Skip to content
Grande_Traversee_Massif_Central_velo_28_0_06e37461a8
  • Massif Central 
  • France 

Crossing of the Massif Central by road bike

From the volcanoes of the Auvergne to the Mediterranean

From
790€/person

Presentation of your trip

The crossing of the Massif Central by road bike: start in Clermont-Ferrand and pass over the Auvergne volcanoes to arrive at the sea, in the pretty town of Sète, nicknamed “Venice of the Languedoc”. Cross the ‘vieux massif’ and discover, with each turn of the wheel, a variety of impressive landscapes; the Chain of Puys*, Mont Dore, Causse Méjean (a vast limestone plateau), the Plateaus of Aubrac, the Cirque de Navacelles…These varied and peaceful mid-height mountains are perfect for road cycling. Climb the famous ‘cols’ (mountain passes) of the Tour de France 2020: Col de Ceyssat, Col de Guéry, Col de Néronne or the Pas de Peyrol (the highest paved mountain pass of the Massif), or even the famous Mont Aigoual ! Last but not least, the local gastronomy is not to be missed. You will also stop off in one of the officially most beautiful villages in France: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert.

  • DestinationMassif Central, France
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip8 days and 7 nights
  • ActivitiesRoad bike
  • Physical level

Possible periods for this trip

  • Jan.
  • Feb.
  • March
  • Apr.
  • May
  • June
  • Jul.
  • August
  • Sep.
  • Oct.
  • Nov.
  • Dec.
Description of the tripProgramTravel conditionsDates and price

Trip details

Highlights

  • Several levels of difficulty possible for each day
  • A great variety of landscapes across the Massif Central : mountain passes, forests, volcanoes, gorges and plateaus.
  • A rich regional gastronomy.
  • The arrival at the sea: the Mediterranean !

Complementary informations

  • 8 days 7 nights including 7 days of cycling
  • In ‘gites’ or double bedroom

Program

  • Day 1

    Arrival and night in Clermont-Ferrand

      Discover the superb historical heritage of this town.

    • Day 2

      From Clermont-Ferrand to Varennes on the banks of the Lac de Chambon.

      • Distance : 69 km
      • Elevation gain : 1640 m

      Key points of the day : 
      The historic city of Clermont-Ferrand 
      The Puy de Dôme and the volcanic chain of the Puys 
      The Puy de Sancy and Mont Dore
      The Lac de Chambon

      Level 1 : 69km – Positive Altitude Difference : 1640m
      Col de Ceyssat (1078m)
      Col de Guéry (1268m)
      Col de la Moréno (1062m)
      Col de la Croix Morand (1401m)

      Level 2 : 115km - Positive Altitude Difference : 2590m
      Col de Ceyssat (1078m)
      Col de la Moréno (1062m)
      Col de Guéry (1268m)
      Pass through the village of Bourboule
      Col de la Sœur (1149m)
      Col de Vendeix 1107m, very short there and back round trip
      Col de la Croix Saint Robert (1451m)
      Night in Varennes on the banks of the lake. 
       

    • Day 3

      From Varennes to Murat

      • Distance : 94 km
      • Elevation gain : 1400 m

      Key points of the day : 
      The Volcanoes of the Auvergne
      The Puy Mary 
      The Puy de Sancy and Mont Dore

      Level 1 : 94km Positive Altitude Difference : 1400m 
      Col de la Chaumoune (1155m)
      Col de Montgreleix (1235m)
      Col de Malmouche (1141m)
      Col de Montirargues (1141m)

      Level 2 : 102 km - Positive Altitude Difference : 1820m
      Col de la Chaumoune (1155m)
      Col de Montgreleix (1235m)
      Col Serre (1335m)
      Col d’Entremont (1184m)

      Level 3 : 139km - Positive Altitude Difference : 2620m 
      Col de la Chaumoune (1155m)
      Col de Montgreleix (1235m)
      Col de la Besseyre (1044m)
      Col d’Aulac (1228m)
      Col de Néronne (1241m)
      Pas de Peyrol (1588m)
      Col d’Eylac (1423m) 
      Col Serre (1335m)
      Col d’Entremont (1884m)
       

      Night in Murat.
       

    • Day 4

      From Murat to Nasbinals

      • Distance : 80 km
      • Elevation gain : 1570 m

      Key points of the day: 
      Cantal
      The Gorges of Truyère 
      Aubrac


      Level 1 : 80 km - Positive Altitude Difference : 1570m 
      Col de Prat de Bouc (1396m)
      Col de l’Aze (1030m)

      Level 2 : 107km – Positive Altitude Difference : 2100m 
      Col de Prat de Bouc (1396m)
      Col de la Griffoul (1338m)
      Col de l’Aze (1030m)
      Pas de Mathieu (Mathieu’s Step) (1325m)
      Col d’Aubrac (1339m)


      Night in Nasbinals on the Plateaus of Aubrac.
       

