Haut Languedoc: Hills and Garrigues

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  • Gorges in the Haut Languedoc, France
  • Central Square, St Gervais sur Mare, Languedoc, France
  • River, St Gervais sur Mare, Languedoc, France
  • View over the hills in the Haut Languedoc

Haut Languedoc: Hills and Garrigues

850.001,275.00

Fully supported cycling tour through the vineyards and hills of the Haut Languedoc region.

The Languedoc region provides a wealth of cycling opportunities for riders of all levels. There are many quiet routes through the rolling hills of the local vineyards as well as challenging climbs within the Réserve Nationale de Chasse de Caroux-Espinouse.

From our home base in Caux, we will select the best routes and locations to visit both on and off the bike in this culturally rich and historic region.

Our support team will manage the logistics to ensure you can focus on taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying your ride.

5 days

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Product Description

The terrain in the Haut Languedoc is rugged; the contrast of the stark garrique shrubland and the lush vines planted in the valleys makes for some extraordinary views. Highlights of this trip include the Reserve Nationale de Chasse du Caroux, Lac Salagou and the Cirque de Moureze.

Tour includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Transfer for you and your bike from Montpellier or Bezier airport
  • Daily supported rides with guide
  • Breakfast and evening meals each day
Minimum group size for all fully guided trips is 4 persons

Accommodation

Accommodation is either in our own gite in Caux where we can host up to 4 people or in nearby Pezenas for larger groups.

We have a secure garage for bike storage and access to standard maintenance tools.

Note: For larger groups, or when at capacity, we will arrange accommodation with one of our many local partners.
All our accommodation is bike-friendly and includes a hearty breakfast.

Sample itinerary

Level: medium to challenging, some sustained hill climbs, designed for active and avid riders

Arrival in Caux

We will pick you up at your arrival airport and transport you and your bike to our home base in the picturesque village of Caux.

Depending on your flight times, there should be time for a leg-warmer ride today (~30 km) followed by a group dinner in the nearby town of Pezenas

Spend the evening exploring medieval centre of Pezenas. Pezenas was once the capital of ancient Languedoc and has maintained a regal character. Wander through the pedestrian only historic centre and the ancient Jewish Quarter. You will want to keep a camera handy.

Pezenas is also a local artistic hub. Pop in to the many artisan workshops and galleries; there are marked routes you can follow.

    • Pezenas-with-bougainvilla
    • Pezenas street scene
    Leg-warmer ride (30 km, 425m) and explore the historic town of Pezenas
    Reserve Nationale de Chasse du Caroux

    This route is a challenging circular loop heading northwest from Caux and passing through a variety of picturesque villages on the way to the hills. As you reach the nature reserve, the terrain becomes much more hilly. After a fairly steady bout of climbing, you will be rewarded for your efforts by stunning views over the rugged hills. Keep your eyes out to catch a glimpse of the wild mountain sheep, known as mouflon, who love this terrain too.

    After a lunch break in Saint Gervais sur Mare we will continue the ride back to Caux. Late afternoon can be spent relaxing followed by a group BBQ.

    • Pezenas des Mines, Languedoc, France
    • Mountain goat

    Distance: 105km, Climbing 1890m

    Lodeve and Lac Salagou

    This route takes a winding path through the villages of Fontes, Cabrieres, Salasc, and Octon on the way to Lodeve. It is full of short and sharpish hill climbs through the red rocky hills which are typical of the area.

    We will stop for lunch in Lodeve. If time allows, it is worth exploring the sights of Lodeve. The cathedral is a particularly well preserved example of local Gothic architecture.

    On the return trip, the route passes along the edge of Lac Salagou. Enjoy the more leisurely inclines and the breath-taking open vistas over this beautiful lake.

    • Lodeve Cathedral
    Distance: 110km, Climbing 2100m
    Capestang and the Canal de Midi

    Today’s route meanders through vineyards and skirts along the hills to Capestang a popular holiday town on the Canal de Midi. We will take a lunch break on banks of the famous canal and take a bit of time to explore the village of Capestang which is a bustling centre full of cozy bars and restaurants. A market on Sunday morning on the Place Jean Jaurès provides an opportunity to sample the local produce and specialties.

    A wine tasting featuring a range of vintages from the region paired with local culinary specialites will be offered in the evening, followed by a light dinner.

    Distance: 125km, Climbing 1580m
    Morning ride and heading home
    Those who want to fit in a final ride, will rise early and be rewarded by the stunning Languedocian landscape under the dramatic early morning light.

    We will ride about 50 km through the vines and garrigues before disassembling the bikes for you and packaging them into the bike boxes ready for your flight home.

    • Cycling near Fos, Languedoc
    Final day and heading home

    Rest day / Non-cycling partner activities

    Due to its rich and varied history, this region abounds with a wide range of cultural sites as well as areas of natural beauty to explore.

    Wine-tasting

    wine tasting

    Oysters_690

    fresh oysters

    • Wine tasting – Even the smallest of the local vineyards are pleased to show you around and provide tastings, by appointment. Tours of multiple locations with English speaking guides can also be arranged
    • French cooking classes – Learn the local cuisine from the locals
    • Tour the world-famous Bouzigues oyster farming operation in the Bassin de Thau followed by a tasting lunch
    Cap_Agde_Plage

    Cap Agde beach Mediteranean

    Calmargue

    Camargue salt flats flamingos

      • Hiking – There are numerous designated hiking routes in the region to choose from, ranging from easy “Balades aux Vignes” to more challenging treks in the gorges of Haut Languedoc
      • Swimming and sunbathing in the Mediteranean – The beaches of Cap d’Adge and Plage Marseillan are both within a 30 minute drive
      • Salt flats of Camargue – This unique natural wetland area is famous for its austere beauty, its flamingos and natural salt production
      • Boat tours on the Canal de Midi
    Abbaye-de-Valmage

    Abbaye de Valmagnes

    Quai_Sete

    Port of Sete

    • Abbaye de Valmagnes – Tour the ancient monastery which has been associated with fine wine since the 11th century followed by an optional wine tasting
    • St. Guilhem le Desert – This picturesque town is nestled in a valley amongst popular walking routes and is ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France. The Abbey of the same name is a UNESCO World Heritage site
    • Port of Sete – This popular harbour on the Mediterannean is famous for its seafood restaurants
    • Pont de Gard – This UNESCO World Heritage site is a bit further afield but is worth a day trip
    • Pezenas medieval centre – Wander the narrow streets and browse the many artisan shops. In the summer months, the artists in the town open their studios for visits from 8pm to midnight several nights per week
    • Lodeve – Lodeve is a charming market town with a Gothic cathedral
    spa

    luxury spas

    theatre_moliere_690

    theatre moliere

    • Spas – The Distillerie in Pezenas has excellent spa facilities available to the public by appointment
    • Moliere Theatre – Unsurprisingly, productions are in French, but guided tours are available of this historic 17th century theatre built by Louis XIV for his favoured playwright
    • Bars, restaurants and shops – There are many cafes and restaurants in Pezenas. You can also find cycling gear and accessories

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