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This Bike and Barge tour, along the exquisite Rhône River, is between World Heritage Lyon to the Roman town of Arles at its delta on the French Mediterranean coast. There is a wealth of artistic and historic sights to take in as well as superb cycling in the South of France’s rolling landscape with its delightful villages, imposing castles, monasteries, vineyards and, depending on the season, colourful fields of lavender and sunflowers. The regions’ fabulous wine and cuisine are served on board a comfortable vessel with just over 40 passengers maximum.
- Lyon: UNESCO World Heritage city
- Vienne & Valance: towns d’Art et d’Histoire
- Ampuis: the vines of Côte-Rôtie
- Centre d’observation de l’ Ile du Beurre: an island whose changing landscapes bear witness to the Rhône’s wild side
- Tournon-sur-Rhône: a town surrounded by northern Côtes du Rhône vineyards
- Les Tourettes: known for its château and chapel.
- Cruas: magnificently restored abbey
- Rochemaure: medieval village set dramatically on an old volcanic dike
- Montélimar: Provençal town with the medieval Château des Adhémar
- Bourg-Saint-Andéol: Romanesque church and a rare carving of the Persian bull-slaying god Mithra
Board your barge from 6.00 pm. If you arrive earlier you can leave your luggage on board from 2.00 pm.
Day 2 Lyon - Cycling 40km
Explore fascinating Lyon and cycle between the Saône and Rhône rivers. Cruise to Vienne.
Day 3 Vienne to Andance-Tournon-sur-Rhône - Cycling 42km
Leaving Vienne, cycle into the nature reserve Île au Beurre, a protected site with two observatories and an exhibition on beavers, plus aquariums with local fish. Pass through vineyards of the famous home of the Côte Rôtie.
Day 4 Tournon-sur-Rhône – Valence – Pouzin - Cycling 35km
Valance with its’ colourful markets and historic quarter is the starting point of today’s ride. Cycle through typical small villages of the Ardèche towards Pouzin in the Drôme region.
Day 5: Pouzin – Viviers - Cycling 40km
Cycle to the medieval abbey of Cruas then cross the memorable suspension bridge “Rochemaure” built in 1858. Arrive the historic village of Viviers with time to visit the 16th century Maison de Chevaliers, cathedral and the belvedere.
Day 6 Viviers – Saint-Etienne-des-Sorts – Avignon - Cycling 40km
Start biking from Saint-Etienne-des-Sorts to the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, home of the legendary red wine. Follow the river to the walled town of Avignon, home of the Popes from the 14th century. Visit the Pope’s Palace and wander the cobbled streets of this impressive town.
Day 7 Avignon - Arles - Cycling 45km
Cycle from Avignon to Arles, home of Van Gogh. Halfway is Beaucaire where the Languedoc region and the Provence region meet. To end the day, explore Arles with its’ incredible Roman arena, still used today, and all the scenes van Gogh used to paint.
Day 8: Arles
Disembark after breakfast.
Moderate - cycling is on semi-paved paths and asphalt side roads. There are hilly stages