    • Day 5

      From Nasbinals to St Enimie

      • Distance : 88 km
      • Elevation gain : 1410 m

      Key points of the day:  
      Crossing over the Monts d’Aubrac 
      The Grands Causses (limestone plateaus)
      The Causse du Sauveterre 
      The Gorges of Tarn and the beautiful villages of St Enimie and St-Geniez-d’Olt-et-Aubrac

      Level 1 : 88km – Positive Altitude Difference : 1410m
      Col de Bennecombe (1340m)
      Col du Trébatut (1075m)
      The incredible sight of the Cirque des Baumes
      The Gorges of Tarn

      Level 2 : 109km – Positive Altitude Difference : 1319m 
      Col de Bennecombe (1340m)
      The village of St-Geniez-d’Olt-et-d’Aubrac

      Level 3 : 130km – Positive Altitude Difference : 1786m
      Col de Bennecombe (1340m)
      The village of St-Geniez-d’Olt-et-d’Aubrac
      The Gorges du Tarn
      The incredible sight of the Cirque des Baumes
      The Cirque des Pougnadoires
      The Cirque de St Chély
       

      Night in St Enimie. 
       

    • Day 6

      From St Enimie to Avèze

      • Distance : 94 km
      • Elevation gain : 1700 m

      Key points of the day: 
      Crossing over the Causses Méjean and Noir.
      The Gorges du Tarn and the Gorges de la Jonte
      The region around Mont Aigoual

      Level 1 : 94 km - Positive Altitude Difference : 1700m (with climb of Mont Aigoual included)
      Col de Coperlac (903m)
      Causse Méjan
      The Mas St Chély
      Col de Perjuret (1030m)
      Col de Fourques
      The Causse Noir
      Mont Aigoual (1565m)
      Col de la Serreyrède (1299m)
      Col du Minier (1265)
      Col de la Broue
      Col de la Sablière (1014)


      Level 2 : 98km - Positive Altitude Difference : 1690km (without climb of Mont Aigoual)
      Col de Coperlac (903m)
      Causse Méjan
      The magnificent Gorges de la Jonte
      Causse Noir
      The Bout de la Côte (1011m)
      Col Montjardin (1016m)
      Col de la Serreyrède (1299m)
      Mont Aigoual optional there and back: + 12km +260m
      Col du Minier (1265)
      Col de la Broue
      Col de la Sablière (1014)

      Level 3 : 126km - Positive Altitude Difference : 2230m (without climb of Mont Aigoual)
      Col de Coperlac (903m)
      Causse Méjan
      The magnificent Gorges de la Jonte 
      Causse Noir
      Gorges de la Dourbie
      Col de la Pierre Plantée (867)
      Col de Rhodes
      Col de la Serreyrède (1299m)
      Mont Aigoual optional there and back: + 12km +260m
      Col du Minier (1265)
      Col de la Broue
      Col de la Sablière (1014)
       

      Night in Avèze. 

    • Day 7

      From Vigan to St Guilhem-le-désert

      • Distance : 72 km
      • Elevation gain : 1280 m

      Key points of the day: 
      The Cirque de Navacelles
      St Guilhem-le-Désert  

      72 km – Positive Altitude Difference : 1280m 
      The Cirque de Navacelles 
      Mont Baudille (848m) en A/R
      Col du Vent (703m) 
      Pas du Coulet (621m)


      Night in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert.

    • Day 8

      From Saint Guilhem-Le-Désert to Sète

      • Distance : 68 km
      • Elevation gain : 560 m

      Key points of the day:
      Arrival in Sète via the famous cycle path, the ViaRhôna, passing between the Etang de la Pierre Blanche (saltwater lakes) and the Mediterranean.

      Level 1 : 68km - Positive Altitude Difference : 560m
      Col de la Tortue (82m)  
       

    • End of trip

    Travel conditions

    • Food

      This is not the time to go on a diet! Instead, it is an opportunity to taste local cuisine and specialities. The quality of your food is paramount and we take great care to ensure a good dietary balance, sufficient calorie intake and that each meal includes local specialities.You will eat in the hotel.

      Picnics (for lunch) are not included.

    • Attendees

      Individual registration:
      You are 1 to 5 people: You can register on one of the dates already planned by LaRébenne in formula with assistance vehicle double room.

      Group registration:
      You are a group of at least 6 people: you can register on the dates planned by LaRébenne or freely on your dates (consult us) in formula lodging or double room.

