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Timeless Tarn

The Tarn's rolling hills & sleepy villages
 
Starting and finishing in delightful Albi, this self-guided cycling holiday, with luggage transported, is the perfect introduction to the Tarn’s Mediterranean landscapes. Cycle along riverside lanes and stay in welcoming country inns serving flavoursome regional cuisine.
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Holiday information

 

A cycling holiday in south-west France

With its sleepy villages, meandering river and rolling hills, the Mediterranean landscapes of the Tarn are ideal for exploration on two wheels. Setting out from Toulouse-Lautrec's Albi, you head east into increasingly rugged scenery, leaving the vineyards and wooded slopes to discover warm hills of cork oaks and cypress trees. You explore both banks of the river on quiet lanes, with many riverside stretches, and plenty of time to explore. Each evening, you stay in welcoming country inns offering the full flavours of the South-West: duck, cassoulet and fresh trout and perch from the rivers.
The region’s wines are gaining a deserved reputation too – the flinty Gaillac whites are especially refreshing after cycling on the quiet lanes.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 9 11 14 16 20 24 27 27 24 19 13 10
    mm 77 79 74 66 61 46 22 43 65 104 101 78
  • Arrival in Albi
    Night 1: at Hotel Chiffre (where you spend one night).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of cycling.
  • Albi to Ambialet: 26.5km; longer option: 28km
    We recommend that you start the day by exploring Albi, often referred to as 'La Ville Rose' because of its red-brick buildings which glow pink under the setting sun. The two highlights are the striking cathedral, the largest brick building in the world, and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum (pay locally).
    After leaving Albi you head east to Arthès, from where you have a choice of routes – the shorter option leads eastwards along the Tarn's scenic north bank, while the other route loops north of the river, passing through several sleepy villages that nestle in the hills. Your destination for the next two nights is the Hotel du Pont in Ambialet.
    La Ville Rose, Albi
    Albi to Ambialet: 26.5km
    Longer option: 28km
  • Choice of routes from Ambialet: 19km to 36km

    Circular route from Ambialet: 19km
    If you did not do so yesterday, you could explore the hills and dramatic scenery to the north of the river.

    Circular route from Ambialet via St André: 27km; longer option: 36km
    Another option is to cross the river and cycle to the attractive village of St André, enjoying sweeping views as you progress. For a more challenging day, you can extend the cycle by continuing east from St André.

    Explore Ambialet
    Alternatively, stay in Ambialet and stroll to the village's ancient priory before spending the afternoon by the hotel pool.
    Circular route from Ambialet: 19km
    The priory at Ambialet
    Circular route from Ambialet via St André: 27km
    Via St André, longer option: 36km
  • Ambialet to Brousse-le-Château: 29km
    As on the first day, the route keeps to the north bank of the river, the scenic quiet country road echoing the curls of the river as it passes through some tunnels and numerous small villages. Your destination is Brousse-le-Château, probably the most beautiful of all the Tarn's villages, with ancient houses that tumble down from the castle to the river. You stay at the Relays du Chasteau.
    Ambialet to Brousse-le-Château: 29km
    Brousse-le-Château
  • Brousse-le-Château to Villeneuve: 28km
    Today's route begins by riding along the scenic south bank of the Tarn before leaving the river to climb into the hills past an excellent viewpoint. You enjoy a downhill section into the Rance Valley, which you follow westwards to rejoin the Tarn at Villeneuve-sur-Tarn and your hotel for the next two nights, the Hostellerie des Lauriers.
    Brousse-le-Château to Villeneuve: 28km
    Looking back to Brousse-le-Château
  • Circular route from Villeneuve-sur-Tarn: 20km

    Circular route from Villeneuve-sur-Tarn: 21km
    We suggest a cycling route that initially heads eastwards, climbing the side of the Tarn Valley, with great views of the river, before following the contour into the Rance Valley to the attractive village of Plaisance, which makes a pleasant lunch stop. You return to Villeneuve-sur-Tarn on quiet lanes that keep close to the water, so you may spot herons as you ride.

