The Mediterranean by bike : from Arles to Sète

Through the Camargue and along the Mediterranean beaches

Highlights

Arles and its Roman arena
The Camargue and its exceptional natural reserve
Sète, the "little Venice of Languedoc"
The fine sandy beaches of the Mediterranean

A cycling escapade in the Camargue region, along the warm waters of the Mediterranean.

Magnificent pink flamingos in flight, white horses at full gallop, fierce bulls under the watchful eye of their herdsmen: discover a magical natural territory by bike...

Welcome to the gentle murmur of the Mistral, in the cobbled streets of Arles, where ancient history intertwines with Mediterranean lights. Here, under the generous sunshine of southern France, begins your cycling journey, which unfolds like a poetic stroll through the wilds of the Camargue, making its way to the charming Languedoc Venice, Sète.

At the start, the narrow streets of Arles still echo with the footsteps of artists past, such as the talented and unclassifiable Vincent Van Gogh. Your first pedal strokes mark the start of a cycling adventure through landscapes of wild, untamed beauty.

You’re on La Méditerranée à Vélo, a signposted cycle touring route. This route is the French part of Eurovelo 8, which links Turkey to Spain. It’s a European cycle route, which means it uses the existing network of small roads and major cycle paths to cross the Languedoc region. So you can take full advantage of the charms of the region by bike, far from the main traffic arteries.

The Camargue, a kingdom of salt and solitude, welcomes you with the graceful dance of pink flamingos and the changing reflections of salt ponds. With its small roads surrounded by rice paddies, its paths winding through reeds and manades (semi-feral horses), the bike becomes the brush that draws ephemeral lines on nature’s infinite canvas. The white horses and bulls of the Camargue, majestic guardians of this wild territory, seem to guide you through this living tableau.

As you approach the shores of the Mediterranean, the sea breeze caresses your face, adding a salty symphony to the melody of the journey. Aigues-Mortes, a medieval fortress emerging from the salt marshes, recalls the days when crusaders set out for distant horizons. As the cranks turn, the walls of this medieval city seem to whisper stories of days gone by.

At La Grande-Motte, the mood changes. The golden beaches of this seaside resort invite you to relax. Get off your bike and enjoy the warm waters on your calves. All around you, the modern lines of the architecture create a captivating contrast with the surrounding heritage. The wind-driven waves become your guide to your destination, Palavas-les-Flots, where Mediterranean charm blends with the liveliness of a seaside resort.

Finally, Sète appears on the horizon, a maritime jewel between the waters of the Mediterranean and the Etang de Thau. Peaceful canals and colorful boats define this town, where the flavors of the sea bring your cycling story to a close. Here, between the lively quays, canal-side cafés and covered market, your Mediterranean cycling journey finds its epilogue. Memories of the Camargue will continue to dance in your heart, like eternal poetry engraved by each pedal stroke.

Carte La Méditrannée à vélo : de Arles à Sète
Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

ARLES

Located at the gateway to the Camargue, Arles is a City of Art and History , renowned for its wealth of ancient and Roman remains. The city boasts a number of monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Roman amphitheatre, which is the city’s most beautiful symbol. Many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Jardin de la Maison de Santé (Espace Van Gogh), the Place du Forum, the quays of the Rhône and the arena, were immortalized in the famous paintings of Vincent Van Gogh during his long stay in Arles.

Meeting with our local guide

Before your first ride, we invite you to meet one of our guides, at your place of departure. A time of exchange, a privileged moment to give you our last practical tips, must-see places and experiences, to answer all your questions, take care of your bike fitting to begin your trip.

Day 2

From ARLES to AIGUES-MORTES 55km 46m Niveau Loisir

You follow easy and quiet roads into the start of the Camargue plain, cycling amidst fields divided up by irrigation canals. Saint-Gilles with its medieval centre and and its magnificent abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes visitors back to major pilgrimage times. Beyond the town stand slopes producing Costières de Nîmes wines. Then you reach the Canal du Rhône à Sète to medieval city of Aigues Mortes. The 1600 meters of fortified walls were constructed later in the 13th century by Phillippe III and Phillippe IV and completely surround the town, interrupted at regular intervals by towers that had various functions – salt storage, munitions, etc.

Day 3

From AIGUES-MORTES to PALAVAS-LES-FLOTS 30km 36m Niveau Facile

After having ridden along the Rhone canal in Sète, between Aigues-Mortes and Grau du Roi, you now ride along the beaches of the Mediterranean, its seaside resorts and its flamingos in flight. The Mediterranean by bike thus runs through the pyramids classified as “20th Century Heritage” of La Grande Motte then continues along the barrier beach between sea and salt ponds, to the foot of the lighthouse of Palavas-les-Flots.

