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ViaRhôna - From Geneva to Orange
ViaRhôna - From Geneva to Orange
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
13 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB880
Wine Nature Riverside Gastronomy City
From € 1.745
ViaRhôna - From Geneva to Orange
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Lake Geneva to the Provence

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Bike Tour: ViaRhôna - From Geneva to Orange - 13 days

Take your bike and discover the Via Rhôna! From Lake Geneva in Switzerland to the Mediterranean Sea, follow a route that has been used by successive civilizations for over 2,000 years. Wonderful landscapes, towns, authentic villages, impressive nature, vineyards and delicious gastronomy await you along the way! 

Start this great cycling trip from the cosmopolitan city of Geneva. Follow the ViaRhôna that meanders through the mountains and valleys of the Upper Rhône. Bike through the breathtaking landscapes of the Savoie and the Bugey: mountains, lakes, gorges... and pass typical old villages before your stay in the elegant historic city of Lyon.

After visiting the gastronomic capital, the second part of the tour will show you why the Rhône has long been renowned as the route of successive civilizations.

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Route
Day 1: Arrival in Geneva
Day 2: Geneva - Seyssel (or train option)
Day 3: Seyssel - Champagneux
Day 4: Champagneux - Villebois
Day 5: Villebois - Pérouges
Day 6: Pérouges - Lyon
Day 7: Lyon - Vienne (or train option)
Day 8: Vienne - Serrières
Day 9: Serrières - Valence
Day 10: Valence - Montélimar
Day 11: Montélimar - Bourg-Saint-Andéol
Day 12: Bourg-Saint-Andéol - Orange
Day 13: Departure from Orange

Day 1:    Arrival in Geneva

Arrival in Geneva and installation to your hotel. Take the time to discover this beautiful city of Switzerland, also known as the "capital of peace" with its humanitarian tradition, it will seduce you with its international charm and its old town offering a wide choice of delicious restaurants. Enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Lake Geneva.

 

Day 2:    Geneva - Seyssel (or train option)
60 km

Your first bike ride takes you from Switzerland to France along the Rhone, you will discover the "Défilé de l'Écluse" and then the first vineyards between mountains and valleys, while keeping in view the sumptuous mountains of the Alps. This part of the trip will be on some busier roads, but the rest of the week it will be much quieter. You will spend the night in the charming little town of Seyssel, on the banks of the river.

Challenge: 59.9km, 677m ascent, 804m descent

 

Day 3:    Seyssel - Champagneux
54 km

Leave Seyssel and cycle between ridges and plateau on both banks of the Rhone. Arrival in Chanaz, also called "La Petite Venise Savoyarde", enjoy a pleasant break in one of the charming restaurants along the canal of Savières. Continue on towards Culoz and Belley, peaceful small towns with a rich heritage that punctuates the Bugey mountain. Continue your journey, in a surprising nature to arrive in the region of Champagneux.

Challenge: 54.5km, 528m ascent, 539m descent

 

Day 4:    Champagneux - Villebois
66 km

Today you pass through Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers, for the greedy, we advise you to stop there to taste the famous brioche pralines! Further away, a little detour towards the village of Glandieu will allow you to refresh yourself with its majestic waterfall, a wonder of nature.Then you cross Morestel, stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, city of painters, flowered city and city in poetry. A lovely greenway links "La Vallée Bleue" to Villebois, this is where you’ll stay overnight.

Challenge: 66.3km, 628m ascent, 635m descent

 

Day 5:    Villebois - Pérouges
55 km

This ViaRhôna stage takes you through unspoilt countryside of Burgey above the Rhône. You pass lovely villages this morning : Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey and Sault-Brénaz, and the more secretive La Balme-les-Grottes, with its great caves and picturesque centre. Your destination will soon be in sight as you approach the hilltop medieval village of Pérouges, labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Challenge: 55.4km, 444m ascent, 418m descent

 

Day 6:    Pérouges - Lyon
46 km

This last cycle day cleverly links the parks and lakes of Greater Lyon, including at Le Grand Large and Miribel-Jonage. Then enjoy the magnificent cycle route through central Lyon, along the Rhône’s banks. At the Rhône’s confluence with the Saône, you come to a brand-new quarter marked by contemporary architecture, the most striking building being the Musée des Confluences. Your options for the rest of the day are endless but you can also reward your soul of cyclist with a delicious meal in a "petit bouchon", typical restaurant in the city.

