Bike and Barge - France

May 19-28, 2017

SOLD OUT


Join the Gators for a wonderful bike and boat tour through the Camargue and Provence regions of France.


Camargue has beautiful landscapes of canals, villages and lagoons and wild bulls and horses. 

From the medieval fortress of Aigues Mortes, you will cycle gradually towards Arles. 


After that you will cycle through the typical Provence landscape including the Rhone valley, the inspiration for Van Gogh's paintings. We will visit the amazing Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard, a UNESCO world heritage site, and finally toast with the exquisite wines of Chateauneuf du Pape and Avignon!!! 


The cycling is entirely on flat terrain in the Camargue region, while the areas near Arles present some up and downs, which are easy to overcome. You can even rent an electric bike!

 

Only 20 spots available.

The Standard Package, which includes your round trip airline tickets from Miami to Marseille,  all ground transfers in France, 7 nights lodging on the barge L'Estello, all meals on board (breakfast, 3 course dinner and packed lunch, coffee and tea), unisex tour bike, dedicated english speaking tour guide, detailed maps and info packs, guided visit of Arles, entrance to Pont-du-Gard, wine tasting in Chateaneuf-du-Pape, pre- and post- trip parties, round trip bus to Miami airport from Palm Beach Gardens (with stop in Lantana), all ground transfers in Europe, all tips and porterage, Lisbon City tour, hotel in Lisbon for overnight stay, is now REDUCED to only:


$2,600*


*Per person/double occupancy. Price shown reflects a 3% cash discount when paying with cash or check. Prices and conditions are subject to change; based on an exchange rate of 1 Euro=1.2 Dollars.


You have also the option of purchasing the Ground Package only (you get your own air) for $1,763; to upgrade to electric bike (add $204), to have the cabin to yourself (add $1,419) and to rent a bike helmet (add $18).

 

Air Itinerary (subject to change!): holding 20 seats in TAP (Air Portugal). TAP is affiliated with United so you can earn frequent flyer miles in this trip.


UPDATED 3-21-2017 (some minor schedule changes!):


  1  TP 224 G 19MAY 5 MIALIS     1615 0525 + 1    Arrives 5/20/2017-  Lisbon City Tour in the morning

         

  2  TP 402 G 20MAY 6 LISMRS   1500 1820     Operated by Portugalia

             

  3  TP 401 G 27MAY 6 MRSLIS    1900 2020     Operated by Portugalia -Overnight stay in Lisbon- Hotel included             

  4  TP 223 G 28MAY 7 LISMIA      1015 1430            



 Register online and reserve your spot now with only $500 down payable by check, or online with credit card. 


If you rather not register online, you can download and print the hardcopy Trip Application which you can then mail to the Trip Leader.


Download/print the trip flyer.


You must be a current member to make a reservation. Each member of a family must complete a separate reservation.

If paying by check, make it payable to Gator Snow Ski Club and mail to your Trip Leader:


Estela Basso

1001 Jupiter Park Dr Ste 112

Jupiter FL 33458

estelavpofski@gmail.com

561-214-1603 (cell.)


NOTE:  ESTELA HAS VOLUNTEERED TO LEAD THIS TRIP PRO-BONO WHICH HAS HELPED TO REDUCE THE PRICE


Please be aware that when paying by check your registration will be marked as "pending" until our Treasurer receives and processes your payment- may take up to 3 weeks. If you register and pay with credit card, your registration is effective as soon as received –  upon confirmation of availability by the Trip Leader.

Cancellation fee for your registration is a minimum of $100 unless you are transferring to another Gator trip, not previously signed up for. See the complete rules and regulations on trips.


