Leisure cycling itinerary
A Tours du Tarn centre-based cycling holiday provides everything for the perfect cycling holiday and all from one beautiful base:
Cycling: Hand-picked routes taking in the prettiest sights, best rural roads and idyllic villages of this wonderful region, allowing plenty of time to explore;
Bikes: Hybrid bikes, maps and all the kit you’ll need to spend a week discovering the region ‘en velo’;
Food: generous breakfasts and evening meals with wine;
Accommodation: Bright and inviting double ensuites in our converted barn;
Pick-up service if you need it.
Fancy a day off? No worries! Back at base there’s a beautiful, private garden to relax in, swimming pool, views over the countryside to enjoy, or lots of walks in the stunning countryside - right from the doorstep.
Read on for a sample of a typical tour of the region designed especially for leisure cyclists looking to explore the area by bike - at their own pace.
Vineyards and Bastides by Bike - SAMPLE itinerary
Day 1 - Arrival and settling in
On arrival at our accommodation - As Plos Heights - you'll get familiar with the place, unpack and settle in. We’ll briefly outline the week ahead and some of the activities available before aperitifs and an evening meal.
Day 2 - Vistas and valleys (19.5 miles / 31 kms)
After a good breakfast and after getting you fitted for your bike, you will set off on your first ride of the holiday directly from the house. Today’s ride is short and easy with very little climbing and is intended to ease the legs (and bottom) into a week of cycling. Today’s ride will be accompanied to ensure everyone is comfortable with the bikes and navigation.
The day starts with a glorious ride down into the valley below through fields and oak forest. Once in the valley, we’ll follow the river on flat roads as we get deeper into the Aveyron gorge which towers above. Our destination is the town of Saint Antonin de Noble Val and we’ll arrive in plenty of time for browsing, lunch at one of the many restaurants or maybe even a picnic by the river. Take some time to explore during the afternoon or, for those seeking an adventure, hire a kayak and spend a few hours on the river.
Day 3 - Bastides and views au velo (24 miles / 49 kms)
We start the ride at a local viewpoint high above Saint Antonin de Noble Val before joining undulating roads that give way to a stunning descent through the local Gaillac vineyards. From this vantage point it's possible to see the huge peaks of the Pyrenees as you easily roll down past hectares of vines. Take the opportunity stop at any of the local vineyards you encounter to taste and buy wine if that's of interest.
Continuing south you will head to the impressive bastide village of Castelnau de Montmiral where we recommend lunch at your choice of restaurant or grab some bread and cheese and enjoy lunch with a view at the impressive viewpoint just a short walk from the square.
In the afternoon you'll return to the flat rolling roads below the Forét de Gresigne and the Vère Valley to finish the day's ride with a rewarding climb up to the legendary bastide village of Puycelci. You can choose to be collected here or you may prefer to continue the afternoon’s ride with an easy amble along the valley and a paddle in the river meeting at the pre-arranged pick-up point.
Day 4 - Tour de le Tarn (24 miles / 39 kms)
Today we start at deep in Vineyard country to follow the Tarn river to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Albi. Today’s ride has it all, the Queen stage if you will, and takes in everything the Tarn has to offer. The route starts above Gaillac passing stunning Chateau amongst vineyards, with a lunch/break option at Gaillac, before finally continuing on to finish your afternoon in Albi with its huge Cathedral and the Museum of Toulouse Lautrec.
We’ll meet once again at the pre-arranged pick-up point late in the afternoon to allow plenty of time to explore and enjoy the day.
Day 5 - Rest day
Today is a planned rest day - a chance to relax by the pool (during our summer tours), take a stroll in the countryside, shop for souvenirs in town or take the local train to Toulouse for a cosmopolitan day out.
Day 6 - A tale of two rivers...and a castle (34 miles / 54 kms)
After yesterday's rest day, today is a good mix of cycling and tourism over fairly easy terrain. We start the today in the small hamlet just on the Causses de Quercy and a lovely descent down to the Aveyron before the climb to the imposing town of Najac. We advise that you reward yourself for the effort with a visit to the castle and a wander around the shops and cafés. For the afternoon, you’ll head along flat, winding roads before dropping into Laguépie and an easy spin between the Aveyron and railway line and finally heading along quiet roads on the way to the riverside pickup.
Day 7 - City in the sky (25 miles / 40 kms)
Today is your last day and we couldn’t have you leave without visiting Cordes Sur Ciel, a medieval town perched high above its surroundings. Today is an easy ride through golden vineyards. Take a break at a little known restaurant or pick up supplies for a picnic at the boucherie in Cahuzac sur Vère which sells everything from cheese, pastries, breads, charcuterie and local wines. After lunch you’re heading north on easy roads to descend into Cordes sur Ciel where you can spend the afternoon exploring the town and its sites before the pre-arranged pickup and back to As Plos Heights for your final evening meal and celebratory drinks.
Visit our gallery for a taste of what you'll see along the way.