I often get asked which cycling holidays in France are best for an easy trip.

In my view, a great cycling holiday starts with a great cycling route – and this article shares France’s best cycling routes that suit an easy, relaxed or family-friendly cycling holiday.

I have been delighted to be assisted with this article by Marije Capelle from French Bike Tours. French Bike Tours has specialised in cycling tours in France since 2018. Here Marije shares her opinion of the best cycling routes in France for families or those simply looking for an easy cycling holiday.

I love the sound of the French bike tour itineraries that Marije has included in her pick of the best cycling tours in France and it’s been a lot of fun digging into what makes these French cycling routes so special. I hope you feel inspired to plan your own bike holiday in France. Enjoy!

Part 1: The routes

Why did you pick these five as the best bike routes in France?

At French Bike Tours, we specialise in self-guided cycling trips and typically more relaxed, easy cycle trips in France. The routes I’ve selected here are very popular with cyclists on their first cycling trip abroad, who’ve never done a cycling holiday before and whose fitness levels might not be too high.

They also appeal to those looking for a family cycling holiday in France, to those on e-bikes and people who just want to take it easy and enjoy everything France has to offer. Cycling adventures don’t have to be hard work!

Cyclists that visit the Loire, and the other special areas of France mentioned below, really appreciate the scenery, culture, delicious food and of course, the wine. Riding on flat cycling routes in France makes it possible to achieve all of this in one gorgeous holiday.

We think that these are not only five of the best easy cycling routes and holidays in France, but five of the best cycling routes in Europe.

Please note they are not in a particular order below!

Map showing best easy cycling routes in france

This map shows the rough location of each of the five French cycling routes we refer to below

Route 1: Canal de la Garonne bike tour: Bordeaux to Toulouse

Key facts

Total distance

280 kilometres

Our tour offers:

  • Bordeaux – Cadillac/Podensac – 47 km and 317m ascent
  • Cadillac – Meilhan-sur-Garonne – 45 km and 370m ascent
  • Meilhan-sur-Garonne – Agen – 70 km and 385m ascent
  • Agen – Moissac – 47 km and 277m ascent
  • Moissac – Toulouse – 70 km and 271m ascent
Map of cycling route along Canal de la Garonne France

Terrain:

Easy

Route details:

Mostly traffic-free and mostly paved, all along a canal

Suitable bikes:

Gravel, hybrid and e-bike

Start:

Mirroir d’eau in Bordeaux

Overview of the route

The Canal de Garonne cycling route provides a scenic cycling journey along the canal, between the famous cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse. This tranquil route offers cyclists a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich history of southwestern France.

As you pedal along the canal’s towpaths, you’ll pass through picturesque villages, historic vineyards, and rolling French countryside, while enjoying the serene atmosphere of the waterway. Along the route, you’ll encounter fascinating landmarks such as ancient locks and picturesque bridges, which provide a glimpse into the canal’s past.

There are plenty of local cafes and markets en route, and guests love to stop to sample regional delicacies, such as Canelé which are a regional speciality around Bordeaux. The wine museum in Bordeaux is also a must-visit!

What are the highlights of the Canal de la Garonne?

  • The trail winds between vineyards, orchards and bastides and is a marvel of engineering, with historical structures like the impressive Agen Aqueduct, built in the mid-19th Century.
  • Traditional French villages where you can soak up the hospitality of small-town France, including Damazan, Tonneins, and Valence d’Agen.
  • Bordeaux’s 18th-century and medieval architecture can’t fail to impress, and many love the contrast that the architecturally arresting Cité du Vin makes with this.
  • Toulouse, the “pink city,” boasts the famed Place du Capitole and a lively arts scene.
  • Gourmet experiences await: the Canal de la Garonne is a gateway to some of the finest culinary experiences in Southwest France. Cyclists can indulge in “terroir cuisine” that showcases local ingredients, and sample the famous wines of Bordeaux and Côtes de Bordeaux directly from the vineyards.

Tips for riding this route?

There are many itinerary options for riding the Canal de Garonne from Bordeaux to Toulouse (or vice versa). A big factor is how far you want to ride each day and the types of accommodation you’re after.

