French Massif Mountains - France

Alps - France

French Massif Central Cycling Tour

Guided 8+ days

A classic road bike tour that crosses the wonderful Massif Central in the Western Alps. Conquer famous mountain passes over 8 days and finish your epic trip at the glistening Mediterranean Sea in Sète.

Style
Road cycling
Gain
13,450 m
Distance
830 km
Level
Difficult

Tour overview

FROM THE MASSIF CENTRAL TO THE MEDITERRANEAN

This guided French Massif Central Cycling Tour takes you through the Western Alps, from the heights of Clermont-Ferrand down to the coastal town of Sète. Discover and ride world-renowned mountain roads and soak up the beauty of this breathtaking region.

During this fantastic eight-day road bike tour, you’ll make lifelong memories and face daily challenges. With Mont Blanc as our backdrop, each day we’ll climb a series of challenging cols with the option to make the day as hard or gentle as you need.

We’ll be climbing at moderate to high altitudes and riding demanding daily distances in the Mediterranean climate, giving you the chance to push your performance to the next level. 

Start point
Clermont-Ferrand
End point
Sète
See program for full itinerary
Flying in
Clermont-Ferrand
Flying out
Clermont-Ferrand

Flights not included. Direct flights available at lastminute.com

Highlights of your cycling trip

Cyclist on road mont ventoux, bédoin, france

Discover Calm Cols

We’ll mainly be riding on calm roads with little to no traffic, perfect for cyclists of all levels. You'll also receive full support throughout the trip so you can focus on pedalling.

Diverse terrain

Witness the stunning variety of landscapes the Western Alps has to offer as we traverse the Auvergne volcanoes and the gorges of Tarn and Jonte. Choose from three routes each day with varying distances and profiles.

Comfortable Hotels

Enjoy a comfortable night’s rest after each full day in the saddle, as well as the chance to meet other guests and catch up with the rest of the group at the end of the day.

Tour destination

Massif Central - Western French Alps

With thundering gorges, rolling valleys, and cloud-topped mountain peaks, the western French Alps are a paradise for cyclists and explorers, and the varied terrain offers some challenging routes for more technical riders who want to see how far they can push their climbing skills. Rich blue skies create a backdrop for awe-inspiring vistas of the Alps and Mediterranean coastline, whilst we soak up French culture and discover the history of these ancient roads and towns.

Discover More
  • Weather

    Spring and autumn offer the best weather conditions for mountain riding, and although the peaks can get a bit blustery in winter, year-round cycling certainly isn’t out of the question, especially as you head closer to the coast.

  • Terrain

    France offers an incredibly diverse range of terrain suitable for riders of any level. However, choose to step the tour up a notch by challenging yourself to some more intense climbs across the Massif Central. Daily average distances range from 50 km to 150 km, depending on the col.

  • Culture

    French cycling culture doesn’t get much better than in the Alps, riding on the same roads as the pros in the Tour de France. Cycle touring is a popular way to explore the country and drivers are used to sharing the road with cyclists.

Accommodation during your tour

Comfortable 2-3* Hotels and Guesthouses

Each night we’ll sleep in a different 2 or 3 star hotel or guesthouse along our route, all of which offer a very pleasant stay after a full day of riding. We choose the accommodation based on its location and proximity to the start and end of each route and each location includes secure bike storage facilities so you can focus on some well-deserved R&R. A support vehicle will be assisting us throughout the trip to move your bags and belongings safely between each location.

All Meals Included

This 8 day tour includes all breakfasts, picnic lunches, and dinners from a 3 to 4 course menu, so all you need to worry about is what you want to drink with each meal. But we do recommend you bring your favourite gels and energy bars in case you need a mid-ride boost.

Tour itinerary

Your guide to a perfect cycling tour

Lac Chambon – Lavigerie
  • Distance
    105 km
  • Altitude gain
    2050 m

After a gentle first day, we step up the pace and soak up some Tour de France highlights. Enjoy spectacular views of the local mountain ranges including the dazzling array of dormant volcanoes as we take a breather on the Plateau du Cézallier.