Challenge: 45.9km, 266m ascent, 368m descent

 

Day 7:    Lyon - Vienne (or train option)
33 km

After buzzing Lyon, the itinerary leads through the towns of Grigny and Givors, on to St-Romain-enGal. The historic importance of navigation is clearer here than anywhere else along the Rhône. Museums at St-Romain-en-Gal and Vienne give a good picture of the river’s rich history, from classical to contemporary times.

* Please be aware there will be a "bicycle change" in Lyon, as we have 2  different bike suppliers. 

Challenge: 32.8km, 322m ascent, 336m descent

 

Day 8:    Vienne - Serrières
33 km

This remarkable cycling day offers a great variety of landscapes. From Vienne, once an ancient capital of Roman Gaul, to the nature reserve of L’île au Beurre, bearing witness to the Rhône’s wild side, via steeply terraced vineyards, including the prestigious Côte-Rôtie, and the first major orchards along the Rhône Valley, this stage will delight those interested in history, nature and gastronomy.

Challenge: 33.1km, 255m ascent, 270m descent

 

Day 9:    Serrières - Valence
61 km

Your itinerary today runs between steep vineyards and dense orchards. Heading south from Lyon, this is the first ViaRhôna stage to enter the rugged Ardèche, a beautiful département (or French county) on the mighty Rhône’s west flank. Here, the tamed river supports orchards, market gardens and vines producing top-class Saint-Joseph wines. Arriving in Tournon-sur-Rhone enjoy a pleasant break laden with Gallo-Roman history.

Challenge: 61.3km, 438m ascent, 448m descent

 

Day 10:    Valence - Montélimar
71 km

After a halt at Valence’s southern river port of L'Epervière, your route leads you back onto the western, Ardèche bank of the Rhône. The Ardèche is known for its exceptional caves, archaeological sites, characterful villages, châteaux and nature reserves. Continuing south along ViaRhôna and cycle on the recent Himalayan-style footbridge at Rochemaure is a great experience, built using the pillars of the Vieux Pont, it is an historic bridge over the Rhône. Here you are at the gates of Provence: "Montélimar" where a human presence has existed for more than 50,000 years. Renowned for its nougat, Montélimar is a pleasant town where it is good to stroll in the old city center.

Challenge: 70.9km, 460m ascent, 503m descent

 

Day 11:    Montélimar - Bourg-Saint-Andéol
28 km

Leaving the beautiful city of Montélimar, cycle beside branches of the Rhône and pass through historic towns: Viviers, with its medieval spirit; Bourg-Saint-Andéol, its treasures including a rare sculpture of a Mithraic deity. Today your short itinerary is packed with heritage treasures, especially religious ones, including cathedrals, chapels and grand clerical residences. Those who love history as well as nature can enjoy their fill.

Challenge: 28.5km, 205m ascent, 236m descent

 

Day 12:    Bourg-Saint-Andéol - Orange
51 km

Today is your last cycling today, and not just anyone. The program of the day : Pedaling through a impressive nature with the scents of Provence and across the charming village of Pont-Saint-Esprit. In the afternoon you reach the beautiful city of Orange. Of the numerous Roman buildings and monuments originally built, you still can see parts of the City Wall, the Arc de Triumph and the Theatre (UNESCO heritage), the stage wall of which the Sun King, Louis XIV, described as the most beautiful wall in his country.

Challenge: 50.6km, 304m ascent, 308m descent

 

Day 13:     Departure from Orange

End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the history city of Orange.

 

Accommodation

All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.

We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.

For this trip you can choose between Comfort and Comfort +. The accommodations for a Comfort+ trip, will be in 3*/4 * hotels wherever possible (supplement applied).

