Ambialet in department Tarn, France. Photo via Flickr:Coline Buch

Rue Saint Michel and Raymond VII in Cordes-sur-Ciel, Tarn, France. Photo via Flickr:Guillen Perez
5/5 (3 reviews)

The Heart of the Tarn River Valley Bike Tour

France Bike Tours

A cycling holiday in ancient rural France

  • Welcome to your next bike tour and adventure in France. You will be accommodated at the magnificent Les Magnolias Hotel for the duration of your stay in the quaint village of Plaisance. You can enjoy a self-guided or supported tour (minimum of 6) in this idyllic environment of the Aveyron and Tarn region in rural southern France.

    Your itinerary will be uniquely designed to suit your needs and you can choose from high-quality road, hybrid, or electric bikes as well as customized maps of over 15 routes of varying degrees of difficulty.

    Combined with your cycling holiday is a wonderful culinary experience, as well as other activities, such as walking, canoeing, or historic site-seeing. Relax at the end of your active day on one of hotel terraces shaded by giant Magnolias trees and enjoy the outdoor covered and heated swimming pool, not to mention, a newly built Pétanque course on the terraced gardens. Bring your family and friends!

    This tour is offered as supported or self-guided, with or without transfers. The supported tour offers a daily support vehicle that follows the group during the entire cycling itinerary.


    • Rural France
    • Roquefort Cheese Caves
    • Brousse-Le-Chateau
    • Millau
    • Cordes-sur-Ciel
    • Albi
    • Culinary experience at Les Magnolias

    We have many other bike tours in France for you to explore!

  • 2020 

    Fully supported with back up vehicle (minimum of 6 people):
    Airport transfers included:
    Twin/double room: $ 3249 £ 1611 $ 2,818 1766 $ 3316 kr 19921 $ 2,006 Single room: $ 3497 £ 1734 $ 3,034 1901 $ 3569 kr 21444 $ 2,159 Airport transfers not included:
    Twin/double:  $ 2844 £ 1410 $ 2,467 1546 $ 2902 kr 17439 $ 1,756 Single: $ 3102 £ 1538 $ 2,691 1686 $ 3165 kr 19019 $ 1,915  

    Self guided with two days of touring with back up vehicle and limited support on demand (minimum of 2 people):
    Airport transfers included: 
    Twin/double $ 3102 £ 1538 $ 2,691 1686 $ 3165 kr 19019 $ 1,915 Single: $ 3138 £ 1556 $ 2,723 1706 $ 3203 kr 19244 $ 1,938 Airport transfers not included:
    Twin/double $ 2476 £ 1228 $ 2,148 1346 $ 2527 kr 15183 $ 1,529 Single: $ 2660 £ 1319 $ 2,308 1446 $ 2715 kr 16311 $ 1,643

    extra options

    Electric bike: Pending
    Special transfers apart from group transfer, per transfer: $ 386 £ 192 $ 335 210 $ 394 kr 2369 $ 239 Family room and suites available

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    A non-refundable admin fee of 20 Euros per person is included in the deposit amount.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Closest airport is Toulouse Blagnac airport. Airport transfers from this airport are included. It is also possible to arrive in Toulouse via TGV from Paris or other cities. The travelling time on the TGV from Paris to Toulouse is between 5.5 hours and 7.5 hours. The cost of the TGV varies between approximately Euro 50 and Euro 120 each way.

    Local Travel

    We suggest taking advantage of the airport transfers. If you are driving to the hotel, please ask us for driving directions. It is also possible to travel to Albi or St. Sernin by bus from Toulouse. The bus stops at Albi and St Sernin, just 8 km from Plaisance, where transfer to the hotel is easily arranged.


    Please check local conditions before you arrival. A good website to explore regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is


    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the U.S. Passports & International Travel website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. If you are not an American citizen, ​please make sure you contact your own embassy before travel.

