A unique trip that you won't find anywhere else featuring the wine routes of Alsace, the Jura and Burgundy all in one trip! These regions are known for their natural beauty and are filled with scenes in history ranging from Roman to WW2 French Resistance Fighters and their hide out cave. What is the Jura? It's the only place on earth where yellow wine is produced and sold... and was Napoleon's favorite wine. Starting from Couches, we will make our way along picturesque villages on the wine routes of Burgundy and the Jura. Visit famous wine villages such as Chateau Chalon, Montrachet and Beaune. Each wine region boasts unique architecture, world history and different geography to cycle, hike and explore. Enjoy a culinary experience as these regions' cuisine, cheeses, meats and wines are diversely varried. Experience the Jura's Yellow Wine (Napoelon's favorite) and enter medieval wine caves. This tour will allow you to ride at your own pace along two spectacular wine routes and sample famous wines from Burgundy including Motrachet and Beaune and experience the Jura regions unique Yellow Wine, which was one of Napoleons' favorite. Two amazing hikes of historic grandeur are part of the tour with one going to a WW2 Resistance fighters' hideout and another to a battlefield where Julius Ceasar battled Vercintegotrix (a Gaul Prince) 32 BC. Enjoy Unique accomodations ranging from Chateaus to quiet Farm Auberge and Michelin rated cuisine unique to these regions. Visit three World Unesco sites. Rest and relax as we prepare delicious picnics where you will sample local foods. Ride along waterway, and past green meadows. Visit Romanesque architecture and tiny villages. Included are 3 walking historical tours, Dole, Besancon and Beaune. Distances riden are completely adjustable and optional.
Welcome to Burgundy!
1 hr Historical Walking tour
You will receive directions on how to get from Paris to Beaune with your booking information package. We will pick you up at the Beaune train station (a direct train ride from Paris via TGV) and chauffeur you to our accomodations. Enjoy your first night at the Domaine le Petit Bois next to Couches in the quiet Burgundian countryside. Tonight we will brief you on this incredible cycling journey.
Couches to Pommard
40 kms Cycling Through the Burgundy Wine Route 1
Starting from Beaune, we will ride along the best of the Burgundy wine route all the way to our next accomodations "Le Château de Couches", where Marguerite de Bourgogne, Queen of France was held captive in the tower. After settling in we will have a late picnic lunch there. We will then drive to Beaune for a walking historical tour of the old city and a visit of the Medieval Hospice de Beaune. This will be followed by some wine tasting and dinner in Pommard. Then we will shuttle everyone back to Le Château de Couches.
Pommard to Vougeot
35 kms Cycling Through the Burgundy Wine Route 2
After breakfast, we will get ready for our ride leaving from Pommard. Our ride will go along the best of the Burgundy wine route (part 2) and take us right to our next chateau accommodations Le Château de Gilly where a picnic lunch will be ready for us in the gardens. Afternoon visit at the nearby Chateau de Vougeot.
Viseney to Baume-les-Messieurs
40 kms Cycling Through the Jura Wine Route
We will strat by stopping off in Dole for an historical walking tour. This will be followed by a short drive to the start our ride in Le Viseney, on the best of the Jura wine route. Once in Le Viseney, we will ride to Chateau Chalon then on to Baumes-les-Messieurs. You will enjoy a picnic style lunch and shower in Baumes-les-Messieurs. Shortly after lunch you can casually visit the Abbey of Baume-les-Messieurs and then we will go for a yellow wine tasting at Le Domaine Salvadori in Chateau Chalon. We will then shuttle you to our next accommodations La Grange a Nicolas in Beaume-les-Messieurs for dinner.
Poligny to Arc-et-Senans
40 kms Cycling Through the Jura Wine Route
Short drive to the start town of our ride in Poligny. We will take about 1 hr to visit the town before the ride (optional 40 min. hike to the Croix de St. Savin and it's ancient Roman road leading to the top, with spectacular views of the Revermont Nord and Poligny). Our ride is going to be an amazing and scenic 40 kms through the best parts of the Jura wine route (part 2). From Poligny we will make our way through Arbois and Salins-les-Bains. Along the way we will stop at Port-Lesney on a small bridge that separated occupied France and Vichy France during WW2. A picnic lunch will be waiting for us at the end of our ride in Arc-et-Senans where you can visit Louis the 14th's Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans. There will be a short drive to our next accommodations "Les Granges du Lieg"e. Enjoy the amazing food served at the restaurant located at Les Granges du Liege.
