Channel to the Med – 14 Day Tour

  • Welcome to Peak Tour’s cycle challenge “extraordinaire” from one end of France to the other. Starting from the northern French coast at Ouistreham close to the port town of Caen we continue southwards to finish the tour near Nice on the Mediterranean coastline two weeks later.

    So, Why France? France is a wide and diverse country which contains a variety of different and stunning landscapes. France is also only one quarter as densely populated as the UK and much more rural so the roads are quieter and cyclists are treated with a good general level of respect.

    Most people have heard of the Tour de France and the country can arguably be considered the cultural home of cycling. We will cycle through some of the iconic landscapes that you may have seen whilst watching “The Tour” and most notably we will take in the unforgettable Mont Ventoux and Gorge de Verdon en-route to Nice.

    France enjoys much better weather than the UK so chances of a dry and sunny tour is much more likely than if tackling LEJOG although it must also be noted that it can get very hot in the summer months, especially in the South.

    France is also well known for it’s gastronomy and also fine wines and we will do our best to ensure that you sample plenty of the delights on offer. Added to that a rich culture, medieval villages and stunning architecture, all of which makes France an ideal place for a long distance cycle tour. Covering the country from the English Channel to the Mediterranean enables you to visit many of Frances most beautiful and interesting places.

    We have been organising UK end to ends or Lands End to John o’Groats tours since 2010 and have seen countless happy cyclists complete the challenge. We launched the Channel to the Med tour in 2015 and have seen hundreds of riders complete the challenge since then. We have also seen many riders come back to do this tour a 2nd time with some doing for a third time so it can’t be bad.

    Our French end to end will run in much the same way as our LEJOG tour with the ‘magic van’ providing refreshments throughout the tour. Your bags will be transported for you each day and we will be having some fantastic picnic lunches with an emphasis on finding local specialities to ensure that you sample the fantastic food on offer – you certainly won’t go hungry!

    You are provided with detailed route notes and for those with Garmins we also have GPX files of the route (or you can hire a device from us with the route loaded on). A tour guide cycles at the back of the group and there is a support vehicle on hand should you require assistance. We also carry a few spare bikes just in case you have any major mechanical problems.

    The tour is similar to the LEJOG tour in terms of difficulty although the first week is slightly easier but the second week is harder as there are a number of long climbs as we cycle through the Massif Central, The Ardeche, Provence etc. Covering approximately 870 miles over 14 days we average around 62 miles a day with some longer days in the flatter areas and some shorter days in the hillier areas especially when we climb Mont Ventoux (there is an option to cycle round it).

    We will start our tour in Caen on the north coast of France and cycle southwards through the stunning scenery of areas such as the Loire Valley, Puy-de-dome and Provence before we finish the tour on the south coast near Nice. We will also take your bike to France and bring it back for you providing you can get your bike to us in Glossop, Derbyshire or meet us at one of the designated stop off points en-route to Portsmouth/from Calais (generally we stop near Birmingham and M25). There is no extra charge for this service.

    Please note that Friday is the arrival day and cycling starts on Saturday. Accommodation isn’t included on Friday night but is included every night from Saturday onwards, including the final night on Friday.

    To view photos of the tour please click here May 2015  May 2016 Tour June/July 2016 Tour May 2017 May/June 2017

    2018 Dates:

    Fri 18th May – Sat 2nd June 2018 Tour Full

    Fri 8th – Sat 23rd June 2018 – 2 Places now available

    Fri 15th – Sat 30th June 2018 Tour Full

    Fri 3rd – Sat 18th August 2018 Places available

    Fri 14th – Sat 29th September 2018  Only 6 places left

  • Fri: Arrival Day
    Arriving into Ouistreham by either the morning, afternoon or overnight ferry will see us safely in place ready for ‘Le Grand Depart’ the following morning.

    Sat: Ouistreham to Bagnoles de l’Orne (68 miles) Elevation Gain:  4215ft / 1285m
    After the obligatory photographs and adjustment of Lycra we gear up for our Gallic adventure with a gentle start to the day along the Suisse Normand cycle way. This smooth tarmac surface follows the river Orne, meandering along the banks of the river. We will pass through Caen and follow the river through a lovely gorge surrounded by woodland. A Peak Tours picnic lunch with a view will stand you in good stead for the latter part of the day, as the terrain becomes hillier. We round off the day making our way through the forest of Andaine to our first nights accommodation in the lovely spa town of Bagnoles de l’Orne.

    Sun: Bagnoles De l’Orne to La Fleche (78 miles) Elevation Gain: 4189ft / 1277m     
    In contrast to yesterday morning’s cycling, today starts us off on hilly, undulating roads through the pretty villages and countryside of France. The undulations eventually give way to easier terrain and we stock up on energy for the afternoon with lunch by a lake. Today and tomorrow will see us putting some extra miles behind us to reap what we sow in days to come. At the end of the day’s cycling the grand buildings and gentle river of the smart town of La Fleche await our arrival.

    Mon: La Fleche to Loches (79 miles) Elevation Gain: 1000m / 3280ft
    A long but easy day in the saddle today has us pushing on in the morning through farmland and orchards heading for the lovely, lazy Loire. After we have dropped down past the impressive chateaux at Langeais we cross this revered river and frivolously waste a good half mile cycling alongside it to our idyllic lunch stop, and why not? For those with the time there will be chance to visit the famous castle on the island at Azay le Rideau as we pass, before heading on to our evening at Loches, residence of the Kings of France.