  • For a few more km 42km 47m Niveau Loisir

    From Palavas, loop between ponds and seaside to the Cathedral of Maguelone.

Day 4

From PALAVAS-LES-FLOTS to SETE 35km 71m Niveau Loisir

From Palavas-les-Flots, your route continues between lagoons and beaches with the Massif de la Gardiole as a backdrop. Throughout this day, the water is never far away. The arrival in Sète, on the edge of the Thau lagoon, marks the end of your ride. Take the opportunity to discover its canals, its covered market and its beaches located a stone’s throw from the city. In the evening, the place is perfect for enjoying a seafood platter!

Day 5

SETE

End of your stay after breakfast.

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.

Accommodation example
Hôtel de la Muette Arles Hôtel Carrière Aigues Mortes Façade de l'hotel Amerique à Palavas les Flots façade chambre d'hôtes porto II - Sete

Starting from 595€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.

Accommodation example
Hôtel Calendal Arles hotel du Canal Aigues Mortes Façade de l'hotel Amerique à Palavas les Flots

Starting from 735€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.


Quote on request | Contact us

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 4 nights in a Double room
  • 4 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Access to our exclusive travel application to follow your route, inform you about places of interest, restaurants, facilitate your assistance in case of emergency, find all your travel documents and our practical advice.
  • Application fee
  • Taxes
  • The itinerary trackable on the following supports:
    • Loan of a Bicycle GPS uploaded with full itinerary of the trip
    • Topo maps
    • Cycling practical guide including restaurant recommendations for lunch & dinner
  • Additional services included:
    • Day 1 : A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"
    • Dinners not included in “Price includes”
    • Drinks, visits & other personal expenses

    Homemade and fully tested itineraries
    • Routes selected for their cycling and touristic interest entirely tested and away from traffic
    • Accomodations selected for their hospitality, atmosphere, services and quality meals
    • A flexible organisation to suit you needs and wishes: You choose the date you want to you leave on! We check the availability of each accomodation to make sure it is possible.

    Close assistance
    • One of our guides greets you on your first day. He will hand out all the needed documents for the trip (hotel vouchers, maps of the area,GPS, practical guide), get you settled on your bikes (for rental bikes).
    • Phone assistance, you can reach the Abicyclette team whenever you need
    • A Luggage transfer service which respects your hours of rest (we pick them up after 10:00 and deliver them before 16:00)

    Follow your itinerary anyway you like – modern, practical, traditional

    appareil GPS TwoNav Cross

    • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)
    • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day, topo maps, and touristic information)

     


    You can also

     

    On our guided tours (for groups on demand), we accompany you every step of the way
    • One of our state qualified instructor and professional cycling guide accompanies you every step of the way
    • Full board (all meals covered unless asked otherwise)
    • A picnic buffet set up for lunch with a wide choice of fresh and local produce

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


    Touring Bike

    SCOTT SUB SPORT 20

    Reassuring and comfortable geometry.

    Shimano 27-speed

    Disc brakes

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • A handlebar bag
    • A 20L rear bag
    • 1 lock
    • 1 multi-tool
    • 1 repair kit including:
      • Lot of patches
      • An inner tube
      • A set of tire levers
    • 1 pump
    • 1 odometer counter
    • 1 gourd

    Ebike

    EBIKE SCOTT SUB TOUR ERIDE

    All the pleasure of cycling without too much effort and accessible to all.

    Shimano Disc Br-MT200 brakes

    Bosch ActivePlus 500w motor

    Weight 25.60 kg

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • A handlebar bag
    • A 20L rear bag
    • 1 lock
    • 1 multi-tool
    • 1 repair kit including:
      • Lot of patches
      • An inner tube
      • A set of tire levers
    • 1 pump
    • 1 odometer counter
    • 1 gourd
    Vélo electrique scott eride

    Child bike

    CHILDREN’S BIKE: 8 to 10 years old; 135-145cm

    Agile and handy bike and 100% safe for nice family rides

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • A 20L rear bag
    • 1 lock
    • 1 multi-tool
    • 1 repair kit including:
      • Lot of patches
      • An inner tube
      • A set of tire levers
    • 1 pump
    • 1 odometer counter
    Vélo enfant scott 24"

    Getting here

    Departure city : ARLES

    Coming by car

    • at 8h from PARIS
    • at 5h15 from BORDEAUX
    • at 2h45 from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Arles train station - 7h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Marseille Provence airport

    Arrival city : SETE

    Coming by car

    • at 7h from PARIS
    • at 4h30 from BORDEAUX
    • at 3h15 from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Sete train station - 3h45 from Paris
    • Montpellier train station - 3h30 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Montpellier airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    How to get back to the starting point

    • By train from Sete to Arles in 1h30 (hotline)
    • Return by car in 1h15 to your starting point
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • All-Terrain Bike (ATB) or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

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