Reserve Your Bike Tour as Early as Possible ...
France hosts more visitors each year than any other country in the world. For this reason it is prudent to reserve your tour as far in advance as possible to ensure the availability of accommodations during the period of your stay.
Moreover, when doing a cycling tour you will want to be near restaurants and services, which is why all of our accommodations are located in the city/town/village centers. Of course, these are the most desirable locations for all visitors, which means they fill the most quickly.
It is advisable to reserve your tour a minimum of 60 days in advance of your tour's start date, though we'll do our best to accommodate you if you cannot provide that much lead time.
2014 Cycling Tour Season & Blackout Dates ...
You may schedule your tour to begin on the date of your choosing, with the following caveats:
With the exception of our Loire Valley tours, Diverse Directions' tour season extends from April 1 - October 31. The tour season for our Loire Valley tours extends from May 1 - September 31.
Tours in Provence may not be scheduled during the Avignon Cultural Festival which takes place each year from July 5 - July 26. During this period all accommodations in or near Avignon's historic center are reserved for festival attendees.
For our tours in Provence, bike pick-up and return cannot be scheduled for a Sunday. This is not the case for tours in our other regions.
Holidays in France ...
There are LOTS of public holidays that occur annually in France. Most businesses and shops are closed on French holidays, so you may wish to avoid them when scheduling your tour. If a holiday does occur during your cycling tour, at a minimum you should plan ahead to ensure that you have adequate water and snacks for the day's cycling. And of course you will want to verify that any special sights you wish to visit are going to be open during the holiday. Click here for a list of holidays in France.
Additional Scheduling Considerations ...
To avoid the impact of possible travel delays, we ask that tour participants arrive at the tour's starting point at least one day prior to the tour's official start date (referred to as Day 1 in the Daily Itinerary of each tour.) No activities are scheduled for your arrival day so as to ensure that a late flight, missed connection, late train, etc. does not negatively impact your tour or create additional stress on your travel day. Of course, if you're already in Europe and within a reasonable distance of your tour's starting point, this requirement can be waived.
You may add days to any of the overnight destinations on your tour. The only additional Diverse Directions cost will be that of your bike rental. Conversely, you may omit rest days if you need to shorten the length of your tour.
Booking your Flight ...
We highly recommend that you use Paris' Charles de Gaulle as your arrival airport for all of our tours in France. Because there is a high-speed train station located right in the airport terminal, in most cases you can travel directly to your tour's starting point without the need to transfer to a downtown Paris train station. This saves lots of time and energy, particularly if you have just had a long flight. Of course, if you are planning a visit to Paris before your bike tour, there are several options for getting downtown from Charles de Gaulle, which we will include in your tour materials.