    Tue: Loches to Crozant (71 miles) Elevation Gain: 1241m / 4071ft
    Leaving Loches behind we will continue southwards alongside the River Indre. Passing through Chatillo-sur-indre our generally flat route takes us into the Brenne National Park. This calm, quiet area is known for its many lakes, interesting habitats and rare aquatic species. Further along we will join with the River Creuse and continue through Argenton where the route starts to get a little hillier as we pass by a number of viewpoints en-route to Crozant.

    Wed: Crozant to Aubusson (56 miles) Elevation Gain: 1500m / 4921ft
    We will start to notice the hills increase today as we continue to the Massif Central and the area around the Puy-de-Dome. Todays ride will provide good practice for some of the larger climbs which lie in wait for us further south. A nice day in the saddle will see us arrive at the attractive town of Aubusson which is know throughout France for it’s fine tapestries.

    Thu: Aubusson to Le Mont Dore (60 miles) Elevation Gain:  1735m / 5692ft
    We have a number of climbs as we cycle through this scenic region known for its volcanic landscape. We will cycle through a number of woodlands and forests amongst yet more stunning scenery and find ourselves in Le Mont Dore. Sounded by mountains Le Mont Dore acts as a ski resort in the winter and attracts many walkers and bikers during the summer.

    Fri: Le Mont Dore to St Flour (62 miles) Elevation Gain: 1814m / 5951ft
    The days starts with a climb followed by a number of ups and downs. As we approach Condat you will be greeted with a fantastic view over the valley before a long descent. After Condat you will have a substantial climb up to lunch followed by a 13 mile descent – woo hoo! We will finish our ride in the hilltop town of Saint Flour. Nicely situated in the Auvergne region the upper town affords superb views over the surrounding area.

    Sat: St Flour to Mende (52 miles) Elevation Gain: 1562m / 5124ft
    Once we have left St Flour a hilly road takes you over to the Viaduc de Garabit where the road descends to a scenic lake. A nice ride by the lake is followed by a big climb and a number of ups and downs before lunch. After lunch the ride is characterised by rolling forested countryside through a number of small hamlets. The day is finished with a long winding descent into the town of Mende.

    Sun: Mende to Vallon-Pont-D’Arc (72 miles) Elevation Gain: 1392m / 4566ft
    Initially we follow the Lot River towards its source along a meandering valley. A lovely winding and undulating road continues through woodlands with some stunning views. Further along the route descends down a fantastic winding valley for 15 miles and we will pass by the impressive Chateaux de Champ before arriving at our lovely picnic spot overlooking the Lake L’Altier. In the afternoon the scenery is stunning as we cycle through the limestone gorges of the area into the Ardeche.

    Mon: Vallon-Pont-D’Arc to Vaison-la-Romaine (59 miles) Elevation Gain – 1324m / 4343ft
    We will cycle past the iconic Pont d’Arc and follow the Ardeche along a superb road with fantastic vistas around every bend. Further along the road descends and we will pass through St Martin before we catch our first glimpse of Ventoux, the mountain that will be ever present for the next few days. Further along we will cross over the River Rhone and enter the wine growing region of the Rhone and pass through vineyards and orchards.

    Tue: Vaison to Sault (Mount Ventoux) (38 miles) Elevation Gain: 2013m / 6604ft
    After a short ride to Malaucene you will follow in the footsteps of some of previous Tour de France greats and begin your climb of the iconic Mont Ventoux. This classic ride is a tough climb but you will be rewarded with fine panoramic views over area. A long descent takes you down into Sault where you will have a well deserved rest. For those who want to do a bit extra you can also cycle the scenic Gorge Du Nesque and for those who don’t fancy Ventoux there is an easier route to Sault (28 miles) which is also a fantastic ride.

    Wed: Sault to Moustier-St.Marie (67 miles) Elevation Gain: 1450m / 4757ft
    With the ever present smell of lavender we will leave Sault and cycle through the delightful lavender fields of Provence. Further along we will pass through a number of ancient towns and villages and you will also notice the landscape change too as the scented lavender fields are replaced by steep sided valleys and stunted old trees. As the afternoon approaches a number of fantastic views opens up as we get closer to the picture postcard town of Moustier St Marie. Perched on a cliff face and guarded by the towns star Moustier is a lovely place to spend the night

    Thu: Moustier to Castelanne (52 miles) Elevation Gain: 1434m / 4704ft
    One of the most spectacular days cycling of the tour awaits as we venture into the Gorges de Verdon. This stunning gorge is the 2nd largest gorge in the world after the Grand Canyon in USA and makes for some truly memorable cycling. The azure waters of the Lac de Saint Croix marks the start of the glorious ascent to the top of the canyon. After lunch the route is mostly flat and down hill as the route takes us along the top of the gorge then down to the strikingly aquamarine Verdon River which we follow to all the way to Castellane.