    • Accompanying

      Two formulas to choose from:

      • Bike in freedom with carrying luggage (for groups made from 6 people).
        Equipped with the guidance material we give you: maps with highlighted route and GPS tracks.
      • Free bike with assistance vehicle and driver (for groups of 8 or more people).
        The assistance vehicle reaches you at different times during the day’s stage, often at the top of the passes and carries your picnic, water, extra clothes and a complete toolbox in case of mechanical problems. You enjoy your day with a light bag or no bag. The driver of the vehicle also gives you advice for each step, helps you manage your effort, and can most of the time answer your questions about the region visited.
         
    • DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT

      Appointment the first day in Clermont-Ferrand. 

      How to get there:

      By car: Highway A75
      By train: Clermont-Ferrand SNCF train station.
      By plane: Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne airport.

    • Options

      • Physiotherapy: recovery session with a physiotherapist at the end of the stage,
      • Leader: a qualified instructor guides the group (+ sports advice),
      • Mechanic: a mechanic cycles is responsible for repairs during the circuit and maintenance of the bikes at the end of the stages.

       

    • Accommodation

      YOUR ACCOMMODATION, 2 options to choose from:

      Formula lodging stage: selected in particular for the quality of their reception, you find in the cottages a friendly atmosphere. Most often you share dormitories of 4/6 seats. Sheets and towels are not provided (to be provided in your luggage).

      Double room formula: you sleep in comfortable rooms for 2 people in hotels **, guest rooms or cottages.  A private bathroom is reserved for you. Sheets and towels are provided. (Single room option - See rates).

    • Difficulty level

      You are in good physical condition and go cycling on roads, over long distances, at least once a week.
      Stages vary from 100 to 115km per day with positive altitude differences of 1200 to 2800m per day.

      Where possible, several difficulty levels will be on offer, with the same departure and arrival points for everyone. And of course without transfers :)!

       

    • Options

      - Tailor-made programme from the stages you choose yourself from 8 people,

      - Single room supplement,

      - Customized high-end bike rental,

      - Transport of bike cases and hard bottom panniers, only for the formula with assistance vehicle with driver and within the limit of available places: +40 € / box,

      - Transfer one way afternoon of day 1 from Sète to Clermont Ferrand and only for the formula with assistance vehicle within the limit of available places and minimum 6 people: consult us.

       

    • Luggage

      Formula without assistance: you only wear the items of the day, water and picnic.
      Formula with assistance vehicle: you wear nothing! The assistance vehicle will delight you.

       

    • Formalities

      • A valid official ID.
      • We recommend travel insurance with repatriation included. 
         

    Dates and price

    Information

    With LaRébenne, two ways to make the crossing:

    Individual registration, you are from 1 to 5 people: You can register on one of the dates already planned by LaRébenne in formula with assistance vehicle in lodging or hotel ** &***.
    Group registration, you are a group of at least 6 people: You can register on the dates scheduled by LaRébenne or freely on your dates (consult us).

    For groups, we adapt the level, duration and program on request. Contact us!

    Possibility of quality road bike rental: see our dedicated page for more information.

    Free departure from

    Price TTC per person

    Formula with assistance vehicle
    Individual registration995
    Freedom package with luggage carried by cabs - stopover gîte
    Registration at 6 people790
    Bike in autonomy with assistance vehicle - lodging of stage
    Registration at 8 people970

    Options

    Accommodation option in double room during the whole stay (you share the room with another participant: +180€/pers

    If you want to be alone in your room: + 180€/pers (to be added to the double room option)

    Package accommodation and navigation: we organize accommodation, meals, guidebooks, maps and GPS tracks and you make your own assistance and luggage transport, consult us.

    The price includes

    - Accommodation

    - Electronic maps, roadmaps and GPS tracks in. gpx format,

    - Half board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8,

    - Transport of 1 piece of luggage per person, up to 15 kg/piece of luggage,

    - For the formula with assistance vehicle: 1 vehicle 5 or 9 seats + driver during the entire stay.

     

     

    The price does not include

    - Beverages,
    - Personal expenses,
    - Picnics,
    - Personal bicycle equipment (helmets, gloves),
    - Bicycles,
    - The transport of bicycle boxes and rigid bottom panniers (option only for the formula with assistance vehicle with driver: +40 € / box),
    - Transportation to the meeting point,
    - The return transfer,
    - the cost of parking,
    - Insurance.
     

     

    The destination

    • Massif Central

      Traversée du Massif Central by road bike: from Clermont-Ferrand, through the typical Volcans d'Auvergne to the sea in the pretty town of Sète, nicknamed the "Venice of Languedoc".

      See more trips
      Grande_Traversee_Massif_Central_velo_311_0_12823bc1ac

    Contact form