tiny wash-houses until Bellême, pretty medieval village where you will find the Church of Saint-Sauveur from the 15-16th century, the Crypt of the Saint-Santin Chapel dating from the 10th century and the Château Gatehouse complete with a moat from the 15th century. In today's cycle there is a possibility to use the 'Voie Verte' cycling path from Condé sur Huisne. Overnight in 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Today's cycle takes you through the Natural Park of Perche via thevillage of La Perriére, before reaching the 'Voie Verte' cycling path in Le Mêle sur Sarthe. Then follow the cycling path peacefully to get to Alençon - home to the impressive Notre Dame Basilica and point d'Alençon, a needle lace modified from the Venetian technique in the 16th century. Visit the National Lace Workshop in the town centre to see this lace technique first-hand. Overnight in 2 star hotel.

Meals:  B

After cycling the Natural Park of Normandy, you will come across the wonderful Chateau de Carrouges, which is worthy of a visit. This chateau is built with red bricks and granite and acts as a summary of seven centuries of history. Proceed towards Bagnoles de l'Orne, a famous spa resort known for its healing hydrotherapic baths, which will reveal to you its authentic French 'Bell Epoque' way of life. Overnight in 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Continue your journey following the 'Voie Verte' cycling path via Mortain, a land of legends and history. Then ride through apple and pear country, in the heart of the Norman hedge farmlands, until St Hilaire du Harcouet, a small city settled between the Sélune river and the Airon river. The city's church is the only building in the town centre to have survived the air raids and bombardments of 1944 - the town centre has now been rebuilt in the traditional style. Overnight in 3 star hotel.

Meals:  B

A last ride on the peaceful 'Voie Verte', towards Mont St Michel - a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a splendid and unforgettable view over the bay, with the salt marshes in the foreground and the 'Occidental Marvel' which slowly appears on the background - this is on account of Mont St Michel being surrounded by sea with the highest tidal ranges in the world. For fans of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, the fictional city of Minas Tirith was inspired by this tidal island. Overnight in a 2 star hotel.

Meals:  B

Trip arrangements conclude after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 11 breakfasts, 1 dinner (does not include drinks) - continental breakfasts are served and consist of croissants, breads, jams, cheese, yoghurt, sometimes sliced meats and eggs, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner will consist of 3 to 4 courses which include some regional specialties
  • 11 nights in 2 - 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes, maps and tourist information per room booked
  • Rental bike - 21 speed mens or ladies bike, equipped with panniers, helmet, a map holder, a high visibility jacket, anti-theft device and a repair kit (electric bikes available - supplement applies)
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Paris / Mont St Michel
  • Drinks
  • Lunches daily and dinners (except on day 5)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided cycling trip
  • Travel insurance

Bike information


Grading

moderate  

Daily cycles are between 35 and 62km / 21.7 and 38.5mi on relatively flat to hilly terrain. The cycling takes in various low traffic side roads with signposting, as well as dedicated cycle paths. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. E-bikes are available should you wish to take it easy on the trip (supplement applies).


Departure dates

Every Sunday from 1 Mar to 31 Oct

Notes

DN1
This trip is not suitable for solo travellers. Please contact our team for alternative tour suggestions.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$3490USD

Options & Supplements*
  • E-Bike SupplementUSD$210
  • Optional 10 dinners packageUSD$510
  • Single SupplementUSD$940
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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