The Rhone River from Lyon to Sète
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ViaRhôna - from Lyon to Sete
ViaRhôna - from Lyon to Sete
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
12 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB865
City Gastronomy Culture Nature
From € 1.365
ViaRhôna - from Lyon to Sete
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Bike Tour: ViaRhôna - from Lyon to Sete - 12 days

  • Cycle along the Rhône valley with its rich history and nature
  • Enjoy the scents of `La Provence´
  • Discover Arles, its arenas and ancient theater
  • Explore Sète: a major port city with sandy beaches
  • Visit Lyon: the French capital of Gastronomy
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FRSB865 - The Rhone River from Lyon to Sete
Route
Day 1: Arrival in Lyon
Day 2: Lyon - Vienne (or train option)
Day 3: Vienne - Serrières
Day 4: Serrières - Valence
Day 5: Valence - Montélimar
Day 6: Montélimar - Bourg-Saint-Andéol
Day 7: Bourg-Saint-Andéol - Orange
Day 8: Orange - Avignon
Day 9: Avignon - Arles
Day 10: Arles - Aigues-Mortes
Day 11: Aigues-Mortes - Sète
Day 12: End of your trip

Day 1:    Arrival in Lyon

Arrival in the beautiful city of Lyon. Your options for the rest of the day are endless. Walk to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière for a great view in town, shop, visit a museum, or see the typical Halles de Lyon Market, you can also reward your soul of cyclist with a delicious meal in a "petit bouchon", authentic restaurant in the "French capital of gastronomy"!

Day 2:    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.

You also have the possibility to take the train until Vienne and start your bike trip the day after if you want to avoid this first stage with busy roads and urban environment!

Challenge: 32.8km, 322 ascent, 336m descent

Day 3:    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 4:    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 5:    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 6:    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: 28.50km, 205m ascent, 236m descent

Day 7:    Bourg-Saint-Andéol - Orange
51 km

Today is your last cycling day, and not just an ordinary day. 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 8:    Orange - Avignon
36 km

Your will cycle to the world-famous wine town Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where a stroll through the town should not be missed. Continue to the city of Avignon along the Rhône Cycle path, a relaxed way to cycle into the city. On arrival in Avignon we recommend a stroll through the old town and a visit to the Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace). 

Challenge: 35.7km, 286m ascent, 306m descent

Day 9:    Avignon - Arles
56 km

Taking a quiet cycle route, you leave Avignon and pedal directly to St Rémy, possibly the most beautiful and certainly the most typical town in Provence. Take a break in the shaded square or wander the old centre with its shops and cafes. A visit to the monastery Saint Paul de Mausole, where van Gogh spent a year, is highly recommended. Leaving St Remy, you can admire the Roman Arch as you head to the Alpilles. Enjoy great views of Les Baux, the “city in rock” with its harmonic location and fortress ruins. Continue to Arles, once the second largest city of the Roman Empire. Today, Roman culture and Romanesque heritage characterize the historic centre of Arles. It is also the city of Vincent van Gogh. Make your way to your hotel.

Challenge: 55.8km, 340m ascent, 343m descent 

Day 10:    Arles - Aigues-Mortes
52 km

Your itinerary today will take you from Arles to Aigues-Mortes, immersing you in the enchanting landscapes of southern France. You will cycle through picturesque villages and explore the Mediterranean charm of the landscape. This stage crosses the Camargue Gardoise (the western, Languedoc side of the Camargue) and you will discover an exceptional flora and fauna. You cycle along the former towpaths beside the Canal du Rhône à Sète, crossing through typical marshland to reach the splendid walled port of Aigues-Mortes, Nestled on the Mediterranean coast, Aigues-Mortes captivates with its medieval allure and well-preserved city walls. Explore the charming cobblestone streets, visit the impressive Constance Tower, and soak in the maritime ambiance of this historic French town. Aigues-Mortes is a captivating blend of history, architecture, and coastal beauty.

Challenge: 52.2km, 155m ascent, 170m descent

Day 11:    Aigues-Mortes - Sète
63 km

As the ViaRhône route ends, the Mediterranean awaits, with its beaches easily accessible by bike. You will cycle along the Canal du Rhône and pass Le Grau-du-Roi. Your ride continues along the Mediterranean and its beaches, with lively resorts and activities all around. As you stroll along ViaRhôna, you'll be surrounded by the sea and salt lagoons behind the shore. Between Palavas-les-Flots and Sète, close to Montpellier, the itinerary follows beaches and saltwater lagoons. Visit the Maguelone Cathedrale for a glimpse of the massif of Gardioles covered with scrubland. Sète Harbor, on the edge of the Etang de Thau, marks the end of the adventure.

Challenge: 63.3km, 251m ascent, 253m descent

Day 12:    End of your trip

After breakfast, your trip ends in pleasant Sète, the biggest French fishing port on the Mediterranean coast, also known for its beautiful beaches.

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 during the trip.

If you would like to find out more about the star rating system in France, please check out this page.

Hotel Le Simplon ** (Lyon)
Hotel Le Simplon ** (Lyon)
Hôtel Ibis Lyon Sud Vienne Saint-Louis *** (Vienne)
Hôtel Ibis Lyon Sud Vienne Saint-Louis *** (Vienne)
Hôtel Schaeffer *** (Serrières)
Hôtel Schaeffer *** (Serrières)
Hotel Alpes Cévennes ** (Valence)
Hotel Alpes Cévennes ** (Valence)
Hotel Le Printemps *** (Montélimar)
Hotel Le Printemps *** (Montélimar)
Domaine des Oliviers *** (Pierrelatte)
Domaine des Oliviers *** (Pierrelatte)
Hôtel le Glacier *** (Orange)
Hôtel le Glacier *** (Orange)
Hôtel le Médiéval *** (Avignon)
Hôtel le Médiéval *** (Avignon)
Hotel la Muette *** (Arles)
Hotel la Muette *** (Arles)
Hôtel La Maison des Croisades *** (Aigues-Mortes)
Hôtel La Maison des Croisades *** (Aigues-Mortes)
Hotel l'Orque Bleue *** (Sète)
Hotel l'Orque Bleue *** (Sète)
Bike rental

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes are at least 21-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

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.  

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

11 Nights included

2/3 Star Hotels

Tourist tax included

Breakfasts included during the trip

Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest

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 information 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 Lyon Airport is served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines.

From Paris, you can take the TGV (high speed train) to Lyon (approx. 2h). 

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

From Paris to Lyon (approx. 4h30 - 470 km/292 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

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