Short Bicycle Trips, starting from Paris

Departures Supported by a Sweep Rider
May through September. bikers in the Loire

We offer a series of 1- to 4-day trips to a selection of attractive destinations within striking distance of Paris.  Our departure calendar is below.

Rides follow segments of our Burgundy, Loire Valley, Champagne, Brittany, Jura and Alsace routes. 

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How The Trips Work

Trips meet at our central Paris office, 90 minutes before departure time (the “Depart” time shown for each trip is the time of the train’s departure from its central Paris station).  One of our staff accompanies the ride to the station. 
If you are nervous about city cycling (or don't like to get up early), we offer instead to deliver your cycle to you at the station, 30 minutes prior to train time.  An additional cost applies.. 

We provide rail tickets, cycles, cycle spaces aboard the train, and help you board.  You receive a route guide of your upcoming ride to peruse during your train trip. 

Our Blue Marble Trip Coordinator either rides the train with you, or meets you as you detrain, and helps you to adjust your cycle as necessary.  He also provides ride protection / mechanical assistance through the day.  You may ride with him if you wish to, or strike out on your own, using the route guide (he follows as a “sweep” rider in that case).  Follow the link to see what a day of riding with us looks like.Town Hall in Loire

At the end of your trip, we help you onto the train for the journey back to Paris.

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Prices

 
Trip prices start at 149€
for trips closest to Paris. 
Prices for each departure are shown in the Departure Calendar, below. 

Family, group, and youth discounts are available.
Optional extras
are also priced below.

Overnight trips presume shared occupancy at hotels. 
Solo travellers may opt for privante single rooms at an extra cost, or share with other riders.   See options, below.
Beverages at dinner are not included.

All taxes and booking charges are included.



 



2017 Departure Dates
for Short Trips (1 - 4 days)
Trips in italics span 2 or more days.  
They include lodging, most dinners (details specified by trip), and all breakfasts, on nights between the riding days.

Departure Date Trip (Route Title, day’s ride)
Title links to the detailed route description, offering a thumbnail description of the proposed ride.

Ride Difficulty*
E = Easy
M = Moderate
C = Challenging

Base Price
Trip level determines prices for discounts and optional extras.

Paris Train Departure Time, and Anticipated Return*
*Return times are estimates.  They may be altered, most notably by your progress through the riding day. 

May 21 (Su) Southern Burgundy
Dijon - Nuits-St-Georges - Beaune
M 229€
• Depart 9a
• Return 9:30p
May 21 - 23
(Su - Tu)
Southern Burgundy
Dijon - Vougeot - Beaune - Pommard - Puligny-Montrachet
M 810€ for 3 days
Includes 2 hotel nights, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts.
• Depart 9a, day 1
• Return 8:30p, day 3
May 23 - 26
(Tu - Fr)
Southern Burgundy
Santenay - Autun - Cluny - Tournus
M, C 995€ for 4 days
Includes 3 hotel nights, 2 dinners, 3 breakfasts.
• Depart 9:30a, day 1
• Return 8:30p or 10:45p on day 4
The late return allows for a visit of Dijon.  Choice can be made locally.
July 17 - 19
(Mo - We)
Champagne
Paris - the Ourcq Valley - Château Thierry - Epernay (via the Marne Valley)
M or C 729€ for 3 days
Includes 2 hotel nights, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts

• Meet at our office at 9a on day 1
• Return 7p on day 3

July 18 (Tu) Champagne
La Ferté & the Ourcq Valley
M or C 169€
Add an additional 99€ to overnight in Champagne, if you are also taking the Monday trip, above. 
Dinner, hotel & breakfast included.
• Depart 10a
• Return 7p
July 19 (We) Champagne
Chateau-Thierry - Epernay (via the Marne Valley)
M or C 189€
Add an additional 99€ to overnight in Champagne, if you are also taking the Tuesday trip, above. 
Dinner, hotel & breakfast included.
• Depart 10:30a
• Return 7p
July 20 (Th) Champagne
Epernay - Reims
E or M 199€
Add an additional 59€ to overnight in Champagne, if you are also taking the Wednesday trip, above. 
Hotel & breakfast included in the combined trip.
• Depart 8:30a
• Return 6p or 9p
The late return allows for a visit of Reims.  Choice must be made at time of booking.
July 20 & 21
(Th & Fr)
Champagne
Epernay - Reims - Epernay
M 495€ for 2 days
Includes hotel, dinner, breakfast.

