Cycling holidays in the hearth of Occitanie. The Tarn & Tarn-et-Garonne
Cycling holidays in the heart of Occitania. The Tarn & Tarn-et-Garonne by bike
We propose a cycling holiday in the Tarn in the heart of Occitania with small incursions into Tarn-et Garonne and Haute-Garonne. A hilly but very diverse cycling route along the Tarn river, the Aveyron river and the Canal Latéral de la Garonne, between médival villages and vineyards, fertile valleys and canyons, plains and plateaus. Here conviviality and gastronomy are part of the regional heritage and your taste buds will not be left out. The region is full of specialities that promise you great gustatory discoveries.
Starting from Toulouse, your bike tour will take you through the real “Pays de Cocagne” (not far from the “fantasy land of profusion and abundance”!), a source of inspiration for artists throughout the ages, including of course Toulouse-Lautrec. As you leave this beautiful region, the vineyards of Gaillac on both banks of the Tarn awaits you. You will ride through the “Premières côtes de Gaillac” before reaching Albi « La Rouge », the breathtaking episcopal city and its imposing Cathedral Sainte-Cécile classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
You will visit some of the “Great Sites of Occitanie” and travel back in time: Let’s mention at this point the medieval cities of Castelnau-de-Montmiral and Cordes-sur-Ciel, a little jewel of the Tarn. Don’t miss the panoramic view of the village before going down to visit it!
A little further on, in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, an astonishing medieval town that has kept its inhabitants, there is a change of scenery. You will follow a cycle route along the Aveyron Gorges, offering a succession of high limestone cliffs and dominating a wild and green nature. Here, breathtaking panoramic views and remarkable picturesque villages such as Penne or Bruniquel (Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret played some scenes in the famous film “Le Vieux Fusil”!)
Continue your journey on free wheels across the plain to Montauban and its gentle way of life; then along the Montech canal. Finally, the greenway of the Canal de Garonne will lead you to your last accommodation in the heart of Toulouse.
- The hilly and bucolic landscapes of the Tarn, true “Pays de Cocagne”
- The magnificent vineyard of Gaillac
- The medieval villages of Cordes sur Ciel, Penne, Bruniquel
- The spectacular Aveyron river canyonr !
- The “Art & History” city centers of Gaillac, Albi or Montauban
- Toulouse The “pink city”
Delivery of your bike, documentation on the region and the road-book on which will be indicated your trip.
Toulouse needs a long visit, with its famous Place du Capitole and the site of the riverbanks. City with a distinctive architecture, Toulouse is nicknamed the “Pink City” because of the clay brick used to build houses. His other nickname is the “City of Violets” flower which can be enjoyed in all its forms!
Night and breakfast in 3* hotel.
For this first day biking you will leave the bustle of the city for the tranquility of small country roads. You will discover the land of Cocagne, the first typical bastide villages of Saint-Sulpice la Pointe and Isle-sur-Tarn; Rabastens and its Church of Notre-Dame du Bourg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then be immersed in the vineyards of Gaillac, the oldest vineyard in France, before reaching the town of Gaillac.
Night and breakfast in 3* hotel or charming guesthouse
Get on your bike and discover Castelnau de Montmiral by small rolling roads. Classified among the «Most beautiful villages in France» this medieval city proudly dominating the Tarn valley, houses a magnificent square with arcades, half-timbered facades where red bricks and white stones mingle.
You will end in beauty with Albi, episcopal city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As soon as you arrive you will see anything else! Largest brick cathedral in the world, the majestic and imposing Saint Cecilia Cathedral is considered one of the pearls of the Southwest.
You can fully enjoy the red city for the evening.
Night and breakfast in 3* hotel (or hotel 2*)
Today, take to the heights with the breathtaking medieval village of Cordes-sur-Ciel perched on its rocky outcrop. Put down the bike and access, through the cobbled and steep streets, to one of the oldest bastides of Occitanie. This treasure of Gothic architecture will enchant you with its fortified doors, sculpted Gothic ramparts and facades, its shops of craftsmen and galleries of artists.
Then change of scenery by reaching the Gorges de l’Aveyron which offer a succession of high limestone cliffs, dominating a wild and green nature.
You will finish this stage in Saint-Antonin-Noble Val, another medieval city sitting at the confluence of the Aveyron and the Bonnette.
Night and breakfast in a charming guest-house.
It is closest to the Gorges de l’Aveyron in a wild and green nature, that you will start this day. The Corniche road allows you to see the Gorges de l’Aveyron crossing the picturesque hamlet of Brousses.
This stage, rich in historical heritage, will take you to the medieval villages of Penne and its castle built in the Middle Ages, and Bruniquel, the must-see village of Occitanie, with picturesque alleys. Then you will cross the bastide of Montricoux fortified village on the banks of the Aveyron, before reaching Montauban. Large site of Occitanie, the city of Montauban, welcoming and lively, is appreciated for its sweetness of life.
Night and breakfast in 4* hotel.
First join Port canal, the marina of Montauban: a haven of peace and greenery, then the Garonne Canal at the level of Montech, appreciated for its marina and its water slope unique in the world.
This peaceful stage, shaded by plane trees, ends by a little less calm few miles to enter Toulouse but it provide access to the heart of the city, a real comfort!
Night and breakfast in 3* hotel.
Departure from Toulouse after breakfast
- The documents
- The bikes
We take care of transporting your luggage to the next accommodation so that you fully enjoy your daily ride.
You leave your luggage at the reception desk before your departure.
At the end of the afternoon, you recover them in the next accommodation (at the reception or directly in your room).
Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum) + 1 hand luggage.
We remind you that rental bikes are equipped with saddlebags to be used to bring your belongings useful for the day.
Your travel pack corresponds to the documents or numeric files that you receive before your trip (usually one month before) and upon your arrival at the first accommodation.
- A welcome letter with the main practical information:
- The time slot for luggage transport
- Details of the delivery and recovery of rental bikes if necessary
- Your local contact and telephone number(s) in case of emergency
- Any additional information
The travel book including a map with the route (at the appropriate scale) and directional, tourist and practical indications
The voucher(s) to be given to the service provider(s) (only if requested)
On request and depending on the tours:
The “Evazio” application to download to your Smartphone for a “GPS” guidance. This guidance is visual (reading of the track on the Smartphone’s screen) and vocal.
The application also contains practical and tourist information. Once the trip has been downloaded, no internet connection is necessary
The loan of a GPS device with pre-loaded tracks
GPX traces of every step for use with your own navigation device
On this circuit, we suggest that you provide you with the choice and by reservation:
- A hybrid bike suitable for hiking and for the route
- An electric bike adapted to the route
With its equipment:
- 1 rear bag
- 1 handlebar bag
- 1 set of repair
- 1 helmet
- 1 anti-theft device
- 1 charger (for the electric bike)
For the youngest, we can offer depending on age and size
- A child’s bike
- A baby seat
- A trailer
- A follow-up bike
The bike is delivered to the first accommodation and is adjusted to your size.
At the end of the tour, the bike must be left at the last accommodation with its equipment. We will take care of their recovery.
This tour is available in a “superior” version :
The type of accommodation is classified into 3 ranges:
- Comfort : The trip mainly presents hotels classified 2 and 3 stars (or equivalent) and guesthouses.
- Superior : The tour mainly presents hotels classified 3 and 4 stars (or equivalent) and charming guesthouses.
- Luxe : The tour mainly presents hotels classified 2 and 3 stars or equivalent
Our assistance remains available for the duration of your stay.