Mountains of France
Massif Central, S.France & French Alps
3 & 4 Star Hotels
150- 200 miles ( longest day 350 miles)
Combination of Motorway, A, B and Mountain Roads
Suitable for Experienced riders who have ideally ridden on the continent before
We return to one of my favourites - the Mountains of France
We first did this tour in 2016 but the Massif Central and French Alps provide such great riding and fantastic scenery, that we are happy to return as often as possible. Throw in the gorges of Tarn and Ardeche, Mount Ventoux and the iconic Millau Bridge and you have everything you need for a perfect tour. Once in the Alps there is the opportunity to ride some of the cols of the 'Grand Alps' and a two night stop in Chamonix gives you time to visit the Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace.
This is an Escorted Tour which means that although the guide will be with you, you are responsible for doing your own navigation. We provide a Tour Pack which will include a full itinerary, suggested route directions, Gpx waypoints and hotel location. This system suits many people, as it allows them to ride at their own pace and style, either alone or in small groups. However, if you prefer, or don't want to navigate, you may ride with the guide, who will act as your escort throughout the tour.
Tour prices are inclusive of the following:
- Portsmouth -St Malo out, Caen -Portsmouth in with 2 berth en-suite cabin (for two) or Eurotunnel crossing (see departure choice)
- 8 Nights' en-suite accommodation at 3 & 4 star hotels
- 8 Regional breakfasts
- 6 Evening meals
- Full use of the hotels' leisure facilities
- Route notes as appropriate - Gpx waypoints
- Guided Day tours
- Services of experienced Tour Guides (Dave & John)
- Meals other than described
- Parking charges
Your hotels for this tour are a mixture of modern and traditional hotels, many of which we have used many times. They have been chosen for their locations and being motorcycle-friendly, and have either 3 or 4 star ratings. All accommodation is en-suite and includes the facilities you would expect of hotels of this class. Your stay includes use of the hotels' leisure facilities including swimming pools so you may wish to take your swimming gear.
Evening meals have been included every night with the exception of our 2 night stay in the Cantal Mountains, but the hotel has a central position with several restaurants nearby offering everything from a simple pizza to sophisticated French meal cuisine.
The tour itinerary is based on a Portsmouth to France crossing with the option* to use a Eurotunnel crossing. (see departure choice)
Sunday 27th June (2030 hrs departure) : The tour will start with an overnight Portsmouth to St.Malo crossing (2 berth cabin inc).
Monday 28th June : an early ferry arrival soon gets us under way on our cross country route along the banks of the Loire and past some of the fantastic Chateaux of the region, we stop for the night at our hotel overlooking a medieval town in the Loire valley. (218 miles). Those taking the Eurotunnel route (350 miles) will meet us at the hotel, where on arrival, you can relax and enjoy a swim in the hotel’s pool, or maybe take a walk around this lovely historic town. Time to enjoy a drink on the hotel terrace before sitting down to our evening meal. 3 star hotel, Dinner, B&B.
Tuesday 29th June (250 miles) Continuing our journey southwards, we have the opportunity to visit the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. This village was the site of one of the greatest atrocities of the Second World War, when occupying SS troops massacred the entire population in reprisal for French resistance. The village has since been preserved exactly as it was then, and is well worth a visit. Our day finishes at a 3 star hotel in a small rural town under the shadow of the Cantal Mountains, which will be our base for the next 2 nights. The hotel does not have a dining room so we leave you to make your own dinner arrangements at one of the many nearby restaurants. 3 star hotel, B&B
Wednesday 30th June (free day) Your time here is your own, there are a number of options to choose from. If you enjoy Mountain roads, nearby is Col du Pas de Peyrol, highest road pass in the Massif Central (1,585 m). A popular route for the "Tour de France" it provides some exciting riding and stunning views. If you prefer a more leisurely day, within easy riding distance, lies the Dordogne Valley, and the chance to visit France's no.2 tourist attraction - the fantastic medieval cliff-face village of Rocamadour. B&B.
