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The Great Crossing of the Massif Central by mountain bike Part 1

From Clermont-Ferrand to Laubert or Mende


Presentation of your trip

The GTMC VTT : The Great Crossing of the Massif Central by mountain bike (La Grande Traversée du Massif Central en VTT). Setting off from Clermont-Ferrand, you cross through an incredible array of landscapes: volcanoes of the Auvergne, the Cézaillier, Margeride and Lozère. The Massif Central is the largest expanse of mountainous ‘massif’ in France, and is perfectly adapted for mountain biking ! This itinerary takes you on a trip to discover the Puy de Dôme, Puy de Sancy (1886m), Lac Chambon and the Truc de Fortunio, and with a warm welcome from our partners, who are used to accommodating mountain bikers, guaranteed at the end of each stage !
Stages are, on the whole, relatively physical, but always rolling and with climbs.
In the Margeride, you will pedal between 1000 and 1500m of altitude, through beautiful forests, constantly criss-crossing between imposing blocks of granite which stand as witnesses to the early ages.
From the heart of the Auvergne to the Lozère, via the high altitude forests of Margeride, you ride through a perfect mix of climbing tracks and playful descents !


  • DestinationFrance, Massif Central
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip6 days and 5 nights
  • ActivitiesMountain Biking
  • Physical level
  • Technical 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


  • A legendary crossing of a massif perfectly adapted to mountain biking.
  • 6 days of self-guided mountain biking without transfers, crossing the volcanoes of the Auvergne, the Cézaillier, Margeride and Lozère.
  • Saint-Flour, town of art and history. Compatible with electric mountain bikes.

Complementary informations

  • 6 days - 5 nights including 6 days of mountain biking
  • Compatible with electric mountain bikes


  • Day 1

    From Clermont-Ferrand to Laschamps

    • Distance : 42 km
    • Elevation gain : 1320 m
    • Type of accommodation : Double room

    It’s the departure of your Great Crossing of the Massif Central ! You set off from Clermont-Ferrand, heading north towards Volvic, which you reach after a few challenging climbs. You gain altitude to discover the chain of Puys and all of its famous volcanoes. Be careful, the Puy de Dôme (1464m) is watching you! 
    Riding along beautiful and lively paths, you climb a little more, crossing through some pretty villages. 
    From Vauriat, staying under the gaze of the impressive Puy de Dôme, you pass between undergrowth and small single-tracks, before descending the slope towards Laschamps, for a first and well-deserved rest. 
    Night in Laschamps.

  • Day 2

    From Laschamps to Besse

    • Distance : 55 km
    • Elevation gain : 1400 m
    • Type of accommodation : Double room

    Along superb trails, you slalom between the Puy Pelat, Mercoeur, Montellet and Pourcharet, before arriving at Recoleine and descending towards Orcival, a very pretty, well-known village with a Roman basilica. 
    You arrive in the Massif du Sancy.
    The next part of stage offers a climb along a path up to the Lac de Servières, the highest point of the stage (1212m), which merits a break. You then relaunch yourself along some lively tracks, through the forest, to reach Pessade. A succession of demanding climbs leads you to a beautiful descent towards the Lac Chambon, where a quick swim shouldn’t be missed! After that, a new climb along tracks leads you to the medieval village of Besse where you will be transported back in history. 
    Night in Besse.

  • Day 3

    From Besse to Allanche

    • Distance : 56 km
    • Elevation gain : 1110 m
    • Type of accommodation : Double room

    Setting off from Besse, we enter the Cézaillier, passing by the Lac and Puy de Montcineyre. Here, on the great plateaus, we can see the Puy de Sancy, the highest peak of the Massif Central (1886m).
    After Jassy, you take on the standard ascension of the Col de Fortunier, switching between roads and tracks which offer you a magnificent view over the peaks of Sancy and Cantal. 
    From there on, only happiness ! A long and technical descent, fast and playful, takes you into the department of Cantal and to Allanche.
    Night in Allanche.

  • Day 4

    From Allanche to Saint-Flour

    • Distance : 47 km
    • Elevation gain : 845 m
    • Type of accommodation : Double room

    Today, the stage with the lowest altitude gains of the trip, takes you initially through the woods of Pinatelle towards Chalinargues. You descend first along a trail and then a single-track to quickly arrive at Neussargues. 
    The next part of the stage is much less shady as you leave the forests to experience beautiful farmland, rich in history, where you can discover numerous dolmens and chateaux. You then cross the Planèze, an ancient place much-loved by the builders of megaliths, before arriving in Saint-Flour, city of art and history with 15 centuries of architecture to discover.
    Night in Saint-Flour.