On some sections of the Bordeaux-Toulouse route it can be hard to find accommodation in peak periods, as it’s not very developed and it often gets booked out. Book early (or get in touch with us and we’ll try to help)!

The Canal de la Garonne joins the Canal du Midi (which runs from Toulouse to the Mediterranean). The Canal du Midi is more developed than the Canal de la Garonne, but it also lovely and has its own UNESCO listing. If you want to really go for it, you could cycle both!

The Canal de la Garonne between Bordeaux and Toulouse is a great choice for families. Note that the Canal du Midi between Toulouse-Sète has more dirt tracks than paved sections, which can be a little harder to ride.

More information

Find out more information about French Bike Tours’ Canal de la Garonne cycling tours and Canal du Midi tour.

Route 2: Burgundy bike tour: highlights around Beaune

Key facts

Total Distance

142 kilometres

Our tour offers:

  • Cycling round trip to ‘Côtes de Nuits’  – 56  km and 306m ascent
  • Cycling round trip to ‘Côtes de Beaune’ – 45km and 531m ascent
  • Loop via Bouilland – 41km and 530m ascent

Terrain

Easy

Route details

Loop rides from Beaune: gently rolling, fabulous countryside through the ancient vineyards of Burgundy on paved roads.

Suitable bikes

Grave, hybrid and e-bike

Start

Beaune

Overview of the route

This is a centre-based cycling holiday from the gorgeous wine capital of Beaune. The route is perfect if you want to cycle for a few days, but you don’t feel like having to pack your suitcase every day. You will stay in one hotel and from there we have put together various routes. You can choose what you want to see every day. You might even choose not to ride and visit the wine museum in Beaune instead!

When you do ride, you’ll find yourself rolling through lush countryside and medieval villages in the renowned wine-making region of Burgundy. Enchanting castles and silent cloisters await, as does the gorgeous town of Beaune and famous wine making villages such as Gilly-lès-Cîteaux, Aloxe-Corton, Pommard, Meursault and Vosne-Romanée. Take in the scenery, history and beauty of it all. Then, after a day of cycling, tickle your tastebuds with culinary specialties served with the region’s famous red and white wines.

What are the highlights of cycling around Beaune?

  • Cycle world-famous Burgundy, with its medieval villages, castles and picture-postcard wine chateaus surrounded by vineyards
  • Beaune is a beautiful town and you can’t miss the Hospices de Beaune, a 15th-century architectural marvel, known for its vibrant, tiled roof and Burgundian-Flemish design.
  • Enjoy culinary specialties that are local to the area, such as snails (escargots), boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin and cheese such as the very runny Époisses cheese
  • Enjoy riding through meticulously maintained vineyards such as on the Tour de la Bourgogne à Vélo
  • Enjoy renowned wines such as Mersault and Puligny-Montrachet; wine is a highlight of any trip spent cycling France, and Burgundy is one of France’s most famous wine producing regions.

Tips for riding this route?

There are numerous opportunities to taste wine along the routes, both at wineries or wine shops. It’s a good idea to reserve in advance, especially during busy months. Also bear in mind that you need to not drink too much wine if you’re going to ride your bike – and be back in time for dinner! We normally suggest one or two wine tastings per ride.

Of course, there is also more to Burgundy than just the wine and this trip is a great choice for those who just want to experience riding through gorgeous scenery and charming towns and villages.

There’s also the wonderful independent Fallot mustard factory and the wonderful covered market in Beaune on a Saturday morning.

More information

Find out more information about French Bike Tours’ Burgundy cycling holidays.

 

Route 3: Alsace Wine Route bike tour: from Strasbourg to Colmar

Map of cycling route in Alsace, France

Key facts

Total Distance

122 kilometres

Our tour offers:

  • Strasbourg – Obernai  – 37.1km, 270m ascent
  • Obernai – Riquewihr –  49km, 495m ascent
  • Riquewihr – Colmar – 36.2km, 271m ascent

Terrain

Generally easy as there are many dedicated Véloroutes in the region. However the Obernai to Riquewihr day includes nearly 500m ascent.

Route details

Relaxed biking crossing the hilly Alsatian wine country on quiet, country roads.

