Guest Reviews

The following are reviews from our cycling guests at Lot Cycling Holidays.

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 21 reviews
by Chris Wright on Lot Cycling Holidays
Great food, Cycling and Hospitality

This was our third visit to Mas De Flory and probably the most fun.The cycling was fantastic as usual, tailored to our needs by John. The food was excellent, Aileen at her best gourmet standards and the friendship was wonderful. We had a truly unforgettable holiday in the lovely surrounds of rustic France. I particularly liked an extra treat of a vineyard visit to sample some of the "Black Wine". Malbec at its best. If you want a cycling holiday with the routes that can be tailored to the groups ability, great accommodation that you don't have to change each day AND Gourmet food then this is for you.

Thanks Chris glad you enjoyed the food and wine....

by Alan Howes on Lot Cycling Holidays
June 2016

During a dinner with friends where the wine flowed freely I was persuaded to go on a week's cycling holiday in France in spite of not having ridden a bike in over thirty years. As the time got nearer I was dreading the ordeal. I need not have been concerned, John and Richard arranged routes that avoided busy roads and hills, and were always available to pick us up if required. At the end of the first day I was amazed to find I had ridden 16 miles! The rest of the week proved just as satisfying despite the odd shower. The accommodation was very comfortable and the food provide by Aileen was of gourmet standard. If like me you are a novice cyclist this is the place to start. My only advice would be to make sure you have proper shorts and a gel saddle.

Thanks Alan glad you enjoyed your holiday with us.

Mas de Flory in September

If you are looking for an incredible cycling vacation in the southwest of France with awesome gourmet meals, great route direction and support along the way, this trip is one you should consider taking. John, Aileen and Richard were incredible hosts who made sure we were happy and satisfied with everything. We spent a week at Mas de Flory and despite the weather being wet and damp, we thoroughly enjoyed our time on this vacation. I would return without hesitation.

by Robyn and Darcy Edwards on Lot Cycling Holidays
Rural France Respite

We arrived back in Australia a few weeks back from an extended visit to France, England and Ireland. In early July we spent a fantastic week at Mas de Flory. After some anxiety that rail strikes may cause real problems, we arrived at the Gourdon station to be collected by Aileen and John. We were informed that we would be the only guests for the week and while initially we thought that was unfortunate, we quickly realised how fortunate we were to have the comfortably restored old barn entirely to ourselves and being able to decide on what trips we did and what level of difficulty we wanted without the need to consider others. Thus we had some great rides through the French countryside and viewed some fascinating villages and caves. The ride to Sarlat along the old railway line was great, particularly the return journey which was all downhill. While we had some rain which was not unexpected at that time of year, John and Richard ensured that acceptable alternatives were available so that we achieved all of our tourist objectives. While riding on the right was no big deal, remembering that the rear wheel brake lever was on the left and not the right was a little more challenging at times. However, any report on a visit to Mas de Flory would be deficient without some comments on the food. The four course five star dinners prepared by "Chef" Aileen were outstanding in quality and variety. Every night was a very pleasant surprise. We also need to thank John and Richard for those fabulous breakfast French croissants that they gladly drove all that way to the local bakery to obtain. Overall the visit was a welcome and fabulous interlude for us between much more hectic and organised tours. We highly recommend Mas de Flory even if you are not a keen cyclist as the rides can be adjusted to suit your capabilities and we as seniors had no problem. There are also some great forestry walks available.

