Information : La Dolce Via, a family cycling holiday
French / German
A cycling holiday in the Ardèche that is ideal for the whole family. You begin on the Dolce Via and reach your goal on the well-known ViaRhôna. The Dolce Via is a track laid out along a former railway line, well away from motorists.The great advantage is that you can ride with your children in complete peace of mind. The itinerary runs through the unspoilt landscapes of the Ardèche: you ride along the Eyrieux river, admiring the handsome works of distant railway architects along the way, and enjoying the Ardèche mountains with their characteristic valleys. This bike trip, perfectly adapted to all levels of cyclist, will delight both the young and not-so-young.
The trip by steam train between Tournon and Lamastre (varies according to your schedule)
The novelty of cycling along the bed of a former railway
A fully signposted cycle route, away from the traffic, ideal for children
The discovery of a calm and somewhat secret part of the Ardèche
The many opportunities to cool off in swim in the Eyrieux river
This is where your family holiday really starts - Tournon-sur-Rhône. The town is 20 km north of Valence, in the heart of the Rhône Valley. If you don't yet know the Ardèche, you’re in for a treat. Tournon is overlooked by sloping vineyards where the grapes of Saint-Joseph AOP wine are grown. You may even like to enjoy your first evening in Tournon with a glass of Côtes-du-Rhône…
Dinner and night in a 3 star hotel.
Ride from Lamastre to Le Cheylard
20.5 km stage with total rise of 240 metres – estimated time around 2hrs45
Depending on your schedule, you kids may be able to go aboard the “Mastrou” – a 1hr 45 trip in the steam train of the Vivarais. But if that’s not possible, you’ll be taxied from your hotel up to Lamastre.
Now get to enjoy La Dolce Via! Your journey down the former railway starts in Lamastre. The cycle greenway path takes you all the way to Le Cheylard.
This evening you make your own eating arrangements, then go on to your 3-star hotel in Le Cheylard.
Ride in the vicinity of Le Cheylard
15km stage – total rise 110 m – Around 2 hours
It’s a superb circuit starting from Le Cheylard, with lovely broad views. At first you follow the former railway along the banks of the Eyrieux. Then you gain a little height on the Dolce Via to enjoy a delightful landscape of fields and orchards.
Variant : 25.5km with total rise of 250 m.
In the evening you make your own eating arrangements then spend the night in the 3-star hotel in the heart of the little town of Le Cheylard.
From Le Cheylard to Les Ollières-sur-Eyrieux
30km stage – total rise 215m – About 3 hours
You start by cycling downstream along the Eyrieux, and you are sure to notice a good few old mills. Once you have descended towards the valley, you come to the Dolce Via. This is undoubtedly the toughest part of the ride, and you would be wise to get off and push your bike if in any doubt, especially concerning the children. Take your time, the terraced landscape is lovely, and the orchards abundant.
Dinner and night in comfortable lodgings and food in pleasant B+B on the banks of the Eyrieux.
Ride in the vicinity of Les Ollières-sur-Eyrieux
Fifth day already, and time for a dose of relaxation and fun activities to make the most of the joys of the riverside.
Your kids will be happy to choose between various activities suitable for families. A 4.5km descent in a canoe, starting from the village? A modest cycle down to a superb bathing spot? Or how about a tree, rock and river adventure for the energetic (secured itineraries for all levels, of course)?
Dinner and night in a comfortable lodgings and tasty food in pleasant B+B on the banks of the Eyrieux.
From Les Ollières-sur-l’Eyrieux to Charmes-sur-Rhône
Stage of 30km – total rise 150 m - Around: 3hrs
The hills give way progressively to the Rhône Valley. You leave the Dolce Via too and find yourself on part of the great long distance green road - the ViaRhôna - that stretches down from the Alps to the Mediterranean sea. Why not enjoy a short pause splashing about in the river – very refreshing and the kids will thank you for a break in the shade beneath one of the ancient Roman bridges.
Dinner and night in a 3- or 4-star hotel (according to availability).
Cycle ride from Charmes-sur-Rhône to Tournon-sur-Rhône
35km Stage - total rise – About 4hrs
To complete your Ardèche cycling holiday, you pedal along the ViaRhôna. Never far from the broad river Rhône, sometimes on the left bank, sometimes the right, you glide past a landscape marked by the presence of great orchards. But before you get to Tournon-sur-Rhône, you make your way through the lively town of Valence where the town centre of this erstwhile Roman settlement makes a really enjoyable place to pause and look around.
Dinner and night in 3-star hotel.
Your cycling trip along the Dolce Via and ViaRhôna is coming to an end. You leave your cycling companion at the hotel, if you have rented it from Safran tours. At breakfast you can reminisce about your family adventure.
*Rates based on a room shared with two adults. Single-parent families, please contact us.
5 accommodation is half-board, and 2 B&B - 3 star hotels or 3 'épis' guest houses.