Payment Schedule

If you wish to pay an Installment with credit card, inform your Trip Leader and an Invoice will be created for you. Credit card payments do not qualify for the 3% cash discount
Date Amount
Deposit With Registration
 $ 500
1st Installment 10/15/2016  $ 1000
2nd Installment 12/01/2016  $ 1000
3rd Installment 2/1/2017  tbd-according to options and tender 
More Information


About the boat

The boat L’Estello is equipped with 10 double cabins (one with a double bed and nine with twin beds) measuring 7-8 m2.
Each cabin has two portholes (one is in the bathroom), is air-conditioned and has en-suite facilities.
Bed sizes: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m

The living area is an air-conditioned living room and is divided into two areas:

  • the Restaurant, with large picture windows
  • the Bar area with comfortable sofas and armchairs


Extra features:

  • Sundeck with a fixed awning, tables and chairs
  • Free WiFi in the restaurant/bar area
  • “Bring and Borrow” supply of travel books
  • Pétanque/Boules sets and board games available


There is a wi-fi connection on board which normally works during the whole tour. You have free access to the network.


About the Bikes


The bikes are available in various sizes in unisex/women’s or men’s models. At the moment of booking, you can choose from the following bikes:

  • City bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
  • Kalkhoff Electro-bike 8-gear Shimano Nexus


Features:

  • aluminium frame
  • mudguard
  • rear rack
  • comfort gel saddle
  • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
  • ergonomic bicycle grips
  • Speed Lifter system (only for City bikes)

 All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

  • 1 cycle computer  
  • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
  • 1 front bar bag or 1 map holder
  • 1 water bottle (0.75 l)
  • 1 repair kit per room: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers
  • 1 combination bike lock


At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets. We have M and L sizes for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All the helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

About the Food On Board


Breakfast: it takes place every day from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Breakfast consists of an international buffet: freshly baked bread and croissants, sliced salami and ham, cheese, butter, marmalade, yogurt, cereals, milk, tea, coffee.


Packed lunch: during breakfast, you will find all that is necessary to prepare a packed lunch

(freshly baked bread, lettuce, tomatoes,sliced salami and ham, cheese). Fresh fruits.


Afternoon snack: after the daily trip you will receive on board a snack/cake/fruit with coffee/tea.


Dinner: it is at 7.00 p.m.

At dinner you can enjoy typical dishes of the traditional French cuisine. Dinner usually consists

of a starter, a main course and a dessert. On the table you will always find bread and water in

a jug. All other drinks are not included and have to be paid separately.


Beverages: on board there is a self-service bar (beer, soft drinks, sparkling water, wine, strong

drinks). During the week you have to register on a sheet, provided by the crew, all the drinks

and extra that you consume. Wine bottles can be labelled with your name or your cabin

number and be consumed over a longer period. The prices of drinks are available in the price

list at the bar. All prices are in Euros and include VAT.


The water on board is drinkable.


It is not allowed to consume/bring beverages and food not directly purchased on board in the

public areas of the boat (restaurant, bar, outdoor deck).


You can prepare coffee or tea for free from 7.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. using the coffee machine

on board.

About the Tour Guides and Optional Tours

  • At your arrival on Saturday at 6.00 p.m. you will meet the tour leader and the crew. Every evening after dinner the guide will present you the cycling program of the following day.

     

    The tour leaders are carefully selected and rigourously trained. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre.

     

    A minivan is available in the area for emergencies. The same van offers alternative excursions for those customers who don’t want to cycle on some days or can organize transfers to shorten the longest stages. These extra services are not included and must be paid on site. Programs and prices are available on board. On board you’ll find also some proposals to do free excursions on your own, with no tour leader and no minivan.

About the Route


  • Route profile

    Total length: 260 km (162 miles)
    Total vertical up: 400 m (1200 feet)
    Terrain: 95% asphalt, 5% unpaved

    The tour is totally in the lowlands during the two stages in Camargue, while the stages north of Arles present some ups and downs, which are however easy to overcome. There is just one more demanding slope towards Baux de Provence, but you will be fully repaid with an extraordinary landscape. The itinerary is mostly on secondary roads with low traffic; some short stretches on more busy roads are however inevitable. There will also be a couple of navigation stretches to make the stages more enjoyable.

     

    Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.

