Cycle back in time with our historical tours

Posted 19 Jun 2017

Breezing through country lanes or following the gentle curves of a glistening river bank – these are just a couple of the things that may make a cycling tour truly memorable. Sprinkle in some sandy-hued ancient castles, opulent pastel palaces and ingenious Roman highways, and you've got the perfect recipe for a timeless trip on two wheels. Here are some of our most historical tours.

Burgundy

Burgundy and Beaujolais (France)

Our tour of Burgundy and Beaujolais is as packed with historical wonders as it is with the ruby red wines the region is famous for.

The tour starts in Fleurville, where you'll be very close to some captivating historical attractions. Cluny Abbey, which was once the biggest abbey in the western hemisphere, still remains impressive even after being partially dismantled back in the 19th century. It's a listed national monument, in fact, and well worth exploring.

The impressive 12th-century Abbey of Saint-Philibert de Tournus is a short ride away, too, in the historic town of Tournus. This site has a rich religious history which goes as far back as the 2nd century – the Christian martyr Valerien was executed here by the Romans for his preaching.

Tuscany

Tuscany and Umbria (Italy)

This foray into the charm of Tuscany and Umbria is packed with awe inspiring historical attractions, as well as the Italian staples: fresh, fruity wines, and delectable rustic cuisine.

Travelling the ancient path of the Roman Via Flaminia highway is a highlight in itself. It was built by the consul Gaius Flaminius in the 2nd century, and is a real testament to Roman ingenuity and engineering. It's certainly worth gliding past the two Foligno Tombs during your trip, too – they're not far from the tour route.

Exploring Gubbio is a must if you want to delve into the region's history. As you'll discover, the cream-coloured buildings of the town nestled at the base of Mount Ingino seem to be hiding everything from soaring 14th-century palaces, like the Palazzo dei Consoli, to an ancient Roman theatre.

Provence

Provence

With its lush vineyards, refined châteaux and blissfully serene countryside, our tour of Provence takes you near to some wondrous historical sites.

Step off the saddle in Lagnes, and you'll find a little slice of history around every corner. Charming 15th-century houses line the winding lanes, many of which are still inhabited today, and there's a 13th-century château to explore, too. Don't miss the superb views from the top of the village either.

The Abbaye de Sénanque, which rises from the vivid purple of the surrounding lavender fields, is just off the usual tour route. This 12th-century holy site still has monks living there today. It's well known for producing lavender essence, honey and liqueurs – all of which make for great mementos of your trip (and presents for loved ones back home).

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