Starting from the town of Villers sur Mer, very near Deauville, and finishing at Gavarnie, the meridian finally crosses into Spain via Puerto de Bujaruelo, at an altitude of 2,270 m.
Following this route, we find that our initial experiences and sensations will be repeated over the many kilometres that lie ahead. Normandy welcomes us with green, and occasionally tough, hills, but as we advance, the terrain gradually becomes flatter.
To speak of the Greenwich Meridian Route in France is to speak of countryside and cattle, of long and impenetrable woods, of solitude and kilometre after kilometre in the middle of nowhere. We will venture into rural France, which will provide us with a wonderful opportunity to get to know the ‘real’ France: the France that you do not find in tourist brochures.
And the best vineyards will appear as we continue our journey on towards the south.
As we leave behind the Seine estuary, we will cross major rivers such as the Loire and the Garonne. We will see find thousand-year-old cities, farms and crops, all with their own unique history; these 800 km of warm and inviting landscapes have a lot to offer.
The great wall of the Pyrenees is where we will have to put in the most effort, but the reward will be a spectacular view of the highest waterfall in Europe, at the Cirque de Gavarnie.
Though mountain bikes would not be out of place here, as over 70% of the roads are narrow and have little traffic we would recommend the use of road bikes. The fittest among us would need at least 6 days to complete the journey, though to fully enjoy the Greenwich Meridian Route in France, between 7 and 9 days would be ideal.
Although we will pass through many inhabited areas, there are few places where it is possible to stay the night or even eat. It is therefore vital to make reservations in advance and to follow our instructions; our Centre for Reservations will take care of everything for you.