Robyn and Darcy

Thanks for your kind words and comments.

by Linda and Tom Fisler on Lot Cycling Holidays
Vista and Views Holiday

We arrived at Lot Cycling Holidays on a beautiful sunny day. Before arriving Aileen and John were great answering all our questions and providing instructions on how to arrive at their home from Paris. So much so we felt like we were greeting new friends when we arrived. The weather varied through the week, but thankfully the rain stayed away. We cycled through the French countryside and experienced a true France--not "touristy"-but a France dotted with 13th Century village after village and farm fields with it's wheat being caressed by the gentle winds. (Well ok--one day it wasn't that gentle but we were biking after all!) Aileen, John and Richard were gracious hosts and very caring for all our needs. Saying we had great food and lots of fun would be an understatement--it was simply fantastic and outstanding. It is clear the our hosts know the area very well and they provide excellent directions and help. Their flexibility to make our holiday a memorable one was absolutely wonderful and by the end of the week I was threatening to stay. The restored barn was super clean and remained so during the week thanks to their hard work. We woke to wonderful breakfasts and returned to five star 4 course meals after the ride. We were truly spoiled and enjoyed every minute of it. We have been home now for 2 weeks and a day doesn't go by that we are not looking at our photos from the rides and wishing we were still there. We left feeling we have 3 new friends who live in the gorgeous and quiet French countryside. This really is a great way to get a authentic French experience. You won't want to leave once you get there! Our heartfelt thanks to Aileen, John and Richard for making our first bike experience so memorable!
With love,
Linda and Tom Fisler

Thanks Linda and Tom for your great comments, hope to see you again soon.

by Robert Graham on Lot Cycling Holidays
Wine, Food & Cycling

Great week with a nice group from the US who let us into their company. John, Aileen & Richard worked hard to make us very welcome. Good food every night with lots of the local wine. Subsequent visitors will get the benefit of the pool (not quite finished) which should be a super facility to use at the end of a hot days cycling.

Next time we are in Nutlow we'll come and buy some nuts from you....

by Mervyn Hill on Lot Cycling Holidays

A lovely week!
Sublime surroundings and lovely accommodation. Such quiet was eerie to a city dweller, and I understand the night sky, in the absence of light pollution, is something to behold (but I was always asleep too early to check! )
Aileen’s cooking more than met our expectations. The joy is to not to have to either cook or seek out restaurants, in the knowledge that you will always be surprised and delighted. That relax/refresh time after a good ride was precious.
The rides were accomplished without too much difficulty (though be sure to check John’s count of climbs on the Rocamadour ride!). The routes were picturesque, safe and largely flat. They were developed with thought. John, the architect of the rides, delivers you to or from the rides to ensure no duplication and lots of variety. His commentary during the drives to or from the rides was always enlightening and certainly entertaining!
Cahors Malbec rules!! (Just ask John!!)

Thanks Merv, glad you enjoyed your holiday with us.

by Gill Clay on Lot Cycling Holidays
The Lot in September

Very comfortable accommodation; beautiful countryside and lovely varied cycle rides each day, which were followed by a wonderful four course meal each night. Fully recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys a busy but peaceful holiday.

Thanks for your comments - September is a great month to visit the Lot.

by Diane Lamb on Lot Cycling Holidays
Amazing holiday

I found this holiday by searching for cycling and gourmet food and indeed both were wonderful. The area is truly lovely to cycle through and John's thorough knowledge of the area ensured that he could tailor fit the route to suit you. The accommodation has been thoughtfully renovated to ensure all home comforts are available. The food was superb. Together John and Aileen work hard to ensure that you have a perfect week.

Thanks for the comments Diane.

by Peta McRae on Lot Cycling Holidays
Fabulous week

What a wonderful week I've just had at Mas De Flory, cycling under John's expert guidance only to return "home" to superb meals created by Aileen.

You have created such a comfortable, warm environment in your superbly renovated barn and it was so good to get to know the Lot and all it offers and to get a glimpse of your wonderful lifestyle.

You made me feel so welcome and I loved every minute.

Many thanks to you both,

Peta

Thanks for your kind comments, glad you had a wonderful time and Flossie sends her love.

by Barbara Cosgrove on Lot Cycling Holidays
Lot Cycling Holidays

Lot cycling holidays

Another lovely holiday in the Lot Valley. We returned for our second time and just like the first the cycling, scenery and superb cooking of Aileen was a delight. It was a joy to cycle through the quiet country lanes, hear the birdsong and see a late spring finally arrive and turn the countryside green. Highlights were quiet country villages with interesting architecture, the joy of discovering the ‘plat du jour’ in the local Auberge, and a visit to a local vineyard where the local wine - Malbec - was sampled and purchased.
On our return to Mas de Flory, following a hot shower we relaxed in the late afternoon sun chatting to fellow guests and sipping a chilled glass of rose prior to sitting down to a sumptous feast prepared by Aileen and skillfully served by John. Soon the conversation flowed, more wine was consumed and a good time was had by all. We’ll be back.......

