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France

Alsace, Burgundy and Beaujolais

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,380 P.P.
France

Alsace, Burgundy and Beaujolais

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,380 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A journey of three regions, connected by wine growing, but uniquely different in terms of their history, architecture, food and indeed their wine.
Alsace has had a varied, often troubled, history. Its German heritage is clear in the village names, regional dishes and architecture. We begin in the vineyards before heading into the foothills of the Vosges, where lush green hillsides and pockets of woodland have an almost alpine appearance, but in miniature. We take in the two most challenging and iconic climbs of this gently hilly area; the Grand Ballon and Ballon d’Alsace with the option of visiting the Tour de France finish of Les Planche des Belles Filles. It is a formidable and feared finish line with sections as steep as 22% - for us it is completely optional unlike for the pro riders!
Leaving Alsace the scenery and the food becomes more typically French. The quiet rural roads between the vineyards of Burgundy speak of centuries of wine production and the yellow fields of mustard remind us how close we are to Dijon! To the wine connoisseur this is a dream journey as each small village we pass through bears the names of a hallowed vintage. The traditional ‘climats’, the way of sectioning of different wine growing plots has earned this region the title of being a UNESCO world heritage site.
Towards the end of our journey we see the terrain change again as the hills grow in stature and we enter the Beaujolais wine region. Hillier and cooler, this makes for both very different riding, as well as very different wine. Our riding finishes in in the Grand Cru village of Fleurie. 
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Highlights

  • Exploring the foothills of the Vosages and its Alsatian vineyards
  • Option to ride the Tour de France finish La Planche de Belle Filles
  • Challenging yourself on the iconic Ballon d‘Alsace, Tour de France climb
  • Cycling through the beautiful vineyards of Burgundy
  • Discovering the hills of Beaujolais
  • Peaceful lanes connecting two of France’s most famous wine regions, Burgundy and Beaujolais

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Every day of the holiday was fantastic in their own individual way. Faultless, as always!

Kate, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Basel Airport
Non Riding Day

Arrive into Basel International Airport to meet your Skedaddle team who will transfer you to Mittelbergheim where you will have time to explore the village and check over your bike before beginning tomorrow’s ride. Mittelbergheim is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association, it is recognised as being one of France’s most beautiful villages. Its vineyards produce one of the finest Alsacian wines: the Grand Cru Zotzenberg – a great place to start our trip.

Day 2
Mittelbergheim to Guebwiller
75 Miles / 121 Km Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,870 Metres Approx.

Our first day takes us through picture-book pretty Germanic style villages before exploring the wooded foothills of the Vosges.

Whilst there is significant climbing on our first day as we roll out for the first time it is onto easy rolling terrain. Passing through numerous small villages we may opt for our first coffee stop to be in the interesting town of Riquewihr. Its long history as a profitable wine growing area can be seen in its buildings – squat buildings from the 13th century through to the grandeur of the renaissance. Its cobbled streets are dotted with half-timbered winemakers’ shops.

As our day continues the climbing begins and we are treated to some spectacular views as we wind our way along the ‘Route des Cretes’ – a road of ridges. The steep sided ridge forms an obvious natural boundary between Alsace and Germany.

Our day finishes in Guebwiller, a dynamic town that forms a junction between the Route des Cretes and the Route des Vin d’Alsace.

Day 3
Guebwiller to Giromagny
60 Miles / 97 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,470 Metres Approx.

Today we have the opportunity to challenge ourselves on two of Alsace’s most famous climbs.

Leaving our accommodation we set our sights first of all on the Grand Ballon. The Grand Ballon or Great Belchen is the highest mountain of the Vosges with a summit of 1,424m, though the road passes 100m below this. It’s alpine style climate and views make it unique in this region.

Having retraced our steps from the top to resume our route it is onward to the next major climb of the day the Col du Ballon d’Alsace. In case you are wondering Ballon actually refers to the rounded shape of its top, not the ball like observatory seen on the Grand Ballon. The Ballon d‘Alsace was the first official mountain climb in the 1905 Tour de France, the third year of the race and last featured in 2005. We finish our day in the attractive village of Giromagny, a jumble of ancient buildings, narrow alleyways and picturesque fountains, so an evening stroll is essential.

Day 4
Giromagny to Geneuille
64 Miles / 103 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,165 Metres Approx.

We leave the big climbs of the Vosges behind today and head into a region of smaller wooded climbs, the place names and villages becoming progressively more French in feel as we work our way toward Burgundy.

Our road leads us through gently winding wooded hill-sides on quiet roads. Mid-way through our ride we pass through Oricourt, an interesting small village famous for its incredibly well preserved castle originally dating to the 1200’s. It’s a double-walled castle where the outer wall encloses a farm and the inner wall a residential courtyard.

