Paris to Mont St Michel Cycling Holiday

  • 3.8
    (2 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    9 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Rambouillet / Mont St Michel
  • Distance

    235 miles/378 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeGastronomic
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    027-110CFR
Price From £1390

Overview

Surely one of the most enjoyable cycle routes in France, this 10 day cycling adventure from Rambouillet, a small town south west of Paris, to Mont Saint Michel on the Normandy coast, takes advantage of some excellent ‘voies vertes’ –  car-free cycle paths. En-route, cyclists will enjoy sublime scenery and memorable overnight stops in wonderful old towns such as Chartres and Alençon.

A network of wonderful cycle paths connects the French capital to Mont Saint Michel on the Normandy coast and this cycling holiday makes full use of these ‘voie vertes’ or greenways, offering relaxed, traffic-free cycling through charming countryside. Along the way you’ll pedal through verdant countryside punctuated with quaint villages full of rustic French charm, such as Illiers-Combray and Bellême, as well as historic medieval towns such as Chartres and Alençon.

At the end of the ride, the fortified island monastery of Mont Saint Michel awaits, connected or disconnected from the mainland depending on the state of the tide. This iconic site makes a fitting finale to this highly enjoyable cycling holiday.

Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartre - Chartres - France

Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartre – Chartres – France

The ‘voie vertes’ or greenways are mostly former railways lines that have been repurposed as scenic, car-free cycle paths. They are wide, smooth and when there are hills, the gradients are gradual – ideal for cycle touring. The longest day of riding is about 36 miles, so this tour is well within the reach of anyone with a good level of fitness.

Itinerary & Map

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Day 1: Arrive Rambouillet

Rambouillet - France

Rambouillet Forest

On arrival, make your way to Rambouillet and check-in to your first hotel. Rambouillet is within striking distance of Paris, yet is a real breath of fresh air after the busy streets of the French capital. It’s surrounded by the greenery of a former royal hunting forest and has an elegant town centre and chateau to discover.

 

Day 2: Rambouillet – Chartres, 31 miles/50 kms

Chartres - France*

Chartres

For your first day of cycling you’ll first head west to Epernon and then Maintenon, with its regal palace – once the home of Louis the 14th’s secret wife. The route continues through pleasant scenery to Chartres, your home for the night. Chartres is steeped in history and its old town boasts a magnificent Gothic cathedral with its stained glass windows that shouldn’t be missed.

Day 3: Chartres – Illiers-Combray, 20 miles/32 kms

Illiers Combray

Illiers Combray

Today’s ride is fairly short, so you’ll have some time to see more of Chartres before heading out onto the quiet country roads in this rural wheat-growing region. Your destination is Illiers-Combray, a typical, small, well-preserved village, full of character and charm.

Day 4: Illiers-Combray – Nogent le Rotrou, 27 miles/43 kms

Chateau Nogent le Rotrou

Chateau Nogent le Rotrou

You’ll be cycling through the delightful countryside of the Perche today, passing pastoral farmland, forests and wild meadows admiring picturesque chateaux and manor houses along the way. Your destination is the quaint market town of Nogent le Rotrou where a medieval castle – Chateau St Jean –  casts an imposing shadow across the charming old town.

Day 5: Nogent le Rotrou – Bellême, 24 or 26 miles/38 or 42 kms

Belleme

Belleme

Continuing westwards you’ll enter the green, rolling countryside of the Basse Normandie – or Lower Normandy – and the central portion of your trip. It’s a region of beautiful landscape and rich culture. You’ll be stopping for the night at Bellême, a charming medieval hillside village with atmospheric streets and great views across the Perche.

Day 6: Bellême – Alençon, 32 miles/52 kms

Alencon

Alencon

Today you’ll cycle into the Perche Regional Park and through the valleys of the Rivers Huisne and Sarthe before joining the ‘voie verte’ cycling path. This pleasant, car-free greenway takes you all the way to the bustling provincial town of Alençon.

Day 7: Alençon – Bagnoles de L’Orne, 32 miles/51 kms

Chateau de Carrouges

Chateau de Carrouges

Leaving Alençon, you’ll be entering the Normandy Regional Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, for another day of relaxed cycling. A highlight of the day will be the impressive Chateau de Carrouges, complete with moat and offering an insight into 7 centuries of history. You will spend the night in the pleasant, lakeside spa town of Bagnoles de L’Orne, with its elegant ‘Belle Epoque’ architecture.

 

Day 8: Bagnoles de L’Orne – St. Hilaire du Harcouët, 39 miles/62 kms

Cyclists by signpost saying, "Le Mont St Michel"

Well sign-posted route

Today’s route leads you along more, traffic-free, ‘voie verte’ cycle paths into the commune of Mortain, and towards the Normandy Coast. This area is known for its fruit production and much of the route will be lined with orchards and ancient farmlands. Your destination is the small city of St. Hilaire du Harcouët, nestled between the Rivers Airon and Selune.

