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8 Day Self Guided Cycling Holiday in Carcassonne, Occitanie

Carcassonne, Carcassonne, Canton of Carcassonne-1, Canton of Carcassonne-2, Canton of Carcassonne-3, Arrondissement of Carcassonne, Aude, Occitanie, France

Cycling Holiday France

Join Respyreness on their cycling holiday in France! Mediterranean mildness, fantastic landscapes of the Corbières, vineyards, and castles perched upon rocky outcrops are just a preview of what you can expect to discover during this colorful tour. A host of seven exceptional Cathar castles and two abbeys will unveil their past history! All of these ancient strongholds are linked by sumptuous backroads in the heart of the Corbières and Fitou vineyards.

Key information

  • Trip type: Self-guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Some small winding roads and backroads
  • Starts in: Carcassonne
  • Ends in: Carcassonne
  • Difficulty level: Easy (Cyclist doesn't need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day) and Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 140 miles or 181 miles / 226 kilometers or 292 kilometers
  • Type of bike: Road bike (150 EUR), hybrid bike (150 EUR)
  • E-bike: Available to rent / 215 EUR per person
  • Minimum number of participants: 2 persons

Highlights

  • 7-day of self-guided cycling
  • Starts and ends in Carcassonne
  • A dossier containing maps and route notes
  • GPS tracks for customers upon request
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Luggage transfers

Styles


7 cycling days in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Group size: Minimum of 2 participants
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Accommodation

On this holiday, you will be accommodated at various accommodations. You will spend three nights in two or three-star hotels and four nights in bed and breakfasts. Your accommodations on your day three and day five are equipped with swimming pools. The accommodations are all on a half-board basis (except on day one, day six, and day seven).

On your first and seventh nights, you will stay in Carcassonne. For your second night, you will stay in Lagrasse. Your third day will be spent in Tuchan. Next, for your fourth night, you will stay in Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse. Sougraigne is where you will spend your fifth night. Lastly, for your sixth night, you will stay in Limoux.

What's more, by being accommodated in lovely accommodations, you will have the opportunity to experience the warmest welcome that characterizes this old land of heresy. It will leave you filled with unforgettable memories, not to mention the culinary specialties.

Program

Respyrenees proposes a self-guided, independent formula. You choose your departure date and they will take care of all the rest from the initial meeting time through to the dispersion point. They will transport your bags between the accommodations and provide the maps and detailed cycling route notes, each for two to four people.

This is a way of enjoying complete flexibility. You dictate the pace and rhythm of your holiday. Moreover, Respyrenees' team will answer all your questions and will provide all useful advice in order to make this holiday a success. The arrival is on day one at your accommodation in Carcassonne, according to your time of arrival. The tour ends on day eight in Carcassonne after breakfast.

Itinerary

Day 1: Start of your holiday in Carcassonne

You will arrive in Carcassonne, a well-known place, thanks to its sumptuous medieval city. Then, you will check in at your accommodation. You can either choose to explore the city on foot or cycling, to cycle to Lac de la Cavayère, or to ride your bike along the Canal du Midi (depending on the time you arrive).

Carcassonne: From the fortified town to the city

You will be settling in at the hotel. Depending on the time you arrive, you can choose to visit the famous site of Carcassonne. You can take a stroll through its streets and squares or follow an urban route which links to two monuments registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal du Midi and the medieval city of Carcassonne.

  • Distance: 3 miles / 5.5 kilometers
  • Duration: 2 hours

Lac de la Cavayère

This itinerary starts from Porte Narbonnaise of the medieval city and will lead you to the Lac de la Cavayère. The lake is a real haven of peace and freshness, where you can even take a bath. A cycling path goes all around the lake, so you can enjoy at the most these 18 hectares of water surrounded by woods and garrigue.

  • Distance: 10 miles / 16 kilometers
  • Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes

The Canal du Midi

Starting from the Le Port De Carcassonne, this return itinerary will offer you the possibility to explore a short section of the famous canal with your bike in a peaceful and bucolic environment.