 

Highlights:

  • Climb to Super-Besse, home to several dramatic stages of the Tour de France
  • Take on Pas de Peyrol and Col de Serre with views of Puy Mary

Getting there

Information to help you book your flights and get around.

Any questions about flights and transfers? The Epico team is here for you. Ping us via the chatbot in the corner of your page or send an email to [email protected]

Flying in

Fly in airport options: Clermont-Ferrand.

When best to arrive: the night before the day the tour starts.

Where the tour starts: we meet at 09:00 at the central railway station of the French town Clermont-Ferrand.

Transfers: we highly recommend you book optional airport transfers that we offer, this way we can guarantee a seamless and hassle-free travel experience.

Extra nights: we recommend you book an optional extra night in Clermont-Ferrand that we offer; the tour starts in the morning and you’ll want to be fresh!

Flying out

Fly out airport options: Clermont-Ferrand.

When best to depart: in the afternoon the day the tour ends, the tour ends around midday.

Where the tour ends: in the afternoon in the town of Sète.

Transfers: we highly recommend you book optional airport transfers that we offer, this way we can guarantee a seamless and hassle-free travel experience.

Extra nights: we recommend you book an optional extra night near the airport that we offer; the tour ends in the afternoon, packing up and transferring takes time.

Tour essentials

What’s included in your cycling trip.

  • 7 Nights Accommodation

    7 nights in 2-3* hotels, double room with en-suite facilities (single room available as an extra)

  • All Meals

    8 breakfasts, 8 picnic lunches, 8 dinners (3 to 4 course menu)

  • Guide and Support

    Trip leader in support vehicle, luggage transfers, and tech support throughout the tour

  • GPS Tracks

    Comprehensive navigation app for smartphones, a detailed digital road book with routes, and GPS tracks

Cycling bottle

What’s not included in your cycling trip.

  • Flights

    Flights are not included in the tour package. Please follow our advice about which flights will be best suited for this tour. Reach out to us if you have any questions about flights.

  • Health insurance

    We strongly recommend that you obtain a dedicated health insurance that covers your sport activities. Reach out to us if you have questions about the insurance.

Extra
Bike rental
Only €275 for the entire trip

It’s not always easy travelling with a bike but fear not, high quality carbon bikes are available for rental for the duration of the tour. To make sure you get the maximum from your bike for your trip, we’ve partnered with some of the best brands in cycling to give you the latest choice of equipment.

With a variety of sizes available, we can ensure your bike fits you perfectly.  All rental bikes are mechanically checked and adjusted before each and every hire so you can have peace of mind that your bike will be running smoothly from start to finish!

You can select this option when you proceed to checkout. 

CARBON ROAD BIKE

Fitted to you and in perfect condition

More things to maximise your cycling trip

  • EXTRA
    Single accommodation
    €245 per person for entire trip

    If you’d like a whole room to yourself, that’s no problem. For an extra €245 for the trip duration, you can enjoy the comfort of your own room. Just select this option when you proceed to book your tour.

  • EXTRA
    Airport transfers
    From €140 per person

    Transportation for you and your bike from the nearest airport to the start point and back is available to book for €140 (round trip). You can select this option when you proceed to checkout. Contact us if you have any questions.

  • EXTRA
    Additional nights
    From €190 per person

    The tour starts in the morning and ends in the evening, plus airport transfers take time. We recommend that you fly in the day before and fly out the day after to maximise your trip. You can book these two additional nights for €190 when you proceed to checkout.

Booking options

Choose when you want to travel

Don't see the travel dates you want or have a special request, such as adding a non-rider, please contact us.

  • Guarantee a spot during busy periods
  • Only 30% down payment to secure your place
  • Fair & Transparent Cancellation Policy
Booking options