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REF: #08255

Epic Alps of Provence Cycling Weekend

3 days of sunny, spectacular alpine cycling with just 1 day off work.

Based in the breathtaking Haute Provence Alps, this cycling weekend will be a chance to ride the rim of the Gorges du Verdon, Europe’s most impressive canyon. Test yourself on the regions epics cols, dip in the cobalt blue waters of the local lakes, and enjoy some well earned sunshine from the terrace of your welcoming chalet. Your hassle free trip includes:

  • Two nights accommodation
  • Three days guided or vehicle supported riding with your host
  • Half-board catering during your stay
  • Return airport transfers from Nice
  • Detailed route planning and advice

Book on to the shared group dates above. Private group trips available from £270pp.

  • Catered chalet
  • French Alps —
  • Activity Type
    • With guide
    • Fixed base
  • Groups up to 8
  • Features
    • BBQ facilities
    • Bike tools
    • Bike wash
    • Covered bike maintenance area
    • Emergency spares
    • Garden
    • Music system
    • Private parking
    • Secure bike storage
    • Terrace
    • TV/DVD
    • Uncovered bike maintenance area
    • Wifi

Service

The Plan

Break the usual Sunday group ride mould and explore one of the most breathtaking regions of Europe! You will circle the rim of Europe’s deepest canyon - the famous Gorges du Verdon, featured in May 2016’s Cyclist magazine, and push yourself on epic cols such as: Cayolle (2326m), Allos (2247m), Champs (2095m), all safe in the knowledge that your local guide is on hand to support you or your vehicle support van isn’t far behind.

This Long weekend in Provence has been designed to give you as much bang for your buck as possible. Here is the plan:

Friday Morning: Arrive

  • Arrive at Nice airport and jump in your transfer to your chalet.
  • Unpack and build your bikes, or collect your hire bike ready for a short ride if there is time!
  • Crack open a bottle of wine on the terrace and enjoy your first home-cooked evening meal while getting excited for the weekend ahead!

Saturday and Sunday: Ride, Ride, Ride!

  • Enjoy a hearty home-made breakfast and prep yourself for the day ahead.
  • Choose from a long list of route options and decide between on-the-road guidance or following vehicle support, using the experience of your local host, and get out there on your bikes!
  • Take a dip in the refreshing cobalt blue waters of St Andre’s lake and return to another hearty meal.

If you’d rather not carry jackets, extra water bottles, or copious amounts of food in your jersey, choose to have vehicle support and throw it in the support van and grab them as and when you need them, or if you’re not feeling that last climb of the day, likewise, sit back and relax in the van while cheering your fellow cyclists on.

Coaching with a qualified British Cycling Level 3 coach can be organised as part of private group trips.

Sunday Evening: Return transfer to Nice

  • Time to pack up your things and head home!

Accommodation

You will be based in a relaxed, welcoming and traditionally furnished chalet in St Andre. The chalet can sleep up to nine people in three bedrooms (1 Twin, 1 Double and 1 Double with bunk bed) and a full height mezzanine that can sleep up to 4 in bunk-style beds.

It has two bathrooms, a modest lounge/TV room on the first floor with a balcony looking over the garden.

The ground floor is devoted to the kitchen and dining room and makes for a great social space to relax after your day out. Outside you’ll find a large picnic table and facilities for a BBQ, perfect for those warm summer evenings.

Location

St Andre is a quiet, pretty village in the stunning protected area of the Provence Alps Parc Naturel du Verdon - where the mountains, lavender fields, lakes and gorges provide a perfect playground for cyclists, triathletes, paragliders, kayakers and more. It sits at the northern end of the cobalt blue waters of Lac de Castillon, marking the northern entrance to the Gorges du Verdon. This is Europe’s deepest canyon, 2km long, up to 700m deep and and one for any bucket list.