Comfort
Hotel Jade*** (Geneva)
Hotel Beau Séjour ** (Seyssel)
B&B Les Vieilles Portes (Champagneux)
B&B A Deux Pas du Rhéby (Villebois)
Hotel la Bérangère ** (Pérouges)
Hotel la Bérangère ** (Pérouges)
Hotel Le Simplon ** (Lyon)
Hotel Le Simplon ** (Lyon)
Grand Hotel de la Poste ** (Vienne)
Hôtel Schaeffer *** (Serrières)
Hotel Alpes Cevennes ** (Valence)
Hotel Le Printemps *** (Montélimar)
Domaine des Oliviers *** (Pierrelatte)
Hôtel le Glacier*** (Orange) 
Hôtel le Glacier*** (Orange) 
Comfort +
Hotel Jade*** (Geneva)
Hotel Jade*** (Geneva)
Hôtel du Rhône*** (Seyssel)
Hôtel du Rhône*** (Seyssel)
Hôtel les Bergeronnettes*** (Champagneux)
Hôtel les Bergeronnettes*** (Champagneux)
B&B A Deux Pas du Rhéby (Villebois)
B&B A Deux Pas du Rhéby (Villebois)
Hostellerie Du Vieux Pérouges (Pérouges)
Hostellerie Du Vieux Pérouges (Pérouges)
Hôtel le Roosevelt**** (Lyon)
Hôtel le Roosevelt**** (Lyon)
Hôtel La Pyramide **** (Vienne)
Hôtel La Pyramide **** (Vienne)
Hôtel Schaeffer*** (Serrières)
Hôtel Schaeffer*** (Serrières)
Hôtel l'Atrium**** (Valence)
Hôtel l'Atrium**** (Valence)
Hôtel le Sphinx*** (Montélimar)
Hôtel le Sphinx*** (Montélimar)
Domaine des Oliviers *** (Pierrelatte)
Domaine des Oliviers *** (Pierrelatte)
Hotel le Clos d'Orange (Orange)
Hotel Le Clos d'Orange (Orange)
Bike rental

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle (hybrid or ebike) from us. You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks.  The frame and saddle height are set to your height, although you might want to adjust your saddle to be in the most comfortable position. We also recommend doing a first small test drive of couple of hundred meters to be comfortable with gears, brakes etc. If you have an issue with your bike, you can contact the service provider (name of bike rental in your reservation) directly. Or you can always call us on our emergency phone number.  

Our hybrid touring bikes are at least 21-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

Experience the advantages of an electric bike on your cycling holiday, particularly when there's a significant gap in ability and experience among cyclists. An e-bike provides a gentle boost up hills, allowing you to easily keep pace with your companions. With a small electric motor and battery, e-bikes make bike trips more achievable, and their batteries can be conveniently charged at hotels. While you still need to pedal, the e-bike significantly reduces the effort required. Familiarity with e-bikes is advised due to their quicker acceleration and heavier build compared to regular bikes, attributed to the electric motor.

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike

Please note: Depending on the trip, different models apply

 

Our hybrid bikes have at least 21-gears with hand brakes. 

The hybrid bikes are very good quality. Depending the trip, different model apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

Whenever there is a big difference in level of ability, experience the many benefits of an electric bike on your cycling holiday. An e-bike will help you keep up with your fellow cyclists and give you a gentle boost up hills. An e-bike makes a bike trip more achievable. The e-bikes have a small electric motor and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric motor.

The E-bikes are very good quality. Depending on the trip, different models apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Racing bike, more details on request.

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Tandem bike, suitable for two adults only. More details on request.

For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm). The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes. The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm. 

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and at their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.

The tag-along bikes cannot be rented for all our tours

Please note: depending the trip, different models apply.

Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

 

 

Bell

All our rental bikes come with a bell.


Brakes

All our adult bikes come with hand brakes. 


Childseat

For children older than 30 months (max. 22 kg) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.


GPS

For some tours, it is possible to rent a GPS device, more details on request.


Helmet

Helmets are not mandatory in France (if the cyclist is over 12 years old) but strongly recommended. The helmet is mandatory for children under 12 years. If you rent a bike with us, helmets are included. Please advise us, if you bring along your own.


Lights

All our rental bikes come with lights.


Locks

All our rental bikes come with a lock.


