Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014, the 101st Tour de France is shortly upon us and cycling enthusiasts will be getting the opportunity once again to test their cycling legs from Leeds all the way to Paris, covering a distance of 3,656 km.
For the first time the ’Grand Depart’ will set-off from Harrogate in Leeds and will pass close to La Durantie as stage 16 reaches Carcassonne.
Each stage city will offer a range of activities to crowds, creating a fantastic atmosphere for everyone involved. In the UK free fan parks will be held, where spectators can watch the Tour de France live on the giant screen, follow the stage of the day, relive its highlights, and enjoy the festival atmosphere that the Tour brings.
For the French, the Tour is a national celebration and it is a great honour for the towns and cities that are chosen as host venues. Every year hundreds of thousands of spectators line the streets of every village, hamlet and roadside to be part of the festivities.
For those visiting La Durantie this July, the best place to soak up the atmosphere of the Tour de France, is the stunning town of Carcassonne, on the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France. Listed as a World Heritage Site, Carcassonne is one of France’s most dramatic cities, and offers a maze of old lanes and streets with a double protective medieval wall and a fortress with turrets looking out onto the River Aude. The city is located approximately an hour and a half drive away from La Durantie and also gives people the wonderful opportunity to discover Toulouse and the beautiful countryside en route, making for a lovely day out. There’s nothing quite like being in the medieval city watching the Tour de France roll by!
With the explosion of UK cycling, due to the successes of riders like Bradley Wiggins and Olympians Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, this year’s Tour de France will create an influx of cycling activity and interest in the sport. Not only does cycling appeal to the younger generations, it is very common to see middle aged men in lycra on the roads too!
Given the varied Mediterranean landscape throughout France, it is a very popular destination for all levels of cyclists. Research carried out by The Tarn Tourist Board Research (2013) shows that the most popular pastime in the Tarn region is walking followed by VTT (Biking). Subsequently the Tarn Tourist Board are increasing the number of bike routes and walking routes around the Tarn tying in with hotels, wine tourism trails, heritage trails, and restaurants.
With its sleepy villages, meandering river and rolling hills, the stunning landscapes of the Tarn are ideal for exploration on two wheels. There are many different cycling routes on offer suitable for all abilities, whether you are an amateur or pro! Cyclists can travel through stunning vineyards, down wooded slopes, through tranquil villages, and along the quiet lanes on the river banks.
If you are cycling in the Castelnau area why not pop-in and see Jeanne Boden in the sales office for a cup of coffee and a quick tour of Chateau de La Durantie. Visitors are always welcome!