  • Day 5

    From Saint-Flour to Chanaleilles

    • Distance : 61 km
    • Elevation gain : 1600 m
    • Type of accommodation : Double room

    Stage 5 takes you into the Margeride. The first part takes you through various hamlets and rivers to arrive in Ruynes, at the foot of the massif of Margeride.
    Via a physically demanding climb through the forest, you gain altitude and find yourself at more the 1400m! Along a ridge top path you cross through a high point of the French Resistance. 
    From Mont Mouchet, you gain speed as you head downhill and arrive in Paulhac, entering the department of the Haute-Loire. A fairly standard but physical climb along a forest track takes you to 1400m altitude before a pleasant descent towards Chanaleilles. Night in Chanaleilles.

  • Day 6

    From Chanaleilles à Laubert to à Mende

    • Distance : 57 km
    • Elevation gain : 1050 m

    Laubert : 57km Profile : +1050m
    Mende : 65km Profile : +1135m -1545m

    For this final stage, you continue your crossing of the Margeride, taking the famous trail of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle for a few kilometres of climbing in order to reach a plateau at 1400m of altitude, offering you several beautiful viewpoints of the surroundings, in the heart of the Margaride nature. Along beautiful forest tracks, then some technical paths from the Col des Trois Soeurs, you descend towards the typical village of Giraldès. 
    Passing along a track, the route takes you up to the Truc de Fortunio, where you will pass above 1500m altitude before a great single-track descent towards the Lac de Charpal. In the heart of the Lozère, the final part of the stage takes you to Laubert, via a succession of descents, with Mont Lozère in sight.

    End of trip in Laubert or Mende. 

  • End of trip

Travel conditions

  • Luggage

    You only carry the items of the day and the picnic. Luggage is carried by vehicle.

    1 piece/person and limited to 15kg/piece.

  • Attendees

    From 2 people.

  • Formalities

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

    Double room formula: you sleep in comfortable rooms for 2 people in hotels or guest rooms selected.  Bed linen and towels are provided.

    A bathroom and toilet are reserved for you in the vast majority of cases.


    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.

  • Accompanying

    Three formulas to choose from:

    Self-guided mountain bike with luggage carrying by taxi (from 2 people):
    Equipped with the guidance material we give you: maps with highlighted route, GPS with built-in route and detailed topo-guide, you go alone to discover circuits designed by our team. The topo and the GPS fixed on the handlebars, you let yourself be guided by the indications prepared with care, for a maximum precision.

    ATV with assistance vehicle (from 6 people):
    The assistance vehicle joins you at different times during the day’s stage, and transports your picnic, water, extra clothes and a complete toolbox in case of mechanical problems. Enjoy your day with a light 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.

    Mountain bike with state certified instructor with luggage carrying by taxi (from 6 people):
    Accompanied by a professional mountain bike certificate, you ride without worrying about the route to follow. Our instructor, specialist of the region, guides you and gives you, if you wish, the right advice to make you outstanding mountain bikers. Thanks to his knowledge of the route, he adapts to your group to manage schedules and effort throughout the day. Freed from group management, your only concern is to please you on your mountain bike.

  • Food

    No question of dieting during your stay but it is rather an opportunity to taste the local cuisine. We attach great importance to the quality of food: dietary balance, energy intake and specialty of the country are the ingredients of each meal.

    Picnics, 2 options:

    either you manage your own picnic
    either you take the proposed picnic option.

  • Difficulty level

    Physical level: 2/3
    You have a good physical condition and regularly practice mountain biking. From 47 to 61 km per day with maximum positive gradients of 1600 m.

    Technical level: 2/3
    You master well the braking in descent and the trajectory of the bike. You will ride on paths or paths sometimes rolling, sometimes technical (steeper, with small obstacles).

    Stay compatible VAECompatible VAE

  • Options

    • Transfer back to Clermont-Ferrand.
    • Additional accommodation before or after the stay,
    • Single room supplement.
    • Picnic option.


Dates and price


For constituted groups, we adapt the level, duration, price and program on demand.

Contact us!

Free departure from

Price TTC per person

Freedom package with luggage transfer by cab - double room
Registration at 2 people795
Registration at 3 people740
Registration at 4 people650
Registration at 6 people580
Formula with qualified instructor and luggage carrying by taxi
Registration at 6 people895
Registration at 8 people795
Freedom formula with assistance vehicle
Registration at 6 people1090
Registration at 8 people950


  • Transfer back to Clermont-Ferrand: 595€ from 1 to 8 people + 15€ per bike
  • Single room supplement: 100€/pers
  • Option 5 picnics: 60€ 
  • Additional accommodation before or after the stay, contact us!

The price includes

  • The reservation of accommodation,
  • Digital Topo,
  • GPS electronic tracks (in .gpx format),
  • Half board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 6,
  • Daily luggage transport,
  • For the formula with assistance vehicle: 1 vehicle + driver assists the group throughout the stay.

The price does not include

  • Accommodation the day before departure,
  • Drinks,
  • Picnics,
  • Personal expenses,
  • Personal ATV equipment (helmets, gloves),
  • Mountain bikes,
  • Transportation to the meeting point,
  • The transfer back,
  • 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

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