The region is a road cycling paradise - don’t be misled by any preconceived ideas about the riding in this area of France. Vertical gains on rides from your chalet range from 600 to 2000m, with a number of cols well over the 2000m mark. You’ll have plenty of route options to chose from based on your group’s ability and the detailed knowledge of your local host to help you plan each day.

You’ll be joined on the road every day by your host (or not if you want!) and have the chance to ride round the famous Gorge du Verdon, featured in May 2016’s Cyclist magazine for a reason, along with epic cols such as: Cayolle (2326m), Allos (2247m), Bonette (2860m), Champs (2095m), all safe in the knowledge that your vehicle support van won’t be far behind.

F.A.Q.

Why book with Much Better Adventures?

Forget complex planning, we’ve taken care of all the details to maximise your time away - you just need to turn up and be epic. Expect:

  • Expert local guides and hosts
  • A hassle-free, all-inclusive package
  • Best price guaranteed
  • Bragging rights in the office on Monday
  • A charity donation made by us via our Foundation.

What skills/experience/fitness do I need?

This trip is aimed at regular cyclists looking for a great weekend away. Each day’s riding is tailored to fit the group’s ability and what you are looking to achieve, but is flexible enough to allow a range of abilities to enjoy the rides. There is the option of having vehicle supporting you the whole time, so no matter what your cycling level you will never have to do push yourself more than you’re comfortable with.

What’s the weather like?

The weather in summer is beautiful. Expect blue skies and sunshine unless you are unlucky, with temperatures ranging from 25-30C, maybe a little less at the top of the cols.

What's included in the price?

To maximise convenience we include as much of your travel and logistics in this package, so you just need to turn up and ride. In this trip:

  • Two nights accommodation in a catered Chalet.
  • Detailed route planning and advice.
  • On the road guiding from your host or following vehicle support.
  • Return transfers to Nice Airport.

What's not included in the price?

  • Flights.
  • Optional bike hire (from €78 for the weekend).
  • Optional Level 3 British Cycling Coaching.

What flight should I get?

There are numerous flight options from London to Nice with EasyJet and BA throughout Friday and Sunday. Get in touch with us and we’ll tell you which flights to book. The chalet is a two hour transfer from the airport.

What bikes are available to hire?

  • Aluminium Scott Speedster S50 (from €78)
  • Carbon Scott CR1 Team (from €135)

Prices include: Helmet, lock, repair kit, and Shimano pedals (Look also available)

What will be covered in the coaching?

A qualified British Cycling Level 3 coach will accompany the group and be available to assist and advise with advanced cornering, climbing/descending and group riding techniques, and where necessary, ensure you have the most efficient riding position on your bike. These weeks will be of particular help to those riders new to the alps and for riders not used to group riding as well as to more experienced riders wanting to improve their technique. Please indicate your interest and ability level on the booking enquiry form.

What's the food like?

Your meals will be prepared by your host who will join you out on the road. Expect hearty, home-made breakfasts and evening meals - exactly what you need after a great day in the saddle. Help yourself to tea, coffee and beer throughout the day.

How many people can come on this trip?

The minimum group size for this trip to run is 3 and the maximum group size is 8.

Can I book on my own?

Sure can! It’s a great way to meet new likeminded people, provided you’re happy to share a room!

Can I bring my own bike?

Definitely! There is secure bike storage and a maintenance area in the Chalet. Just book it on to your flight.

What other activities are available?

There are load of other great mountain activities to enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Triathlon. St Andre is a great base for Triathletes. A cobalt blue lake to swim in, miles of forest trails to run and of course plenty of quiet smooth roads to ride on. For open water swim training we can provide a safety boat. Water temperatures vary but a wetsuit is advised for long swims and before mid June and after August.
  • Mountain Biking. Should you wish to leave the road for a bit, we can arrange mountain bike routes and take you out to explore some the best trails close to the chalet.
  • Rafting and Canyoning. We can organise and book you on to some great rafting/canyoning trips nearby.
  • Via Ferrata. Climb amazing cliff faces on ex WW1 ladders and staples nearby!