    Fri: Castelanne to Nice (53 miles) Elevation Gain: 950m / 3116ft
    Our final day in the saddle is another stunning ride. A climb away from Castellane reveals superb views back over the town before the road flattens out and continues along a lovely valley surrounded by mountains. Further along we will cycle along the top of the Gorge de Loup and descend for about 20 miles all the way down to Nice. The scenery is stunning on our ride to the coast. As we near our final destination we will meet the coast and cycle along the sea front beaches and soak up the sun and maybe a dip in the Med before out final photo’s and group meal.

    Sat: Departure Day
    Following our final night’s accommodation in Nice, today is departure day. The guides will be leaving around 8am as they have to drive back to the UK but Nice Airport is within easy reach from the Hotel you will be staying at and public transport and taxi’s are readily available to transfer you there.

  • What’s Included?

    The tour price includes 14 nights accommodation, 14 breakfasts, 14 lunches, snacks throughout the day, full trip support including a tour leader that cycles at the back of the group, back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes, we will even take your bikes over to France for you and bring them back at the end of the tour at no extra charge (providing that you can get your bikes to us in Derbyshire or meet us at one of the pick up points en-route, detailed route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, certificate, luggage transfer each day, lots of fun!

    What’s Not Included?

    Evening meals, cycle hire (available for a fee), transport to Caen, transport from Nice.

    Group Size

    The group will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 25 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.

    Accommodation

    Accommodation is in clean and comfortable, B&B’s, guesthouses and hotels. If you are sharing a twin or a double room then the price is £2045.00 If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£2445) or sole occupancy of a double (£2595). Most of the rooms are en-suite however there maybe a few nights where your room isn’t en-suite. Prices quoted are for 2018.

    Route

    Covering approximately 870 miles over 14 days we average around 62 miles a day with some longer days in the flatter areas and some shorter days in the hillier areas especially when we climb Mont Ventoux (there is an option to cycle round it).

    Food

    All of your breakfasts and lunches are included in the price of the trip. Many of the guesthouses in France only provide a basic breakfast and for this reason we always have an early brew stop with extra food available. Lunches will be provided each day and will generally be a picnic lunch in a beautiful spot with plenty of local produce. Evening meals can be bought at your accommodation or in a nearby pub/restaurant. We also have fruit, biscuits, nuts etc in the back up van that you are welcome to pick at throughout the day.

    Back Up

    An experienced tour leader will cycle with you each day and be on hand to help with any bike problems that may occur. You will have detailed route notes so that you can go slower or faster than the leader if you prefer or you can cycle behind the tour leader so that you don’t have to navigate at all.

    A back up van will leap frog the group a number of times each day so that help is never far away. We carry a range of spare parts so that repairs can be made en-route and we will have a spare bike available in the event that your bike has a serious breakdown.

    Bikes

    We highly recommend that you use a bike that you are used to and feel comfortable riding. Your bike should be fully serviced and in good condition before you start, this will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and unnecessary stoppages along the way. Either a road bike or a hybrid bike is preferable however the ride can be done on a mountain bike if you prefer. We have a range of hybrid bikes available for hire (£100 – £200 depending on bike choice) if you don’t have your own bike. We will take your bike over for you if you bring it to us before hand and we will take it back for you at the end of the tour as well (free of charge if you drop off and pick up or £70.00 if we box the bike and post it to you).

    Fitness

    This tour is suitable for someone with a good level of fitness and who wants a challenge. If you do plenty of training beforehand you should have no problem completing the ride. We will have a training day in the Peak District available if you would like to join the group before the main event.

    It must be stressed that a good amount of training before the ride will make your tour much more enjoyable and ensure that you finish your ride. We are always happy to advise you about training plans in preparation for the ride.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Clothing for all weathers is recommended so waterproofs are essential. A full recommended kit list is provided & we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.

    Insurance

    It is highly recommended that you take out adequate insurance to cover against, personal accident, loss of belongings and cancellation cover.

  • What happens at the start of the tour?

    We will start the tour from Caen in France. The first day cycling is on Saturday so it is advisable to get to Caen either on Friday or early Saturday morning.

    To get to Caen you can take the ferry from Portsmouth. We will be around throughout the day on the Friday before the tour and can pick you up from the station in Portsmouth when you arrive. You can take the afternoon ferry and spend the night in Ouistreham (recommended), or the overnight ferry which leaves at 22.45 and arrives in Caen at 6.45 on Saturday morning. We will have time for some breakfast and aim to start cycling around 8.45. Details of ferry services can be found here http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk

    Accommodation is included on the Saturday night but the ferry fare or Ouistreham accommodation isn’t included in the tour price.  A guide to Ouistreham accommodation is provided.

    What happens at the end?

    At the end of the tour we will finish near to Nice and have a celebratory last night meal and no doubt a few drinks as well. Nice has a large airport which has flights to London, Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh & Belfast.

    As an example you can fly from Nice to Manchester for 64 euro’s and the flight takes 2 hours 25 minutes (prices liable to change).

    How do I transport my bike?

    Your easiest option is to drop your bike off with us beforehand and will will take it over for you and bring it back at the end of the tour – there is no charge for this option. We are based in Glossop, Derbyshire so this may not be a convenient option for you.

    Another option is to take your bike with you at the start of the tour and at the end of the tour you can either take your bike with you on the plane (some riders in the past brought a cardboard box laid flat in the van and packing material to re-assemble for the flight). Alternatively we can take your bike back to the UK for you and box your bike and post it too you – there is a charge of £70 for this option.

