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Old 09-30-07, 09:49 PM   #1
tourbiker
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Bike-and-Barge tours in France?

Hi,
Can anyone recommend an affordable Bike-and-barge tour in France? We're looking for one that includes bikes and does easy distances of 20-30 miles/day (my husband and friends aren't touring cyclists). Most website searches lead me to the Loire Valley tour offered by HAT Tours (and sold by about a dozen different agents). This tour would be perfect (we did it in 2006) but, it's not being offered during our '08 vacation dates. We can find lots of Holland bike/barge tours but, I'd prefer the opportunity to practice my French.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 09-30-07, 10:00 PM   #2
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Rowan and I watched a number of these as we cycled along the canals between Nancy and Strasbourg. There are close to 200 kms of canals, and bicycle paths beside the canals, in that part of France. I was fascinated by it all, and we may consider doing something like that one year in the future.

However, you might look up Strasbourg to see if there are any companies that are headquarted there.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:13 AM   #3
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I would recommend the Canal Du Midi linking the Med. to the Atlantic. If you do a search of of Canal Du Midi and cycling you will find tour operators. To me they seem a bit pricey. Try organising it yourself, the route is easily followed and you can figure the distances fairly easily and book online. I have never cycled the canal but have been all around there and think it is more variable than the Loire and though touristed it seems to me at least it is less touristy. The exception is Carcassone which is touristed but well worth the visit.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tourbiker View Post
Hi,
Can anyone recommend an affordable Bike-and-barge tour in France? We're looking for one that includes bikes and does easy distances of 20-30 miles/day (my husband and friends aren't touring cyclists). Most website searches lead me to the Loire Valley tour offered by HAT Tours (and sold by about a dozen different agents). This tour would be perfect (we did it in 2006) but, it's not being offered during our '08 vacation dates. We can find lots of Holland bike/barge tours but, I'd prefer the opportunity to practice my French.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
This will be of limited help, because I cannot for the life of me fine the links, but when I was digging around last month, I discovered that you can rent and captain your own barge in France (as opposed to booking passage on a 'floating hotel').

This site (http://www.en-peniche.com/) has a search function with several regions. Depending on when you go, you can get a boat for 1-2000€/week that sleeps, say, 6-8 people. Somebody would have to drive the boat (you could take turns, obviously), of course, but it would save a lot of money, je pense.

The canal from Bordeaux to Lyon(?) to Marseilles is lovely.

If you want to practice your Swedish, the Göta Canal from Göteborg to Stockholm is another option.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:36 AM   #5
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A couple more links. Didn't really look at them, so might not be useful:

http://www.midi-broker.com/BOATSFORRENT.html

http://www.pour-les-vacances.com/boa...canal-midi.php
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Old 10-01-07, 08:56 AM   #6
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I would recommend the Canal Du Midi linking the Med. to the Atlantic.
+1 I biked the whole canal a couple of years ago on my way to Spain, and it was GAWGEOUS! http://www.midicanal.fr/

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Old 10-01-07, 11:11 AM   #7
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+1 I biked the whole canal a couple of years ago on my way to Spain, and it was GAWGEOUS! http://www.midicanal.fr/
Crossing the Garonne at Agen:

http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~glewin/france_files/Page330.html

Near Marmonde (Caumont-sur-Garonne, to be exact)

http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~glewin/france_files/Page777.html
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