Bespoke Boutique Cycling and Cooking

The perfect getaway for close friends, family, or the much loved womens retreats with options on cycle routes, hiking, cooking classes antique shopping, yoga and more. 

Price

£2,175.00 per person*

($2,936.25 USD or $4,219.50 AUD)

£200.00 deposit

£300.00 single room supplement

If your travel is cancelled due to Covid restrictions we will refund 100%, for all other reasons our standard terms and conditions apply.

Tour dates

17th Oct to 23rd Oct 2021

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Bespoke Boutique Cycling and Cooking cycling tour highlights

  • Cycling around the beautiful Lake Annecy ( 2 night stay in a hotel on the shores of Lake Annecy)
  • Relaxing Luxury retreat accommodation nestled in a typical Savoie Village for 4 nights
  • Cooking school in a relaxed and fun atmosphere
  • Market days and Wine tasting
  • Flexible itinerary

 

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Join us for this cycling tour in France. All you have to do is pedal


Join this cycling tour

Start

Annecy Train Station or Geneva Airport

Finish

Annecy Train Station or Geneva Airport

Collection from Geneva Airport or Annecy Train Station

Cycling level

4 out of 10

This tour can be as easy or as hard as you wish. A bespoke type tour with daily ride options.

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This tour is aimed at either a group of friends or family who are comfortable sharing space together. There is also a resident Cairn Terrier on site who you will instantly fall in love with.

You start and end your tour on the shores of Lake Annecy. Famous for its old town with canals and bridges and the amazing views of the mountains surrounding the lake. It is the crystal clear water of Lake Annecy and the breath taking mountain that makes this one of the most popular tourist destinations in France and a place where we look forward to joining you on our cycling tour.

From Annecy we head an hour south to the Tarentaise Valley the home of the beautiful Beaufort cows that provide us with the amazing Beaufort cheese!

Your accommodations at a 1900s farmhouse transformed into a luxury bespoke accommodation in a small village in the Savoie has been chosen for this tour with flexibility in mind. The location allows us to offer numerous cycling itineraries from easy to hard, additional accommodation 1.5 km down the road that houses a Yoga studio with mediation room and a built in bespoke cookery school guarantees amazing food and classes are always enjoyed.

We spend  four nights ( so no packing each day!) at the Boutique B&B which just oozes character, thanks to Hugh’s talent for using reclaimed materials and Nikki’s innate ability for sniffing out fabulous antiques! The boutique-style bedrooms are individually decorated and include luxurious linen for a glorious night of restful sleep, nestled in the goodness of natural fibres. The main farmhouse can sleep up to 10 and the second renovated farmhouse sleeps 4.

We have included an itinerary but as a bespoke tour for friends and family you will have the options of deciding as a group if you want longer or shorter days in the saddle, further cooking classes, yoga days or even a bit of antique shopping is available. And while this is French Cycling Holidays, the area lends itself to amazing hiking for all abilities so can also be turned into a French Hiking Holiday if that is a preference!  

 

 

 

Day 1 - Arrival Day 

After collecting everyone from Geneva or Annecy, we head to our hotel on the west side of Lake Annecy where we fit you to your bikes and head out for a ride around the Lake. We can stop along the way for a drink and then continue our ride back to our Hotel where a dip in the lake is waiting if one wants!

Day 2 

We leave Lake Annecy on the the bike path and then continue past the lake  . With cafés conveniently located along the way we can stop for the obligatory coffee/drink break and perhaps a patisserie to tide us along! We leave the bike path to arrive at our lunchtime spot of the fortified hilltop town of Conflans. Dating to the middle ages it is a picturesque town with cobblestones streets, and artisans shops where the storefronts all have their own unique signs hanging from iron posts depicting images from the medieval times. Strolling through the streets and gardens is a perfect pause in the middle of the day. After lunch we carry on to your Boutique luxury resting place for the next 4 nights 

Ride 64 km 300 meters total of ascent.

Please note the way this trip is designed  every ride on this holiday can be lengthened or shortened made hillier etc and you can decide to finish at any time as the van is always with us! 

Day 3 

Market Day ! Today you can either roll down on your bikes into the market town of Moutiers or take a lift in the van with your bike on top. We spend time here exploring the market (produce and artisanal) and the town, take time for a coffee before we hop on our bikes.