     



Itinerary - Day by Day


May 19 Bus to Miami airport from Palm Beach Gardens (one stop in Lantana if needed) Our flight leaves at 16:40 pm and arrives in Lisbon, Portugal at 6 am.


May 20  After customs, we will take a City Tour of Lisbon. Leave Lisbon at 14:25 pm, arrive in Marseille at 17:45 pm. Bus takes us to Aigues-Mortes medieval town, ancient military and commercial port on the Mediterranean where we board the boat waiting for us. Overnight on boat.


May 21  Aigues-Mortes, round tour - 34 miles (55 km).

Going through small country lanes of Camargue between canals, lagoons and small villages

you will reach in the afternoon the charming fishermen’s village Le Grau-du-Roi. Possibility of

a refreshing bath on the beach.


May 22  Aigues Mortes to Arles - 16 miles (25 km).

You will sail for a couple of hours up to Saint Gilles and then cycle to today’s destination:

Arles, known for the richness of its antique and Roman patrimony. The city fascinates you with

its hidden treasures. Getting lost among its small alleys will be like entering a picture by Van

Gogh. In the afternoon you will also have the opportunity to be welcome by a professional

guide, who will accompany you around the jewels of the town.


May 23 Arles to Vallabreguès- 37 miles (60 km).

This is a breathtaking stage, which brings you to the Alpilles, with the perched village of Les-

Baux-de-Provence and then to Saint Rémy de Provence. A landscape of limestone cliffs and

olive trees will accompany the trip. In the evening you will moor in Vallabrègues, pretty

Provençal village on the banks of the Rhône.


May 24  Vallabrègues to Aramon - 22 miles (35 km).

Along country roads you will arrive to Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the

Rhone and Durance rivers. You will cycle to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet

and afterwards down to the medieval village of Boulbon. In the afternoon navigation to Aramon

for the overnight with a beautiful view over the Mont Ventoux.


May 25 Aramon to Avignon - 25 miles (40 km).

The stage today will bring you to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe: Pont du

Gard, a very spectacular work. Back to Aramon in the afternoon you will sail to Avignon, the

city of the Popes. Your mooring place is in Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont St.

Bénezet.


May 26 Avignon, round tour -  28 miles (45 km).

You cycle in the direction of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, following low-traffic roads surrounded by

vineyards. In Châteauneuf- du-Pape you can enjoy a tasting of the very famous Provençal

wine. After that you will cross the Rhône at the height of Roquemaure and back through

Villeneuve-lès-Avignon following the course of the river.


May 27  Avignon.

Breakfast. Early afternoon we leave for Marseille via bus. Board our flight at 18:25 pm for Lisbon. Overnight in Lisbon


May 28 We board our flight back at 10:40 am and arrive in Miami at 15:10 pm . Bus ride to Palm Beach Gardens with stop in Lantana if needed.


Testimonials


From Gary HF, Fremont California:

Aug 22, 2014, 3:44 PM

We just returned from the Aigues Mortes to Avignon bike and barge trip on the Soleo.

Breakfast primarily consisted of cereal, freshly baked bread and croisants plus fresh fruit. We each made sandwiches for lunch at breakfast time - typically assorted lunch meats, lettuce, tomato on freshly baked bread (French style baguettes) with fresh fruit. Our onboard chef, Paulo, served excellent dinners assisted by Steffie, our server. There were excellent and affordable wines (<25 euros) served up by Captain Alan. On the last night before leaving, we floated the canals in the Avignon for three hours. The emphasis is on seeing the villages and vineyards of Provence by bike. You can, however skip biking and wander on any day - we did that in Avignon. Some wandered into town in the evening when the barge was docked, others enjoyed the ambience of the ship's deck and lounge. The cabins were recently renovated, clean, well maintained and air conditioned. The same was true for all other areas of the barge. The bicycles were maintained by the Girolibero team and our cycling guide, Johann, knew where we were headed at all times and did a very good job of keeping the group together while allowing everyone adequate time to explore villages and historical landmarks on their own - very professional. Overall, I'd rate this one of the best vacations we've taking and I'd recommend it highly.



 

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