Cycling routes

Cycling Magnolias has carefully designed over 20 cycling routes, ranging from 20kms to 150kms with elevation gains of up to 3000 meters each and covering over 1000 kms of indigenous forest, river and mountain roads through medieval villages and towns in the Tarn and Aveyron regions of South West France in the midi-Pyrenees.  All rides start from and end at the beautiful Les Magnolias hotel in Plaisance. Different refreshment stops, restaurants and places of historic significance enhance the character of each route.  All of our routes can be downloaded from Ride With GPS with a summary of each route available below.

Once familiar with the area, route variations and combinations are easily achieved. The road environment is extremely well maintained and very few stretches on any cycling route encounter much more than the local post office van or odd motorcar.   All of our routes remain on small or secondary roads with very few exceptions.   A basic level of fitness is recommended on all bike routes however our impressive selection of electric bikes ensures that everyone is able to experience all of our routes regardless of their level of fitness.  The easier routes can also be perfect as relaxed family cycling day trips with children, combined with swimming and lunch stops at one of the many of the stunning medieval villages surrounding Plaisance.

The area should be described as one of the most unspoilt, undiscovered and poorly marketed cycling regions in the world!  A “rescue vehicle”, is available for those who decide to enjoy longer lunches and not ride back to Plaisance, whether on a guided or self-guided holiday.  A “following vehicle” is available on guided tours.

Trebas 20

A quick 20 km ride mostly downhill to the Trebas barrage at the Tarn and then a gentle uphill from the Trebas bridge through a cool forest road back to the Magnolias. Perfect for completing a rest day or tourist’s day out with some exercise, or as a lazy day’s ride to the Chanterelle at Trebas for lunch followed by a very slow one back through the forest.

Distance, Elevation Gain 20 kms, 523 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (4)
Refreshment Stops Trebas Café
Restaurants La Chanterelle
Historic Interest None
MArtin 22

A short but relatively tough ride through forest and steep mountain roads to Martrin and then a long glorious downhill ride through forest to Coupiac. Plentiful blackberries on the way up to Martin and then beautiful views of the Coupiac chateau on the downhill to Coupiac. In July and August the morning market is open at Coupiac on Wednesdays with delicacies of the area on sale next to the café area.

Distance, Elevation Profile 22 kms, 501 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (5.5)
Refreshment Stops Coupiac Café/Market
Restaurants La Caminada
Historic Interest Coupiac Chateau
Lincou 35

Easy and beautiful start down to Trebas barrage and then along the Tarn towards Brousse until Lincou, then across the Lincou bridge and to the right, up the mountain forest road on the southern part of the Tarn to Plaisance.

Distance 35 kms
Difficulty /10 Mountain, River (6)
Refreshment Stops Lincou Chateau
Restaurants Lincou Chateau
Historic Interest None
ambialet 42

Another easy and simply beautiful ride all the way, 20 kilometers each way along the Tarn river and stunning cool forest roads. A bonus with this one is that Ambialet offers a perfect swimming opportunity beneath the main bridge at the cannoeing station.

Distance, Elevation Gain 42 kms, 921 m
Difficulty /10 River (4)
Refreshment Stops Café de La Presqu’ile, La Parenthese Café
Restaurants Logis Hotel Restaurant Du Pont
Historic Interest View of Franciscan Monastery
brousse 52

This is a relatively easy ride starting with a mostly downhill stretch to the Tarn and then along the Tarn river for most of the distance followed by a fairly gentle uphill through cool forest back to the Magnolias.

Distance, Elevation Profile 52 kms, 1024 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain, River (6)
Refreshment Stops Lincou Chateau, Le Relays-du-Chasteau
Restaurants Le Relays-du-Chasteau
Historic Interest Brousse Chateau
brousse ambialet 74

This is a compulsory all-day-out ride, and not just for softies. Perfect long training route on quiet flat river roads mostly along the Tarn for the very serious, but also stunning historic experiences at Brousse and Ambialet as well as swimming at Ambialet for the fit but less serious.

Distance, Elevation Gain 74 kms, 1541 m
Difficulty /10 River (4.5)
Refreshment Stops Lincou Chateau, Le Relays-du-Chasteau, Trebas Café, Café de La Presqu’ile, La Parenthese Café
Restaurants Le Relays-du-Chasteau, La Chanterelle, Logis Hotel Restaurant Du Pont
Historic Interest Brousse Chateau, Franciscan Monastery
albi 92

This ride is either a perfect long Tarn and mountain training route for the serious or a more relaxed full day ride incorporating a historic tourist stop at Albi and finally a swim at Ambialet on the way back to Plaisance.

