Situated closer to the coast of France but officially a dependency of the British Crown, the Channel Islands combine the charms of their neighbours with a unique character that is both endearing and fiercely independent. Of the eight permanently inhabited islands which make up the 'Channel Islands', this engaging cycling trip explores three; Jersey, Guernsey and the tranquil car free haven that is Sark. Based in St Hilier and then St Peter Port, the carefully prepared cycle routes will ensure you explore all the fascinating highlights of these islands, from sandy beaches to ruins of old castles, other remnants of the islands' rich history, quaint whitewashed villages and spectacular sections of dramatic coastline. The roads and cycleways are quiet making it ideal for cycling. In the evenings, feast on tasty seafood and stroll along the promenades to experience the relaxed atmosphere for which the islands are known.
INTRODUCTORY to MODERATE– GRADE 2
This trip involves 6 days cycling usually along backroads with minimal car traffic (although some short distances will have heavier traffic). Stages are from 26 to 46 km per day (12km in Sark) with gradual ascents and descents. Some sections involve short but hard ascents. This trip is suitable for children who are experienced cyclists from 12 years old. This trip requires a reasonable level of fitness. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets are worn – these will be provided to you with your bike.
The trip begins in the pretty harbour town of Saint Malo. As the last night of the trip is in St Malo, if required we can swap that night for a pre-tour night.
During the Middle Ages, the town was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River. It controlled not only the estuary but the open sea beyond. The town became notorious in the late 16th century as the home of a fierce breed of pirate-mariners who for 4 years from 1590 declared it an independent republic!
On arrival, make your way to the harbor station of Naye, and collect your ferry ticket from the Condor Ferries counter. The departure for Jersey will be at 8am (subject to confirmation) and the journey time is around 1 hour 15 minutes. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and St Helier, its capital, has museums, interesting markets, a pretty harbour and a relaxed atmosphere. On arrival in St Hélier you will be transferred to your hotel for the next 3 nights and provided with your rental bike. Today is an easy round trip to Victoria and then the coast of the island: St Catherine’s Bay, harbor of Gorey overhung by the castle of Mont Orgueil, Royal Bay of Grouville and La Rocque. Later you can discover the restaurants and unique culture of St Helier.
From St Hélier, today's cycle will take you inland toward the northern coast. You will visit the beach of Grève de Lecq, the headland of Sorel, the village of St John, and the little harbor of Bonne Nuit, all before returning to St Hélier. The cycling distance is fairly short so there is plenty of time to stop and explore along the way.
The final loop cycle on Jersey from St Hélier along the southern coast. Highlights include the beach of Beau Port, St Brelade, Corbière and its lighthouse, St Ouen’s Bay on the west coast, and seeing the ruins of the castle of Grosnez. You return via Plémont Bay and cycle via the interior of the island.
Today you take a ferry to St Peter Port on Guernsey. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Depending on what time you arrive, the round trip toward the southern coast can be either be long or short. Today you will cycle past Fermain Bay, Jerbourg Point, Moulin Huet Bay which was once painted by Matisse, Saint’s Bay and Petit Bôt Bay. Later take a walk around St Peter Port, with its picturesque marina and quaint cobble stoned streets. The town is the capital of Guernsey and the Castle Cornet has stood guard over the town for more than 800 years.
Today is an opportunity to discover the small island of Sark. It actually is comprised of two islands, Big Sark and Little Sark, which are joined by the thin isthmus "La Coupee". Most of the day will be by bike but you can also explore on foot. Sark is the fourth smallest of the Channel Islands and without cars, is a haven for cyclists and walkers. With its dramatic coastal headlands, huge variety of flowers and butterflies, quaint village, and endless picnic locations, nature lovers will be in their element. Later you return by boat to St Peter Port.
From St Peter Port the route today takes you along the western coast of the island: south-west part of Pleinmont and, along the coast, Rocquaine Bay, Lihou Island and Vazon Bay. The return to St Peter Port is mainly along “ruettes tranquilles”, or dedicated cycle/walk trails.
In the morning, depending on the ferry schedule, there is time to visit Victor Hugo’s house or relax in the town. Return to Saint Malo, where you stay overnight. (Or if you have elected to take a pre tour night in replacement of this evening in St Malo, the trip concludes on arrival in St Malo.)
The trip concludes after breakfast in St Malo.
Per Person, Twin Share