French Alps Classic Cols

  • Welcome to our exciting new tour of the French Alps Classic Cols. This week long tour explores some of France’s most spectacular scenery and tackles some of the Tour de France’s (tdf) most iconic climbs.

    After arrival in Geneva on Saturday we transfer to the beautiful city of Annecy where we spend the first two nights of the tour. Nestled on the banks of Lake Annecy, with a backdrop of spectacular mountains, Annecy also boasts a perfectly preserved medieval old town which makes a fantastic place to explore.

    The tour runs from Saturday to Saturday with 6 days cycling and covers the cols of Semnoz, Forclaz, Tamie, Madeline, Glandon, Croix de Fer, Mollard, Telegraph, Galibier and Alpe d’Huez.

    This tour is aimed at cyclists who like a challenge but the tour is such that the mileages aren’t too long and generally we only take on one of the major climbs each day which should allow time for relaxation in the afternoon and should hopefully ensure that the climbs are achievable for most regular cyclists. It should be noted however that these are long, tough climbs and the tour is only suitable for riders who are used to climbing.

    You will be rewarded by many fantastic vistas over the mountains of the French Alps and gain a great sense of achievement reaching the tops of these iconic climbs.

    The tour runs in much the same way as our LEJOG or Channel to the Med 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 amongst some amazing scenery 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). Usually 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.

    At the end of the tour we transfer you back to Geneva to arrive back at the airport for 11.00. We also transport your bikes to the start point in Annecy and back to the UK at the end of the tour. This is included in the tour price.

    2018 Dates:

    Sat 30th June – Sat 7th July 2018 Places available

    Sat 11th – Sat 18th August 2018 Places available

    Sat 25th August – Sat 1st September 2018 Places available

  • Saturday: Arrival Day
    Arrive at Geneva and transfer to Annecy. Our guides will set off from our base in Glossop on Thursday with all the bikes and stop a couple of times en route to Dover. We will then be around to meet you on Saturday morning when you arrive. A coach will depart from Geneva at 17.00 to arrive in Annecy for 18.00 to allow time to settle in before the first evening meal.

    Sunday: Semnoz and Lake Annecy (32 or 45 miles) Elevation Gain: 4653ft /1418m 

    Our first ride is a loop which takes you up to the summit of Mount Senmoz which last featured on the penultimate day of the 2013 tdf and on a clear day you may be able to make out to Mont Blanc in the distance. Continuing down to the lake for lunch you can take the shorter route back to Annecy or our longer route around the eastern side of the lake.

    Monday: Annecy to La Lechere/Moutiers (49 miles) Elevation Gain: 5000ft /1524m 

    Travelling alongside the eastern shore of the lake we then climb up over the Col de la Forclaz (de Montmin). The tdf crossed the Col for the 4th time in 2016. If you choose to, you can miss the climb and continue along the lake to meet back up with the route before the Col de Tamie and the decent down to Albertville. A very gentle climb takes you to Moutier to be in place to start the climb up the Madeline tomorrow.

    Tuesday: La Lachare/Moutiers to St Jean du Maurienne (38 miles) Elevation Gain: 6500ft /1980m 

    Not long after leaving Moutiers, and the valley floor, we start to ascend one of the toughest climbs of the tour, the Col de la Madeline. With over 1500m of climbing over 16 miles, the Madeline is a serious test for any rider. However we will be tackling the mountain fresh and not after having already ridden 100 miles as is often the case with the tdf. The beauty of the climb through forested woodland, cascading waterfalls, stone bridges and finally the spectacular summit is well worth the effort and amazing sense of achievement when you reach the top. You will also be rewarded with a fantastic decent down to the lovely town of St Jean du Maurienne.

    Wednesday: Glandon & Croix de Fer Loop (39 miles) Elevation Gain: 5843ft /1780m

    Today we tackle another two of the tdfs most classic climbs with the Col du Glandon and the Croix de Fer. Essentially the Col du Glandon is the beast to conquer with the Croix de Fer only another few miles or so to the summit after the Glandon. This spectacular climb has featured in the tdf many times as far back as 1947. Once again the views are sublime and you have another winding descent back down to the valley below.

    Thursday: St Jean du Maurianne to Le Bourg-d’Oisins via Col du Galibier (59 miles) Elevation Gain: 7710ft /2350m

    This is our longest day in the saddle as we tackle the mighty Galibier however once at the summit, at 30 miles, the rest is almost all downhill or flat as we wend our way to the town of Le Bourg-d’Oisans. After a flat start we first tackle to Col du Telegraph through Alpine woodland. The road descends to Valloire before you tackle the mighty Galibier. After lunch at the top of the mountain you have fantastic descent down to the attractive little town of Le Bourg-d’Oisans, situated at the foot of Alpe d’Huez.

