You are here:
 

Cycle at your own pace through lush green vineyards on rolling hills; Alpine forests on the banks of crystal lakes; small traditional French villages (stop and taste fresh local cheeses and wines) and fortified castle walls…enjoy the Rhone!

Price:

€885 per person based on double occupancy. Tour price is dependent on time of season and current exchange rates.

Duration: 8 days
Departures: Self-guided tour: starts any Sunday from April through October
Start point: Geneva
End point: Lyon
 

Related articles:

Greentraveller's guide to Lyon, another in the series of Greentraveller's Guides to European cities reachable by train. The guide shows visitors how to make the most of the city's local scene, featuring local food and drink, places to stay, local attractions, activities, and how to travel to and around the city by public transport.

Eurostar has announced a year-round service from London to Geneva via Lille, in partnership with international high-speed train service TGV Lyria, which takes just over 6 hours. The new route will offer passengers a convenient way to travel to some of the most popular destinations in Switzerland, with simple onward connections from Geneva to Aigle, Martigny, Sion, Sierre, Visp and Brig.

Our country-by-country guide to taking your bike onboard the railway networks of Europe. From France to Finland, we provide all the information you need to navigate Europe's railways, as well as taking a look at ways in which some rail networks are encouraging passengers to continue their journey by bike.

Self-Guided Cycling Via Rhona: Geneva to Lyon

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 the lovely Hotel Jade 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 in its many jewellery stores or set sail on the sparkling Geneva Lake, it’s up to you.

Monday: Geneva – Seyssel (approx. 60 km/37 miles)

Following breakfast, you will be met by our guide at your hotel, at 9am, who 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, and has the highest ascent – but the good news is there’s also a whopping 715 metres of downhill to enjoy! 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 – including for stunning panoramas, striking rock formations and historic forts – and you’ll end the day at the Hotel Beau Sejour in Seyssel, a tiny town sandwiched between two river dams.

Tuesday: Seyssel to Champagneux (approx. 53 km/33 miles)

Covering a shorter distance, in an almost straight line, and with a total climb of just 230 metres, this 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 the Hotel Bergeronnettes in Champagneux.

Wednesday: Champagneux to Vertrieu (approx. 52 km/32 miles)

As the flattest day on the tour, this route offers plenty of opportunities to pause along the way. Visit the village of Saint Genix sur Guiers to learn the story of the French Robin Hood; take a break in the Walibi Aquitaine Park (water theme park) near the village of Les Avenieres; or try your hand at the river kayak slalom at Sault-Brénaz. But we would recommend arriving in your final destination Vertrieu before dark, so you can enjoy the 12th century fortified chateau and the charms of your guesthouse, Le Relais du Bac.

Thursday: Vertrieu to Villars-les-Dombes/ Monthieux (approx. 47 km/29 miles)

If you want to start your fifth day with a prehistoric bang, why not take an early morning detour to see the ancient underground grottoes at Les Balme-les-Grottes – home to subterranean lakes, fossils, and even a dinosaur exhibition? If not, that’s okay… there are plenty of other route highlights to enjoy too! You will be cycling all morning through the rolling hills and innumerable lakes of the Dombes, so take a much-deserved lunch break in the pretty town of Chazey-sur-Ain to admire the view. You can also pedal on further to other pretty towns like Villieu Loyes Mollon, Rignieux le Franc and Versailleux. Finally, you will arrive at Villars-les-Dombes, where you can check out the church and the amazing bird park (Le Parc des Oiseaux). In an exceptional natural setting shaped by the river, this 2200 hectare suburban park is one of Europe's largest urban parks located in Lyon’s outskirt. It is a favorite destination for nature activity and outdoor recreational. You’ll then reach your hotel in Monthieux located in the middle of the Gouverneur golf club, the greatest of Rhône-Alpes.

Friday: Monthieux/Villar-les-Dombes to Jons (approx. 43 km/26 miles)

Enjoy the lakes while you can, because today you will be crossing out of the Dombes while edging ever closer to Lyon. There’s not much ground to cover today, so there’s the perfect opportunity for a lie-in, but if you want to enjoy all the sights en route – including towns like Saint Marcel and Meximieux, the natural reserve of Camp de la Valbonne and perhaps some lake swimming – you may wish to start early.

Saturday: Jons to Lyon (approx. 28 km/18 miles)

This is it… the home stretch. Shortly after leaving Jons you can easily spend a morning in the spectacular Miribel-Jonage Park – over 2,200 hectares of protected nature with a range of activities – but then you should push on to Lyon. Why? Because this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of France’s finest cities. With your luggage waiting in your hotel, you are free to spend the remainder of the day exploring the urban Parc de la Tete d'Or, taking a cable car up to the stunning Notre-Dame de Fourviere basilica on the hill or simply walking around the Old Town with its pretty medieval cathedral. Or, in fact, anything else that tickles your fancy.

Sunday: Departure

After breakfast, depart at the time of your choice

The doesn’t include:

- Drinks
- Expenses of personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Bicycle rentals (see specs below). Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 95 euros per bike. Aluminum racing bikes are available at the price of 145 euros per bike. Full-carbon bikes are available at the price of 210 euros per bike. A fee of 20 euros per bike is added if clients don’t return the bikes to Geneva.

Check out the page listed below to get information on how to travel by train with a bike in France:
http://cyclomundo.com/blog/travel-tips/traveling-with-a-bike-on-trains-in-france/

What price includes

 
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast and 4 dinners
  • Meeting with our local representative
  • Detailed marked maps and/or cue sheets Pre-loaded GPS unit
  • Luggage transfers
  • All tax and service charges
 

Location

 

Plan your journey by train

Meeting point:
Geneva

Nearest train station to meeting point:
Geneva Cornavin station

Transfer to meeting point:
Guests make their own way to meeting point

How to get there:
Train from London to Paris, change to Geneva train

 
Plan your journey by train to Geneva
 

Plan your journey by train

Finish point:
Lyon

Nearest train station to finish point:
Lyon Part-Dieu station

Transfer to finish point:
Guests make their own way to station

How to get back:
Train from Lyon to Paris and on to London

 
Plan your return train journey from Lyon