Pannier

All our rental bikes come with at least a rear pannier and a front card holder to put the roadbook/maps.


Pedals

The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals. On request we are able to supply these pedals on certain trips. 
If you wish to bring your own click-in/SPD pedals, please let us know prior to booking too.


Quickrelease

All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars. 


Repairkit

There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. If a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop.


Saddle

Saddles can be adjusted in height.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover. If you usually cycle with this, we recommend you bring them with you.


Water bottles

French Bike Tours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive at least 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.


Article 1 Bike Rental Price

The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the French Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.

Article 2 Payment

a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.

b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, French Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.

c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.

Article 3 Rental Period

a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (last cycling day), as stated in the booking confirmation.

b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.

c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.

d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip. 

e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).

f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. French Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.

Article 4 Improper Use

a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.

b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.

c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.

d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.

Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft

The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.

Article 6 Costs During the Rental Period

Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs. 

Practical info

12 Nights included 

2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)

Tourist tax included

All Breakfasts and 1 Dinner-tray on day 4 in Villebois (as no alternatives in the surroundings) included during the trip

Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest

For this trip, please be aware there will be a "bicycle change" in Lyon, as we have 2 different suppliers. 

24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

Luggage transport to your next accommodations. Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum)

For time tables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

We strongly advise you to download the sncf mobile app prior to departure.

If you want to travel on a train with your bike, you can find more information via this link.
 

Parking informations on request

We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.

Arrival info

The international Geneva Airport is served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines. Also, possibility of arrival in Lyon Airport. From Lyon you can take a train to Geneva, see below.

You can get to Geneva by train. On the end of your trip you can take a train from Orange. 

For time tables and further information look at the website of the SBB or check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

From Paris to Geneva (approx. 5h15 - 540 km/335 mi) / From Lyon to Geneva (approx. 1h50 - 150 km/93 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

Reviews

01-08-2022

My cycling tour along the Viarhôna from Geneva to Orange was everything I hoped it would be! I experienced the beautiful french landscape, great accommodations and many interesting cities. I would definitely book with this company again.

Carry M.

02-07-2022

The GUIBO was excellent. Very easy to use and navigate, however, we were never able to get voice guidance to work (operator error possibly). We liked to be able to read about what was along or close by the route for that day. Including as much information as possible in that regard would be great.

We found the schedule for lunch and dinner challenging at times. It would be great to have some mention of typical times for meals in France, particularly in the smaller towns. Overall, we had an excellent time, great biking, food, wine and enjoyed the beautiful countryside.

Overall, the hotels were very adequate. We enjoyed the smaller boutique type establishments. We loved the small towns/villages of historic value. We particularly liked our excursions into small villages and visiting ruins. We ventured to Saint-Sorlin-en-Bugey, Saint-Montan, Viviers, and Chateauneuf on the shorter ride days. All enjoyable.

We weren't big fans of the Ibis/Novatel brand hotel. The location, particularly in Lyon was not our favorite. The bike ride from Lyon to Vienne was definitely our least favorite day of riding. Also, staying in Bourg-Saint-Andeol would have been preferable over Pierrelatte, though the hotel was enjoyable with the pool.

Peter W.

12-06-2022

We were not told about the check in time of 5 pm in A deux pas du Rhéby (Villebois). Fortunately when we arrived we rang the bell and the owner, Thierry was just about to leave, but was nice enough to accommodate us and let us in…he even got cold beers for us. All accommodations had comfortable beds.

Accommodation in Seyssel (Hotel de Rhone) was very good (upgrade from normal I believe) and the food in their restaurant was excellent. Second night in Les Vieilles Portes (Champagneux) was charming and appreciated that the owner Jean Richard had made reservations for us at a local restaurant up the hill. He even drove us to the restaurant, which was so kind.

We found the ebikes a little heavy and were expecting that they would be Scott bikes which appear to be lighter. The gentleman from CycleMundo who dropped off the bikes in Seyssel went over the mechanics of the bike to our satisfaction. I was told that the bikes would simply be at the hotel, so really appreciated the fact that this man was there to explain everything. I found the Guibo app excellent and easy to use. Also nice to have the back up book with more information.

Comfort Comfort +
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