• Depart 8:30a day 1
• Return 7p, day 2

August 5 (Sa) Loire Valley
Chambord & Cheverny
E or C 199€ • Depart 10:30a
• Return 7:30p
August 6 (Su) Loire Valley
Chambord & Cheverny
E or C 199€
Add an additional 89€ to overnight in Blois on Sunday night, to connect to the Monday & Tuesday trip, below. 
Dinner, hotel & breakfast in Blois included in the combined trip.
• Depart 10:30a
• Return 7:30p
August 7 & 8
(Mo & Tu)
Loire Valley
Blois - Amboise - Chenonceaux
M, C 529€ for 2 days
Includes hotel, dinner, breakfast.
• Depart 9:30a, day 1
• Return 8:30p, day 2
August 19 - 21
(Sa - Mo)
Alsace
Black-and-white villages, fortified castles, a dip into Germany...  We recommend a post-ride night in Strasbourg, where the ride ends.
M or C
850€ for 3 days
Includes 2 nights' hotel,
2 dinners, 2 breakfasts.
• Depart 8:30a, Day 1
• Return 10:30p, Day 3
August 27 (Su) Northern Burgundy
Auxerre, the Nivernais Canal
E, M or C 189€ • Depart 9:30a
• Return 7:30p
Aug. 27 - 30
(Su - We)
Northern Burgundy
The Yonne Valley, Clamecy,
Vineyards of Chablis and Irancy
M or C 975€ for 4 days
Includes 3 nights' hotel,
3 dinners, 3 breakfasts.
• Depart 8:30a, day 1
• Return 7:30p, day 3
August 29 (Tu) Northern Burgundy
Vineyards of Chablis and Irancy
M or C 229€
• Depart 8:30a
• Return 7:30p
Aug. 30 -
Sept. 1
(We - Fr)
Northern Burgundy
Vézelay, the Morvan National Park, Epoisses
M or C 729€ for 3 days
Includes 2 nights' hotel,
1 dinner, 2 breakfasts.
• Depart 8:30a, day 1
• Return 7:30p, day 3
August 30 (We) Northern Burgundy
Vézelay
M or C 229€
Add an additional 49€ to combine with the Tuesday trip, above. 
Dinner, hotel & breakfast included in the combined trip.
• Depart 8:30a
• Return 7:30p
Sept. 2 (Sa) Northern Burgundy
Mont Auxois, Continental Divide
C 229€ • Depart 7:30a
• Return 8:30p
September 3 (Su) Southern Burgundy
Dijon - Nuits-St-Georges - Beaune
M 229€
• Depart 9a
• Return 9:30p
Sept. 3 - 5
(Su - Tu)
Southern Burgundy
Dijon - Vougeot - Beaune - Pommard - Puligny-Montrachet
M 799€ for 3 days
Includes 2 hotel nights, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts.
• Depart 9a, day 1
• Return 8:30p, day 3
Sept. 5 - 8
(Tu - Fr)
Southern Burgundy
Santenay - Autun - Cluny - Tournus
M, C 995€ for 4 days
Includes 3 hotel nights, 2 dinners, 3 breakfasts.
• Depart 9:30a, day 1
• Return 8:30p or 10:45p (your choice), on day 4

* Ride Difficulty explanation:

  • Trips labeled “E” (for easy) offer short, mostly flat rides, ± 30 kilometers in length.
  • Trips labeled “M” (for medium) offer rides in the 40 kilometer range, possibly with some rolling hills.
  • Trips labeled “C” (for challenging) offer rides in the 50 kilometer range, with some hills, or longer distances if terrain is flat. 

Even “challenging” rides may be easy-ish for experienced or regular riders.  Trips on this page offer more accessible rides than do our longer, multi-stage trips, as time is required to adjust to an unfamiliar cycle, and travel between Paris and the trip uses part of your day or days.  If you are looking for additional distance or hills, options will be locally available on all “C” rides.


Discounts (must generally be claimed at time of sign-up, cannot be applied retro-actively)
The “Bringing Your Own Cycle” discount is cumulable with other discounts. 
Other discounts are not cumulable, but we will apply the largest discount for which you qualify.
For the purposes of calculating discounts, sequential short trips are considered one, unified, longer trip (i.e. back-to-back 1-day trips are considered to be a single, 2-day trip).