Day 5
Geneuille - Gevery Chambertin
56 Miles / 90 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 645 Metres Approx.

A gentle day of rural riding that takes us through open agricultural landscapes and into the vineyards of Burgundy.

Fields of mustard line our route, a brilliant yellow when in season, and a reminder of our proximity to Dijon. We pass through another Plus Beaux village, this time Pesmes, a village with a turbulent history because of the various occupations it underwent before it became French in 1678. Situated on the delightful River Ognon, we can see the 16th and 17th century dwellings that used to belong to leading wine growers, a reminder of the village’s wine producing past.

At the very end of our ride we enter the Burgundy wine producing region at almost its most northerly point in Gevery-Chambertin, one of the Cotes-des-Nuits villages, famous for its red wines.

Day 6
Gevery Chambertin - St Genoux le National
60 Miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

Our route from today onwards takes us further south into the Macon wine growing regions of Burgundy.

Burgundy is famous for its gastronomy as well as its wine, “Let Paris be France’s head, Champagne her soul; and Burgundy her stomach!” Whilst Burgundy is blessed with terrain and climates that make it perfect for vines, these same attributes almost guarantee enjoyable cycling!

Wine growing in this area is based on a principle of ‘climats’; small plots belonging to individual growers, often marked by stone gateways standing isolated at the edge of the plot. This makes for a unique landscape, and has been recognised as such by UNESCO. They are linked by quiet, narrow roads that we wind our way through from one village to the next. Small hillsides allow growers to face their crops towards the sun and the gently undulating landscape is kind to our cycling legs.

Day 7
St Genoux le National - Fleurie
50 Miles / 80 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.

A gentle start to our final day leads us toward the beautiful Beaujolais region. Here, tiny cols are heaped together creating tightly packed wooded hillsides and sweeping panoramic views of vineyards. The first part of our final riding day leads us by cycle path to the old medieval city of Cluny, once the largest monastic centre in Western Europe. The ruins of the Abbaye itself are partially restored but what was once a bustling town of pilgrimage and religious orders is now quiet.

From here we continue to the Roche de Solutre, a sphinx like limestone escarpment rising sharply above the Maconnais vines. It’s dramatic silhouette has drawn interest for thousands of years. In 1866 the geologists discovered thousands of horse, bison, auroch and mammoth remains at the foot of the rock, one of the largest such finds in Europe.

Our final kilometres draw us up into the hills, enjoying the views from a serious of minor cols, all of less than 1,000m, that give us a real feel for the change in terrain from Burgundy to Beaujolais, this handful of small mountains in miniature a reminder that we are now in the foothills of the Rhone-Alpes.

On arrival we can celebrate our journey and no doubt enjoy and reminisce with some of the vintages we have seen, drank and cycled through all our way.

Day 8
Departure: Lyon Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After our final breakfast we say our farewells and transfer to Lyon Airport.

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The Cycling

Terrain

French road surfaces are, in general, better than equivalent rural roads in the UK however pot holes, gravel and un-even surfaces should be expected. Where possible we keep to quiet back roads and rural lanes, although busier roads and urban areas are essential at times. We will be riding in low level rolling hills, with an opportunity to test our legs on the Ballon d’Alsace and Grand Ballon in Alsace, both climbs of a little over 1200m/3940ft.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3: Moderate

45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day

For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill

Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour

Most days include a couple of significant climbs

Some long days & some steep to very steep sections

Not for beginners

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
22/05/2021
Return Date
29/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,380.00
Start Date
31/07/2021
Return Date
07/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,380.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Hotel accommodation (shared twin rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer at scheduled time on scheduled arrival day from Basel airport (BSL)

G) Airport transfer at scheduled time on scheduled departure day from Lyon airport (LYS)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Travel insurance

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport and train station transfers on days other than at the scheduled transfer time on the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Basel airport (BSL), Switzerland, on the border of France and Germany before 14:30 for a 15:00 transfer.

At the end of the tour we will transfer the group to Lyon Airport (LYS), with an estimated arrival time of 12:00, please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the transfer time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en-suite in 2 and 3 star hotels, chambre d‘hôtes and local auberges. Our accommodation has all been hand-picked and chosen for their room and service quality, as well as their food quality and, of course, French charm.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are Scott Addict 20 or alternative brand equivalent, great bikes with good quality components. If you do decide to hire a bike we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets when booking. The bikes come with flat pedals as standard, so if you prefer to ride with clip-in pedals please bring your own pedals along with you.

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