Painters from Courbet to Monet to others still today have flocked to Honfleur for its beauty. Normandy, France. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:Pir6mon

Famous chalk cliffs of Etretat, Seine-Maritime department, Normandy, France. Photo via Flickr:EosClio

Seine Valley and Normandy

France Bike Tours

Cycle Where the Vikings trekked

This guided bike tour in Loire Valley will allow you to experience bustling cities, meandering rivers, and the white cliffs of the Alabaster coast. Starting and ending in Paris, you will cycle through many famous towns such as Rouen, La Roche-Guyon, and of course, Honfleur.

Honfleur was quite popular with painters such as Jonkgind and Monet, so it is known as one of the most important hubs for Impressionist art. Jumièges, another impressive town, is home to what Victor Hugo called "the most beautiful ruins of France", the Abbey of Jumièges.

Every night, you will enjoy fine French cuisine and delightful company!

Highlights include:

  • Paris
  • Cathedral Notre Dame
  • Abbey of Jumièges
  • Honfleur
  • Château de Touques
  • Musée de l'Orangerie

A comprehensive list of all of our bike tours in France can be found here or take a look at one of our many bicycle tours in Europe.

Skill Level

The route uses almost exclusively small secondary roads. In Paris, there is little traffic on Sunday morning. You will encounter a few longer climbs, where the bike can also be pushed. The last day a little more hilly. All together this is rated as an easy tour, easily managed by anyone with a basic level of fitness. You will cycle 128 miles over 7 days.

Where You’ll Stay

Good to very good hotels in excellent locations. Two hotels more simple, but cordially managed. Very good restaurants with regional specialties and seafood.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights incl. breakfast
  • 5 multi-course dinners
  • 1 seafood dinner
  • All entry fees as mentioned in the tour description
  • Guided bike tour in Paris
  • Guided tour in Rouen
  • All visitors and tourist taxes
  • All interim transfers as mentioned in the tour description
  • Cycling tour guide
  • Service bus during the whole tour
  • Luggage transfer
  • Touring bike

What’s Not Included

  • Travel to and from starting and ending point
  • Bike insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
TourBike
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1690 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

July 16**, July 23*, July 30*, August 6*, August 13*, and August 20*, 2016

**English speaking tour
*Mixed languages tour

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Paris
Day 2: Paris to La Roche-Guyon, 15 miles (24 km)
Day 3: La Roche-Guyon - Rouen, 23 miles (37 km)
Day 4: Rouen - Jumièges, 25 miles (41 km)
Day 5: Jumièges - Honfleur, 35 miles (56 km)
Day 6: Honfleur - Etretat - Honfleur, 11 miles (18 km)
Day 7: Honfleur - Paris, 14 miles (23 km)
Day 8: Paris, departure

Day 1: Arrival to Paris
Your room will be available at 3 p.m. at the comfortable Saint James & Albany Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of Paris near the Jardin des Tuileries. It can be reached by RER and Métro (one change) or by taxi (not included in the tour price). Accommodation and breakfast are included in the tour package. Just one metro station away from your hotel, there are numerous restaurants for you to enjoy the famous French cuisine. 

Day 2: Paris to La Roche-Guyon, 15 miles (24 km)
In the morning, you will discover sleepy Paris by bike on a carefully chosen route. You will recognize courtyards and landmarks from famous movies and one of the most beautiful squares of Paris, the Place des Vosges . Around noon, you leave Paris by train and after a short ride reach Vernon, the gate to Normandy. A short bike ride along the Seine and buildings carved into the chalk cliffs, takes you to La Roche-Guyon. Before a friendly welcome at the nicely located hotel "Les Bords de Seine", you have the opportunity to walk to the castle. Built in the 12th century, it played a major role in many important moments of history.

Day 3: La Roche-Guyon - Rouen, 23 miles (37 km)
You will leave the Seine Valley but enjoy a panoramic view over the meandering river. You will continue downhill into the Epte valley, where Claude Monet lived and developed his art. Before lunch, now on Norman ground, you will visit a producer of cider and calvados. After having a picknick, in the afternoon, small paths lead through quiet villages and past manor houses - a picture which has hardly changed in the last centuries. Rolling downhill on the panoramic route, you will reach the remains of Richard Lionheart's Château Gaillard in Les Andelys. A short bus ride leads to Rouen. In the town center, you are awaited at the charming "Hôtel de la Cathédrale". Tonight dinner is enjoyed at one of the best restaurants.

