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France

Versailles to Mont Saint Michel

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

9 days

Prices from

$1,905 P.P.
France

Versailles to Mont Saint Michel

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

9 days

Prices from

$1,905 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This classic cycling journey will take you along the Veloscenic Route, from one world-famous monument to the next, as you leave the prestigious Palace of Versailles and pedal west to the awe-inspiring Mont Saint Michel. Carefully crafted to blend glorious countryside and rustic French villages with must-see sights, this biking extravaganza has something to suit everyone.
Your trip begins in the regal city of Versailles, where you can take the opportunity to explore the Palace and stroll along the city’s tree-lined boulevards. Grabbing your bikes, you’ll journey west along the Veloscenic Route through the Chevreause and Perche Natural Parks. Scents of sweet local cider and fresh juices will accompany you as you wind your way between chateaux, historic cities and UNESCO-listed monuments.
Cycling further west, you’ll pass into the Normandy region, where the riding becomes a little more undulating. Your pedaling will soon be rewarded with a blissful evening in the thermal spa town of Bagnoles de l’Orne; a picturesque town nestled in a forest glade. Mesmerizing views from the medieval town of Domfront await, from where you can marvel at the vast Varenne River valley and immerse yourself in French history.
Leaving behind the tranquil countryside, you’ll continue along the greenways towards the coast, where Normandy meets with Brittany. Perched atop an imposing island, the beautiful Mont Saint Michel soon comes into view, offering an unforgettable end to your cycling journey.
Combining unmissable French sights, with lashings of local produce, sunshine and lush greenery, this trip is heady concoction of French culture and nature. Prepare to be seduced by cycling in France!
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Highlights

  • Marvelling at the world famous Mont Saint Michel
  • Cycling on the specially designed Veloscenic Route
  • Discovering the Palace of Versailles
  • Relaxing in the thermal spa town of Bagnoles de l‘Orne
  • Sampling delicious local ciders and juices
  • Exploring prestigious French Chateaux

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Versailles

After making your way to your first night’s hotel, you will be provided with your bikes (should you be hiring) as well as your route notes and maps for the trip. You will be welcomed by our local representative who will brief you on the week to come, and go through your route notes. This gives you the opportunity to ask any last minute questions. Depending on flight times, you may have the opportunity to visit the world famous Chateau de Versailles.

Day 2
Versailles to Hanches
43 Miles / 69 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

This morning you’ll leave the enchanting city of Versailles, as you cycle along the glorious Valley de la Chevreuse. You’ll make your way past traditional chateaux and wash-houses, pedalling through rustic French villages. Make sure you sample the tasty local fayre, like fresh goats cheese, produced by the farms of the Chevreuse Natural Park.

Your cycle will soon lead you to the Domaine de Rambouillet, home to the incredible Chateau de Rambouillet. This important Chateau was once home to a number of French royals, but is now open to the public for visiting. Grab the opportunity to explore the Chateau’s rich past, with a guided tour (entry costs approx. 9 euros per person and is not included in holiday cost).

Jumping back on your bikes, you’ll pedal on until you reach Hanches, your base for the night. Hanches is a peaceful village, making it an ideal spot to relax after your first day in the saddle.

Day 3
Hanches to Illiers Combray
41 Miles / 66 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Your bike ride this morning will take you along quiet, country roads and through charming villages. You’ll have the chance to visit the chateau of Madame de Maintenon, the last wife of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Discover the fascinating story of Madame de Maintenon’s life, and don’t miss the recently renovated French-style garden, that’s bursting with colour!

You’ll cycle on to the awe-inspiring city of stained glass and light; Chartres. The cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a must-see. Often described as a masterpiece of gothic art, it boasts 9 sculpted gates and 2600m² of stained-glass windows dating from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The final part of your ride to Illiers Combray will take you through the romantic countryside that inspired Marcel Proust’s novel “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu”.

Day 4
Illiers Combray to Villiers/Condeau
35 Miles / 56 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Leaving Illiers Combray, you’ll ride along greenways as you make your way to the tranquil Perche Natural Park. This region is famed for the Percheron breed of horses, founded by Jean le Blanc in 1827. Strong and hardworking, the Percheron have been instrumental to this region, ploughing fields and harvesting crops. Keep an eye out for them as you cycle along!

The region is also well known for its apples and your route will see you surrounded by orchards, offering an opportunity to visit local producers crafting sweet, regional cider, fresh juice and Calvados.

Cycling through the apple trail you’ll make your way to Condeau, or onto Villeray, where you’ll spend this evening. Condeau is another peaceful village, with magnificent views of the Perche valley.

Day 5
Villiers/Condeau to Alencon
41 Miles / 66 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today’s ride begins with a gently paced pootle through the Natural Park of Normandie Maine. The park is bursting with wildlife and lush greenery. Tranquil cycle paths will lead the way to today’s destination; the town of Alencon.

Alencon is famous for its needle lace-making and is often described as the “Queen of Lace”. The technique has now been recognised by UNESCO, thanks to its high level of craftsmanship. You can discover the history of Alencon’s lace industry at the town’s Museum of Fine Arts and Lace (the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle). It’s also worth paying a visit to the birthplace of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, as well as the Basilique de Notre Dame. In the evening, take a stroll through the old town’s medieval, cobbled streets where you can find bars, restaurants, shops and cafes.