    Another option is to rent a bike from us, we have a range of road and hybrid bikes available.

    Whatever arrangements you make we will be happy to help.

    How difficult is the tour?

    The tour is comparable to the Lands end to John o’Groats tour but it is a bit less taxing due to easier gradients.

    The fitter you are and the more training that you do beforehand will add to the enjoyment of your tour and improve your chances of succeeding the challenge. If you need any advice about fitness please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions and concerns that you may have.

    What mechanical knowledge do I need?

    We don’t expect you to be an expert bike mechanic but there are a few simple skills that will be a great benefit to you. The most important skill you need to know is how to fix a puncture. It is quite likely that at some point you will have a puncture or 2 so it is essential that you carry a puncture repair kit & a spare tube or two with you. It is also helpful if you know how to change your brake pads and adjust your brakes and gears, however this isn’t essential. Our guides will help you with any repairs and adjustments en-route.

    What are the lunches like?

    Lunches will be a mixture of restaurants and picnic lunches situated in some picturesque places. We will source local specialities and provide plenty of delicious French food every day of your tour, you certainly won’t go hungry. We will have plenty of food available and will cater for any special dietary requirements.

    Will I be left behind?

    No, a tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Throughout the group there will be a mix of abilities and cycling speeds so you will usually be able to cycle with others that cycle at a similar pace. Some people like to cycle fast whilst others prefer to take their time, stop for coffee & cake or stop to take photos etc, so whether you are a ‘speed demon’ or more of a ‘tourer’ there usually will be someone to cycle with each day.

    What are the groups like?

    Obviously each group is different but generally they are a fun, friendly, helpful and adventurous bunch. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life. We tend to get quite a few older riders although there will always be a few younger riders as well. So far our youngest rider was 15 & the oldest 78. We think that a group of 15-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests and character without being such a big group that it becomes too much.

    Generally the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone and people that travel as a pair such as two brothers, two friends, two partners. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day and in the evening.

    Many of the people on this tour will have cycled LEJOG with us previously so you may even bump into someone you know!

    What happens in the evenings?

    Once you have arrived at your accommodation you should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower etc before the evening meal. We usually arrange somewhere to eat for the evening meal so that we can all get together and you won’t be left alone if you would like to eat with others. Quite often will simply arrange a certain pub to meet up and just drift in when you are ready whilst at other places we have a set time to eat – it just depends on the location.

    Does the support vehicle follow the group?

    No, the back up van doesn’t drive behind the group at all times but the van shouldn’t be too far away if you require assistance. In the morning we have a group brief and set off cycling, meanwhile the backup driver will collect all the luggage from the various B&B’s and hotels. Once all of the luggage has been loaded, the support vehicle will leapfrog the group stopping when necessary. The backup driver will be at the lunch stop should you need anything from the van and in the afternoon will go on ahead to ensure that your luggage is in place before you arrive.

    How much luggage can I take?

    There is limited space in the back up van to store luggage. We therefore request that you try to keep your luggage size to a minimum and try not to bring too much with you. Washing clothes can be done en-route so you shouldn’t need to bring a clean set of clothes for every day. The ideal size for luggage is 70 x 50 x 30 cm and a weight of 15-18kg (or less).

    What training should I do?

    The more the better. We will provide a training guide for you so that you can build up your cycling strength and prepare for the ride in the correct way. It is important that you cycle two long days back to back whilst training & also that you cycle on some hills. We hold training weekends at the start of the season so that you can meet with others in the group, ask any questions you may have and also test yourselves amongst the hills of the Peak District.

    What bike should I use?

    The most suitable bike for this trip is a hybrid/touring bike or a road bike, however it is entirely up to you what type of bike you use.

    Please ensure that your bike is fully serviced and in good working order before the start of the trip.

    If you are riding a mountain bike then it is advisable to use slick tyres or if you are using a lightweight racing bike it would be better to use a wider tyre if possible as the route does include narrow lanes & some roads have a lot of pot holes. Tyre inflation and rubber composition is important and a tyre width of 25cm or more is recommended for this tour. Please ensure that you have hard wearing tyres with plenty of tread.

    You are going to cycle 870 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres and inner tubes before you start the ride and also bring 3-4 spare inner tubes, pump, puncture repair kit and multi-tool to carry with you each day. It is essential that you are able to fix a puncture.

    It is also advisable to have front and rear lights on your bikes and try to be a visible as possible.

    Can I hire a bike from you?

    It is advisable to use your own bike if possible however we realise that it is not always possible to use your own steed so you may wish to hire one. We have two types of road bike and three types of hybrid/touring bikes bike available. Our road bikes are the Cannondale Synapse (£150) or the Cannondale CAAD10 (£200). You may choose the basic level hybrid Dawes Discovery 301 which costs £100.00 for the tour or you may wish to upgrade to the Dawes Galaxy Plus at £150 or the Dawes Super Galaxy at £200.00 for the tour.

    All of our hire bikes come fitted with mudguards, cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and front and rear lights. We can also provide a pannier with a multi-tool, pump, puncture repair kit, spare tube and tyre levers at no extra cost. All bikes have flat pedals so if you would prefer to use your own (and maybe your own saddle) then please bring these along with you. We can also provide a helmet for you at no extra cost.