Day 4: Rouen - Jumièges, 25 miles (41 km)
The morning is dedicated to the city of Rouen, already colonized in the time of the Celts. Once the metropolis of the Norman dukes, it was the center of art, culture, and trade. The heart of Richard Lionheart and several dukes are buried in the cathedral Notre Dame, which enchants the beholder with one of Europe's most beautiful gothic facades. In the historic town center, you will also discover the Rue du Gros Horloge, the Palace of Justice in gothic flamboyant style and the Place du Vieux Marché where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431. After a short trip by bus, the bike stage starts on a hill in the forest of Rouen, leading down to the abbey church of Saint Georges in Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville. You will visit the Roman church with famous capitals and an adorable garden. Then you will follow the meandering Seine to the imposing remains of the Abbey of Jumièges, according to Victor Hugo "one of the most beautiful ruins of France". Today, you are staying at "Les Clos des Fontaines", quietly located in a garden and perfect for a relaxing stay.

Day 5: Jumièges - Honfleur, 35 miles (56 km)
Today is dedicated to the Regional Nature Parks along the meandering Seine. Shortly after Jumièges, you will take a boat across the Seine river and climb a hill where you continue, first along quiet routes in the Forêt Domaniale de Brotonne, then across pastures and fields, through pretty villages with picturesque stone churches. Around noon, you will reach the Réserve Naturelle de Mannevilles where highland cattle graze between beautiful thatched houses. Having regained the Seine near its river mouth, you will continue your route passing underneath the Pont de Normandie, constructed by Michel Virlogeux, one of the world's longest cable-stayed bridges. Already located in the Calvados area, you will reach the picturesque small town Honfleur with its harbor, the Vieux Bassin. Since the 19th century, it has been a haven for artists. Eugène Boudin gathered around him fellow artists such as Jonkgind and Monet, so Honfleur became one of the cradles of impressionism. You will spend the next two nights at the hotel "L'Ecrin", a veritable oasis in the town center, where Francois Truffaut's "La Chambre Vert" was filmed.

Day 6: Honfleur - Etretat - Honfleur, 11 miles (18 km)
While crossing the Pont de Normandie by bus, you will have a beautiful panoramic view of the Seine mouth. An hour later, you will reach the plateau Pays de Caux and hike along the chalk cliffs of the Alabaster Coast which inspired Monet, Sisley, and Courbet to some of their famous paintings. The small hiking path allows splendid views of the endless white cliffs and the breakers of the Atlantic. Along small roads through farmland on the high plateau, you will reach Fécamp. Once an important harbor, daring sailors left on fishing expeditions until the 80s, as far away as to the coast of Newfoundland. These days the harbor is mostly populated by yachts and their owners who enjoy the excellent sailing area along the Alabaster Coast mainly on weekends. In the afternoon, a bus takes you back to Honfleur (second stay) where you will have dinner in a restaurant which is famous for its delicious seafood. Before dinner, there is time to stroll through the nice town center.

Day 7: Honfleur - Paris, 14 miles (23 km)
You will leave the still sleepy town of Honfleur along a small hiking path up to the Mont Joli where you will visit the chapel Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce, one of the oldest sanctuaries in the region. Built in the 11th century by Richard II Duke of Normandy, it was destroyed by a rockslide and rebuilt in the 17th century. Your inland cycle route leads parallel to the Côte Fleurie, through small villages and forests. After a climb and a panoramic descent, past the Château de Touques, in the late afternoon, you will reach the famous seaside resort Trouville where the glamor of the 19th century is being revived. At the fish market, you have the opportunity to taste fresh fish and seafood. There is time for a swim in the sea or a stroll along the promenade before the train takes you back to Paris. You will spend the last night of the tour again at the "Saint James & Albany Hotel & Spa".

Day 8: Paris, departure
After breakfast, you will take a walk through the Jardin des Tuileries, the garden of the royal palace destroyed by fire in the 19th century. The tour ends with a visit of the Musée de l'Orangerie where you have the possibility to contemplate Monet's last and most important oeuvre, "Les Nymphéas". The abundance of brilliant works of art includes other impressionists, such as Cézanne.

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