Distance, Elevation Gain 92 kms, 1373 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain, River (7)
Refreshment Stops Café de La Presqu’ile,  Albi centre cafés/market
Restaurants Logis Hotel Restaurant Du Pont, Le Robinson, L’esprit Du Vin, Albi centre – various
Historic Interest View of Franciscan Monastery, Albi Cathedral, Palais de la Berbie and gardens, Toulouse Lautrec Museum
albi alban 100

This ride feels easy at the start with a gentle uphill and then downhill to Trebas at the Tarn and then a long flat stretch all the way to Albi along the Tarn via Ambialet.

Distance, Elevation Gain 100 kms, 1877 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain, River (7.5)
Refreshment Stops Café de La Presqu’ile, La Parenthese café, Albi centre cafés/market, Lou Bass’Plat
Restaurants Logis Hotel Restaurant Du Pont, Le Robinson, L’esprit Du Vin, Albi centre various, Au Bon Accueil
Historic Interest View of Franciscan Monastery, Albi Cathedral, Palais de la Brebie and gardens, Toulouse Lautrec Museum
st affrique 100

This ride offers a lovely combination of long Tarn river stretches and relatively challenging steep mountain sections. Perfect training route for the serious rider and too tough for the not-so-fit.

Distance, Elevation Gain 100 kms, 1947 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain, River (7.5)
Refreshment Stops Le Relays-du-Chasteau, Auberge de la Valette, St Affrique cafes/market, Le Caragaula, Coupiac cafe
Restaurants Le Relays-du-Chasteau, Auberge de la Valette, Le Chat Qui Dort, La Caragaula
Historic Interest Brousse Chateau, Chateau de St Izaire, Old bridge St Affrique, Coupiac Chateau
SYLVANES 121

This is not an overly tough but very long ride, so only for the fit. Perfect for flat and mountain terrain training through unique scenery and history.

Distance, Elevation Gain 121 kms, 2275 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (8)
Refreshment Stops Camares cafes, Bar De Sylvanes, Hotel Restaurant L’Oustalet, La Caminada, Coupiac Cafe
Restaurants Hotel Restaurant L’Oustalet, Le Clos Normande, La Caminada
Historic Interest Abbaye de Sylvanes, Rougier de Camares, Chateau Montaigut de Gissac, Chateau de Coupiac
Lacaune lakes 133

A long and tough ride, definitely not for softies. The climb from Plaisance to Lacaune is a cumulative approximate 900 meters over 42 kms, followed by a long but reasonably easy mountainous stretch of about 50 kms to and around the Raviege Lake and back to Lacaune.

Distance, Elevation Gain 133 kms, 2922 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (8)
Refreshment Stops Café Du Globe, Lacaune Pub/Brasserie , Le Grand Café
Restaurants Hotel Restaurant Calas, Hotel rest Carayon
Historic Interest Menhir Statues Lacaune, Lac De Raviege, Lesalvetat Sur Agout
Lacaune lakes 133

A long and tough ride, definitely not for softies. The climb from Plaisance to Lacaune is a cumulative approximate 900 meters over 42 kms, followed by a long but reasonably easy mountainous stretch of about 50 kms to and around the Raviege Lake and back to Lacaune.

Distance, Elevation Gain 150 kms, 3361 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (9)
Refreshment Stops Café Du Globe, Lacaune Pub/Brasserie , Le Grand Café
Restaurants Hotel Restaurant Calas, Hotel rest Carayon
Historic Interest Menhir Statues Lacaune, Lac De Raviege, Lesalvetat Sur Agout
Lacaune sylvanes 144

This is a tough and very long ride, only for the fit. Perfect for training along long stretches of easy to medium difficulty mountain terrain but only after a tough 43 km climb of 900 metres (cumulative climb) from Plaisance to Lacaune.

Distance, Elevation Profile 144 kms, 2911 m
Difficulty /10 Mountain (9)
Refreshment Stops Café Du Globe, Lacaune Pub/Brasserie, Moulin Mage Roadside bar, Camares cafes, Bar de Sylvanes, Hotel Restaurant L’Oustalet, La Caminada, Coupiac Cafee
Restaurants Hotel Restaurant Calas, Hotel Restaurant L’Oustalet, Le Clos Normande, La Caminada
Historic Interest Various in Lacaune, Sylvanes Monastery, Chateau Montaigut, Coupiac Chateau
Road Quality
The roads of the area are safe, quiet, clearly marked and in excellent condition.
In addition to being safe and quiet, the quality of the road network system of the area is excellent. All roads well tarred, regularly maintained and clearly marked.