    Friday: Alpe d’Huez (29 miles) Elevation Gain: 3610ft /1100m

    We finish our tour with a short day in terms of mileage but certainly no easy ride. Alpe d’Huez must be one of the tdf’s most iconic mountains and we finish the tour with an ascent of this mighty climb. The afternoon is free to relax before our final group meal.

    Saturday: Transfer to Geneva and tour ends

    A coach will pick us up at 8.00 to arrive at Geneva airport or 11.00. Meanwhile your bikes will start their journey back home in our back up van and will stop of a couple of times en-route to Derbyshire

  • What’s Included?

    The tour price includes 7 nights accommodation, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, snacks, tea, coffee, & hot chocolate, full trip support including a tour leader that cycles with the group (on smaller groups there will jst be back up vehicles), back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes, 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 France, transport from Geneva.

    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 3 star hotels or top end 2 star hotels when 3 star aren’t available (France has an unusual rating system). If you are sharing a twin or a double room then the price is £1295.00 If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£1545) or sole occupancy of a double (£1695). All rooms are en-suite.. Prices quoted are for 2018.

    Route

    Covering approximately 260 miles over 6 days we average around 43 miles a day. This tour really isn’t about mileage but about conquering some truly majestic and iconic mountains. Generally you will have finished cycling by early afternoon with time to relax and explore.

    Food

    All of your breakfasts and lunches are included in the price of the trip. Lunches will be provided each day in a cafe or restaurant or picnic lunches provided by the guides when the weather is good. Evening meals can be bought at your accommodation or in a nearby pub/restaurant. We also have fruit, biscuits, cake, 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 with the tour guide at the back 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 couple of spare bikes 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 touring bike is preferable. We have a range of road and touring bikes available for hire (£80 – £150 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 we can box the bike and post it to you for a charge).

    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 and 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. This should cover you in the event that you have to cancel the tour anytime after the final payment has been made as we may be unable to fill your place. There are many insurance companies out there and we prefer not to get involved with recommending a particular company and there are so many policies available depending on your own personal circumstances.

  • What happens at the start of the tour?

    The tour sarts in Annecy on the first Saturday. The easiest airport for Annecy is Geneva and our guides will be around in Geneva on Saturday morning ready to meet you when you arrive. It’s about 45 minutes from Geneva to Annecy so we have a coach booked for 17.00. If you are arriving earlier then you can leave your bags with our guides if you want to have a look around Geneva before the coach arrives at 17.00. We have a group meal on Saturday night and then the cycling starts on Sunday. We will take your bikes over for you so that you don’t have to take them on the plane. You can either drop them off with us in Glossop, Derbyshire beforehand or meet us on the Thursday before the tour starts as we drive down to Dover. Wewill stop near Birmingham and at South Mimms services on the M25. Alternatively you can post your bike to us and we will take it over for you.

    What happens at the end?

    After the ascent (and descent) of Alpe d’Huez you have the afternoon free to relax in Bour d’Oisins. Meanwhile your tour guides will pack your bikes into our back up van ready to be transported back to the UK. On Saturday morning a coach will arive to take everyone back to Geneva airport for 11.00.

    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 (we will provide a cardboard box and packing material for you and help you to box your bike). 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.

    Whatever arrangements you make we will be happy to help.

    How difficult is the tour?

    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 two 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 picnic lunches and lunches in cafe’s or restaurants 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 & 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 (for the Lands End to John o’Groats tour) was 15 & the oldest (for the Channel to Med Tour) was 82. We think that a group of 20-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests & 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 on a tour 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & also test yourselves amongst the hills of the Peak District.

    What bike should I use?

    The most suitable bike for this trip is 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.

    Tyre inflation & rubber composition is important & a tyre width of 25cm is recommended for this tour. Please ensure that you have hard wearing tyres with plenty of tread.

    You are going to cycle 260 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres & 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 lights from & 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 (£100) or the Cannondale CAAD10 (£125). You may choose the basic level hybrid Dawes Discovery 301 which costs £80.00 for the tour or you may wish to upgrade to the Dawes Galaxy Plus at £100 or the Dawes Super Galaxy at £125.00 for the tour.

    All of our hire bikes come fitted with cycle computer, pump, 2 water bottle cages, bell and front and rear lights. There is also a small saddle bag with a spare tube, multi-tool, puncture repair kit & tyre leavers. 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 1/4 ladies & 3/4s 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.

    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.

    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.

  • 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

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From: £1,295.00

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