  • Distance: 14 miles / 23 kilometers
  • Duration: 2 hours

Day 2: From Carcassonne to Lagrasse

This is a cultural and sports section. It links Carcassonne to the medieval village of Lagrasse. You will be following the towpaths along the Canal du Midi to reach Trèbes. And then, you will be heading to Lagrasse, one of the most beautiful French villages. It is well protected by its ramparts. The village faces one of the eldest European abbeys, which has its roots in the 13th century.

  • Distance: 27 miles / 43 kilometers
  • Duration: Approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Altitude gain: More or less 320 meters / 1,050 feet
  • Descent: Less than 310 meters / 1,017 feet

Day 3: From Lagrasse to Tuchan

From Lagrasse, you will reach the village of Tuchan and the capital of Fitou, the appellation d'origine contrôlée vineyard. You will be cycling on scenic and rural backroads. You will be passing by Cathar castles called Château de Durfort, Château de Termes, Castillo Villerouge-Termenés, and Château d'Aguilar, depending on the option you choose. Your accommodation here is equipped with a swimming pool.

Normal option

  • Distance: 27 miles / 43 kilometers
  • Duration: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Altitude gain: More than 600 meters / 1,968 feet
  • Descent: Less than 650 meters / 2,132 feet

Sporty option

  • Distance: 38 miles / 62 kilometers
  • Duration: 6 hours and 15 minutes
  • Altitude gain: More than 780 meters / 2,559 feet
  • Descent: Less than 750 meters / 2,461 feet

Day 4: From Tuchan to Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse

During this stage, you will discover the Cathar castles of Château de Padern, Château de Quéribus, and Peyrepertuse. They are not only famous for their majestic military buildings, but also for the spectacular places where they were erected. In the valley, the villages of Cucugnan and Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse are a real haven of peace and exude a very special charm. A sportier itinerary will give you the opportunity to pass by the famous village of Tautavel, where the ancestors have left their marks in the Caune de l’Arago. You can also visit the very interesting Museum of Prehistory Tautavel.

Normal option

  • Distance: 16 miles / 26 kilometers
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 550 meters / 1,804 feet
  • Descent: Less than 350 meters / 1,148 feet

Sporty option

  • Distance: 28 miles / 45 kilometers
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 850 meters / 2,789 feet
  • Descent: Less than 750 meters / 2,461 feet

Day 5: From Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse to Sougraigne

To reach the village of Sougraigne, which is nestled in an oasis of green, small winding roads will lead you from valleys to small passes to the villages of Rouffiac, Cubières, and Bugarach. Riding your bike is the best way to enjoy all the scents and colors of a fragrant vegetation. For the same distance, you can also choose a sportier version mainly in the forest. Your accommodation here is equipped with a swimming pool.

Normal option

  • Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometers
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 550 meters / 1,804 feet
  • Descent: Less than 500 meters / 1,640 feet

Sporty option

  • Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometers
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 750 meters / 2,461 feet
  • Descent: Less than 700 meters / 2,296 feet

Day 6: From Sougraigne to Limoux

From Sougraigne to Limoux, you will follow other backroads. Some of them are tortuous because of the relief you will cross. Get ready to make emotional discoveries, with, for instance, the architectural beauty of the village of Roquetaillade. A sportier itinerary can allow you to discover the Château d'Arques and the lovely but challenging pass of Valmigère. Limoux is also famous for its Blanquette de Limoux, a sparkling wine that the Occitan people strongly prefer as Champagne, of course!

Normal option

  • Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometers
  • Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Altitude gain: More than 250 meters / 820 feet
  • Descent: Less than 500 meters / 1,640 feet

Sporty option

  • Distance: 27 miles / 43 kilometers
  • Duration: 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • Altitude gain: More than 450 meters / 1,476 feet
  • Descent: Less than 700 meters / 2,296 feet

Day 7: From Limoux to Carcassonne

The highlight of this section to rejoin Carcassonne will be the stopover in the village of Saint-Hilaire. The village is considered a major site of the Aude Cathar country thanks to its cloister, which was built during the 14th century, and its Roman abbey. You will make your way through the Limouxin vineyard, dominated by the Mauzac (cépage) and the Malepère (AOC) hillsides. A sportier version will reward you with wonderful views before starting the descent to Carcassonne.

