Cycling holiday Paris to Bruges

Paris to Bruges

Architecture, culture & history

Starting at € 1.850,-
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Summary
  • 15 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 48 km average per day
  • Arrival Paris Airport
  • Departure Paris Airport
Highlights
  • Paris, the French capital
  • Gent, medieval town
  • Armistice place near Compiegne
  • Historic town of Cambrai
Characteristics
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Bikelevel 2

    On some days you will be cycling through a windy area; with distances to 50 kilometers per day.

Architecture, culture & history

This bike and barge tour starts in the heart of Paris and offers you a two-week bike and boat trip in two (or three!) countries. History is abundant on this tour. Several historical towns, museums,castles, a varied landscape.

The first week you will experience riding in forests and lower hills, in the second week you’re in flatland. The ship follows the river Seine downstream for a while. From Conflans it goes upstream the Oise river. After Compiegne the ship follows a canal with many locks towards the Belgian border. The river Escaut (Schelde) is the next waterway, until Gent. The last stretch, to Bruges, is in a canal again

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Saturday: Paris

    After arrival and welcome at the barge on the mooring place, the barge leaves from its berth for a boat tour through Paris and on the Seine.

  • Day 2 Sunday: Paris-Bougival

    Depending on the mooring place, you will traverse Sunday-morning Paris with relatively less traffic, following the Seine-river. This first day has some serious slopes to conquer (Paris is not flat!). We will go through parks (Bois de Boulogne) and forest to Versailles (lunch) where we will visit the park. Through Sunday afternoon quiet suburbs we will find our way. Option: visit to chateau/museum of Malmaison (Napoleon and Josephine). Mooring near Bougival.

  • Day 3 Monday: Bougival-Auvers sur Oise 30 km.

    In the morning we follow a bike trail along the river to nearby St. Germain-en-Laye. From the bridge to the castle is a ca. 1 km. slope. The French kings had many luxurious dwellings in and near Paris. From St. Germain the court finally moved to Versailles.In the castle houses a fine prehistoric museum. Coffee stop. We follow the river more or less and will have lunch in the next town. End of this Seine-day is in Conflans Ste.
    Honorine, a once busy river port. From here the ship will sail upstream the Oise river to Auvers. This nice little town is connected with the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who spent his last months here, producing a large number of paintings. Guided walk.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Auvers sur Oise – Creil 35 km.

    An early sailing brings us quite a distance upstream. The bike ride leads us to the forest around Chantilly. Here an impressive chateau (art) can be visited. In case it is closed (Tuesdays off season) a good alternative is a visit to the former abbey of Royaumont.After Chantilly the longer ride-option offers you a nice ride to the historic town of Senlis (Roman traces, cathedral) and a beautiful wooded landscape back to the river in Creil.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Creil – Compiegne 40 km.

    Another early sailing on the Oise-river starts your day. Cycling away from the river you’ll hardly experience the very moderate slope. After coffee stop we are heading for the immense Compiegne forest. On our way to there, you’ll see a ruin of a chapel and impressive Roman excavations. Lunch in a village in the forest. Pierrefonds castle is a must-see! All the way back to the river is in the forest. Compiegne is waiting for us. It’s a nice town. Palace-museum. You can join a guided walk in this historic town (Joan of Arc).

  • Day 6 Thursday: Compiegne – Noyon 45 km.

    An open space in the forest of Compiegne is connected with two truces of two World Wars (Clairière d’Armistice). There is a small museum to be visited. After the coffee stop we
    enter a lovely wooded valley on our way to the north. In one of the villages we can have our lunch. In the afternoon we are heading for the old town of Noyon with it’s immense cathedral. At it’s foot there is a nice historic museum. Another nearby little museum is dedicated to the reformer Calvin who was born here. Mooring near Noyon.

  • Day 7 Friday: Noyon- Peronne 60 km.

