The Bridge in The Sky & Gorges Du Tarn Motorcycle Tour
British Bike Tours
The Bridge in the Sky Motorcycle Tour
(Saturday 10 August - Sunday 18 August 2019)
We have been running this tour since 2006. It has always been very popular and is the ideal introduction to touring in France as we take you through beautiful and unspoilt central France to the spectacular Millau Bridge over the River Tarn in Southern France. The bridge designed by Norman Foster is the tallest suspension bridge in the world (1,132 ft) - taller than the Eiffel Tower!
Our route to the Gorges Du Tarn will take us through fantastic scenery, historic and beautiful towns and villages and National Parks. The route is designed to use only small ‘D’ roads which will not only enable you to experience terrific biking roads but will fully immerse you in the delights of rural France.
There are regular rest stops for coffee, photos, etc, however, it is a motorcycle holiday so you will be spending a good 6hrs in the saddle each day. There will be a cross section of riders ranging from the vastly experienced to newcomers. Therefore if you are new to biking don’t be shy or intimidated - come and join us - you won’t regret it.
For this tour we will be running a back up vehicle to carry luggage. This is included in the tour price.
Day 1: Folkestone - Bagnoles de L’Orne - (270 miles approx).
Most participants will want to use the quick and easy Euro-tunnel crossing from Folkestone to Calais. Obviously, if you wish to use an alternative crossing then we can help you with this. On the first day you will be heading towards our lovely house in France near the beautiful Spa town of Bagnoles de L'Orne. This is where we spend our summers as such we know the area and the best roads.
Day 2: Bagnoles - Poitiers - (200 miles approx).
Up early to enjoy breakfast and then we are off, traveling deep into the Loire valley. A UNESCO world heritage site, this region is world renowned for its sophisticated cities, luxuriant landscape and magnificent food and wine. We will take the opportunity to stop off at beautiful Saumur, renowned for wine, chateau, troglodyte dwellings, and mushroom caves! There will be plenty of stops for coffee and lunch as we spend time enjoying this unspoiled area of France.
Day 3: Poitiers - Brive-La-Gaillarde - (220 miles approx).
Now the roads become even more challenging as we follow the River Creuse through the gorges south of Argenton-sur-Creuse and onto Lac Chambon. We then climb up into the Plateau de Millevaches (known as the plateau of a thousand springs). This is a step on the Northern edge of the Massif Central and is wide and sparsely populated landscape. The roads will be deserted and will take us past the stunning Lac de Vassiviere and through beautiful tree plantations - just watch out for the logging lorries which don’t leave you much room!
Day 4: Brive - Rodez - (220 miles approx).
We are now in the heart of the Massif Central, in the Auvergne region. We will take the single track road into the centre of the Monts du Cantal alongside the valley du Falgoux and then up to a height of nearly 6000 ft at Puy Mary. It is hard to believe that all these mountains were once part of the largest volcano in the whole of Europe. The energetic amongst us may wish to climb the summit of Puy Mary which takes about 25 minutes. Riding on these narrow roads is a real thrill, enhanced by the fabulous views around every bend. In the evening,you can have a dip in the outdoor pool before dinner or just settle in for a few beers at the friendly hotel bar.
Day 5: Rodez - Millau - (200 miles approx).
This is the day that we reach our destination. All things being equal we should arrive at the bridge midmorning. The bridge was built as part of a by-pass of the village of Millau which is a major bottleneck in the summer. It is estimated that the bridge takes atleast 2hrs off a journey during the summertime! It is a stunning creation and does not appear as eyesore in what must be one of the most scenic parts of the world. Having fully appreciated the bridge it is time to head off along one of Europe’s most spectacular gorges, the Gorges du Tarn. The gorge is 15 miles long and 1300ft deep, is flanked by rocky bluffs and is scaled by roads with dizzying bends and panoramic views. Once out of the gorge we will move onto the dramatic Corniche des Cevennes made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson and his ‘Travels with a Donkey’.
Day 6: Millau - La Bourboule - (270 miles approx).
We are now heading back northwards. My preferred route northwards is across the bleak but beautiful Monts d’Aubrac and Monts Dore. This area is famous for speed trials and auto hill climbing events. It is not uncommon to find some of the roads laid out for hill climbing events with straw bales and starting/finishing gantries!!
Day 7: La Bourboule - Chinon - (250 miles approx).
Today we will be moving out of the Massif Central and back up to the Touraine region of the Loire. The roads will be a mixture of fast long straights and twisty bends running through the Parc Naturel Regional Du Livradois-Forez before heading down into the plains of Berry. From there we head towards the medieval town of Loches and our hotel in the historic city of Chinon.
Day 8: Chinon - Bagnoles - (120 miles approx).
A relatively short day but as always a fun day. The journey north takes us back over the Loire river and into the Northern Loire for our last night together. We will journey up the famous Mulsanne straight of Le Mans and visit the Le Mans circuit museum. We will the ride through the beautiful region of the Alpes-Mancelles before heading back to our lovely hotel in Bagnoles.
Day 9: Bagnoles - Calais (260 miles approx).
Time to leave to catch your afternoon euro-tunnel crossing from Calais.
What You Get and Costs.
The basic cost of the tour is £775 for a single rider in a shared room; £975 for a single rider in a single room and £1300 for a rider and pillion. For these prices you will get the following:-
Return euro-tunnel crossing (Folkestone - Calais). Alternative ferry crossings are available (supplement will apply).
Eight nights accommodation in good quality hotels
Breakfast each morning.
Service throughout the trip of 2 British Bike Tours guides.