    What gear should I take?

    We provide a suggested kit list so please contact us if you would like a copy sending to you.
    What is the male / female ratio?

    This varies with each group. There are usually more guys than gals but an average would be about 1/3rd ladies & 2/3rds gents.

    Why France?

    France is a wide and diverse country which contains a variety of different and changing landscapes. France is also 1/4 as densely populated as the UK and much more rural so the roads are quieter and cyclists are treated with much more respect.

    France is the cultural home of cycling and everyone has heard of the Tour de France. We will cycle through some of the iconic landscapes that you will have seen whilst watching the tour and most notably we will take in Mont Ventoux and the Gorges de Verdon en-route to Nice.

    France enjoys much better weather than the UK so chances of a dry and sunny tour is much more likely than if tackling LEJOG although it must also be noted that it can get very hot in the summer months, especially in the South.

    France is also well known for it’s gastronomy and also fine wines and we will do out best to ensure that you sample plenty of the delights on offer. Added to that a rich culture, medieval villages and stunning architecture all of which makes France an ideal place for a long distance cycle tour. Covering the country from the English Channel to the Mediterranean enables you to visit many of Frances beautiful and interesting places.

  • Booking

    To book a tour please send a completed booking form and (a) Deposit of £250.00 per person for tours of 7 days or longer or £50.00 for all other tours or (b) The full holiday cost. If only the deposit is paid at time of booking then full payment of the holiday is required no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. No further reminder is sent. If you book your holiday within 8 weeks of the holiday start date, the full holiday cost is required at time of booking.

    Cancellation by Us

    In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the tour you will be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid or we will move you to a different tour date if you’re able to do so. If the tour is cancelled because the minimum number of people required to operate this tour hasn’t been reached then you will be notified no less than 3 calendar months before the departure date. If the tour is cancelled by us we will not be responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred such as travel expenses, visas etc & no compensation will be paid to cover these expenses.

    Cancellation by You

    If you have to cancel your holiday then please notify us as soon as possible. We always try to be fair and will always try to move you to different tour date if possible. If you cancel your tour less than 8 weeks before your tour start date then you will lose all monies already paid. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover cover this.

    Notice of Cancellation Charge (% of Full Price)

    Length of time before the tour is due to start Cancellation Charge
    More than 60 days before start date Deposit
    Less than 60 days before start date 100%

    Cooling Off Period

    If you decide to cancel your tour after receipt of your booking form you will be entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. During this time you will be entitled to a full refund of any monies paid.

    Accommodation

    B&B Option – double or twin

    If you chose the B&B only option you will stay in a mixture of B&B’s, hotels and country pubs. If you are travelling with a friend then you will be roomed together in a twin or or if you’re with your partner then you will be in a double room (or a twin if you prefer). If you are travelling alone then you will be roomed with another member of the group in a twin room (same sex). The actual stopovers may change from the advertised accommodation providers, if this happens then an equivalent standard of accommodation will be used nearby. The majority of the rooms you stay in will be en-suite however you may stay in a couple of rooms that are not en-suite.

    Single Room Option

    If you choose the single room option you will have your own room for the duration of the trip. This will be in either a single room or single occupancy of a double room in a mixture of en-suite and non en-suite rooms.

    Sole Use of a Double room Option

    If you choose this option you will have a guaranteed double room to yourself throughout the tour. You will always have an en-suite each night of your tour. There may be a rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely.

    YHA (Youth Hostel) Option

    This option is only available for the 14 day LEJOG tour. If you chose the YHA option you will stay in a mixture of hostels, hotels & B&B’s staying in single sex dormitory rooms, single rooms, twin rooms & triples.

    Support

    On tours with 8 people or less in the group then there may only be one tour guide with you who will drive the back up van each day. Tours with 8 – 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back up van and the other guide cycling with the group or both guides driving a back up van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans do provide support.

    Cycle Hire

    If you choose the cycle hire option you will be provided with your bike at the start of your tour. The bike comes with everything you need for your trip although some people like you use their own saddle, peddles and/or helmet (just let us know beforehand). At the end of your tour you can simply hand your bike back to us when you finish cycling. Please see the additional cycle hire sheet for details of the bikes we have available.

    Minimum Number

    If the minimum number of people required to run the trip is not met then we will have to cancel the trip. You will be notified at least 3 calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually 8 people) hasn’t been met & you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.

    Consumer Protection

    In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit & final payment will be held in a separate account until your holiday is completed. This is to ensure the financial security of your holiday.

    Insurance

    It is compulsory that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your bike or belongings while on holiday.

    EHIC – European Health Insurance Card (for EU nationals travelling in Europe)

    This card entitles you to greatly reduced or free state medical services throughout Europe, including Switzerland. We recommend you send off for one of these before the trip and carry it with you. It’s important to bear in mind that these cards are not a substitute for travel insurance and adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour. This link will give you all the information you need about the EHIC. www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC

    Safety

    Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity & the risks involved should be considered before undertaking such a trip. We will be cycling mostly on quiet back roads however there will be times when we cycle on busier roads where traffic density is higher. All persons undertaking this tour do so at their own risk & Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip. For further details please see our risk acknowledgement statement here which forms part of these conditions.

