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about Cycling Magnolias
The best cycling playground on earth: endless and quiet river, forest and mountain roads, ancient villages and gourmet eating.  If you feel like either a gentle or competitive, forest-mountain-river-medieval-gourmet cycling holiday in the South West of France, in an ideal road environment, then please read on!
Dietmar and I retired from corporate life in 2009 and spend our time between our homes in South Africa  and South West France.  Our home in France is close to a beautiful medieval village called Plaisance, situated between the Tarn and the Aveyron in the midi-Pyrenees, where we own a boutique 22 bedroom hotel, Les Magnolias.  Plaisance is surrounded by gentle mountains, indigenous oak and chestnut forests, streams and the magnificent river Tarn.
As a passionate cyclist I assure you that Plaisance and its surroundings represent one of the greatest cycling playgrounds on earth!

The roads of the area are quiet and in excellent condition and offer hundreds of kilometers of perfect cycling territory between ancient villages and towns. The rich and diverse local produce make for tasty gourmet eating and the Tour de France passes close by the area each year.

Cycling Magnolias was established to encourage individuals cyclists from different parts of the world to visit us and share an extraordinary cycling environment in a most authentic part of ancient France.  Our clients vary from individuals, groups and families who wish to combine gentle and fun outdoor cycling with the experience of the area, to serious cyclists looking for an opportunity to train for long distance racing.  We offer both guided and self-guided programs.

Our role is to support our clients in planning one of the most special cycling trips of their lives!  Over 20 cycling routes, ranging from 20 kms to 150 kms and with elevation gains of up to 3000 m per route with refreshment stops, gourmet restaurants and historic attractions have been prepared.  The routes cover over 1000 kms!   Cycling Magnolias also assists cyclists with recovery and following vehicles.

Cyclists are based at Plaisance throughout the duration of their trip, with all routes leaving and returning to Les Magnolias each day.  Cycling can therefore be combined with Day Trips to various nearby historic towns and villages, such as the World Heritage Site town of Albi, Cordes, Roquefort, Millau and the Tarn Gorge.

As we are based in Tour de France territory (its gentler routes!), we also organize guided 8 Night Tour de France programs each year taking our clients to watch various arrivals, departures or passings of the tour.


Adriaan and Dee

“The hotel accommodation, service and food were 5 star. The cycling routes were fantastic. A special thanks for these well planned routes which offer a combination of hard and gentle training, from river valleys to mountain tops, from chateaux to cafés on quite beautiful roads. We had a fantastic holiday with exceptional cycle routes and wonderful village experience in a perfect setting. Very well organised to the last detail. Well done Claudia (‘A’ personality).

R Loots

“The memories of this tour can only be captured in our hearts, because photo’s don’t have emotions & don’t paint the same pictures, it was an experience of a life time”

A Henning

“Wow! From easy, pleasant and beautiful family rides along the Tarn river, interrupted by the occasional refreshing swim, to seriously challenging hill-climbs and long rides, Plaisance has it all.  The rural French villages, history, restaurants and natural beautiful also add a huge variety of interest for those who prefer not to bruise their bums. It is an ideal place for a group with very mixed cycling abilities and interests. Thanks Claudia!”

Mieke Jordaan

“This was a wonderful experience, to cycle in France among the beautiful forests and between the little towns with its charming and romantic history hidden in the ancient buildings, so well kept.

As for our hosts; Claudia and Dietmar, thanks a lot!! You did everything in your power in a very professional way to make our stay very pleasant, arranging lovely evenings with the local festivities, as well as visits to places of interest, not to mention your hospitality at Hotel Les Magnolias and your house.

We highly recommend this trip to any enthusiastic cyclist and his spouse”

Marulette Pelser

Hi Claudia,  I have been spending my holidays in Plaisance for the past 30 years, at my old family house close to the Magnolias hotel. I wanted to let you know that the trip that you organised for me this summer was one of the most beautiful sport/tourism experiences of my life – perfect bike, organisation on top, weather beautiful (like all of the time in Plaisance…).

Thank you also for understanding my requirements and allowing me to combine riding with swimming in the Tarn – as I have told you, I am a big fan of the AQUATHLON.

Bye and thank you so much and see your next year with many friends who want to bike !!!!”