We leave Moutiers and head to a local bike path that takes you through an amazing new tunnel specifically built for cyclists and head down to the river where we follow the bike path into Aime. Here we stop at the lake for a swim if you fancy and whilst you stroll around we set up a picnic with some of the local treats we have purchased at the market.

Depending on what strikes your fancy after lunch we can either head back or continue further down the river.

20-60 km options

Day 4 

Sleep in today!!! As with all days today you have options. You can have a lazy morning in your pj’s a ride around the villages near you or if you want a little exercise but off the bike we can take a walk through the beautiful trails of the village.

After a light lunch this afternoon our cooking class starts!!!  A fun time is always had in the kitchen with “Opi” whom you will love to meet and who will love to meet you! 

We will cook using seasonal and local foods available at the market that week and the best thing about all of the dishes we make is they are healthy, simple and easy to recreate in your own kitchen! All recipes will be provided and our host is publishing her first cook book so hopefully this will be available to purchase during your stay!

 After an afternoon of cooking we sit down to share the delicious meal we have had a hand in cooking! 

 Day 5 

If you have ever been on a walking or ski holiday in the Alps then you will likely have had a glass of a crisp white Savoie wine with your raclette or fondue or perhaps a Mondeuse red with a savoyard dinner. Whilst it may not be known around the world, Savoie does grow and cultivate  a few varieties of grapes .It is likely best known for the Roussanne and the Altesse. Interestingly the Roussanne in considered an imported vine as it comes from the famous Rhone Valley where it is still grown and often blended with a Grenache Blanc or a Marsanne. In Savoie it is known as the Chignin-Bergeron, Bergeron being an old Savoyard name for Roussanne.  The Altesse White is also known by an alternate name “Rousette” often confused with the “Rousanne”. The Rousette is more typical of the Savoie white; characterised by its light floral, honeyed aromas and apricots  and generally served with lunch where the Chignin -Bergeron is much richer and more complex and served more with dinner. 

Today we can take a ride along the “Route de Vin” ( Wine route).  We feel it would be rude not to stop at a vineyard along the way for a degustation to allow you to try it yourself!

30- 60km options

Day 6 

Today you will need to pack up and say “A bientôt” to this wonderful piece of paradise as once you have experienced it, many come back again and again!

But not to worry you are heading back to the shores of Lake Annecy today. We take you a different way then how you arrived. Riding through the beautiful National Park du Bauges onto the balcony roads offering stunning panoramas. You end with a lovely downhill onto the bike path and a few metres down the path you arrive back where you started on Sunday.

We dine at a  local restaurant where we can relive our memories of the week!

60km

Please note the way this trip is designed every ride on this holiday can be lengthened or shortened made hillier etc and you can decide to finish at any time as the van is always with us! We have options for Brocante Antique Shopping for Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. Not a cyclist? We can change this into a French Hiking Holiday instead...Just ask.

Not all cycle vacations are the same. Compare what is included in this French Cycling Holidays bike tour:

  • Collection from local airport or train station
  • Charming 3* hotel for (two nights)
  • Luxury retreat accommodation (four nights) Luxurious linen, bath robes and toiletries are provided in each room with hair dryers
  • Quality Trek bicycles ( 7.3 and 7.4 or higher)
  • Quality helmets (if required)
  • Water bottles (to take home as souvenirs)
  • Breakfast with yoghurt, eggs, croissants, pastries and cereals. 
  • Gourmet dinners for all 6 nights of your holiday.
  • Wine (or soft drink alternative) with all evening meals and coffee to follow
  • 3 hours vegetarian cooking classes fresh, organic and local produce, Aprons and recipes.
  • Wine tasting at a local vineyard ( or option to have them come to you) 
  • Entry fees to attractions and historical sites
  • Morning onward transfers at end of tour
  • An unforgettable experience! 

** This tour has alternate bespoke options such as yoga, guided hiking instead of biking - yes that is right French Hiking Holidays, antique shopping with a guide. If your group is interested please contact us to discuss**

We try to include as much as we can within the price, while keeping things as flexible as possible. With the explosion of low cost airlines and the easy access to the TGV rail system from the UK, we believe that it is more economical and convenient for customers to arrange their own travel to the region. Links to the airlines and railway companies can be found in frequently asked questions. 

