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France Self Guided Biking / Burgundy
Tour Dates: April – October

Experience the beauty and flavor of France’s fabulous scenery, cultural heritage, and incredible food and wine at your own pace. These are perfect active vacations for individuals, couples, and groups of family and friends!

2017 Price: €1550 Euros (Double Occupancy)

Price Includes:
  • 6 nights in 3 star lodgings, upgraded hotels available
  • Hybrid rental bike
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transport
  • Detailed maps and route suggestions
  • A private guided tour of the Hospices de Beaune
  • Suggestions for where to eat and side trips to take
  • Emergency support
Price does not include:

Air transportation 3 dinners, lunches, alcoholic beverages.

Tour Difficulty

We rate this trip suitable for beginners.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid or Road

Tour Highlights

  • Riding amidst the famous vineyards of the world/li>
  • Dinner with wine tasting lesson
  • Riding through small villages along tranquil canals
  • Hospices de Beaune, a hospital for the poor, built in 1443 by the chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy

Tour Overview

France Self Guided Biking
Self Guided and Guided Tours may be arranged.

Tour Map

Day 1 - Arrival in Beaune and transfer to Puligny-Montrachet

Upon your arrival at the train station in Beaune, we will transfer you to your first hotel in the small wine village of Puligny-Montrachet. After you have settled in to your room, we set you up with your trip package and fit you on your bikes. You will likely have time to wander the tiny streets and shady squares of this small village, and perhaps wander to the outskirts for a first view of the famous vineyards. Dinner tonight is a great introduction to the region's wines, with a wine tasting lesson throughout your meal at one of the local wineries.

Day 2 - Puligny-Montrachet Loop ride 45 or 56 km

Your ride today takes you along the tranquil and pretty Canal du Centre, and then into the Cote Chalonnaise, and return. This wine region lies just to the south of the Côte de Beaune. Away from the ambitious pricing of the Côte d'Or, some producers, in villages like Rully and Mercurey, are turning out respectable Chardonnay and tasty Pinot Noir for a fraction of the prices these wines might fetch further north. You’ll also want to taste the excellent Crémant de Bourgogne, the region’s delicious sparkling wine. The beautiful terrain and small villages make for great riding. Long option adding 11 kms to visit the Chateau de Couches if you like..

Day 3 -Puligny-Montrachet to Beaune 14 and 32 km

Today’s ride is purposefully short, to allow you time to enjoy and explore both the vineyards you pass along the way, as well as Beaune itself at the end of the ride. Ride out of the famous Chardonnays of Puligny and Meursault, and into the Pinot Noir red wines of Volnay and Pommard. Once in Beaune, we provide you with a self-guided walking tour of the historic centre, to explore the medieval streets, its ramparts, the Collegial church with its 15th century tapestries… or simply have a drink in one of the many cafes on the main square. At the end of the day, a tour of the incredible Hospices de Beaune awaits: a hospital for the poor, built in 1443 by the chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy, this is one of the most beautiful buildings in the region! Dinner tonight included in a gourmet restaurant. If you want more riding, there is a great little loop ride into the Longvay forest to stretch your legs

Day 4 - The Cote de Beaune to the Cote de Nuits 41 km

Today you ride through a long list of Who's Who in the wine world: through Aloxe-Corton with the Corton and Corton-Charlemagne Grand Crus, and continuing northward into the “Champs-Elysées” of great Burgundian wines, each represented by its charming village: Nuits-St Georges, Gevrey Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny… ride by the vineyard of Romanee Conti, the most expensive wine in Burgundy; pass the 15th century Chateau de Clos Vougeot, where you can visit to see the four monumental antique wine presses; stop for tastings along the way as you like. At the end of the ride, hop on the local train in Gevrey Chambertin to return to Beaune for a second evening.

Day 5 - Beaune to the Ouche river Valley 41km

Today's ride takes you away from the famous vineyards, and into the truly beautiful, and tranquil, Ouche River Valley. You ride via the Hautes Cotes de Nuits, with its quiet roads, views, and cassis (black current) fields. The liqueur that is produced from these tart berries is used in the local aperitif, the Kir, which you will have earned by the end of the day! The latter part of the ride follows a wonderful (and very flat) bike path, alongside the Canal de Bourgogne, before twisting off it to your chateau-hotel in the centre of a pretty little village. Dinner is included this evening in their excellent restaurant.