    Explore Villeneuve
    For a break from cycling, relax at the hotel, making the most of its indoor pool, or hire canoes (pay locally) and take to the water for a different perspective of the valley.
    Circular route from Villeneuve: 20km
    En route to Plaisance
  • Villeneuve to Albi: 39km
    Your last day's ride takes you along the north and south banks of the river, offering a different perspective of the valley as well as glimpses of Albi's cathedral as you approach. You arrive in Albi for your final night at the Hotel Chiffre, on a bed-and-breakfast basis, leaving you free to dine out in the town.
    Villeneuve to Albi: 39km
    Albi's magnificent cathedral
 

Accommodation

You start and finish in Albi, where you can take your pick of the restaurants. Elsewhere, you stay in authentic country inns which serve delicious dishes typical of south-west France.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 10 April 2020 - 30 April 2020, 01 May 2020 - 31 August 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 04 October 2020

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    10 Apr - 21 May 2020 £930 £210
    22 May - 13 Sep 2020 £995 £220
    14 - 27 Sep 2020 £970 £215
    3rd & 4th person discount -£80
    Single traveller supplement £80

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 10 April 2020 - 30 April 2020, 01 May 2020 - 31 August 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 04 October 2020

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    10 Apr - 21 May 2020 £1340 £210
    22 May - 13 Sep 2020 £1420 £220
    14 - 27 Sep 2020 £1385 £215
    3rd & 4th person discount -£210
    Single traveller supplement £210

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Montauban (TGV/Intercité) approx duration out 8h30/home 8h45 & taxi transfer (1h15).
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 10 April 2020 - 30 April 2020, 01 May 2020 - 31 August 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 04 October 2020

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    10 Apr - 21 May 2020 £1040 £210
    22 May - 13 Sep 2020 £1110 £220
    14 - 27 Sep 2020 £1080 £215
    3rd & 4th person discount -£175
    Single traveller supplement £175

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outward travel on 3-5 & 10-12 April 2020, and for homeward travel on 12-13 April 2020. A supplement of £47 per car per single journey applies outward on Fridays & Saturdays 22-23 May & 10 July-15 August 2020 and homeward on Saturdays & Sundays 30-31 May & 18 July-30 August 2020.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel du Pont, Ambialet
    Superior: 10 Apr - 04 Oct 2020 £12

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s hire of a standard bike except at Hotel Chiffre.
    Hotel Chiffre, Albi (B&B) Double room Single room
    10 Apr - 04 Oct 2020 £76 £116
    Hotel du Pont, Ambialet (with dinner) Double room Single room
    10 Apr - 14 May 2020 £90 £116
    15 May - 15 Sep 2020 £100 £126
    16 Sep - 04 Oct 2020 £90 £116
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Toulouse
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed below To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Toulouse (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Toulouse easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Durham Tees Valley - Toulouse (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Toulouse Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Toulouse (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Toulouse (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Toulouse easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Toulouse easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Toulouse British Airways 
    Heathrow - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Toulouse easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Toulouse Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Toulouse (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Toulouse (via Paris) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed below To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Toulouse

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Toulouse-Matabiau to Albi (1h10), hotel transfer Albi to hotel (0h05) £21 1600
    direct taxi Toulouse airport to hotel (1h10) £80 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer to Albi (0h05), rail Albi to Toulouse-Matabiau (1h-1h25) £21 1300
    direct taxi hotel to Toulouse Airport (1h10) £80 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 5 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • high-quality bicycle
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.
  • Our chosen bike rental shop will provide you with a hybrid bike with 18 or 24 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes.)
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.
  • You do need to make sure you’re covered, because it’s you who is responsible for any damage to or loss of the bike during the holiday. You should always lock it (preferably to an immovable object) and remove any easy-to-steal accessories when leaving it unattended. The travel insurance policy that we offer covers you for loss and damage (provided you’ve locked or stored it appropriately). If you are arranging your own insurance, but it doesn’t cover bikes, we can provide bike-only cover. See the FAQs section of the main cycling holidays page for more details.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our travel insurance policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your alternative policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/before-you-travel and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them when the UK withdraws from the European Union (EU).

    It currently seems highly likely the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will take place on 31 January 2020, at which point the UK will enter a minimum 11-month transition period through to the end of December 2020. During this transition period there will be absolutely no changes to current arrangements for UK citizens travelling to an EU destination, so you can book your 2020 holiday certain that there will be no disruptions or complications caused by Brexit.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 3/28/2020 11:14:30 PM