  • Early Registration:   -10€ for 1-night trips, -30€ for 2-night trips, -50€ for trips of 3 or 4 nights.
    - Registration and full payment must be received by 4p, Paris time, 35 days prior to the trip date (for example, by April 10 for a May 15 trip).  The discount is based on an advance-purchase rail fare, and so cannot be applied if registration is not complete at that point.  This means, for example, that if your credit card issuer initially declines to process the foreign transaction (a common occurance) on the last day of eligability for the discount, and the charge does not go through until the next day, the discount price does not apply.  Moral of the story:  do not cut this one too closely.
    - The Early Registration Discount does not apply to “Founding Members” of Guest-Initiated departures (trips scheduled for you and your party), nor to independent, self-guided travellers (not on regularly scheduled trips).
    - Two or more combined trips are considered to be one, single trip for the purposes of the Early Registrationn discount. 
  • No Train Tickets:  -20€ for trips in Champagne (-10€ for trips which cycle out of Paris), -30€ for trips in the Loire or northern Burgundy, -50€ for trips in southern Burgundy, Alsace or Brittany.
    - Discount assumes that you are travelling independently to and / or from the trip.  But it will probably then be necessary to pay us to ship your cycle (you would otherwise take it with you), which more than erases the discount.

    Not cumulable with age-based, “group / family” or “early registration” discounts.
    Does not apply outbound to Champagne trips which cycle out of Paris.
    - Two or more combined trips are considered to be one, single trip for the purposes of the “No TrainTckets” discount. 
    - Discount may be claimed in one direction only.
  • Bringing Your Own Cycle:  -35€ for 1-day trips. An additional 5€ / day discount applies for trips spanning more than one day.
  • Age-Based:
    - Child (11 and younger):  -20€ for 1-day trips, -40€ for 2-day trips, -60€ for trips of 3 or 4 days.
    - Youth (12 - 25):  -10€ for 1-day trips, -20€ for 2-day trips, -30€ for trips of 3 or 4 days.
  • Group / Family:
    - 3 travellers:  reduction of 10€ per traveller, per day.
    - 4 or more travellers:  reduction of 20€ per traveller for 1-day trips.   Additional reduction of 10€ per traveller per additional day travelled.
    If some members of your “Group / Family” can take advantage of other, larger discounts, the largest applicable discount will be used for each traveller. 
    “Group / Family” discounts do not apply to Guest-Initiated departures (trips scheduled at your request).


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Family biking in Loire

Included in Each Trip

  • Train tickets from Paris to the destination of your trip, and return.
    Discount available to guests who do not need train tickets in one or both directions.
  • A Bicycle
    24- or more speed road touring cycle, designed for distance riding on paved lanes and paths.   Choice of bike styles and sizes is available.   See here for details, and tell us your preference on your trip application. 
  • Cycle Equipment
    Cycles are equipped with seat tools, air pump, patch kit, spare inner tube, and lock. 
  • Handlebar bag
    Bag is equipped with a map pouch, and has a shoulder strap, useful for carrying valuables off the bike when you stop.
  • Bike transport on the train, from your Paris departure station to your cycle trip, and return
    Your cycle travels on the train with you. 
  • Trip Coordinator / Sweep Rider
    A Blue Marble follows your ride’s route.   He and his tool kit stay behind you in normal circumstances, and he is reachable by mobile phone at all times.  He also helps you reboard your train for Paris at the end of your trip. 
  • Our Route Guide
    Offers discussions of the sites en route, detailed low-traffic cycle routes, and schedules for return trains to Paris.
  • Detailed maps, in case you should get off-route, or choose to explore on your own.
  • Trips spanning more than one day also include...
    - Hotel accommodation, based on double occupancy. 
    Solo travellers may request a private single, or a shared room.   If you prefer to share, you will be accommodated with another traveller of the same gender if one is available.  This option is guaranteed to riders joining the trip at least 35 days in advance:  if no room mate is available, a single room will be provided at no additional cost.  
    Within 35 days, ask if a roommate is available.  If none is, you may request a share, but must initially pay the private single room charge.   The charge will be rebated if you are, in the end, paired with a roommate. 
    Or, you may make your sign-up conditional upon the availability of a shared room.   In this latter case, you must give us a cut-off date.  If no roommate has been found by that date, your participation will automatically cancel, and a full refund be provided.  

    - Dinner and / or breakfast with each overnight stop, as specified.


Optional Extras
Subject to availability:  order in advance to avoid disappointment.

  • Delivery of your rental cycle to the Paris departure station, or...
    ... return of your cycle from the Paris arrival station to our office
    at the end of your trip: 
    10€ per transfer, per cycle.
    The Champagne Paris - Meaux trip departs from our office.  No station delivery is necessary.
  • Transport of your rental cycle from Paris to your ride, or back to Paris from the end of your ride, if you yourself are not making the trip.
    We can transport your cycle for you in either direction, between Paris and your trip, at a cost of 76€ (one or two bikes) plus 22€ per additional bike. 
    You may also keep the cycle after your ride(s) with us, and bring it back to Paris at a later date.  In this latter case, additional cycle rental charges apply.   The cycle may be returned to our office at any time during our opening hours