Transfers

We provide the transfers to and from the local airports and the nearest TGV stations, and other locations by arrangement. If you have driven down, we arrange secure parking for your car and return you to it after the tour.

Meals

All evening meals are included, and we carefully select the restaurants for cuisine and ambience, and favour those with a strong regional flavour. 

All meals include a starter, main course and dessert, some will have an additional cheese course. We are happy to arrange for our restaurants to cater for specific dietary requirements and allergies etc.  Fine wine (or soft drink alternative) with all evening meals and coffee to follow.

We do not include lunch, as the costing of these is beyond our control, but where route and weather allow we organise picnics; these feature copious salads, cold meats, cheeses, crusty bread, fruits, etc, and a choice of drinks; we ask for a contribution for the costs of the consumables, which usually works out at 10 or 11 euros per person per picnic. Where route or weather does not allow a picnic, we recommend suitable cafés and bistros.

Bikes & Equipment

We provide lightweight alloy framed Trek ‘hybrid’ touring bicycles with 27 indexed gears, our guides will generally be on hand to fix punctures and minor mechanical problems and carry pump, tubes etc.

For carrying the items you might need during the day (camera, wallet, windbreaker etc.) we fit a capacious handlebar bag which also features a large map pocket. These clip on and off the bike in a flash so that you can always take your valuables with you when off the bike.

The bikes are meticulously maintained and we keep a wide range of sizes; female specific saddles are also available. We do not provide helmets automatically, as we find people prefer their own if they want to wear one, and sizing and fit is quite personal; however we always have helmets available for use. We also carry rain-capes should they be required (but hopefully not!). 

E Bikes

For nearly all of our tours an e-bike - electrically assisted bicycle - is an extra-cost option. These bikes apply a 'multiplier' to the level of input provided by the rider, the level of assistance can be adjusted for the terrain. This can be useful if members of your party have very different levels of bike-fitness and experience, as hills that look daunting suddenly become easy with an e-bike.

Please contact us for details.

Guides and Backup

There will be two guides on every tour; one cycling with the group and one in the minibus which will follow the group. The bus carries all luggage not required for the day's ride and will always be available for anyone at any point during the day. If for instance you want to take a day off the bike, or if a particular day seems a little hard, the bus will take you for as long or as little as you wish it to.

Everybody is provided with detailed route maps for each day, and both guides are easily contactable by mobile phone. The guides are enthusiastic experts on the local area and will be able to sort out any problems or special requests that you might have.

To make your travel at the beginning and the end of your tour as easy as possible we stay at the Hotel Beauregard  on the shores of Lake Annecy for your arrival day Sunday and Friday night the last riding day before departing Saturday. 

The highlight of this tour is your accommodations at a 1900s farmhouse transformed into a luxury bespoke accommodation in a small village in the Savoie area of the French Alps. An hour from Annecy, we have chosen this location and designed this tour with flexibility in mind. The location allows us to offer numerous cycling itineraries from easy to hard, additional accommodation 1.5 km down the road that houses a Yoga studio with mediation room and  a built in bespoke cookery school guarantees amazing food and classes are always enjoyed.

Choices of rooms Lower Farmhouse

Princess suite is located on the ground floor, this room is suitable for a couple and has a european sized double bed and a small ensuite with toilet and shower. Available for 2 persons ( or one with SGL supplement)

Cow room - Located on the ground floor this rooms has twin beds and use of a separate washroom with toilet and shower located a few steps away. Available for 2 persons ( or one with single supplement)

Bath robes , towels and toiletries are provided in each room with hair dryers

 Master Bedroom and Beaufort Bunk Room 

The Master and Beaufort Bunk rooms are located on the 2nd floor and share one large bathroom with toilet, shower room, separate bath and double sinks. Toiletries, towels, bathrobes, hair dryers included.

Master Bedroom can be made into a twin or double bed. Available for 2 persons ( or one with single supplement)

Beaufort Bunk room has an adult size bunk bed and don’t be fooled it is just as comfy as the other beds. Available for 1 person ( Single supplement does not apply.)

Both rooms have separate entrances as well as doors opening on to the terrace.

All the rooms in the Lower farmhouse have access to a shared lounge, shared dining room and  large terrace and a small kitchen.

