Immerse yourself in the world of ecological agriculture. This bike tour between Isère and Drôme gives you unique access to the organic wool industry. You will learn more about the Transhumanz association and the wool sector especially in France. For anyone curious about organic agriculture.
Immerse yourself in the world of ecological agriculture. A France écotours exclusive, this bike tour between Isère and Drôme gives you unique access to the organic wool industry and lets you experience organic wine. You will learn more about the Transhumanz association and the wool sector in Europe, especially in France. For anyone curious about organic agriculture.
Day 1: Arrival in Clelles (Sunday)
Partipicants are expected at Clelles – Mens train station at 5:30pm and will be taken to the hotel. They will receive a briefing to the itinerary.
Day 2: Mens' agriculture (Monday)
Once participants pick up their e-bikes, they will cycle to the town of Mens with a possible picnic in between. Then guests will cycle back to the hotel for some dinner.
Leg duration: 3hrs – distance covered: ca. 30km
Day 3: Merino of Arles – have you any wool? (Tuesday)
Participants will encounter the rare sheep breed in Vercors nature park in the mountains. A local shepherd and her herding dog will be expecting them.
Workshop #1: after a short introduction, participants have a go at sorting wool.
They will have the rest of the day to themselves.
Leg duration: 4hrs – distance covered: ca. 30km
Day 4: Spinning and carding with the shepherd (Wednesday)
Workshop #2: combing vs. carding plus spinning the wool. Then it's back to the sheep and their refuge: La Tour de Borne, where they are informed about the wolf problem. If there is time to spare, the group gets the remainder of the day to relax. Dinner and overnight stay.
Leg duration: 2hrs – distance covered: ca. 15km
Day 5: Carriage ride and organic wine (Thursday)
Participants cycle to Le Claps a well-known rock and brook where they can swim. Next, a carriage ride to Jérôme's organic winery in Vercose nature park, part of the way by bike. He'll share his anecdotes and his Clairette wine at a wine tasting in the wine cellar. Finally, some free time in Die. Dinner and overnight stay there.
Leg duration: 5hrs – distance covered: ca. 50km
Day 6: The city of Die – start of the Transhumanz festival (Friday)
The programme begins in the afternoon with a visit to Crest for Workshop #3: felting followed by Vincent Archard's organic winery before guests decide whether to return to Die by bike or with the train. Dinner and overnight stay in Die.
Day 7: The Transhumanz festival (Saturday)
A thousand sheep will be paraded through Die in the morning on their way to Chamaloc. You will accompany the parade part of the way.
Leg duration: 1hr – distance covered: ca. 15km
Day 8: Final day of the tour and festival (Sunday)
We will keep things flexible, guests may visit the farmers market if they wish or enjoy the festival. They may leave to Die train station at any time (easily reached on foot)to catch their connections
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather conditions. The guide will inform you about changes.
For more information you can request our detailed information sheet via email. Please indicate which tour you are interested in.
Indicated pricing is room rate per person in double occupancy
7 nights with half board, all workshops and wine tastings in French B&Bs with private bathrooms, the guide's services in French, English and/or German, entrance fees to all sites in the itinerary, luggage transfer service, visitor's tax.
Train or airfares to/from destination, remaining meals, beverages, possible train fares during the trip (such as on Day 6), travel cancellation insurance.
E-bike rental and delivery to Clelles-Mens train station: on request
*includes a helmet, travel bottle and an emergency number in case of issues with the bikes. Please do not call this number in case of a flat tire.
Minimum number of participants: 8 (14 max.)
Not suited for persons with restricted mobility.
The tour operator reserves the right to cancel this trip up to 21 days prior to departure.
7 nights in double occupancy either in B&Bs, holiday apartments or 2-star hotels. On some nights, not all rooms will be at the same accommodation – the lodgings will still be within a few minutes of one another, in which case guests will be transferred to their respective lodging.
Slopes may be slightly steep at times (gradient of 8%) but only for short intervals (not longer than 300m). These will be easy to mount thanks to the e-bikes. The route consists of secondary roads and paths. However, the level of difficulty will increased to advanced for those willing to attempt it with regular bikes – these participants must be well-trained cyclists.
Laurent speaks English, German and French, and will switch between them depending on the group. He is an agricultural engineer and founder of Transhumanz. He will accompany you through all events in the itinerary.
We hope this tour raises awareness for the challenges of shepherding and preserving traditional ways in the wool industry. Have a look at our article on the European wool sector with special focus on France on our blog.
Participants may either bring along their own e-bikes or rent an e-bike and have it delivered to Clelles-Mens station (additional surcharge). Please see “Includes/excludes” for pricing information. Please leave them at the accommodation in Die on the final day.
We recommend a low-carbon train ride to Clelles-Mens on the Day 1 and a train from Die station on the final day. The TER train passes through both stations.
Please see the information sheet for the trip for detailed information on travelling options.