Day 9: St. Hilaire du Harcouët – Mont St Michel/Pontorson, 30 miles/48 kms

Mont St Michele

Mont St Michele

It’s your last day of riding and you’ll bow out in style, following ‘voie verte’ cycle paths all the way to Mont St Michel. Views of this splendid landmark unfold from afar as you make your way towards the coast. You’ll surely want to explore the fortified island commune with its ancient abbey. You will spend the night either in Mt St Michel itself or the nearby town of Pontorson.

Day 10: Mont St Michel

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals Sunday, Monday & Tuesday between 03 March to 15 October

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2019 Prices
027-110CFR
Per person
03 Mar
to
15 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £1438                    
Single £1926                    
Triple £1390                    
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Deposit per person £150

Price Includes

9 nights accommodation. See practical information
9 x Breakfast, 1 x Dinner (day 3)
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information.
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Entrance fees to monuments

Supplements

Extra night Rambouillet, double/twin, comfort (£74)
Extra night Rambouillet, single, comfort (£133)
Extra night Mont-Saint-Michel, double/twin, comfort (£80)
Extra night Mont-Saint-Michel, single, comfort (£148)
Bike with lock & pannier. See practical information (£233)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£365)

Reductions

20% for children 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults

Practical Information

Bikes

Example of bikes used on this tour

Example of bikes used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern, alloy framed hybrid models with 21 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position.

The bikes also come equipped with rear panniers, handlebar bag or map holder, high-visibility jacket, repair kit and odometer.

E-bikes are also available to rent.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are supplied on arrival.

Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet in France and we always advocate their use for riders of all ages.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Rambouillet: Best Western Amarys
Chartres: Hotel Le Boeuf Couronne
Illiers Combray: Hotel Les Aubepines
Nogent Le Rotrou: Hotel Sully
Belleme: Normandy Country Club
Alencon: Hotel Des Ducs
Bagnoles De L’Orne: Bagnoles Hotel
St Hilaire Du Harcouet: Hotel Le Cygne
Le Mont Saint Michel: Hotel Vert

Getting There

Fly to Paris or take the Eurostar. From Paris, take a train to Rambouillet. At the end of the trip take the train back to Paris.

Research Flights

Research trains in France

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 2 reviews 3.8
  • Date - 21/11/2018
  • Name - Robert Payne
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - ok
  • Product rating -
    3.0
  • Product comment - Lets rate the bike,
    The ladies bikes had very poor brakes and could not be adjusted.
    One of men's bikes had major issues.
    The tires were not inflated properly, problems with rear derailer
    kept dropping the chain, the front map pouch kept falling down and had the be held up with a bungee cord, the bike stand was falling off and couldn't get at it to tighten( another bungee cord required)
    Please update your maps as roads have changed, stop signs have changed to round about etc.

    When we entered into Chartres they guided us around the town when it was rush hour , when the hotel was just across the town square.

    We arrived in Rambouillet on a Sunday to find that there was no taxis to get us and all our luggage to the hotel.

    We thought that the ride was supposed to place us in the center of the towns to experience the culture, that was not the case in Belleme
    There were no services at the Golf and country club and we were miles to town
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the constructive feedback Robert and I'm sorry about the bike issues which are definitely not the norm. I know Ally has been in contact with you directly about this but our local supplier has reiterated that if you had contacted them during your holiday they would have changed the bikes out for you without delay.



    We endeavor to use tried and tested, good quality properties on these routes but make no guarantees about them always being centrally located - this is because we need to work with hotels that can offer adequate on-site bike storage - something that's not always available in centrally located hotels where space is often at a premium.
  • Date - 30/07/2018
  • Name - Mike Scanlan
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Good. Clear information and itinerary- perhaps would have been good to have the itinerary a little earlier for planning purposes, but nevertheless it was helpful.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Bikes were good and comfortable. Maps were clear as well as directions. Only had one problem, leaving Chartres, because the road was closed for maintenance so did a detour. Hotels very friendly and some of the hotel restaurants were excellent. Eg Hotel Le Cygne at St. Hilaire du Harcouet. Particularly liked the Hotel L’Auberpines at Illiers-Combray which was delightful. Only let down was the Normandie Country Club at Belleme. It felt deserted. The swimming pool and health area has closed down and no open restaurant so we had a 30 minute walk each way into the town to get food. The taxi service transporting our bags was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our 8 day’s of cycling through beautiful countryside ending at the beautiful Mont St. Michel.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : So glad you enjoyed it Mike - sounds like the weather was spot on!

    Product : Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such comprehensive and useful feedback Mike.