Essentials for anoraks (like me and Stuart Marshall)

Maps. Can you ever have too many maps?

All our tours are mapped on a website called You can look at our routes in minute detail, zoom in to see every turn and path we take, and you can check on the hills! We all know this is the most important bit. It’s probably the most common question I’m asked – how many hills are there? Are the hills very steep? etc.

I’ve been told many, many times that my view of what constitutes a hill isn’t very reliable! So you can work it out yourself by clicking on the links at the bottom of each day’s itinerary.

I thought I’d work through our new Languedoc tour, and illustrate some of the distances and the degree of difficulty each day. Let’s see if this works …

Day 1. Villeneuve-les-Avignon to Arles.

Distance: 51 Km
Total climb: 327 m
Click to see Day 1 of our Languedoc tour Itinerary.

Languedoc Itinerary Day 1
Languedoc Itinerary Day 1
You can choose to show the whole day. This image shows that we start from close to Avignon, and manages to obliterate the fact that we end up in Arles, close the Camargue Natural Park.




Languedoc Itinerary Day 1 close up of Abbey of St Romain
Languedoc Itinerary Day 1 close up of Abbey of St Romain
In the 2nd image, I’ve zoomed in on our route as we visit the troglodyte Abbey of St Romain near Beaucaire. It’s an abbey hollowed out of the limestone on a plateau high above the Rhone valley. This is the ‘satellite’ view, and you can see that our route takes us to the Abbey, then retraces our steps to rejoin the cycle route next to the River Rhone.

The entire width of this image is about 400 metres.

Where are the hills?

The elevation of Day 1, Languedoc
The elevation of Day 1, Languedoc
Here’s the important view! (Click the elevation chart to enlarge it) This shows us the elevation throughout the day. You can easily see that the day is almost completely flat, except for the ride up to the Troglodyte Abbey. It’s worth it, obvs., or it wouldn’t be on our itinerary. But you can’t get to the Abbey and claim I never told you about the hill!

These graphs always makes hills look more brutal than the reality. The total climb is only about 100 metres, but the rest of the day is so flat it looks like a gigantic mountain. It ain’t, trust me.

And in case you’re interested, here’s the abbey. Beautiful views from here too, panoramic views of the Rhone Valley (Again, click to enlarge).

Troglodyte Abbey of Saint-Roman (c)
Troglodyte Abbey of Saint-Roman (c)

Day 2. Arles to Aigues Mortes.

Distance: 54 Km
Total climb: 91 m
Click to see our Day 2 Itinerary.

You can zoom right in to see the streets. So here in Aigues Mortes, the route takes you to the front door of the Hotel Les Arcades.

All the way to the hotel
All the way to the hotel

Day 3. Aigues Mortes to Le Grau du Rau (and back).

Distance: 30 Km
Total climb: 48 m
Click to see our Day 3 Itinerary.

Day 4. Aigues Mortes to Nimes.

Distance: 54 Km
Total climb: 303 m
Click to see our Day 4 Itinerary.

Day 5. Nimes to Uzes.

Distance: 29 Km
Total climb: 487 m
Click to see our Day 5 Itinerary.

Elevation from Nimes to Uzes
Elevation from Nimes to Uzes
The Hardest Day Of The Week. I thought I’d show you the hardest day of the week – if only to show you that it really isn’t that hard. This is the elevation view from Nimes to Uzes. It’s only 29 Km, because we won’t be able to leave Nimes very early – there’s just too much to see.

You can see the climb up onto the Garrigues, but even so we don’t climb beyond 200 meters – very civilised.

Day 6. Uzes to Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

Distance: 52 Km
Total climb: 498 m
Click to see our Day 6 Itinerary.

Total 271 Km (170 miles)
Total climb 1,121 meters.
Click to see our whole Languedoc tour Itinerary.

I know not everyone is as interested in maps as I am. But you can explore all of our tours in tiny detail by clicking on our ‘itinerary’ links. You can also download the routes as .gpx files and import them to your garmin or phone. That way, when I inevitably get lost, someone can tell me the way. Everybody wins!

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