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Doubs valley

Cycling long the Doubs river, an authentic French experience

At the foot of the Jura from Belfort to Dole on the Eurovelo 6 along the Doubs river

Reference VD0801
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Easy
  • from March to November
  • Minimum age 9 years old
789€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • On this bike trip you will discover a tru authentic French region: the Doubs valley! Your cycling route starts from Belfort, a magnificent city with its citadel and 18th century facades and follows the river Doubs, which meanders majestically. Forests and cliffs are reflected in the green waters of the river. Many small villages invite you to a gourmet stop: you are here in the paradise of cheeses, sausages and other cold meats.
    Your route also passes through the beautiful city of Besançon and Dole, which invite you for a stroll. You will also make a small detour through the forest to reach the royal saltworks of Arc-et-Sénans, revealing the industrial past of this region. This industrial inheritage is also displayed in the very interesting Peugeot museum near Montbéliard.

    Day 1

     
     

    Arrival in Belfort

    You arrive in the beautiful city of Belfort. More than a beautiful Vauban citadel and the sculpture of the lion Bartholdi, which made the city famous, you will find a vibrant city with its wide shopping streets, its quaint squares, its Haussmanian buildings with handsome facades covered with geranium.

    Day 2

     
     

    Belfort - Montbéliard

    Bike
    31km
    You leave Belfort along the banks of the Savoureuse river. You can choose to continue straight along the canal or cross the forest and follow along the Rhine to the Rhone Canal. Your bike route takes you to Sochaux and the Peugeot Museum. Discover this industrial epic before entering the small Renaissance town Montbéliard. Climb to the castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, visit the Saint-Martin temple, the oldest religious building of the Reformation in France and stroll through the medieval streets admiring the houses with their colorful facades. Do not miss in the evening to taste the famous sausage of Montbéliard!

    Day 3

     
     

    Montbéliard - Baume-les-Dames

    Bike
    63km
    Today your bike ride leads you to discover the beautiful loops of the river Doubs. First you have to leave the city and Montbéliard to meander leisurely on bike paths the bucolic edges of this river. From Isle-sur-le-Doubs on the valley becomes majestic and very wild. You wind through the incised valley by steep cliffs, which are the delight of climbers. Very beautiful arrival in the small town Baume-les-Dames, labeled "City of character" at the foot of the rift of Babre.

    Jour 4

     
     

    Baume-les-Dames - Besançon

    Bike
    39km
    The Doubs valley is particularly spectacular after leaving Baume-les-Dames. The bike route is very varied: green banks under steep karst cliffs reverberating in the peaceful waters of the Doubs, small villages with bell towers of colored tiles, towpaths lined with plane trees and old brick paper mills tending their chimneys to the sky. At the bend of a loop you arrive without even noticing at the foot of the citadel of Besançon. Big favorite for this student, vibrant and cultural city.

    Day 5

     
     

    Besançon

    Besançon has a very rich historical and cultural heritage. But it does not boil down to its citadel, which includes not only the Vauban fortifications, but also several museums and a zoo. It is also a vibrant city!
    Stroll through the semi-pedestrian shopping streets of the city center to meet the many students, who scour the bars along the Doubs. This beautiful city is also a high place of watchmaking; do not miss the astronomical clock and the superb museum of time. Finally you can follow the footsteps of the very famous French writer and politician Victor Hugo, who was born in Besançon.

    Day 6

     
     

    Besançon - Arc-et-Sénans

    Bike
    54km
    Leave Besançon riding leisurely on a bike path along the Doubs until the breakthrough of Thoraise: an amazing river tunnel under a waterfall. By bike you have to go up to the village to go down again with a beautiful view in the valley. Shortly after you can choose if you wish to continue along the meanders of the Doubs or to make a small detour towards the caves of Osselle.

    Arrive in the small village of Ranchot and leave the banks of the Doubs to cross the forest of Chaux and reach the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Sénans. This 18th century saline is one of the first modern "factories". It was used to turn the brackish water extracted in Salins, 20 km away in salt.

    Day 7

     
     

    Arc-et-Sénans - Dole

    Bike
    39km
    You cross the forest of Chaux to reach the Doubs. Riding on the towpath of the canal, you pass under beautiful limestone cliffs and fortified villages. In Rochefort-sur-Néron you can climb on the cliffs and admire the beautiful view of the valley. The towpath lined with plane trees leads you to the marina of Dole at the foot of the cathedral. We were charmed by this historical city, birthplace of Louis Pasteur. You will admire the cathedral, the halls, but also at every turn of streets here a crest over a portal, there a carved door etc.

    Day 8

     
     

    Departure from Dole

    Discover Dole, labelled City of Art and History, but also a main spot of French cuisine.

    A regional train brings you back to your starting point if you wish. You can also extend your stay.
  • Accommodation
  • Category B

    You will get a good night’s sleep when you stay in these 3-star hotels or charming Bed and Breakfasts. All properties have been selected for their cleanliness, style and friendliness of the staff. A hearty breakfast is included!
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults (+1m55).



    Luggage

    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.


    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy peacefully the itinerary and its interesting sites.
    You will have in your travel documents :
    • a detailed map (A4 format) of the itinerary that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider
    • a step-by-step description of the itinerary (bound A5 format) giving the direction to follow at each intersection
    • a tourist leaflet containing a brief presentation and useful practical information (opening time, price, contact) about the points of interest along the way

    Example of a map and a step-by-step description


    Le Vélo Voyageur App

    Like a sat nav, the route and directions to follow will be both viewable on the screen of your phone and announced aloud. Discover and enjoy every moment of your trip by following the directions and listening to the descriptions of the point of interest on your way.

    Following the itineray becomes easy as a child's play and you can enjoy the trip instead of concentrating on the maps.
    Your cycling holiday also includes practical information from our partners and all the latest news.

    -> You need to have a smartphone and download the Le Vélo Voyageur app on your Apple or Android store before the trip. During the trip, once the app dowmnloaded, your phone can be off-line
  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:
    • By plane: flight for Bâle (Switzeland) and train to Belfort-Montbeliard TGV (50min).
    • By train: Regional train or TGV to Belfort-Ville or Belfort-Montbeliard TGV. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


     
  • Download
    the trip description
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