Lovely to see you again, glad you enjoyed your second stay with us. Hope you are enjoying your Malbec wine you bought on our visit to Chateau Chantelle.

Another fabulous holiday

We've just wrapped up our 3rd wonderful cycling holiday with John & Aileen in the beautiful Lot Valley. You could not ask for a more perfect combination - excellent food, wine & hospitality at Mas de Flory, well planned cycle routes away from busy roads and some of the most stunning scenery the French country side has to offer.
I highly recommend Lot Cycling Holidays for the perfect active holiday in France.

I believe your holidays with us have now become an annual event! See you next year?

by Julie Leibel on Lot Cycling Holidays
Lot Cycling Holidays

Having always wanted to spend a week's vacation cycling in France, we stumbled upon this fantastic adventure! If you have a sense of adventure, love beautiful scenery, fabulous food, great wines, and genial company; this is the trip for you! We had never been to this section of France, but were very excited about discovering something new. Upon our arrival, our gracious hosts greeted us for the week, John and Aileen Despard (I had thought from the name that they would be French, but they turned out to be English!) My initial thought was that this might be disappointing in terms of food, etc. Boy was I dead wrong! Aileen was a most accomplished chef, and prepared phenomenal 4-course meals every night! (I was so full from the first evening's repast, that I couldn't begin to partake of the fresh-baked croissants, her homemade jams and jellies, fresh fruits, coffee, etc. which were offered for breakfast the next, and each sequential morning). Aileen encouraged me to wrap at least one in a napkin and take it along in my pannier for our bike trip. (Good idea!). We were introduced to the other 6 guests for the week. They were all delightful! They hailed from England, Delhi, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Amazingly, everyone got along very nicely, and were suitably matched as biking companions as well. Our host, John, a seasoned athlete, biker, runner, etc. reviewed with us the week's itineraries. He had carefully planned out every mile of the routes, noting where we might stop for a coffee, lunch, a glass of wine, etc. along the way. As the trip was "self-guided", he did not accompany us, but made sure we were all fitted well to our bikes, which he was available to adjust each morning and evening, and went over our turn-by-turn maps, which were in laminated carriers, easily visibly as we rode along the idyllic country roadways. Each morning, he reviewed the day's directions, indicating where and at what approximate time he would be waiting for us, to load our bikes onto his trailer, pack us into his van, and return us to the converted barn (our home for the week). Our daily rides averaged from 30-40 miles, which was easily doable, including stops at castles, chateaux, charming villages, etc. Upon our return, we had hot showers, relaxed a bit, and regrouped in the dining area for aperitifs, hors d'oeuvres, etc. before dinner, where we could revisit the day's experiences. As the week progressed, musical entertainment was shared, dancing ensued, jokes were told, and everyone had a good time. It was SO NICE not to have to pack up each evening, in anticipation of the next night's lodging- we settled into our rooms with private baths, and felt "at home". I highly recommend this trip. John can easily customize your rides to your interests (wine, scenery, market days (phenomenal), gardens, etc.). Truly a memorable experience

Whew... that was a long and fantastic review. Thanks Julie and Steve. See you again sometime?

One of my best holidays ever

So when I look back at 2012 ,what shines most in my head is the memory of my days spent at 'Mas de Flory'. How can one spend a few days cycling on different routes and having variety of meals and by the end of it cant tell which day or meal was better. It was an extra ordinary experience every day. Kudos to John and Aileen for their fantastic planning and hospitality. I was home within a few minutes of arriving there. Stay was very comfortable and everything at the barn' had a personal touch to it. Great location too. It was my first Cyling holiday and that too in a different country. I took it as an experiment and it turned out to be one of my best holidays. Definitely getiing back with wife and friends asap.