Day 6
Alencon to Bagnoles de l'Orne
33 Miles / 53 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today’s ride is a little more undulating than previous days, but your effort will be rewarded with breath-taking views. Cycling away from Alencon, you’ll make your way to the characterful Chateau de Carrouges. The Chateau began its life as a stronghold during the Hundred Years War, and then became a noble residence in the 15th Century. Its verdant gardens offer a welcome picnic stop.

Getting back on your bike, you’ll head to today’s destination, Bagnoles de l’Ornes, the only thermal spa town in the Northwest of France. The town is nestled in a forest glade and set on a picturesque lake, making for a relaxing stay. Make sure you visit the towns Belle Epoque neighbourhood, renowned for its architecture. The town hall is a must-see!

Day 7
Bagnoles de l'Orne to St Hilaire du Harcouet
38 Miles / 61 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

This morning you’ll leave the spa town of Bagnoles de l’Orne, and make your way through glorious countryside and forests. You’ll soon arrive in the town of Domfront. Domfront is a medieval town with a rich history, so it’s worth leaving your bike to explore the city on foot. Occupying an important point on the border between Brittany and Normandy, the town was the scene of much fighting in the 11th century. Today you can discover the ruins of the medieval castle, as well as the historic town centre, offering unrivalled views of the Varenne River valley.

Continuing on your cycle ride you’ll make your way along dedicated cycle routes, before reaching the lively town of St Hilaire du Harcouet.

Day 8
St Hilaire du Harcouet to Mont Saint Michel
38 Miles / 61 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Your final day’s cycling will see you leave St Hilaire du Harcouet, following a greenway that will take you through yet more glorious countryside. Your week of cycling will soon be rewarded, as the awe-inspiring Mont Saint Michel comes into view.

Perched atop a magical island, set in the bay where Normandy and Brittany merge, the medieval monastery is truly breath-taking. The bay itself is subject to some of the biggest tidal variations in Europe, meaning the views change hourly. At high tide the island is surrounded by water, but as the waters ebb, a vast network of channels can be seen. Leave your bikes in one of the designated areas and make your way either on foot or by shuttle to explore the abbey.

After exploring Mont Saint Michel, you’ll make your way to the town of Pontorson, the perfect base to reflect on your week.

Day 9
Departure from Mont Saint Michel
  • Meals: Breakfast

Unfortunately today it’s time to say adieu to this beautiful region. After breakfast (approx 09:00) you’ll be transferred to Saint Malo train station, for onward travel. If you’d like to request a shuttle service to Chartres, Versailles or Paris, please chat with our booking team.

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The Cycling

Terrain

A leisurely tour following the Veloscenic cycle route. Only 10% of the route will be on roads with traffic, with the majority on mixed-use cycle paths. There are short sections on hard-packed gravel / farm tracks. The greenways are mostly flat, while the country roads are undulating. We have graded this as a grade 2-3; although the daily distances are moderate, the riding itself is relatively gentle. We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour. (Not suitable for road bikes).

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2-3: Gentle/ Moderate

Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 trips

Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes

Some modest climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)

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?

Trips that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 rides. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.  

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Dates & Prices

2021 Sunday departures available between 21 Mar and 31 Oct – $1905 per person.

If you are travelling in a group of 4 of more people, we are able to offer you the discounted rate of $1450 per person.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
9 days
Price
$1,905.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in small 3 and 4* hotels and chambres d‘hôtes

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

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Detailed route notes and maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) GPX tracks (on request)

G) Transfer to St Malo train station on day 9

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike

C) Travel to first hotel on arrival day

D) Travel from final hotel on departure day

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Travel insurance

G) Meals not stated in the itinerary

H) Personal clothing and equipment

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

J) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

K) City tax (payable locally) – between €0.80 and €1.50 per adult per day (where applicable)

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your own way to your hotel in Versailles on arrival and onwards from St Malo train station at the end of the trip. Please aim to arrive before 18.30 for your welcome meeting. (We may be able to organise this for the following morning, on request).

You’ll fly into and back from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Paris Orly (ORY). Most flights from North America require overnight travel, however most large airports offer direct flights to CDG with airlines such as Norwegian and Air France. Flights to ORY may require stopovers in intermediary airports, flying with similar airlines. Flying from North America may involve multiple travel days. From CDG you can take the train to Saint Michel / Notre Dame Metro station and change here for a train to Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. If you fly into Paris Orly there’s shuttle bus to Paris Montparnasse, then a direct train to Versailles-Chantiers station. At the end of your trip you’ll be transferred to St Malo train station. From here you can catch a train to Charles de Gaulle, changing at Rennes or to Orly by changing at Paris Montparnasse. Skedaddle can help organise travel back to either Versailles or Paris at the end of your trip, please contact us for more information. Please check with Skedaddle before booking any flights so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) on this tour will usually be en suite in good quality 3 and 4 star hotels and chambre d‘hôtes.

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 typically hybrid/touring bikes with semi slick tyres, 21 gears, and a relaxed riding position. If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet on request; please request helmets when making your booking.

The hire bikes will come with a pannier rack and 2 back panniers, a handle bar bag, a puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes. In addition you’ll also receive a bike pump, bike lock and odometer, 1 between 2 bikes. Please note; water bottles and water bottle holders are not provided with the bikes. If preferred, you‘re welcome to bring along your own pedals and/or saddle, however we do ask that you bring your own tools to fit them to the hire bikes.

If you choose to hire an e-bike (either Canondale or Velodeville, both with Bosch motors – on request!) there will be a 250 Euro deposit required on arrival, which can be paid using a credit card. This will be fully refunded when the bikes are returned undamaged.

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