900 mile cycle journey - best holiday ever. The European Bike Express makes it possible to cycle from the Channel to the Mediterranean (Manche à Mer has a similar ring to Coast to Coast) by dropping you off at Calais (not a scheduled stop, but if you ask them nicely) and picking you up at Narbonne. In our case the return date was 29 days after the drop-off, giving us a few days by the Med. We found the CTC information, Alastair Sawday’s French Bed and Breakfast Guide, IGN 1/25,000 scale maps and local tourist office guides invaluable. We mostly booked the day before except when our overnight destination coincided with the Tour de France. As we were getting on a bit we avoided the Massif Central. Among the many highlights were: being pressed to take food, drink and an orange for the journey by Licques cycling club (we met their club outing food stop), watching Le Tour go by, staying at the Chateau Larra and dining with the Baroness and her family. We took no spares (just puncture repair kit) on the premise that we’d never be too far from a cycle shop in France. Others may not want to risk it, although we only suffered two punctures in 970 miles. It all added up to one of the most memorable holidays we have had.
P.S (can be included if this doesn’t make it too long:
Our overnight stops were Bois-en-Ardres, Montreuil. Chépy, Gaillefontaine, Les Andelys, Evreeux, Maletable, Bonnetable, Pontvallain, Saumur, St Jean de Thouars, Parthenay, St Maixent, Angouleme, Biras-Brantome, St Sauveur, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Valence d’Agen, Castelsarrassin, Moissac, Larra, Villefranche-en-Lauragais, Castelnaudary, Marseillette, Gruissan –Plage.
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