Start

Strasbourg

Suitable bikes

Gravel, hybrid and e-bikes

Overview of the route

Sandwiched between the French Vosges and the German Rhine Valley lies the Alsace vineyards, home of the Riesling, Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer grapes. These thrive in the sunny climate here, that’s sheltered by the Vosges mountains. Its proximity to France and Germany means the Alsace has a very distinctive character.

On this classic French bicycle tour, you’ll bike through hilly Alsatian wine country along quiet country roads. You can taste the delicious, local Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris wines and enjoy the beautiful panoramas of the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest. Many of the villages on the route are home to half-timbered houses, nice shops and terraces.

Given this, perhaps it’s no surprise that Alsace is becoming one of the most popular cycling destinations in France. Watch out Loire and Burgundy!

What are the highlights of cycling Alsace?

  • You begin your holiday in Strasbourg, a beautiful city where there is much to see and experience.
  • For the first 20 km you ride along the Canal de la Bruche, after which you follow the Route d’Alsace, also known as the Alsace Vineyard Cycle Route which is a section of Eurovelo 5; it offers plenty of opportunities for tasting the classic Alsatian wines.
  • The famous Route du Vin (Wine Route) encompasses at least 100 wine producing villages between Strasbourg and Colmar. These villages create some of the best wines in the country.
  • Villages like Riquewhir, Turckheim and Eguisheim are particularly scenic with beautiful half-timbered buildings and cobbled, stone paved streets. The village of Riquewihr, is surrounded by vineyards, is home to 16th­ century ramparts, a 13th centry gate tower and medieval houses with geranium­-clad balconies. Meanwhile, just outside Turckheim, the imposing 12th century Château du Haut­ Koenigsbourg, imposes itself over over a vineyard­-lined valley, with great views across to the Black Forest in Germany.
  • Likewise, be sure to stop off in medieval Bergheim, with its superb 14th­ century gate and basilica and brilliantly preserved ramparts. Rouffach is also a gorgeous medieval jumble of cobbled streets dotted with churches.
  • Gourmet cuisine is also on offer and you’ll find more Michelin star restaurants than in any other region.
  • Don’t miss the Munster cheese; rich and creamy, it’s got to be tried!
  • High above Alsace are the wooded peaks of the Vosges. From there you have surprising views of the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest across the valley.
  • You end the tour in Colmar, an attractive and lively city, also the Capitale des Vins d’Alsace.

Tips for riding the route

Because Alsace is such a popular place to cycle, with extensive special cycling routes, the bicycle is the ideal means of transportation in this beautiful wine region.

Route signage along the bike paths and roads is not always easy to follow, so it’s a good idea to have the route loaded onto a bike computer or your phone (in which case you might also want to bring a power bank to ensure your phone stays charged and consider downloading an offline route too).

Note that you don’t necessarily go into the centre of each town while on a bike route here, as the route often skirts around the town. When looking at route directions, bear in mind that the town name is more of a general direction than a specific destination.

In early June, the flowers are incredible. Many of the towns are renowned for their flowers and you should make time to stroll around – as well as cycle through – to take it all in!

Although winemakers welcome visitors without an appointment, it is always best to reserve in advance. This way, you will be sure to have someone available to let you taste the wines, give you explanations about the winery and show you around. Achillée and Metz Bleger are two of my favourites

For families, it’s worth considering a boat ride in Strasbourg, Choco Story in Colmar and also the Toy Museum in Colmar.

More information

Find out more information about French Bike Tours’ Alsace cycling holidays.

Route 4: Loire Valley bike tour: 3 Grand Chateaux in 3 days

Route map for a France cycling holiday in Loire Valley

Key facts

Total Distance

127 kilometres.

Our tour offers:

  • Cycling round trip to Cheverny – 25 km and 74 m ascent
  • Cycling roundtrip to Chambord – 63 km and 174 m ascent
  • Cycling round trip to Chaumont sur Loire – 39 km and 149 m ascent

Terrain

Easy

Route details

Just three days of cycling, all centre-based with little climbing on quiet backroads and country lanes through the vineyards to the famous Loire chateaux.