Normal option

  • Distance: 18 miles / 29 kilometers
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 300 meters / 984 feet
  • Descent: Less than 350 meters / 1,148 feet

Sporty option

  • Distance: 25 miles / 41 kilometers
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Altitude gain: More than 550 meters / 1,804 feet
  • Descent: Less than 600 meters / 1,968 feet

Day 8: End of your tour in Carcassonne

Your holiday ends after breakfast in Carcassonne.

Notes: This program was defined according to the last elements known during the writing. It may be necessary that the itinerary will be modified if situations arise that are beyond Respyrenees' control. The itineraries are given as an indication. They can be modified according to your wishes and goals. Moreover, the cycling duration is given to help you in your choice, but this is an average, not including the stops during the cycling.

Level

Easy: You will be cycling three to five hours a day. Each stage ranges between 19 miles / 30 kilometers and 37 miles / 60 kilometers. There is no particular technical difficulty. For most of the stages, two options can be chosen with two different routes and levels of difficulty.

Bike

Respyrenees offers hybrid, road, and e-bike rentals. Please contact them a few days before the start of the trip, so they can inform you about the rental and lease terms and the organization on site.

Luggage

Your luggage must weigh a maximum of 15 kilograms per person. Please don’t forget to attach the labels Respyrenees provides you, which shows your name and surname.

Location

This holiday will take place in France. Starting and ending in Carcassonne, if you choose the normal option, you can go to Lac de la Cavayère, Canal du Midi, Trèbes, Lagrasse, Tuchan, Fitou, Padern, Cucugnan, Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, Sougraigne, Rouffiac, Cubières, Bugarach, Limoux, Roquetaillade, and Saint-Hilaire. If you choose the sporty option, you can go to Lac de la Cavayère, Canal du Midi, Trèbes, Lagrasse, Tuchan, Fitou, Padern, Cucugnan, Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, Tautavel, Sougraigne, Rouffiac, Cubières, Bugarach, Limoux, Roquetaillade, Arques, Valmigère, and Saint-Hilaire.

Food

On this holiday, you will be served half-board meals (except for day one, six, and seven). The breakfast is continental-style (tea, coffee, milk, butter, and jam). The evening meals are often based on Basque specialties, which include a starter, a main course, and a dessert. There are plenty of restaurants in Carcassonne and Limoux. Drinks and picnics are not included, however, there is a possibility to do some groceries shopping on site.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

On day one, you can explore Carcassonne on foot.

What's included

  • 7-day of self-guided cycling
  • A dossier containing maps and route notes
  • GPS tracks (if you ask Respyrenees)
  • Use of blankets
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Half board meals (except for days 1, 6, and 7)
  • Luggage transfers

What's not included

  • Holiday and travel insurance
  • Other transfers not included in the program
  • Evening meals (on days 1 and 7 in Carcassonne and day 6 in Limoux)
  • Entrance fees
  • Drinks and picnics
  • Airport taxes
  • Vaccination costs
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Arrival by train

From Toulouse to Carcassonne, you can book your ticket with TER via Castelnaudary during the week and on Sundays. There are also many trains coming from Nice and Marseille. For more information, you can visit SNCF's website.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available all year round starting from April 1, 2019. Please select an arrival date below.

Low season
  • September 16 - June 19
Peak season
  • June 20 - September 15
 
Special discount for children

There is a discount of 75 EUR per person for children between 10 and 12 years old.

 

Pricing information

The price of your holiday is subject to modification due to unfavorable price changes in fuel, transports, airfares, government impose charges or adverse currency exchange rates.

  • 745 EUR per person based on a group of 5 people (low season)
  • 825 EUR per person based on a group of 5 people (peak season)
  • 215 EUR per person for single supplement
  • 51 EUR per person in double room at bed and breakfast for an extra night in Carcassonne
  • 80 EUR per person in single room at bed and breakfast for an extra night in Carcassonne​
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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