  • Bike Equipment
    - Helmet:  5€
    Helmets are not legally required, and most riding is on low-traffic lanes.  However, as any cyclist knows, they are strongly recommended....
    - Rain poncho:  5€
  • Cycle Insurance:  5€ / rental day
    For policy conditions, see here.
  • Luggage Storage in our Paris office during your trip.  Details are here.
    If you store luggage with us during your trip, and are having us bring your bike(s) in from the station when you return to Paris, we can bring your luggage to the station for you for without additional charge.
  • Dinner, Hotel and Breakfast at the end of your (final) day’s ride
    Should you wish to spend the night where you end your ride, we can arrange it.  Cost is 102€ / person / night double, twin or triple; 135€ single.
    Includes taxes, booking charges, and a 3-course evening meal, with at least three choices at each course (beverages additional). 
    Does not include cycle shipment back to Paris (above), nor additional cycle rental if you keep the bike with you.

    Not offered after the following trips:
    - the 3-day We-Th-Fr Loire Valley trip
    - the Brittany trip
    Dinner is not included after the Mo & Tu Loire trip (in Tours), and the cost is reduced to 65 € /
    person double, twin or triple; 97€ single.

Optional Extras of Interest to People Travelling for Two or More Days

  • Panier (Saddlebag) Rental:  20€.
  • Private Single Room:  +40€ / night.
    Solo travellers may request a shared room.   You will be accommodated with another traveller of the same gender if one is available.  This option is guaranteed to riders joining the trip at least 35 days in advance:  if no room mate is available, a single room will be provided at no additional cost.  Within 35 days, you may make your sign-up conditional upon the availability of a shared room.   If you do so, you must give us a cut-off date, on which your participation will automatically be canceled and a full refund provided if no roommate has been found.  Or, you may pay the private single room charge upon sign-up, but request a share.  The charge will be rebated if you are, in the end, paired with a roommate.
  • Luggage Transfer:  40€ 1st piece, 20€ per additional piece, per person, per transfer.
    Luggage can be transferred from the start of your first day’s ride to the hotel you will be staying in, between hotels, and from your final hotel to the end of  your last day’s ride, or to Paris, depending on the trip.
    The “additional piece” price only applies to pieces reserved at the same time as the first pieces.  Pieces added subsequently are considered separate shipments, and pay the “1st piece” price.
    Conditions:
    - At least two people must subscribe to a given point-to-point service for it to be offered.
    - 20% discount on the “first piece” price for 4 or more travellers.
    - For the purposes of pricing, guests travelling together are assumed to have evenly distributed luggage, even if one person subscribes and pays for the shipment of all pieces.
    - Other terms and conditions (responsibility, weight limits, pick-up and delivery times) can be consulted here.


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Chateau at Chenonceaux

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Registering for a Trip

Please complete the trip application, and send to us, along with a deposit or full payment, as appropriate.
If you wish to pay by credit card, you may do so on our bank’s secure page, here.
If you wish to pay with a US or C $ check / cheque, convert the € amount to $US here, add 2% to the result, and round down to the nearest whole $.



Cancellations and Refunds

Trips Operate “Rain or Shine

Cancellation of Your Participation
Cancellation of your participation in a trip, and / or of any optional extra services, is effective only when received in writing by our Paris office (fax, post, or e.mail).
For cancellation to be effective, you must obtain a cancellation code.  No refunds will otherwise be made.

With a cancellation code, costs will be refunded less the following amounts:

  • 2 weeks or more prior to trip departure:  30€ / person + 26€ per hotel night included in your trip, per room.
    If you are a Founding Member of a Guest-Initiated departure, or if you received the early sign-up discount, the cancellation charge is 55€ / person.
  • 5 - 13 days prior to trip departure:  55€ / person, + 46€ per hotel night included in your trip, per room.
  • By close of business in our Paris office on the last business day prior to trip departure:  60€ per travel day per person, + 68€ per hotel night included in your trip, per room.

No refunds can be made on or after the start date of the trip.


Cancellation by Us, Blue Marble

In the event of a cancellation, registered participants will have a choice of either:

  • A full refund
  • Making the trip independently, with a “Route Book” provided by us.
    There is no reduction in price if this option is selected.  A Blue Marble representative meets you at the departure station at the regular meeting time, briefs you on the day’s activities, and remits any equipment ordered, as well as the route book.  If applicable, you will return any equipment (such as the bike) to our office on the day following your trip.


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Meeting Your Trip

Trips assemble at the railway stations from which their respective trains depart
Gare de l’Est for trips to Champagne or Alsace
Gare de Bercy for Burgundy
Gare d’Austerlitz for the Loire Valley (Gare Montparnasse for Wednesday departures)
• Gare Montparnasse for Brittany