    Contract

    By signing your booking form you agree to the booking conditions as outlined above. Peak tours will carry out our obligations as detailed in the tour itinerary & any information supplied to you.

  • I love your tour concept. Thanks for making my trips possible. I would never have thought that at 62 I would be cycling France from the Channel to the Med, as I was not sporting at all when I was younger. The support is amazing and now my family and friends think I’m an inspiration. I’m not – I just persisted in training and got support!

    Gilly Cooper, September/October 2016

    Bloody awesome route – well done. Great roads, quiet roads, stunning views. Now … if you could only make Ventoux a bit flatter!

    Vicki Barber, September/October 2016

    The route was amazing – mostly relatively traffic free and the fabulous descents made up for (almost) the climbs! The brew van will always be a fond memory! The hotels were good also and everyone said how great it was to have the bags in our room at the end of each day. We ran a gite business here in France for 7 years and had hire bikes & prepared routes for our guests so we have a idea of how much preparation has been put into the routes etc – you have done a great job with all the work that must have been necessary and you have a great bunch of people working for you!

    Gordon and Jane Barnes, September/October 2016

    Overnight stops were very good in general. Some were ultra modern and others ‘full of character’ as they were in the middle of nowhere. A really good variety and each night there was a very interesting town/city/village to explore, some stunning medieval sites. There was always a great variety of food at brew stops and the picnic lunches.

    John Pointon, September 2016

    I just wanted to tell you what a fantastic team you have at Peak Tours. The Channel to Med bike ride that I've just done under the expert guidance and care of Nigel, Richard and Dan was just perfect! From start to finish, and I include the 'head office' contingent of Dave, Lee and yourself in the accolades, the service was professional, efficient and friendly, which gave the clients the comfortable feeling that everything was sorted and in control.  As a relative newcomer to the sport of cycling, this was even more appreciated by me than it was with the 'experts'!  More than this, however, was the constant vigilance and care given to ensure the safety and welfare of the 23 cyclists on the trip by all three of your staff - and all done with unstinting goodwill and a boisterous sense of humour so important on a hard expedition.

    Ernie Clark, September 2016

    The tour organisation was excellent from first communication to the final dinner – all needs catered for.

    Keith Rawlinson, September 2016

    The accommodation was very good. All clean, good food, nice staff. The tour was very, very good value. I had a great time!

    John Austin, September 2016

    Excellent route through less travelled roads. Would recommend any of the trips I have taken with Peak Tours to any competent cyclist.

    David Varga, September 2016

    Tour Organisation. Excellent+. Beyond expectation. Meeting people off the train in Portsmouth was a very nice bonus. Tour Overall. Outstanding. In comparison with other companies I have used for similar trips, Peak Tours are better in almost every way. In particular, you offer the best value by miles.

    Dave Smith, September 2016

    An amazing trip which far exceeded my expectations.

    Richard Beer, September 2016

    Wonderful route. The best road riding I have ever done. Overall, an awesome tour! Great leadership, support, great route, great hire bike from Peak Tours.

    Rick Metzger, September 2016

    I would have no hesitation in recommending this tour to friends, family and others. I’d like to do another similar trip in the future – maybe Italy.

    Chris Morgan, September 2016

    The picnic lunches and brew stops were excellent – substantial and a great variety. The tour organisation was very slick!

    Ann Marie Latham and Helen Cassady, August 2016

    The route meant that the cycling went at the perfect speed to travel and see many beautiful areas of France that I would never have been to otherwise. The trip has clearly been planned to perfection.

    Laura Mattock, August 2016

    A great route, loved it all. The prospect of Mont Ventoux was something to focus on and aim for. Every day I felt it couldn’t get better, but it did.

    Janet Cordingley, August 2016

    The route was amazing. I hate to think how much effort it took to find so many quiet roads across the country, north to south. The cafes were nice but the picnic lunches were fantastic. The best holiday I have ever had. It was brilliant. I have recommended you to all my friends.

    Phil Winterbourne, June/July 2016

    The route was excellent - quiet roads, great surfaces and magnificent scenery. The picnic lunches were excellent and far better than I expected. I was also amazed at what good sites were selected for the brew and lunch stops – always either a good view, or shelter from the sun and never problems with traffic. Obviously, a lot of research goes into this.

    I would not fault anything with the tour – being met at the railway station, your great service in taking my bike from Glossop and returning it from Nice made things so much easier. Arriving and leaving hotels was so easy with our bags being taken to our rooms. I cannot think of anything where the organisation was lacking.

    This completely lived up to expectations and more. I loved the whole experience and would recommend others to take this journey. It was brilliant. The input from Peak Tours, with the organisation, the guides and the overall informal, but highly efficient, attention to detail was, as always, superb. Thank you.

    Graham Dent, June/July 2016

    Brew stops and lunches were fantastic – Isabelle (the guide) always looking for new treats for us!

    Sylvia and John Chudley, June/July 2016

    Well organised without being over-organised. We’re all grown adults and it’s good to have that recognised! The route was so well planned in terms of terrain and difficulty, building up to Ventoux and then the Gorges du Verdon. It just got better and better. Loved the picnics.

    Marjory Grieg, June 2016

    It started off great and just got better. I highly recommend it, a fantastic two weeks.

    Simon Joyce, June 2016

    This was a spectacular trip and fantastically well organised. Thank you very much.

