A deeper exploration of the beating heart of French cycling
The Massif Central is France’s forgotten mountain region: its little-known cols, breathtaking river gorges and densely wooded hills offer spectacular riding, and was showcased in the 2016 Tour de France. These remote and sparsely populated areas have long attracted writers and adventurers, including Robert Louis Stevenson and Tim Krabbé, guests will ride the route of Krabbé’s iconic book The Rider, staying in hidden chateaux and simple farmhouse hotels along the way.
Single occupancy — €4.750 per person
Let us challenge and inspire you, and fuel your passion for cycling. Using our vast experience of road riding and our love of the history of the sport, we have created Rapha Randonnées: point-to-point itineraries in cycling’s classic territories, and in select destinations across the world. Take on mythical climbs in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites, or cycle the road less travelled through the beautiful landscapes of Japan, California or Corsica. Whichever you choose, you will experience the same levels of service and support. Rapha Travel team cars and experienced guides will be on hand with local knowledge, a morale-boosting chat or a full bidon every pedal-stroke of the way. And, at the end of the day, you’ll simply hand your bike over to our mechanics, who will return them in top condition the next morning. In the evenings all you have to do is enjoy your appointment with our pro-level soigneur, sample the regional wines and cuisine, and relax in our carefully chosen accommodation.
Flights, bike hire and travel insurance are not included
Single occupancy as standard
Randonnées are a real challenge, often climbing the same cols used in the biggest races in the world. But because they’re fully supported, they can be enjoyed by everyone from veteran riders with years of experience to relative newcomers who have put in the training and committed themselves to achieving something special.
|Arrival day Blesle|
|Day 1 Blesle — Saint Flour||144 KM||2,950 M|
|Day 2 Saint Flour — Château De La Caze||125 KM||2,050 M|
|Day 3 Château De La Caze — Meyrueis||166 KM||3,900 M|
|Day 4 Meyrueis — Meyrueis||144 KM||2,400 M|
|Day 5 Meyrueis — Mourèze||143 KM||2,400 M|
|Day 6 Mourèze — Pézenas||120 KM||1,600 M|
|Day 7 Pézenas|
Flights into Lyon airport where you will be met by a member of Rapha Travel.
Extinct volcanoes, mountain pastures and the majestic Col du Pas de Peyrol. A tough day of climbing in the Cantal, on the roads that made a star out of Jonny Hoogerland in the 2011 Tour.
Château de Varilettes
Col du Pas de Peyrol (1,589m) | Col de Pertus (1,309m) | Col de Cère (1,294m)
From Gustav Eiffel’s second-finest creation, the Garabit viaduct, through the Margeride mountains and the Gevaudun to the beautiful Tarn gorge and a fairytale chateau.
Château de la Caze
Col des Issartets (1,125m)
A big day of gorges, bridges and winding roads in the hills, showing the best the Cévennes has to offer.
Col des Faïsses (1,026m), Col de l’Asclier (905m), Col du Pas (833m), Col de Perjuret (1,031m)
The route of the “sweetest, toughest race of the season”, which Tim Krabbé describes in his iconic book The Rider. The river gorges, descents and climb to Mont Aigoual are some of the undoubted highlights of this trip, and will be highly anticipated by fans.
Mont Aigoual (1,567m)
A journey from the Cévennes into the rugged, arid landscapes of the southern Massifs, featuring the amazing village of Navacelles and finishing among vineyards near the Mediterranean Sea.
Les Hauts de Mourèze
Col de Faubel (1,285m), Col de l’Homme Mort (1,295m), Navacelles (615m)
A few smaller climbs today – the first folds of the Massif Central as it rises from the Mediterranean plain. Terraced vineyards, rolling hills and sun, on our way to our final chateau.
Distilleries de Pezenas
Transfer from the hotel to Montpellier airport
The team.. James, Nico, Vicki and Livio just blew my mind and exceeded my expectations. They were sooo patient even at my lowest energy point when I perhaps wasn't at my finest the team was always there for me!
— Randonnee Dolomites, July 2016
It truly was an adventure and a testing one at that. Your companionship made the trip pure pleasure. To sit and eat (steak after steak after steak) and laugh with you all after what were very challenging days will make the trip live long in my memory. Our greatest thanks goes to the Rapha Travel Team. Thank you Ben, Greg, Joe and Francois. I know it's very calm on the surface but I also know that so much goes on behind the scenes. Not only on the trip but back in the office as well. I knew what to expect. But even knowing that my expectations were exceeded. Thank you so much guys.
— Randonnee Pyrenees rider, July 2016
We have a fleet of top-specification hire bikes available for rent on our European departures. They cost £50 per day. We ask that guests requiring a bike tell us as far as is possible in advance, so we can guarantee the right size is available, and also to send us your fit measurements, so our mechanics can set up the bike for you ready for the start of your trip. If you’re renting a bike you need to remember to bring your helmet, pedals and saddle to your trip start.
When you’re riding you’ll always have at least one ride guide on the road with the group - on Randonnées there are high guide-to-guest ratios. There will also be a mechanic with a full tool kit and spare parts not far away – usually in a support car behind the group. Your guides and mechanics will be able to help you out with ride food and drink, as well as local knowledge, first aid, a morale-boosting chat and – if necessary – a hand to push you up the hill if you’ve run out of energy. They’ll do everything they can to keep you and your bike on the road but, if for any reason you can’t make it to the end, they’ll always make sure there’s a seat in a vehicle so you get safely home.
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175
Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)
Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm (PDT)
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175
Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)