A wonderful cycling holiday in south-west France exploring the Languedoc region. You shall start in the medieval town of Carcassonne before cycling out into the Languedoc region. In the twelve century a new religion took hold in this region now known as Catharism, as this religion was not recognised by the Catholic church there was a number of military campaigns at that time to take back the region, the so-called Cathar Castles were constructed to protect the followers.
From medieval Carcassonne, you cycle our via the Canal du Midi straight across the rough south of the Languedoc. You shall cycle through fabulous landscapes, passing mystic Cathar castles and through undulating roads through vineyards. Then following deserted like roads through dream villages and beside gurgling rivers. You must also enjoy the gastronomic destination of Limoux: the town of sparkling wines.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Arrival in Carcassonne which is a wonderful town to start your tour. If you arrive early enough then why not go for a walk through the old town to explore. Visit the castle, check out the double walls surrounding the town, St. Nazaire Cathedral. Explore narrow cobbled streets full of shops or visit one of the many museums.
Your cycle tour begins today where the first part will take you along the umbrageous Canal du Midi, the 17th-century showpiece of Pierre Riquet. This section is flat. After you reach Capendu there is a steep climb, but on top of the ‘col’ a magnificent view of the rough Corbières awaits you, it will be well worth the effort. Then cycling through the Gorge d’Alsou you continue on to the fantastic medieval abbey town of Lagrasse. Be sure to visit here the Benedictine Abbey Sainte Marie l’Orbieu, founded in 799.
Today in the hills of the Corbières you can choose between two routes. You can either cycle south along the Orbieu river or the Cathar Castle Termes with its spectacular views from the walls or cycling via the charming town of Villerouge – Termenès wherein 1321 the last ‘Bonhomme’ of the Cathars died at the stake. Both of the cycle tours join up again and follow a route between a wonderful gorge with lovely little quiet villages typical of this region.
There is much to see around this town by bike. First Cunugan is a pleasant wine-producing village. You’re are also just a short distance away from Quéribus and Peyrepertuse, two of the most spectacular Cathar castles. And to make the choice more difficult, you can also make a more difficult, but sensational tour through the Gorge de Galamus: without any doubt the most beautiful gorge in this part of France (level 3 ride).
Today we have planned on your cycling route, more wonderful views, charming villages and an even a river to swim in. First, you cycle in the shade from Peyrepertuse along the Pic de Bugarach: an impressive, monolithic rock formation. The last 10 km to Sougraine, in the Sals valley, go down or are flat. Are you going to enjoy the pool or maybe you wish to continue to the beautiful spa Rennes-les-Baines. For dinner, you will enjoy a tasty “table d’hôte” experience.
Today you shall have the opportunity to visit Rennes-le-Chateau to solve the mystery of Berenger Saunière. And don’t forget to also visit the 16th-century Chateau de Ducs de Joyeuse in Couiza. Then you continue your cycle tour along undulating roads through vineyards and dreamy wine villages and taste on your way a ‘Blanquette’ or ‘Crémant’. You finish in Limoux, the home of the original champagne.
Today one more short, conclusive trip to Carcassonne, it’s the end of your journey. Your luggage will be available by 1 pm in Carcassonne. Of course, you may decide to book an extra night in Carcassonne.
Fly direct to Carcassonne or maybe to Toulouse and then by train to Carcassonne. For those travelling from further afield, fly to Paris and then by train to Carcassonne.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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