The Tastes of Languedoc: A Cycling & Foodie Experience

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The Tastes of Languedoc: A Cycling & Foodie Experience

895.001,225.00


The Languedoc region is not only the oldest and largest wine-growing area in the world, but it is also one of the most historically interesting regions in Europe. Of 37 “Grand sites de France” areas protected for their natural beauty or historical significance, 10 are located in Languedoc.

With a multitude of interesting routes that are very “doable” by your average cyclist, we firmly believe the best way to explore this magnificent region is on two wheels. The area abounds with quiet back roads that wind through the rolling countryside filled with vineyards and olive groves. There are challenging climbs, and rewarding vistas, in the Parc Naturel de Haut Languedoc, while the Mediterranean provides more leisurely pedalling and coastline views.


This cycling tour will delight your palate as well as your eyes with a focus on fine food and wine experiences. From a fixed base in the beautiful Languedocian countryside, you will explore some of the stunning scenery that Languedoc has to offer and sample the fare of the small regional winemakers and local food producers that you might not encounter otherwise.

On this tour, you will:

  • Get off the beaten track to cycle amongst the olive groves, vineyards and “la garrigue” the stark scrubland typical of the region
  • Stop for wine tastings at independent local vineyards hosted by the winemakers themselves
  • Discover the history of wine in the region at the famous “Cathedral of wine”, the Abbaye de Valmagne
  • Sample the local culinary delicacies (including the renowned oysters of the Etang de Thau) all freshly prepared in the many picturesque villages that dot the landscape
  • Explore the market stalls and artisan shops in Pezenas, the ancient captial of Languedoc

5 days

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This tour can be customised for a shorter or longer durations. Contact us for more information on designing the perfect tour for you.



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Product Description

Tour includes:

  • Transfer from Montpellier or Beziers airport
  • 4 nights’ accommodation at 3 or 4 star chambre d’hôtes
  • Welcome meeting to review the itinerary and answer any questions
  • 4 days cycling on routes selected specifically for you, based on your cycling and sight-seeing wish list. We will provide route directions and GPX files for a Garmin device or similar.
  • Gourmet breakfast and lunch each day
  • Entry to all planned attractions and tastings
  • One evening meal in table d’hote format
  • Optional bike hire
Level: medium, some hill climbs, designed for active riders (can be adjusted for recreational or more avid riders)
We can customise the tour to suit your particular group.

Minimum group size for this trip is 2 persons

Accommodation

Experience the relaxed and authentic charm of Languedocian village life. We work with local partners to offer bike-friendly accommodation with a touch of luxury. All our partners for this tour are rated 3 or 4 stars. Secure bike storage is provided and a delicious gourmet breakfast is included each morning.

Standard pricing is based on double occupancy, but single occupancy can be arranged for a supplement.

Note, once your tour is reserved, we will confirm specific accommodation recommendations based on your preferred dates.

Sample itinerary

The sample itinerary below gives you an idea of the many sites to see and experience, and of course taste, in beautiful Languedoc. We can customise the tour to suit your particular group.

Arrival
We will pick you up at your arrival airport or agreed location and transport you into the picturesque Languedocian countryside for the start of your tour. 

After a welcome meeting to review the itinerary, answer questions and ensure everyone is comfortable on their hire bikes, take the time to settle in and wander around the charming village which will be your home base.

No formal cycling today, but depending on your arrival time, the keen cyclists in the group can head out for a quick leg spinner.

Enjoy a Table d’hote dinner prepared fresh by your hosts at your B&B.

  • Place de la Republique, Caux, Languedoc
No formal cycling today.
Abbaye de Valmagne

Today’s ride will begin by meandering leisurely through the vineyard roads before ascending to the picturesque hilltop village of Aumes. Stop for a break to enjoy the view and take a few pictures in the charming central square before continuing on to the Abbaye of Valmagne.

This historic abbey is a designated “Monumente de France” and is definitely worth exploring. It is referred to as the Cathedral of the Vines as it has been associated with wine making for centuries – in fact they still produce wine there today.

Guided tours are offered throughout the day, usually only in French, but with guide cards in other languages. The tour is followed by a tasting of the Abbey’s bio wines produced on site.

You will have lunch at the Abbey’s excellent restaurant before cycling home, passing through the pretty winemaking towns of Sainte Pargoire, Uclas d’ Herault and Adissan.

You will notice that many of the villages in the region, are constructed on a circular plan. Steeped in over 1000 years of history and winemaking, these traditional “circulade” villages are typical of the Languedoc region. Originating in medieval times, these villages are constructed in concentric circles generally with a church or chateau at the centre. In most cases, at least some vestiges of the protective city walls remain.

  • Abbaye de Valmagne, Languedoc
Distance: 55-60km

The Mediterranean Coast
Today you will cycle towards the Mediterranean. You will take in some spectacular coastal views, sample some of the best oysters produced in France along with a zesty white wine which is grown exclusively in this region.

The production of Picpoul white wine is centered around a few small villages close to the Bassin de Thau, that coincidentally produces much of France’s high class oysters and mussels. Situated on a limestone plateau, the wine is made from a single Piquepoul grape variety and is a light acidic wine, with citrus fruit aromas. It is the perfect accompaniment to seafood.

Your first stop of the day is at a local Picpoul domaine where the winemaker will explain what makes this grape so special and let you sample his wines. Cycle on to the village of Marseillan on the Etang de Thau. Here you will indulge in a fresh sampler platter of the region’s famous oysters, served on the picturesque waterfront and paired with Picpoul of course.

Before the return cycle ride, visit the cellars of the Noilly Prat. This unique aperitif is made from the same Picpoul grape variety and has been produced in the town of Marseillan since 1855.

Distance: 75-80km
Tasting the Wines of Languedoc

Today’s route is dedicated to discovering some of the independent winemakers of Languedoc and of course tasting their wines. You will cycle a pretty loop through the vineyard roads taking in several picturesque towns including Gabian, Margon and Fouzilhon. At Margon take the time to explore the gardens of the beautifully restored Chateau Margon.

You will stop at 3 vineyards on route where you will be greeted by the winemakers themselves who will present their stories and their wines. You will sample the wines of the two major appellations of this area: AOP Languedoc & AOP Faugères.

The second tasting of the day will include a tapas style lunch with food and wine pairings.

After lunch, the route will become a bit more challenging as you cycle through the schiste hills of the Faugerès appellation. You will be rewarded for your efforts by some stunning views but also by the opportunity to taste some of these special wines.

All purchases made at any of the vineyards you visit can be collected after the ride and delivered to your B&B.

  • Cycling in Vines, Languedoc

Distance: 30-55km

Morning ride to Pezenas and heading home

The highlight of today’s route is the town of Pezenas and its vibrant market. Once the capital of ancient Languedoc, Pézena’s medieval town centre is full of history and charm as well as many boutiques and cafes.

On Saturday, there is an all-day market in the Cours Jean Jaures which is one of the largest and most vibrant in the area. Be aware that the fresh food stalls generally start to close at around noon, but the crafts and other stalls are open into the afternoon.

Take the time to explore the pedestrian-only historic centre and the ancient Jewish Quarter. Pézenas is a local artistic hub. Pop in to the many artisan workshops and galleries; there are marked routes you can follow.

You will be spoiled for choice for lunch with an abundance of quality restaurants from local to gourmet cuisine. Or just feast on the many delicacies from the market.

Time permitting, you can stop on the way home for a wine tasting at St. Cecile de Parc – one of the local vineyards who are winning awards for their wine.

We will then transport you to the airport or agreed location for your onward journey.

  • Pezenas-with-bougainvilla

Distance: 25-50km

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