Tour Dates

2020 Dates

Self Guided: Daily arrivals are possible from April 10 to October 31, 2020
Supported: Dates on request, possible from April 10 to October 31, 2020
(Minimum of 6 people is required for supported tour or supplement will apply)

Skill Level

This unique self-guided or supported cycling vacation offers routes of varying difficulty so it is hard to give this tour an overall difficulty level. The supported option is designed for groups with a minimum of 6 people with a medium level of fitness but can be adjusted to suit different fitness profiles. If you select the self-guided option, you will be assisted in planning daily itineraries that are perfect for you and you will have a recovery support vehicle at your disposal if necessary. Included in the self-guided option are two touring and cycling days to the towns of Albi or Cordes-sur-Ciel and Millau.

Where You’ll Stay

Les Magnolias, a delightful 22 room boutique hotel designed in a classic traditional style based on stone and French oak. The restaurant delights its guests by offering semi-gastronomic dishes. The chef’s recipes are almost always based on fresh, local, and seasonal produce. The hotel is a recently renovated 700-year-old building, once the family home of the famous French poet Paul Valerie. The hotel is used as the primary base for cycling clientele as it is located in an idyllic cycling environment, surrounded by protected indigenous forests, rivers, ancient villages, and well kept and quiet roads.

What’s Included

  • Supported:
  • Airport transfers from/to Toulouse Blagnac airport on request
  • 7 Nights at the beautiful Les Magnolias with breakfast included every day
  • 5 Cycling Days with support vehicle
  • 2 cycling and touring day trips to the UNESCO town of Albi/Cordes-sur-Ciel and Millau
  • 7 special meals that include at least 2 dinners at Les Magnolias
  • Complimentary transfer to local evening markets and villages
  • Bike rental: Road bike with drop down handle bar, flat handlebar fitness road bike, or electric bike
  • Self-Guided
  • Airport transfers from/to Toulouse Blagnac airport on request
  • 7 Nights at the beautiful Les Magnolias with breakfast included every day
  • High-quality road, mountain or electric bicycles with water bottles, helmets and standard pedals
  • 2 Days with support vehicle to visit the UNESCO town of Albi/Cordes-sur-Ciel and Millau
  • 7 special meals that include at least 2 dinners at Les Magnolias
  • Complimentary transfer to local evening markets and villages
  • Bike rental: Road bike with drop down handle bar, flat handlebar fitness road bike, or electric bike

What’s Not Included

  • Drinks
  • Coffee stops, picnics and other lunches and dinners
  • Canoeing
  • Travel Insurance
Length8 days
From1346 Rates
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Day-To-Day Itinerary

The Heart of the Tarn River Valley Map

*Below is itinerary for Supported Tour. This can also be used as a guideline for a self-guided tour.

Day 1: Coupiac, 11 mi. (18 km)
Day 2: Ambialet, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 3: Brousse, 36 mi (52 km) 
Day 4: Albi, 28 or 56 mi. (45 or 90 km)
Day 5: Belmont, 31 or 44 mi. (50 or 70 km)
Day 6: St Affrique, Millau Bridge, and Roquefort Cheese Cave, 25 or 45 km 
Day 7: Free day
Day 8: Departure

Day 1: Coupiac, 11 mi./18 km
After your arrival in Toulouse, an airport pickup can be arranged to your accommodations for the duration of your tour, Les Magnolias. Lunch is not included today but you can enjoy a meal at your expense on the Les Magnolias terrace after a refreshing swim.

Optional: late afternoon bike ride of 10 mi. (16 km)  to Coupiac on the Green route (slight climb on a mountain and forest road). Your evening will conclude with a dinner at Les Magnolias. 

Included Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Ambialet, 25 mi./40 km
You will cycle once again on the green route toward  Ambialet (a forest, mountain and Tarn River ride), showcasing stunning views of the Tarn River. The historic village of Ambialet is the perfect place for a coffee stop and is dominated by an ancient Franciscan monastery and Roman church. The Celts were the first to settle in Ambialet around the 6th century BC. They were followed by the Gauls, and the Romans, who set up a frontier post in this important strategic position. Your return ride to Les Magnolias is also along the Tarn river. A special lunch stop will be at La Chanterelle in the village of Trebas. Here, all meat is cooked over an open hearth in the restaurant and the portion sizes are generous. Wines are exceptionally reasonable and good quality, especially the local wines. Upon arrival once again at the hotel, we suggest a lovely swim before dinner before dining at once again in the renowned restaurant, on your own, under the direction of the popular and aspiring young chef.

Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 3: Brousse-Le-Chateau, 36 mi./52 km
After a delicious breakfast at Les Magnolias, you can depart for Brousse through forest and mountain trails, along the Tarn River. You will encounter a short but steep climb en route.  You can enjoy a short coffee stop at the Chateau House in beautiful Lincou Village or at Brousee Le Chateau, categorized as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Lunch will be on your own. Perhaps you would enjoy a picnic lunch along the Tarn River or a light salad or Roquefort omelet at Brousse-Le-Chateau. Return ride via the flat Tarn route or mountain route.  The special Meal this evening will be at Les Magnolias or a nearby selected village restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4: Albi, 28 or 56 mi., 45 or 90 km
Today you will enjoy a  mountain, forest, and river ride.  After a coffee stop at Ambialet’s Hotel Du Pont, you will continue on one of most picturesque rides of all, past rural farmhouses, through forest and river scenery.  Lunch will be on your own at Albi’s ancient village center.  Visit Albi World Heritage Site attractions: Albi Cathedral, Toulouse-Lautrec museum, Berbie Palace gardens.  Walking and shopping along the cobbled streets of old Albi town.  Return to Plaisance by support vehicle or you can opt to return by bike. Dinner this evening will be either at a carefully selected nearby village restaurant or at Les Magnolias.
Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5: Belmont, 31 or 44 mi./50 or 70 km
After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you will cycle on the Yellow route ride to Belmont via the characterful village of Combret, through beautiful forest scenery. You will enjoy a variety of terrain!  You can enjoy a coffee stop at Belmont and then return to Combret for a special lunch.   Optional return ride to Plaisance or you can decide to hop on the support vehicle (for those that have booked the guided tour) for return to the hotel. Dinner will be on your own this evening at Les Magnolias or a nearby village restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 6: Cycling and Touring day: St Affrique, Millau Bridge, and Roquefort Cheese Caves, 25 or 45 km 
There will be a morning transfer with bikes to St Affrique’s charming fresh produce market.  Ride 35 km from St Afrique to the troglodyte village of Peyre, via the stunning St Rome Sur Tarn. It is a beautiful ride along the Tarn River, past quaint old farmhouses, and lively local rural activity.  Lunch will be on your own in Peyre with its incredible view of the tallest cable-stayed bridge in the world. Roquefort cheese caves are next on the agenda with an optional tour of the caves. Return to Plaisance.  Special dinner at Les Magnolias.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 7: Free day
Today is all yours! Relax at the hotel, swim, play pétanque, cycle, walk or go canoeing. It is up to you! Your dinner at Les Magnolias is included this evening!

Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8: Departure

Breakfast at Les Magnolias.  Depart for Toulouse Blagnac airport.

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Tour Reviews

  • Beckie S. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    We were at hotel Les Magnolias. We had a fabulous holiday, some of our prettiest riding quiet roads and well planned days. Staff were wonderful and always available. Thank you for one of our best holidays

  • Robert E. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Our group of eight greatly enjoyed our experience at Les Magnolias and especially appreciated the personalized hospitality of Claudia, supported by her always-courteous and attentive staff. We really give highest marks to the quality of the food, cleanliness of the rooms and facilities, selection of bikes and, of course, the amazing scenery and sites of interest. Thank you so much for a great week!! We will be back some day!

  • John Manley 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This is a fantastic tour in a very beautiful part of rural France. The hotel is very comfortable, consisting of a series of very old but beautifully restored buildings together with some sympathetically designed modern extensions. These include a covered pool and a large paved outdoor area shaded by the huge magnolias that give the hotel its name. The hotel has its own restaurant offering excellent food at very reasonable prices. The special dinner offered on Saturdays features regional produce and is worth far more than its E29 price tag.
    There are a dozen or more excellent day rides that can be made using the hotel as a base. Your host Claudia will suggest rides to suit your interests and riding capabilities and will provide very clear maps and directions. However - be warned - the surrounding countryside is stunningly beautiful but there are hills! Unless you are a strong rider you may wish to consider the electric bike option that is available.
    This is probably the Read more… best of the half dozen or so bike tours we have done in France and Italy. We will be back!

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