Information : The Dolce Via for families in 5 days
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 Ardèche. Then after switching valleys, the ride continues along the Eyrieux river, wild and picturesque. By carefully choosing your start date you'll be able to go from Tournon to Lamastre by the little train of the Vivarais (see details below.)
The former railway tracks, mostly disused since 1968, have become simple trails. However, many remarkable civil engineering works dating from the railway era still remain, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Biking along through this little-known yet magnificent countryside, you'll see the distinctive valleys of the Boutières - part of the mountains of the Ardèche - from a whole new perspective.
The itinerary is relatively gentle and suitable for cycletourists, but as some of the paths are not tarmacked we recommend the use of country bikes with wider-section tyres.
Another tour with longer rides is also proposed for adults : see the details
the train transfer from Tournon to Lamastre along the fabulous historic railway of the Vivarais
biking along former railways now transformed into cycle touring routes
A fully signposted cycle route, away from the traffic, ideal for children
discovering a very authentic Ardeche that the average tourist seldom sees
The many opportunities to cool off in swim in the Eyrieux river
Things to see :
The Rhône Valley. Wines of the Côtes du Rhône: Hermitage and Croze Hermitage.
Dinner and night in a 3 star hotel.
Ride from Lamastre to Le Cheylard
According to the train schedule (please contact us) :
ride to station at Saint-Jean-de-Muzols (6km).
transfer aboard little train of the Vivarais to Lamastre (trip 1hr45).
On other days: taxi transfer from Tournon to Lamastre.
20.5 km with total uphill 270 metres. Level 2/5. Duration about 2hrs 45.
From Lamastre you cycle along the path of the former rail track, now transformed into a foot- and cycle path. It takes you all the way to Le Cheylard. The first part rises gently towards Les Nonnières. It's generally fairly smooth but there are some stony sections. After the tunnel beneath Les Nonnières, the track becomes more even.
All along the way you'll notice fine farms typical of the Ardeche department as well as impressive railway architecture.
Dinner at your leasure and night in 3 star hotel in the center of the village.
From Le Cheylard to Les Ollières sur l'Eyrieux
30 km with total uphill 215 metres. Duration around 3hrs.
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.
From Les Ollières-sur-l’Eyrieux to Soyons
30 km with total uphill 150 metres. Duration 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 Soyons to Tournon-sur-Rhône
35 km with total uphill 125 metres. Duration around 4hr.
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.
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.
*Rates based on a room shared with two adults. Single-parent families, please contact us.
3 nights half-board + 1 night in B&B, *** hotels and guest houses.
Transfer from Tournon to Lamastre by taxi or steam train
Route booklet and maps
Update GPS tracks
Technical and logistical assistance
Bike rental from :
Bike rental for adult or junior (from 1m45) : 85 €
MTB for child (under 1m45) : 55 €
Trailer bike : 55 €
Child seat : 10 €
Electric power bike for adult or junior (from 1m45) : 135 €
What's not included?
Beverage and extra
Parking for your vehicle throughout the holiday : to pay directly
Round trip transfer from Home to the first accomodation
Facultative cancellation and repatriation insurance
Characteristics of circuits
Cycle holiday without guide.
Daily stages between 17 and 60 kms, from 2 to 5hrs cycling at your own pace.
Daily uphill between zero and 750 metres.
Altitudes: between 100 and 1,100 metres.
Most of the time you are on tarmacked roads or earth tracks.
Bike required: country bike (all-purpose).
These outings are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. Your roadbook will guide you from beginning to end, and we provide the logistical and technical support necessary.
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
Merci pour vos propositions de voyages et la qualité de votre service.
Paysage magnifique au coeur de l'Ardèche au fil de l'Eyrieux et au rythme du vélo.
De bons moments passés en famille (en sécurité) et de belles rencontres.
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