Ooh! La! La! Cycling Holidays in France
Think of cycling around the world and invariably you will think of France, home of the revered Tour de France. This spectacular country steeped in history and culture has so much to offer the holidaying cycling enthusiast – from casual family get-abouts to seriously challenging journeys.
If you’re keen to follow the Tour, but you can’t quite keep the pace (you wouldn’t be the only one!), then it’s good to know that many tours offer trips that follow race day, meaning you can go under your own steam and usually with their support vehicles etc. The great thing about bike holidays in France is you can enjoy all that fabulous French cuisine and wine – and then work it off the next day!
So what are some popular regions? Which region is perfect for your French cycling holiday?
The Loire Valley
The land of chateaux - Chenonceaux, Chambord & Amboise but to name a few, the Loire Valley is truly spectacular. A great option for a family or couple’s getaway, this region is quite flat so really lovely for beginner riders or site-seeing cycling through soft pastures
The Loire Valley is the perfect family or couple getaway. This region is perhaps most famous for its magnificent chateaux: to mention a few. The region is relatively flat, cycling through soft pastures making this region perfect for beginner riders and site-seeing cyclists.
If you’re into your Gallic or World War history, then you’d know all about Normandy. Home to William the Conqueror and the site of Operation Overlord, more commonly known as D-Day, there is no lack of intrigue for the curious. But when it comes to cycling, Normandy also delivers. Sweeping sea views, sprawling marshes and spectacular orchids – this is one region to contemplate taking a guided tour through so you don’t miss out.
Here is when things start to get a little more challenging! Languedoc is home to the Montagne Noire and leads to some of the famous Pyrénées and is the country’s largest wine producing region (bingo!). The area is also flanked by a coastline, meaning you have plenty of options – mountains, canyons, beaches – for your bike holiday.
Just a spin away from Germany’s southwest and Northern Switzerland, Alsace is in France’s east and nestles along the river Rhine. Given its location, this is home to an interesting mixture of French and Germanic culture and accent. When it comes to riding, again there’s plenty of diversity. Vast orchards, fields of wheat and sunflowers, vineyards, towns rich in striking Gothic architecture (and famous Sauerkraut sausages in Strasbourg!), forests of oak, pine and chestnuts – it’s all here!