    Rachel Pattinson, June 2016

    Full marks for the route planning. Magnificent country. Challenging ascents (but not beyond anyone’s capability) and descents … and Mont Ventoux!

    Robin Hollands, June 2016

    We both want to thank you for organising such a fantastic French tour. Both of us had such an amazing time, more of a holiday for me & a great holiday / hard challenge for Nicky. Having done a LEJOG I kind of knew what to expect, but Nicky was super impressed with just how well organised the tour was & how smoothly the tour ran. Undoubtedly, having 3 such fantastic guides really contributed to the success of our Caen to Nice cycle trip.

    Anonymous

    The route was simply outstanding. The tour was amazingly organised.

    Adrian Zissos, May 2016

    It was all just brilliant! John and I have never known such superb organisation which made it all run like clockwork. The ethos of Peak Tours clearly comes from the top and makes for really successful holidays that everyone loves. We had a wonderful time – thanks a million.

    Anonymous

    The tour organisation was brilliant – thanks. We really had the most amazing trip and were very impressed with Peak Tours’ service all round.

    Willow, June 2016

    I was so impressed by the route. We rarely saw traffic and the scenery was spectacular. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in cycling in France.

    Dan Jeffers, May 2016

    The tour organisation was absolutely superb. As a participant getting on with the ride, the whole tour seemed to go like clockwork, seamlessly behind the scenes. All three guides were excellent and came across as a very efficient effective team. I greatly appreciated the fact that our luggage was in the room on arrival at the hotels – it is that level of service that really ‘makes the day’ when we arrive tired after a days cycling. The coordination between the guides and the hoteliers seemed to be excellent. Briefings were comprehensive and thorough and the brew van and lunches were extremely well organised and much appreciated. I used a pre-loaded Peak Tours Garmin which was excellent. Having said that, the route notes were also excellent, as indicated by fellow riders who relied on them

    Philip Brodie, May 2016

    Best cycling I’ve ever done.

    Chris Rooney, May 2016

    I thought nothing could beat Peak Tours LEJOG. I was wrong.

    Vajrin Malin, May 2016

    All the routes for each of the days were fabulous. It was rare to have a section of busy road or go through towns. The route notes were amazingly accurate.

    Clare Hearnshaw, May 2016

    All accommodations were clean and the owners were courteous. I don’t know how you managed this in France!

    Anonymous C2M 2015

    Compared to other companies doing similar trips this was real value for money.

    Peter Norwood C2M September 2015

    The quality of the accommodation was much higher than expected.

    Claire Young C2M September 2015

    The accommodation definitely exceeded my expectations, a quiet selection of roads with some stunning scenery. The tour was first rate both in terms of enjoyment and value for money.

    Mike Rosam C2M September 2015

    On the whole we had an unbelievably fantastic tour and we are looking forward to selecting another tour with Peak Tours!

    Lisa and Gary Eato C2M September 2015

    Really lovely route, all of it. Well thought out and put together.

    Karen Madgwick C2M September 2015

    The food and accommodation were excellent. A good combination of group meals and DIY. The accommodation varied from the modern to the historic, many were quirky and interesting. I found them excellent and enjoyable. It is a great treat to have the bags in the room after a day’s cycling. The route was tough and challenging, both the ascents and descents, and the climbs stretched my abilities. But it was rewarding and the route was extremely well researched, with the particularly tough days interspersed with slightly easier ones. Overall I had a great time, and I know my friends Ian and Richard did too. I cant really think of any significant change to improve the experience. The Peak Tours formula of luggage transfer, briefings, brew stops and great team is a winner. It seemed to me that about 40-50% of those on the tour had been on a Peak Tours trip before, which is great testimony to what you offer. Well done. I have encouraged a friend in our cycling group to book a LEJOG next year and Ian and I are looking at Germany next year. A wonderful two weeks, very enjoyable and exhilarating. Thanks for everything.

    David Wynn C2M September 2015

    The route was really well worked out, despite the difference in mileage on some days the rides were similar in duration. I was on LEJOG in 2012 and didn’t think it could get much better. However, the guides made the Channel to Med tour a trip to remember for all the right reasons.

    Sharon Whitehead C2M August 2015

    I loved every minute of it, it was the best two weeks I’ve had since LEJOG. Thanks to you all.

    Janet McRoberts C2M August 2015

    The scenery is simply stunning. The route balanced so more distance on the easier days and shorter days when there was more climbing. Peak Tours does this so well making trips a pleasure , where you look forward to the next days cycling. Peak Tours are just great, you really understand how to make these trips work. Nigel, Isabel and Sam worked very hard to make things work on the ground. The success reflects the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Peak Tours are truly client focussed, and provide excellent value for money not to be forgotten cycle tours. Their organisation is excellent and this tour is absolutely amazing. I cannot thank Steve and his team enough for providing yet another excellent holiday.

    Helen Evans C2M August 2015

    I find it hard to criticise anything. I wanted a challenging cycle ride which was well organised with a route which let me experience the amazing changes in the French countryside as you travel from the North to the South, and stayed in excellent hotels on the way. What I got exceeded my expectations.

    Des McCarron C2M July 2015

    Lovely quiet roads and cycle ways. France is perfect for cycling as there are no hedges to block views, and cycling through different areas was wonderful. I shall remember the sunflower and corn fields and cute cows, the smell of lavender and the outstanding views.