Day 6 - Loop ride from Chateau to Chateau 33km

Today's ride takes you to the Canal de Bourgogne bike path and then over the top of a hill passing through the beautiful medieval village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, where you can stop for a drink and to admire the impressive fortified chateau if you like. Ride through the Bouhey forest and then descend into the small town of Commarin, where you can visit the elegant castle, including the park and gardens and beautiful Renaissance chapel, as well as find some lunch. Continue into Vandenesse sur Ouche, where you can stop to enjoy the canal port, barges and lock system, before the final easygoing stretch back to your hotel.

Day 7 - Departure from Burgundy

Bon Voyage! After a final breakfast, we transfer you to Dijon train station in time for your further travels. Bon Voyage!

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?

Folks who enjoy our tours tend to be a spirited mix of singles and couples of ALL ages, from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references if you wish to speak with someone who has recently been on this trip.

Best times to travel to Burgundy, France

This region consists of long, hot summers and cold, snowy winters. July and August are perfect for people who love hot weather. May, June and September are good months to take advantage of the cooler, but still warm and sunny weather. April and October are wonderfully changeable and can be chilly. These times are good for people wanting to experience the changing of the seasons as they cycle.

Travel Information

This trip begins and ends in Beaune. Geneva, Switzerland is the closest airport to Beaune, but Paris has the fastest train service to Beaune.

Train Schedules

Check out European Train Schedules. If you are bringing a bike on the train, you will need to ask at the train station which trains have space for your bike box. You do not need to make advance train reservations.

Baggage

Two simple words – TRAVEL LIGHT! To avoid loosing luggage (that may contain irreplaceable clothing, personal items and medications) and to prepare you for the reality of European hotels (many have narrow stairways and do not have elevators), we urge you to limit your luggage to 2 items. We suggest the following: a carry-on size suitcase or duffel (a legal carry-on sized wheeled suitcase is perfect) and a small personal bag (like a small daypack or shoulder bag). You will be able to bring these 2 items as carry-ons on all international and domestic flights, insuring that your luggage will arrive with you!

Travel Delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Passport

You must have a current passport. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!

Additional hotel lodging

We can make additional hotel lodging reservations for you at our first night’s hotel in Beaune, France. Just let us know in advance.

Money

The currency of France is the Euro. You will need Euros for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for hotel staff. We suggest exchanging a minimum of €200 EUR (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Cash & Credit Cards

For cash, bring new bills with no tears. You can exchange money at any airport when you arrive. For credit cards, we recommend bringing 2 or more Visa or Mastercards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATM machines in all of the towns on the tour. To use your credit cards in an ATM machine, each card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because ome places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Tipping

We suggest 10% for exceptional service in restaurants (most restaurants include a service charge) and a small amount for baggage and taxi service.

Language

It is not necessary to be able to speak French to get along in France, but it can be lots of fun. A small dictionary and some creative sign language should get you to the start of the trip without too much trouble. Many people at the airport and train stations do speak English.

Rental Bikes

We have good quality, lightweight, hybrid-style bikes with flat handlebars. The bikes are equipped with low gears, good tires, a rear rack, panniers, a water bottle cage, water bottle, bike lock, repair tools, tube and bike pump. The pedals on the rental bikes are flat pedals without toe clips and straps.

Personal Bicycle Equipment

Toe Clips & Straps

If you want toe clips and straps on your pedals, just let us know in advance.

Clipless Pedals

For your own personal safety, you must be comfortable riding, stopping and starting in traffic and on hills. Riding in Europe is fun, but it is probably NOT the best place for your first experiment with clipless pedals. If you are experienced using clipless pedals, bring them if you wish and make sure to bring your bike shoes with the correct cleats.

Bike Shoes

Simply put, a properly fit bike shoe will increase your pedaling efficiency and reduce foot fatigue. For bicycle touring, we recommend either a mountain bike or touring style shoe rather than a racing shoe. These styles have a slight amount of flex to make walking easier and, if you use clipless pedals, your cleat will be recessed for safer, quieter walking. Also, if you have custom footbeds or orthotics, try them in your bike shoes.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Burgundy

Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas. It is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, although other grape varieties can be found, including Gamay, Aligote, Pinot blanc, and Sauvignon blanc. The region is divided into the Côte-d'Or, where the most expensive and prized Burgundies are found, and Beaujolais, Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon.

The reputation and quality of the top wines, together with the fact that they are often produced in small quantities, has led to high demand and high prices, with some Burgundies ranking among the most expensive wines in the world. ~ Wikipedia

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