Thursday 1st July (210 miles) Today will be one to remember, as we head down through the Gorges of Lot on our way to the iconic Millau Bridge. Opened in December 2004, the bridge was designed by the British architect Norman Foster and is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with one mast's summit 343 metres (1,125 ft) high, so tall in fact that it is said to create its own micro-climate. The bridge spans the Tarn Gorges and was the final link for the A75 motorway, finally ending years of misery for the traffic choked town of Millau. Today its iconic design and sheer size makes it a tourist attraction in its own right. Having ridden over and under the bridge, we continue our ride down the magnificent Gorges of Tarn to our next hotel set in the National Park des Cevennes. Time to enjoy a drink on the hotels terrace or swim in the lovely indoor pool before sitting down for your evening meal. 3 Star hotel,Dinner B&B.
Friday 2nd July (200 miles) Gorges de l'Ardeche are our first destination today. We follow the D290 as it twists and turns through the gorge, passing the Pont d,Arc - a natural rock archway some 60m wide and 54m high which was carved out over thousands of years by the river. Crossing the Rhone we head for Mount Ventoux. Largest mountain in the region, its bare limestone appearance makes it apear to be permanently covered in snow - however, as its name implies it is more famous for its strong winds and being one of the hardest climbs on the Tour de France. Our day ends in the popular town of Gap. 3 star hotel,B&B
Saturday 3rd July (150-200 miles) Even at this time of year one can never be sure if the cols of the High Alps are open. If so, you will be able to ride some of the famous cols of the Route des Grande Alpes, if not the famous N85 Route Napoleon awaits. Not a bad choice and both will take you to your destination, Chamonix Mont Blanc in the heart of the French Alps. Your stay here will be for 2 nights, at one of our favourite hotels. 3 star hotel, Dinner, B&B.
Sunday 4th July (free day) For those that like to ride, there are some fantastic mountain roads to try - built primarily to gain access to ski resorts, they twist and turn to spectacular viewpoint summits. Close by, the Mont Blanc tunnel gives access to the ‘Grand Tour’, aptly named, being a demanding ride around the fabled white mountain of Mount Blanc, and climbing some 8 mountain passes via 3 different countries.
If you fancy a day off, then you are also well catered for. Apart from the lovely tourist town of Chamonix, you are surrounded by countless attractions, with glaciers to visit, and mountain trains to ride. If you have a head for heights we recommend the cable car ride to L’Aiguille du Midi - a rock needle, some 3,842 meters high, affording phenomenal views of Mount Blanc and the surrounding alpine range. Dinner,B&B.
Monday 5th July (295 miles) A choice of routes today either via Switzerland or via the smaller Jura mountains. Both routes join giving you the opportunity to enjoy the very best of French provincial N roads to our final night’s stop near Troyes. 4 star hotel,Dinner,B&B
Tuesday 6th July Today, we say goodbye to our fellow riders as we leave for the crossing ferry port of our choice. Those using the Eurotunnel crossing (250 miles) will be at Calais in time for an early afternoon crossing, whilst others will take the 1630 hrs day crossing to Portsmouth (270 miles) , arriving at 2115 hrs the same day. Here we bid farewell to our fellow riders before making our way home.
We have been advised that the Hull-Zeebrugge ferry will no longer operate in 2021 therefore have switched this tour to a Portsmouth- St. Malo overnight outward crossing, and a return from Caen to Portsmouth arriving in Portsmouth at 2115hrs. For others there is still the option to use the Eurotunnel crossing. This increases the distance on the first day but has a shorter ride on the last.
.As always, you may make your own arrangements and we will adjust costs accordingly.
Personal Travel & Breakdown Assitance Cover
On all European tours (including Southern Ireland) we require clients to take-out some form of Personal Travel and Accident/Breakdown cover. This is essential for repatriation of yourself and your motorcycle in the event of an accident or medical emergency. If you have an existing policy you should check that your company would repatriate your bike, even if undamaged, should you be unable to ride it (many do not!) .
We also strongly urge you to take out insurance that includes cancellation cover in the event of accident, illness or redundancy when you make your booking. Information on such companies can be found on our insurance page http://www.motorcycletours.co.uk/more/travel-insurance.html
|Tour Cost||Portsmouth Crossing||Eurotunnel crossing|
|1 bike, 2 persons, sharing a room||£1180 ea||£1045 ea|
|1 bike, 1 person, sharing a room||£1295||£1115|
|1 bike, 1 person, own room||£1655 *||£1490|
|Deposit £100 per person||*based on single hotel room & cabin share on ferry|
Lady rider looking to share twin room with same