Detailed road-book and maps are provided.
Update GPS tracks.
We provide technical and logistical support.
Baggage transfers are organised by us.
Transfer from Tournon to Lamastre by steam train or by taxi
Return transfer from Les Ollières to Tournon
Bike rental from :
Bike rental for adult or junior (from 1m45) : 115 €
Mountain bike for child (under 1m45) : 70 €
Trailer bike or bike cart for child : 70 €
Child seat : 10 €
Electric power bike for adult or junior (from 1m45) : 190 €
What's not included?
Parking for your vehicle throughout the holiday : private parking to pay directly at the hotel or public parking in the street
Beverage and extra
Return transfer from Home to the first accomodation
Facultative cancellation and repatriation insurance
Characteristics of circuits
A to B itinerary suitable for family groups.
Daily stages from 15 - 35 kilometres, between 2 and 4 hours cycling at your own pace.
Total uphill between 50 and 515 metres.
Altitudes from 350- 700 metres
Cycling is mainly along the former railway trail and small country roads.
Suitable for country- or mountain bikes.
The rides are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. We transport your luggage to each stopover location. A detailed roadbook will be your guide throughout your trip. We also provide the logistical and technical support necessary.
On long-stay holidays, you change accommodation every other day, which gives you time to discover your surroundings, or simply take it easy.
Accommodation is in either 2 or 3 star/'épis' guest houses or hotels, chosen for their atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural setting. As the holidays are half-board, picnics are extra; you may like to order picnics when you book.
N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may have to be modified according to availability at the moment when final reservation is confirmed.
Highway A7 exit 13 Tournon sur Rhône
Airport Marseille-Provence or airport Lyon St-Exupéry + train to Tain l'hermitage railway station + taxi to the accomodation (5 mn)
Gare SNCF Tain l'hermitage (railway station) situated 20 mn far by foot or 5 mn taxi to the accomodation
Le circuit (dans ce sens) est accessible aux enfants, même réticents ;-) Il est vraiment très beau, très agréable, ombragé et jamais loin de l'eau avec ses loisirs et ses vertus rafraichissantes.
We had a wonderful holiday with our two children (age 10 and 14). This is a beautiful part of the country and the cycle paths are excellent with very few people on them. Our highlight was les Ollières - Aquarock canoeing + paddleboarding were great fun and the Pass'Eyrieux is a fantastic place to stay. We did this tour in August 2022 when it was extremely hot but still fun (it was best to cycle in the morning!).
Nous avons été enchantés par le séjour proposé; les prestataires correspondent exactement à l'offre annoncée, voire parfois encore mieux !
We had an excellent time cycling La DOlce Via. The trip was very well organized and the trail was fantastic.
Une très belle semaine à vélo sur la Dolce Via. Nous sommes partis à 2 familles et avons apprécié l'organisation de notre voyage. Des paysages au Top !
1er séjour 100% vélo pour notre famille avec 2 ados en Ardèche. Belle première expérience avec un circuit bien aménagé et de magnifiques panoramas: prêts à repartir avec Safrantours !
Séjour au top, une très belle première expérience, à refaire dans une autre région !
Une belle itinérance en famille, dans des très beaux paysages et de belles rencontres.
Un beau séjour, facile avec les enfants, dans le calme et la simplicité près de la nature et du terroir.
Une semaine de vélo en famille sur des routes tranquilles et des paysages spectaculaires. Petits hébergements au charme local et dîners à base de produits locaux. Les distances journalières sont courtes (20-30 km), et il existe des endroits pour se baigner ou s’arrêter et profiter du pique-nique. Notre fils a 8 ans et, à l'exception des longues montées, il a pu terminer son parcours sans problème sur son vélo (au mois d'août).
Jolie aventure, enrichissantes rencontres et délicieuses saveurs locales.
Nous avons beaucoup aimé le voyage dans le MASTROU jusqu'à LAMASTRE; joli parcours jusqu'au CHEYLARD avec un très bon accueil ( très bonne table ) ; très bon accueil à la ferme de Laudie. Bilan :un séjour agréable.
Première rando itinérante en famille. Super expérience collective. Belle rando, nature encore sauvage et préservée, très bonne organisation de la part de Safran, pas de surprise dans le parcours et les hébergements. Nous envisageons déjà de recommencer l’année prochaine.
Nous avons passé un très bon séjour.
1ère expérience de vélo en itinérance avec 2 enfants de 9 et 12 ans. Rien à redire. Tout le monde était triste que ça s'arrête déjà !
This trip is really the Dolce Vi(t)a in the Ardèche! The holiday begins along the bed of the former railway track - now actually known as the "Dolce via" - which once linked Lamastre to Le Cheylard through the mountains of the…
A cycling holiday created especially for families. It's great fun to follow the river and its affluents along minor country roads and paths with very little traffic. Far off the cliffs of the Vercors Nature Park add a touch of grandeur to the already…