Upper Farmhouse

Tree house 

The tree house room is located in the upper farmhouse and can be a twin room with its own lounge  or the lounge can be converted into a single bed to house  a 3rd person. You must be able to climb steep stairs to access the bedroom, but the unobstructed view from the bedroom is one worth sharing.  The private bathroom with shower is located at the bottom of the treehouse  below the room. Available for 2 or 3 persons ( or one with single supplement).

Chez Milo 

If your party is larger than 7, you can opt out of the tree house and have use of Chez Milo which is 1.5 km down the road. Chez Milo is also a converted farmhouse boutique accommodation and can hold up to 4.

Dream Cave - Twin or double with ensuite 

Cloud room - Twin or double with ensuite

 

 

 

 

 

Below we answer all the most common questions that you might ask before choosing a French Cycling Holidays cycling tour. If you have any further questions then please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

How fit do I need to be?

Anybody who is reasonably active should be able to take part and enjoy our cycling tours in France.

The tours have different levels of physical exertion — whilst the Loire Valley tours and Bordeaux tour are easy going; the Normandy, Provence Roman Heritage, and Burgundy tours are a little more strenuous, whilst and the Provence Lubéron, Dordogne and Languedoc tours require a reasonable level of fitness.

For nearly all of our cycling tours an e-bike - electrically assisted bicycle - is an extra-cost option. These bikes apply a 'multiplier' to the level of input provided by the rider, the level of assistance can be adjusted for the terrain. This can be useful if there are members of your party have very different levels of bike-fitness and experience, as hills that look daunting suddenly become easy with an e-bike. Contact us via the contact page if you would like more details.   

The Sports tours are aimed at enthusiast cyclists who might want to bring their own road bikes. However, the rides are not races and there is no time limit - and there is always the minibus if things get too tough!

We would nevertheless recommend that anyone who has not taken any regular exercise for some time to consult their doctor before considering any activity based holiday. Bear in mind that a little regular riding before coming on a cycling vacation will always be a benefit to the experience.

How do I get to the cycling tours in France?

We pick up and drop off from the nearest international airports and TGV/railway stations to the start of each tour. (We can drop at a nearer airport or station by arrangement if more convenient for you and logistically possible). This gives everyone the option of making their way by the most economical or convenient means. The major options are:

Flying from the UK

Ryanair flies into following airports:

Nimes (for the Provence tours and Languedoc tours; Ryanair also fly out of Beziers and Montpellier for the Languedoc tour); Bergerac (for the Bordeaux tour), Dinard for the Normandy tour, Grenoble for Alpine trips and Pau (for the Classic Cols tour)

Ryanair operates out of Liverpool, London Stansted and London Luton Airports amongst others.

Easyjet flies into Montpellier (for the Provence tours) and out of Bordeaux (for the Bordeaux tour); it flys into Geneva and Lyon for Alpine tours and also out of Nice for the Alpine Raid.

British Airways prices can be reasonable if booked in advance — BA fly into Bordeaux for train transfers to Bergerac (Bordeaux tour), and Marseilles (Provence tours).

If we do not pick up from the airport itself, we will advise on rail connections from the airport to our pick-up points.

Rail for visitors from outside Europe / those already in France

The TGV can be an exceptionally quick way of reaching many French destinations from the UK and from Paris for those flying from overseas or UK regions.

The Eurostar SNCF (French National Railways) TGV websites may be useful. As a guide, London St Pancras to Avignon via TGV takes approximately 6½ hours; Tours takes 4 hours. From Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the point of arrival for most intercontinental flights, Tours is 1½ hours by TGV, Avignon (for Provence) just over 3 hours.

Brive-la-Gaillarde is 4 hours from Paris by rail for the Dordogne tour. We are more than happy to advise on rail options — please contact us. Internet sales from the French SNCF site ( www.voyages-sncf.com sites are possible but are in French; the approved agency for the US and Canada is RailEurope ; however we are happy to advise and help with the French website.

Driving

This may be a good choice if your French Cycling Holiday is part of a longer stay. We will arrange secure parking for your car at or near our first hotel, and return you to your car at the end of the trip. (Note - this service may not be available on certain long distance sports tours - please check with us). The major ferry and crossing companies from the UK are Eurotunnel, P&O, Brittany Ferries, LD Lines, Speedferries and SeaFrance.