    Trish Winterbottom C2M July 2015

    The route was amazing, views to die for. Did not realise how beautiful France was.

    Clive Hill C2M July 2015

    I hired a Garmin from you with the route pre-loaded which worked brilliantly, so didn’t rely on the route notes very much but they are an essential back up and well written and presented.

    Duncan Gregory C2M June 2015

    The route was amazing, really appreciate the effort the team has put in to finalising it.

    Andrew Carpenter C2M June 2015

    The route was perfect. My ideal France trip starts in Normandy, follows the Loire Valle, Crosses Mt. Ventoux, goes through the Verdon Gorge and ends in Nice. You hit all the right buttons as far as I am concerned.

    Jim Jenkins C2M June 2015

    Every Km was an absolute joy. I enjoyed every minute of it and feel very lucky to have been involved in one of your first Channel to Med’s.

    Andy Wagner C2M June 2015

    The route was really excellent (interesting, relaxing, very challenging at times) and the lack of traffic was just delightful. Im sure it took a tremendous amount of work to put it together – it paid off, well done.

    John Short C2M June 2015

    The route was great as it stayed away from busy roads and visited some lovely little villages.

    Jim Broomhall C2M June 2015

    The brew vans were fantastic, always a welcome sight on the road and the picnic lunches were brilliant!! Lovely spread of food, drink and desserts!! I know they were a lot of work for the guys but they were so much better than the 3 course lunch time meals that were served in the restaurant or cafes. The picnics could be as quick or as slow as you wanted, a much lighter meal and it was relaxing too. They were fab!

    Kay Murfin C2M June 2015

    I was very happy with the accommodation and the smaller family run nature of the hotels. The route was really great. Quiet roads and fantastic scenery. My goal was to get a feel for the French countryside and the route really delivered on that.  I did not expect such good background notes. I know my mother really enjoyed reading the copy I gave her. She knew where I was each day. She probably wont book on herself though as she’s 86! Really liked the lunches and the different local produce. Picnics with local breads and cake are one of my favourites and you guys did and great job on that front. The buffet meals were excellent as well. The organisation could not be faulted in my view. I am really impressed by how well this tour was organised, it was as though it had been done many times before. I cannot fault this trip apart from a bit of rain at the start which I do hold Steve accountable for! I am so impressed by the professional planning and the attention to detail that has gone in. France, its countryside, the food and beer delivered on the rest but even that was partly due to the excellent route planning that caused us to cycle through some absolutely beautiful parts of the country and it continued to get better as the days went on. I thought the cycle lengths each day were just right enough to challenge but not enough to dispirit the average cyclist like me. While the leaders were laid back which set a good mood among us there really was no mistaking the professional attention paid to each detail of the trip. I am really impressed and no one has paid me a penny to say all this. Rarely do I part with money for a holiday and get such value back.

    Andrew Thomas C2M May 2015

    The tour took in some wonderful scenery and many lovely villages. Fantastic to have climbed Ventoux – that is an important part of the trip, but other days, especially Gorges de Verdun were particularly wonderful too. Lovely to cycle along miles of nearly car-free roads! Peak Tours’ attention to detail and careful planning are evident through the tour, much appreciated and really contributed to our enjoyment of the tour because everything runs so smoothly. We recognise how hard you have all worked in achieving this – both in putting the tour together and in how hard and long you work each day in supporting every aspect of the trip. The efficient, detailed and but relaxed organisation is why we choose peak tours – we know what we are going to get and its exactly what we want. We loved this Channel to Med tour. We have come back exhausted and exhilarated. From our experiences on Lejog we had high expectations and we were not disappointed in any way. This was wonderful – in all ways a superb trip. More of a physical challenge than LEJOG because of the long climbs in the second week, but entirely manageable and enjoyable because of the challenge.

    Nancy and Alan C2M May 2015

    We were very happy with all our accommodation on the tour. The Hotel on the first night (Hotel Beryl) was very good. Also particularly good was the B&B in Sault, the B&B in Loches, the Hotel la Beuze in Aubusson was very comfortable and the Brice in Nice also. These stand out, but everywhere was clean, comfortable and with very pleasant and accommodating managers/owners.

    Nancy and Alan C2M May 2015

    This was a fantastic tour. The route was superb, taking us through some beautiful and spectacular scenery. Steve, Nigel and Sam made every effort to make the tour a success. Another Peak Tours success.

    John Herbert C2M May 2015

    I thought the route was great – some really good climbs (apart from the obvious big 2!) and fantastic countryside. And could the roads be any quieter, I don’t think so! Exceeded my expectations.

    John Hackett C2M May 2015

    A brilliant couple of weeks in good company with a well organised organisation. Great fun and hopefully to be repeated on other tours in years to come.

    Peter Chapman C2M May 2015

  • The following extras are available for this tour:

  • The latest blog by a customer who completed the Channel to the Med tour in May 2016 can be viewed here:

    Vajrin’s C2M Blog May 2016

  • To view photos of the latest tours please click here:

    May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 2015 Best Bits

    May 2016 June 2016 June/July 2016 July 2016 August 2016

    May 2017 May/June 2017

     

From: £2,045.00