    Because of the distance the first leg of this daytrip is often covered by sailing. We are entering the wide agricultural area of Northern France, also site of fierce fighting in the
    war of 1914-1918. You’ll encounter military cemeteries in this vast area. Coffeestop and lunch in a small town and village. In the afternoon we are heading for the Canal du Nord.
    Near one of the locks we might meet our ship. If not, the last stretch is a nice ride with a stop near the river Somme to our destination today, Péronne. Dinner in town today.

  • Day 8 Saturday: Peronne – Moislains 20 km.

    Day in Peronne. The Historial, the war museum in the castle is worth while visiting. There is another small local museum in the centre. Participants who are even more interested in
    the history of the Great War ‘14-’18 could use their day off for a visit to one or more places connected with the 1st World War. To the west, direction Amiens was the Australian
    sector. Visit on your own initiative. Ask your guide for information at the beginning of your journey. If there are enough interested guests a tour along interesting WW1 sites will be organized
    by a local guide with great knowledge of the Great War (not included in price).

  • Day 9 Sunday: Moislains – Arleux 55 km.

    The sailing towards the end of the canal near Arleux takes a long time because of the ship traffic and many locks. The captain might leave on Saturday afternoon already to make the
    next day easier for guests and crew! The bike ride starts near Moislains and you will encounter only a few minor slopes. Coffee stop in a village and lunch probably in Cambrai. For a while (16th century) this town was part of the Netherlands! Easy cycling afterwards to the end of Canal du Nord near Arleux.

  • Day 10 Monday: Arleux – Valenciennes 50 km.

    A day in the north of France. The name of Arleux is connected with garlic, important ingredient used in the French kitchen. Between the English Channel and the German
    Ruhr-area in a relatively narrow belt there was a major coalmining industry in the 19th and the first three quarters of the 20th century. This is still visible in the landscape. Red brick
    buildings are abundant here. Option: visit to a coalmine-museum. Bouchain has an old fortress and a small museum. Valenciennes is a bigger town with all facilities belonging to
    that (museums etc.)

  • Day 11 Tuesday: Valenciennes-Tournai 60 km.

    Into Belgium. The town of Escaudin has an monday-market. Good place to stop for a while! After the coffee stop in another small town we’ll enter St. Amand-les-Eaux with its impressive tower. Time for lunch! Towards Tournai we can take the longer ride in a beautiful forest area, cross the river Escaut and find our way on quiet countryroads towards the Belgian border. Along the Escaut-river we cycle into Tournai. If necessary, we can take a shortcut after St. Amand. Tournai is famous for its historic town centre. Highlight is the cathedral with its five towers. Mooring near the city centre, at walking distance.

  • Day 12 Wednesday: Tournai – Oudenaarde 45km.

    Cycling to Oudenaarde is easy, just following the river Escaut. After crossing the language-border(coffee stop), the river is called Schelde. An alternative with just a few slopes a bit further away from the river is an option. Near the lunch place the hill-lovers have a chance to prove their climbing capacities! Nearby are two of the (in!)famous cobblestone covered roads up to the hill (12 and 20 % slope. A beautiful bikepath on a former railroad track leads us to near Oudenaarde. Highlights in town: townhall with tapestries, bicycle centre Tour of Flanders, church, beer brewery. On the market-edge you’ll find several café’s. Mooring ca. 1 km. from the market square. Walk in town.

  • Day 13 Thursday: Oudenaarde – Gent 45 km.

    The ride to Gent is nice. First part is along the river, with visit to the former location of an abbey and castle of Ename (3 km’s from Oudenaarde). Quiet roads, patches of forest, some villages and nice bike paths lead us to Merelbeke (lunch). We are near Gent already. Via bike-friendly roads we cycle into the centre where you will have time to visit some of the highlights (St. Baafs cathedral with the famous triptych ‘Mystic Lamb’, the castle, museum of fine arts etc. You will like Gent! It is a very lively town (more than 250.000 inh.) partly because of its many young inhabitants (university students). Well lit Gent in the evening is another experience. Dinner in town this evening.