Besancon to Baume-les-Dames
45 kms of Cycling Along the River Doubs
We will leave Colmar at 8:30 am and say goodbey to the region of Alsace to drive into the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. We will stop in Baume-les-Dames for our ride that will take us into Besancon following the banks of the Doubs river along it's escarpment. Our ride will take us directly to our hotel (l' Hotel de Paris a Besancon) in the heart of the city. After lunch we will shuttle everyone to visit the Besancon Citadele and it’s WW2 museum (optional). Scenery includes, little villages, ride through a tunnel, farmscape and paths along canals with an optional short hike to the ruins at the Château de Vaise in Champlive. This could be the start or end of the ride for some (those ending thier ride here can board the support vehicle and be shuttled into besancon only 20 kms away). There will be some relax time after the Citadelle visit and before dinner we will meet in the town square for an evening historical walking tour into Besancon.
Loue River Valley Hike
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hr Hike Along the Loue River
Depart from Hotel de Paris a Besancon for short drive to the start of our hike that follows a path of French Resistance Fighters to their hideout then continue on to the source of the Loue river captured by French Realist Painter Gustave Courbet. 11:00 am - Start of the hike. 1:00 pm - Enjoy a Franche-Comte style picnic at the source of the Loue River, followed by a plein air painting class. Participants who do not want to do the hike will be shuttled to the end of the hike at the source of the Loue river for the plein air painting. 3:00 pm - Visit the Courbet Museum in Ornans. 4:30 pm- Head back to our accommodations. Spend the remainder of the afternoon browsing in the shops of Besancon. 7:30 pm - Join us for a group dinner celebrating our tour together. Last night in Besancon at l' Hotel de Paris a Besancon.
Colmar to Ebermunster
6o kms of Cycling Along the Alsace Wine Route
You will experience classic Alsace towns today. We will shuttle everyone to a must see in Alsace, the Abataille de Ebermunster. It is an incredibly beautiful abby and is where we will start our ride after a visit. There will be many beautiful villages along the wine route today including Riquewihr, a medieval town right in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. It is classified among the "Most Beautiful Villages in France". For centuries this magnificent town has managed to combine the quality of its architecture with the quality of its world-famous wines, hence its nickname "The Gem of the Alsace Vineyards". But it's just one gem amongst a treasure box that is lined up for today. We will go to Kaysersberg and Katzenthal both with their famous castles. The town of NiedermorschwihrIt and its narrow cyling routes in the vineyards is breathtaking and a great spot for our picnic. Then we will continue to the ancient city of Turkheim with its exceptionnally well preserved medieval walls. It is surrounded by stunning scenery. The village also has several half-timbered houses, typical of the region. We will end the ride on a tranquil path, following the Lauch river to Colmar. Truly a great and scenic ride today. We can go on a group wine tasting at Wettolsheim after our ride this evening. You will really enjoy your stay at l' Hotelerie le Marechal situated on the banks of the Lauch river in the heart of "Little Venice" in Colmar.
Obernai to Eckbolshiem
40 kms of Scenic Cycling Along Canals and Countryside
After breakfast, we will transport you to the pretty village of Eckbolshiem. We will cover a distance of 40 kms as we head westward towards the base of the Vosges Mountains that you will be bordering over the next few days. Don't worry though, there are very few hills to climb on this tour! Our ride will go along the Bruche Canal built by Louis the 14th military architect Vauban. We will encounter cabage and corn fields and quaint villages along the Bruche as we enter the wine region. We'll stop in Rosheim to see its three medieval town gates, the Romanesque church and the beautifully restored Romanesque house, recognized as the oldest in the region. Then we will ride though pictoresque Rosenwiller and descend into the vineyard village of Boersch, with its fortified medieval gateway and magnificent Renaissance town hall. You can stop to explore the town and this afternoon we can come back to do a little wine tasting. Your final cycling destination of the day is Obernai which is only a couple of kms down the road. It is entrenched in centuries of history and you will find wonderful restaurants and boutiques to explore. A picnic lunch will be served in the town of Obernai. You will enjoy your 4 star accommodations, Hotel a La Cour d'Alsace in the heart of Obernai (option to stay at Le Chateux de Portales in Strasbourg). Tonight we will take you into Strasbourg for an historical walking tour of the old town, its picturesque quarters and half-timbered houses in the neighbourhood known as "La Petite France". The gothic cathedral and its famous astronomical clock is also a must-see.