Published on July 18th, 2012 | by JT0
Ride and Seek Hannibal Tour
Ride and Seek are a cycle holiday company offering some fantastic tours – check out their cycling tours in the footsteps of Hannibal and Napoleon.
Ever wondered what it would have been like for Hannibal, the Carthaginian General, his army and 39 elephants to have traversed France on their way to Rome? Or for that matter what route he would have taken in 218BC when France was known as Gaul?
Ride and Seek Bike Tours have conceptualised a tour that attempts to provide an insight into both of these questions with an Expedition tour from Barcelona to Rome. Designed by documentary maker and archaeologist Sam Wood, along with bike guide Dylan Reynolds, Ride and Seek have put together a series of bike tours with a difference.
The Hannibal tour is their signature tour and was inspired by Sam’s BBC documentary – On Hannibal’s Trail –which was repeated on BBC 2 in the UK back in February. Divided into 3 stages the tour is designed to be completed either in separate parts or, for the hardy, as one epic undertaking. Recently they also added long weekend options too – Bite Sized Epics – for those with less spare time. Spread over 3 weekends, during the course of the Hannibal Expedition, each stage is easily accessible and provides for 4 full days on the bike.
The inaugural tour starts on September 15th and runs through until October 10th – 2,700km in 26 days. Stage 1 starts in the beautiful city of Barcelona and concludes after 9 days in the Papal city of Avignon. Stage 2, also a 9 day stage, then runs from Avignon to Gavi in the enchanting Italian region of Piedmont. The final stage down to Rome is all in Italy and takes 10 days. For anyone wishing to do the entire 2,400km tour in one go, it takes 26 days!
The French influence on the tour is huge given that both of the first two stages spend the majority of their time in France. It is the beguiling Languedoc region where the first stage first encounters France after crossing the Pyrennees from Spain. Whilst largely undiscovered the Languedoc offers some of the most picturesque cycling in the world. The tour traverses this beautiful region before crossing the Rhone and entering the equally memorable region of Provence before concluding in Avignon.
From Avignon the tour heads north via the wine mecca of Chateauneuf du Pape towards the incredibly well preserved Roman settlements of Vaison-la-Romaine and Orange. On the way riders get chance to test their legs up the iconic Mont Ventoux in preparation for the toughest part of the whole tour – crossing the Alps.
Not all of the Ride and Seek tours are designed for the super fit though. Indeed, they also offer Classic Tours that are designed for the discerning cyclist who wishes to explore a region in depth without too many hotel changes. These tours provide scope for participants to ride as little or as much as they would like. The 9 day tour of Provence is one such tour embraces this remit.
For more information on Ride and Seek Expedition and Classic Bike Tours, including dates and prices, consult their website – www.rideandseek.com. And if nothing takes your fancy from their 2012 portfolio you could always sign up to join them on their 2013 Napoleon Expedition from Paris to Moscow!