Skip to main content

Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

Cycling in France: 5 Amazing Bike Rides to Enjoy This Summer

15 June 2016

The 103rd Tour de France will take place this July and although the spectacle of hundreds of cyclists racing at speed across France is a captivating one, getting out and having your own two-wheeled adventure is a lot more fun!

Whether you fancy a challenging solo trip or a laid-back cycling holiday with the family, there’s something for everyone in bike-friendly France.

Here are just 5 of the many different cycling breaks you could enjoy this summer:

For Families: The Loire Valley:

Get on your bike and take a tour of Tours! Located in the Loire Valley, Tours is central to the region’s historic and impressive châteaus including Villandry, Chenonceau and Amboise, and is the ideal place for families to set up camp and explore from.

The terrain is reasonably flat and takes you through miles of open countryside and picturesque towns with plenty of opportunities for scenic rest stops, picnics and outdoor adventures that little ones will love.

For Beach Lovers: The Vélodyssée

This epic 1200km route runs along the entire western coastline of France to take you on a journey along the shores of the Atlantic through historic towns and lively cities including Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux.

With dedicated cycles paths lining the route, the ride is a pretty safe and easy one with countless opportunities to take a break and relax on local beaches, browse markets, enjoy nightlife and experience a little bit of everything that France has to offer.

For Romantics: The Champagne Trail

Apart from the opportunity to sample France’s most famous export, a cycling tour of the Champagne regions of Reims and Epernay gives you the chance to immerse yourself in rural France while pedalling from one glass of bubbles to the next.

There are plenty of dedicated cycle routes throughout the region that include a variety of flats and hills which make this trip suitable for couples with reasonable levels of fitness.  

Note: You’ll still need to be sober enough to ride your bike safely, being wobbly on two-wheels could land you in trouble with local law enforcement so pace yourselves!

For City Slickers: Paris

There are more than 400 miles’ of cycle paths weaving their way across Paris which make a bike one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest ways to get around the city and see its highlights.

Cruising along the banks of the Seine, exploring the parks of Bois the Bologne or Bois de Vicennes, taking a break to browse the galleries of the Louvre or seeking out boutiques, restaurants and architectural gems hidden in the narrow streets of the Marais district are all easy by bike.

As a largely flat area, Paris is easy for cyclists to explore but traffic presents hazards so if you’re not used to city-biking, it might be wise to practice in your home town before venturing through the streets of Paris.

For Athletes: Alpe d’Huez

Located in the French Alps, the d’Huez is a bucket-list bike ride for serious enthusiasts. Featured regularly in the Tour de France, this route is just 13.2km long but it’s a challenging ascent through 21 hairpin turns to the summit.

It takes strong thighs and stamina to get to the top but pack a camera because when you do, you’ll want to capture the outstanding views.

There are hundreds of other cycling routes across France and you can find out about them, plus get tips on safety and local highway laws from the national tourism office.

Whether you choose to drive over and take your own bike or hire one on arrival, you’ll need some essential holiday travel and bike accessories, but you can find everything from reflective gear to water bottles and cool bags for keeping that well-earned picnic fresh in, in-store at B&M.