  • Day 14 Friday: Gent – Brugge 40 km.

    Between Gent and Bruges you will experience the typical landscape of Flanders. Fields with all kind of crops, winding country roads, small towns, some forest. After Nevele (coffee stop) Poeke, with its castle and park and two café’s on the square near the church is a good place to have lunch. On our further way towards Bruges we will find some villages and patches of forest and of course a café to have a tea stop. Then we will encounter the canal and follow it into Bruges. The mooring is at the very beginning of town, so no ride in busy traffic necessary. At the end of the afternoon the guide can show you some of the highlights of town.

  • Day 15 Saturday: Bruges

    After breakfast your bike-and barge tour comes to an end.

Cycling from Paris to Bruges

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Gps-tracks can be provided by e-mail.

Boarding in Paris

What else do you need to know?

Prices are per person 2021

Feniks
Luxury twin cabin: € 2.490,- 
Twin cabin: € 2.160,-
Cabin with bunk bed: € 1.850,-
Bunk bed cabin single use: € 2.650,-

Not included
Rental bike: € 190,-
Rental E-bike: € 350,-

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking.

Included

  • All nights on board, cabin in the booked category;
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels possible)
  • 12 x three course dinner with wine and cheese)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Bicycle insurance
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited availabe in lounge and on deck
  • Route information

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 30,- per tour
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Info

You are expected at the barge on Saturday afternoon, between 11.00 AM and 14.00 PM. You can bring your luggage earlier to the barge, but not before 10.30 AM. We are busy cleaning the barge, but we can provide you with suggestions to have a nice walk into town. The mooring place of the barge Feniks in Paris Bassin de la Villette, Quai de la Seine, Paris.

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle By train it is about 30 minutes from the airport to the railway station Gare du Nord A taxi from the airport to the mooring place will take about 60 minutes and costs about € 80

Train

From Gare du Nord by Metro it will take about 13 minutes to the metro station Stalingrad, after arrival the barge is in walking distance, about 12 minutes. The tour ends two weeks later in Bruges, so another possibility is to fly to Brussels Airport From Bruges you can take the train to the airport. Travel time is about 1.5 hours.

Car

Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. More information on parkings in Paris can be found at the following site www.Parisinfo.com

End of the tour

The tour ends two weeks later in Bruges on Saturday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Bruges. The mooring place of the barge in Bruges: ‘Buiten Katelijnevest’ near the Bargeweg (nearly 1 km/ 0.6 miles from the train station). There is a good train connection to Paris .Travel time is about 2.45 hours and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs about € 85

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have triple cabins. There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as Standard Plus but with twin beds), Comfort Plus (cabins as Comfort, small ship or with air-conditioning) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star ship; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning). In all categories the cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 26 people.

Cycling in Holland

Holland is a cycling country: 17 million inhabitants all with bikes. The number of cyclists necessitates a cycling infrastructure: cycle paths (30,000 km), cycle routes (long and short distance), cycle bridges, cycle tunnels, cycle ferries and special signposts for cyclists. Cycling is part of normal life in the Netherlands; parents bring their children to school by bike, people go to work by bike, factory workers, doctors, even the prime minister! Cyclists, of course, have to observe traffic rules and regulations. The most important rule is to remember that you are not alone on your bike and that you are sharing the road with your group and other road users. Your guide on board will tell you all you need to know about the traffic rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but at least 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet or vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Do I have to wear a safety helmet in the Netherlands

    No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with all our own rental bikes.

  • What happens when it rains?

    Most of the participants then wear rainwear. When the weather is so bad that cycling becomes really impossible (and that is almost never the case!), The guide organizes an alternative program with, for example, cultural excursions and city tours.

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. An Bord die gemeinsame Sprache ist Englisch.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    No, the barge doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.