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Via Rhôna: Geneva to Lyon in 7 Days

Cyclomundo offers a self-guided cycling trip along the Via Rhona from Geneva to Lyon Self-guided trip: Starts any Sunday from April through October 2017
6 nights/7 days
Daily mileage: from 41 km (26 miles) to 62 km (39 miles)
Trip starts from Geneva and ends in Lyon
Geneva is serviced by low-cost airlines such as Easyjet or Etihad Regional
Accommodation in 2- and 3-star properties and an unrated hotel of charm
This tour can be organized with a support vehicle
Level: 2/3 (Easy/Moderate)
From 885 euros per person sharing a double room

Via Rhôna: Geneva to Lyon — 6 nights/7 days

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long sections of the ride are done on the traffic-free bike route
 
Most of the riding takes place on traffic-free bikeways
 
On this tour, we stress the cultural and gastronomic heritage of every area
 

Long before rickety railways and rushing roads, the Rhône River connected the region’s most important cities. Consequently, this dazzling azure artery, stealthily snaking through the Swiss Alps into southern France, is home to a wealth of quaint villages, historic chateaux and spectacular scenic spots. The “Via Rhôna” project is a bicycle path created from Lake Geneva to France’s Mediterranean beaches. The project is still “in progress” but it is a huge accomplishment for France as it currently includes 700 km (435 miles) of cycling path and runs through 12 different French counties.

We happen to think this makes for a perfect cycling tour!

Our seven-day cycling itinerary allows you to take everything in between the Rhône’s two major cities, Geneva in Switzerland and Lyon in France. The tour serves up the very best the Rhône has to offer along the way: from historic forts and Roman ruins to glistening lakes and parkland panoramas. Best of all, the dramatic mountain scenery is enjoyed along a smooth route, making it the ideal tour for families and leisure riders.

The accommodations we provide along the way — from character-filled guesthouses to family-run hotels — are perfect Alpine oases on a trip geared toward relaxation, not perspiration. We even move your luggage for you! With no scheduled start date and the opportunity to travel at your own pace, it’s the ideal way to see the Rhône at leisure.

If your time constraints don't allow you to ride this week-long tour, we recommend our Three-Lake Cycling tour which follows the Rhone from Geneva to Aix-les-Bains before ending in Annecy.

 
Itinerary
Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival in Geneva

The first day of the itinerary is the easiest of all — all you have to do is get here! Geneva is a cultured and cosmopolitan city with more than enough attractions to fill a day, so you can check in to you hotel in the heart of the city then head on out to explore. Whether you want to stroll around the city’s beautiful botanical gardens, go shopping for world famous watches, chocolates, and Swiss knives, or set sail on the sparkling Geneva Lake, it’s up to you.
Day 2 (Monday): Geneva — Seyssel: (62 km/39 miles, 834 meters/2,736 ft of climbing)

After breakfast, we will brief you on your itinerary and give you all the necessary equipment for your trip. This is where your journey really begins! This is the longest day of cycling during the whole tour: with rolling hills, you'll climb your highest ascent — but the good news is you’ll get to enjoy plenty of downhill riding (961 meters total!) The route itself winds its way southwest, across the Swiss border at Chancy into the picturesque wine region of Rhône-Alpes, France, where you will spend the remainder of your tour. There are plenty of reasons to stop along the way — stunning panoramas, striking rock formations and historic forts — and you’ll end the day in Seyssel, a sensational small village. Your hotel sits right on the river, providing the perfect spot to give your biking legs a rest.
Day 3 (Tuesday): Seyssel — Champagneux (56 km/35 miles, 325 meters/1,066 ft of climbing)

Covering a shorter distance, following a nearly straight line, and climbing just 230 meters, this day's ride will feel like a picnic compared to the previous day. Consider exploring Chanaz — the Little Venice of Savoie — or park the bikes to try the exquisite local cheeses in the Roman town of Belley. Or, if you are content to add some extra kilometers to the journey, you can also head just off route to enjoy lunch in one of the ancestral wineries on the banks of Lac du Bourget. It’s your call — that’s the beauty of a self-guided tour. End with a fine meal, relaxing swim and good night’s rest in Champagneux.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Champagneux — Villebois (41 km/26 miles, 202 meters/663 ft of climbing)

From Champagneux you can take a small detour and travel southwest to visit Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers to learn the story of Louis Mandrin, the French Robin Hood. Then, as you head north, you can stop in any village(s) you choose. From Morestel, a charming town known for painters and flowers, to Briord, a small town with a Roman aqueduct, it’s up to you where and when lunch will be served! Riding adjacent to the Isère, your day will conclude in Villebois.
Day 5 (Thursday): Villebois — Pérouges (54 km/34 miles, 265 meters/870 ft of climbing)

Today your ride will continue along the Rhône. Early on in your voyage you will have the option to stop at La Balme-les-Grottes, “the caves of Balme”, where you can find the largest variety of bat species in the region! If bats aren’t of particular interest to you, no need to fear boredom as you will be able to see stalactites, stalagmites, an underground lake, and many other unique sights. Enjoy your ride but leave yourself some time to explore your medieval destination, the walled town of Pérouges.
Day 6 (Friday): Pérouges — Lyon (Long Option: 59 km/37 miles, 380 meters/1,250 ft of climbing; Short Option: 42 km/26 miles, 270 meters/1,040 ft of climbing)

As Lyon has plenty to keep you busy for days if not weeks, you can bike directly to the city or take a few breaks along the way. If time is not your concern, you can have lunch in the Miribel Jonage Park (one of the largest urban parks in Europe) and enjoy a swim in Lac des Eaux Bleues (Lake Blue Waters). Upon arrival in Lyon, your options for the rest of the day are endless. Trek to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière for the best view in town, shop, visit a museum, or see the Halles de Lyon Market. Be sure to reward your cycling soul with a delicious meal!
Day 7 (Saturday): Departure

After breakfast, depart at the time of your choice.
Booking & Pricing
From 885 euros per person sharing a double room.
A minimum of 2 riders is required for this tour. Solo rider's price on request.

  • 885 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 320 euros
  • 895 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 325 euros
  • 915 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 335 euros


This price includes :

  • 6 nights' accommodation (4 nights in 3-star hotels; 1 night in a 2-star hotel and 1 night in an unrated hotel of charm)
  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 dinners (drinks are not included)
  • Meeting with our local representative on Monday morning
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep's mobile number)
  • All tax and service charges

This price does not include:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 110 euros per bike. This price includes the 20-euro drop-off fee for the bike’s return to Geneva.
For further information or reservations:
Please book online or contact us at your earliest convenience as this trip is subject to hotel availability.
Our e-mail address: info@cyclomundo.com
 
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