If it is more convenient for you to hire a car Europcar in our experience have the best rates for rentals where the drop-off is at a different location to the pickup.

However you choose to travel, we are very happy to help you sort out your itinerary.

What kind of pedals do you use?

Pedals are obviously fairly important on a cycling tour! We stock the following kinds:

Flat – i.e. no special cleats or grips, these pedals can be used with any kind of footwear. If you do not regularly use special pedals or cycling shoes, we recommend standard trainers/sneakers to wear while riding.

SPD/flat – we also have pedals with one side flat and one side an SPD cleat. This is the standard Shimano SPD compatible system; two bolts and the small cleat pictured on the shoe with the yellow sole. These cleats are ideal for cycling tours as the cleat is usually recessed into the bottom of the shoe. The pedals are visible to the right of the picture.

SPD/flat style pedals

Flats with cages – we have a small number of flat pedals with cages & straps – again if you are not used to this, we wouldn’t recommend starting a tour with them!

Other – we do NOT stock any other pedal systems. If you use any other kind of pedal, you are very welcome to bring your own and our guides can fit them to your bike for the week. However, we would advise against racing-style pedals such as the Look Keo, Shimano SPD-SL or similar, as these tend to have a large, protruding cleat on the sole of the shoe which makes walking around visits or lunch stops (or even nipping into a public toilet!) quite uncomfortable and dangerous. Sports tours are a little different as there are much longer days and less off-the-bike walking – a choice is ultimately up to you though!

Can I use my own bike?

We are happy for anyone to bring their own bikes. However, the budget airlines charge around £50 each way and packing and carriage can be a hassle. Our Trek bikes are of a high standard, and our customers usually express pleasant surprise at the quality of the machines, so it might be a better option to bring your saddle and/or pedals which we will be very happy to fit. In any case there will always be a backup bike should you have a mechanical problem. Please feel free to call us for advice on bike transportation.

What should I wear?

The main thing that people who are not regular distance cyclists worry about is a sore behind. This is not as is popularly thought due to too-hard saddles, but friction between skin and garments. This is why professional cyclists wear skin-tight lycra shorts with padded inserts. Many people feel a bit self-conscious in this sort of gear and your local cycle shop will have a range of padded undershorts which can be worn under normal clothing, or regularly styled shorts with sewn-in padded liners. Otherwise, lightweight comfortable clothing (tee-shirts, shorts, trainers) is ideal, with something warmer like a fleece just in case. As we will be dining well, you might like to take something presentable (but not formal — no-one on a French Cycling Holiday stands on ceremony!) for the evening meal.

How many people on each cycling tour?

As well as being an active holiday, sampling the best that France has to offer, we believe that our trips should be an opportunity to meet people and make new friends. Our groups are limited to a maximum of 16, which is the largest number that we can give a personal service to, and a minimum of 6 people, which we feel is the number needed to achieve a group spirit. If we cannot achieve this number, we may cancel the tour giving a minimum of five weeks notice.

What weather are we likely to encounter?

We time our tours so that the weather should be ideal for cycling for each tour. For that reason we have our Provence and Languedoc tours in the late spring and early autumn, rather than in high summer when it can be too hot to cycle comfortably after 10 a.m. The Loire Valley, Dordogne, Bordeaux and Burgundy tours are more temperate, which is why we concentrate these tours in July and August. We cannot guarantee the weather, but it would be very unlucky to have more than one wet day on any of the tours.

Are there any age limits?

There is no specific upper age limit — the only constraint is a reasonable level of fitness. Children between 10 and 16 are welcome as part of family groups. We do not recommend these tours for children under 10.

Do I need travel insurance?

We require all participants to have travel insurance with full medical cover. It is part of the conditions of our tours that participant should provide evidence of suitable cover. If you have any questions about the cover required please contact us for advice.

What financial protection is in place for my booking?

In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” customers of French Cycling Holidays Limited will be indemnified in respect of their net ascertained financial loss sustained arising from the cancellation or curtailment of the declared trip travel arrangements arising solely from the event of the financial failure of French Cycling Holidays Limited.

This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Hiscox Insurance Company Limited.

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