Thanks very much for your review. It was great to meet you and are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. When you left, it did feel as though our good friends had left!

All the Best

Sometimes you just can't believe your luck and I think staying and riding with John and Aileen counts as one of those times. You can put me on a bike anywhere at anytime in any weather and I'll be happy, but following along the winding Lot River or flying down the the road with the magnificent Rocamadour village perched on the cliffs above you- well, as you can imagine, it is just kilometre after kilometre of spinning with a smile. And the food, what Aileen puts on the table every evening is the stuff of dreams- fuel for the ride for sure. A great place to vacation. I'll be back.

Thanks for the review Brian, we have a nice lightweight road bike especially for your next visit to us, as you always want to cycle double the distance of everyone else!

by Chris Ward on Lot Cycling Holidays
Cycling in June in The Lot

Beautiful tranquil hamlet with the outlook from the accommodation private overlooking fields woodland. Aileen/John outstanding hosts and conversationalists. The food is outstanding. The cycling part is very well managed by John, who's long experience as endurance cyclist and organiser shows through. If you want to go off piste or on lengthy rides you will perhaps be given the option, but not all may wish to go too far. Roads mostly quiet, but inevitably some fast traffic in parts. You may have to take pot luck with your fellow guests but I guess that all will be helped to fit in and be made welcome. Value for money too!

Thanks for your comments Chris, glad you enjoyed your stay with us.

by Judi Willott on Lot Cycling Holidays
Sensational

Have just had the best holiday with John and Aileen as the perfect hosts. The riding each day was well thought out by John, taking into consideration each persons riding skills and allowing time for sightseeing, eating/drinking along the way. In addition, each mornings map briefings and information en route was most helpful. The accommodation was delightful, Aileen's meals sensational and the fun we had with our fellow bike riders unforgettable. A word of warning... if John says do you want to go for a run..."don't".

What was the problem with the run? I picked a fairly flat route for you with just a couple of hills!

by Nick and Heather on Lot Cycling Holidays
Last tour of the season!!

Well what a holiday!! It could not have been better. John's well researched and thoughtful routes are suitable for all grades of cyclists with choices of early pickups for those flagging or extra loops for the Pro’s. Morning briefings and well presented route maps ensure everyone finds their way and view points and places of interest are not missed (including the best Auberges!).
Then there’s Aileen’s cuisine. In a word, ‘sensational’. In two words ‘the best’. The pictures you may see do not do the wonderful dishes justice. What Aileen can do with the excellent local produce is just amazing. John dashes off to the bakery every morning returning with the best French croissants, bread and pastries for our breakfast. Heaven. It made all the pedalling well worth it.
Accommodation in ‘the barn’ is bright, airy and well thought out. Comfortable bedrooms are simply and tastefully furnished. The layout encourages sociable gatherings of all the guests as does the big dining table where everyone enjoys Aileen’s creations.
As Arnie would say “I’ll be back!” (with Heather of course!!!)

Thanks guys, it was a pleasure to have you stay with us.

Wonderful time

The setting, the biking, the food and the sites were beyond our expectations. A group of 9 of us had the barn for 10 days of biking and exploring the area. The routes were well planned with excellent maps to follow and each day took us in a different direction to a special point of interest. On non biking days we went wine tasting and visited a cave. The dinners were all delicious featuring regional fare. The hosts, John and Aileen couldn't have been more accommodating. A wonderful experience that we will be talking about for a long time.

Thanks Dale.

Not to be missed!

A truly fantastic experience! The accommodations were wonderful with gourmet meals provided. (and wine!) The Lot is breathtakingly beautiful. Bike routes are well planned and can be adjusted to you liking. We highly recommend this experience! We had three "free" days planned in with the biking and visited the caves with ancient paintings, and did wine tours to break up the biking days.

Thanks for your kind comments.

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