Suitable bikes

Gravel, hybrid and e-bike

Start

Chitenay

Overview of the route 

Loire Valley cycling holidays are so famous (and popular) that they require two entries in our list!

The Loire Valley, in northern France, is known as the Playground of Kings and this trip focuses on three of the most famous chateaux in the Loire: Cheverny, Chambord and Chaumont sur Loire.

Cycling the Loire Valley is the perfect way to explore the many sites and towns. Staying in a charming hotel in the quaint village of Chitenay, your journey leads through forests, vineyards, and towns brimming with medieval history, lincluding the iconic châteaux of Cheverny and Chambord.

In the evenings, soak up the warm atmosphere of the hotel and garden and sample the excellent local cuisine and wine. The food in this part of the world is made with passion and excellence. Is it even possible to have a bad meal here?!

What are the highlights of cycling the Loire?

  • This route takes you to some of the absolute highlights of the Loire Valley.
  • Château de Cheverny is a favourite with visitors, with its perfect 17th-century French architecture, authentically preserved lavish interiors, and magnificent formal gardens. It was the inspiration for Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin comics, so it’s a must-visit for fans!
  • Chambord is one of the most over-the-top chateaux you will every visit. It was originally built as a hunting lodge and with 440 rooms, 84 staircases and 13,000‑acre of park enclosed by a 20‑mile wall,the cost of upkeep was so much that for much of its history it was left abandoned!
  • Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire distinguishes itself with its fairy-tale fortress appearance, perched high above the Loire River and offering striking panoramic views. Known for hosting the prestigious International Garden Festival, the estate merges historical architecture with contemporary landscape design.
  • Experience the market places of local towns en route. Markets are a major deal in French culture and some of the best examples include Loire markets such as Cormerary (Tuesdays), Huisseau-sur-Casson (Wednesdays), Blois (Thursdays) and Cour-Cheverny and Chaumont sur Loire (Fridays).
  • The wine and food in this region is also pretty spectacular!

Tips for riding this route?

You are in the Loire Valley, one of the world’s most celebrated areas for fine wine. Guests always love to visit a wine grower and taste a local ‘sauvignon blanc’.

Take time to visit the chateaux. Or even just wonder around the woods, for example the woods around Chambord are lovely.

If you want to save time, you can book the château pass on site or online (here). Attending the knights’ show with horses and raptors at Chambord is magnificent for both children and adults (here).

More information

Find out more information about French Bike Tours’ Loire cycling holidays.

 

Route 5: Loire Valley bike tour: Orléans to Angers

Key facts

Total Distance

326 kilometres

Our tour offers:

  • Orléans – Beaugency – 28.2 km and 159 m ascent
  • Beaugency – Blois – 34.4 km and 229 m ascent
  • Blois – Amboise – 42.2 km and 341 m ascent
  • Amboise – Tours – 55.6 km and 419 m ascent
  • Tours – Villandry – Azay-le-Rideau – 41.1 km and 336 m ascent
  • Azay-le-Rideau – Montsoreau – 49.7 km and 438 m ascent
  • Montsoreau – Saumur – 15.9 km and 230 m ascent
  • Saumur – Angers – 58.5 km and 613 m ascent

Terrain

Easy cycling at a very relaxed pace along the Loire.

Route details

Quiet backroads and country lanes through the vineyards, including sections along the Loire à Vélo and Velo Francette.

Suitable bikes

Gravel, hybrid and e-bikes.

Orleans to Angers cycling route map

Start

Orleans

Overview of the route

In a country where riding a bike is a national sport, the Loire is one of the best and most easy places to ride a bike! We’ve included this section of the Loire à Vélo cycle route in this list as Orleans to Angers is probably the most beautiful section of what is France’s most popular cycle route.

This is a very relaxing trip on cycle paths and quiet roads through the world famous ‘Pays des Châteaux’. The trip gives you plenty of time to explore the historic towns and villages. Along the way you also come across magnificent Loire Valley castles such as Blois, Amboise and Villandry….

You cross the Anjou-Touraine natural reserve with its beautiful landscapes and nice stops during the day to taste one/some of the excellent wines of the region.

You will also arrive in an exceptionally valuable cultural-historical area; the area between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes is classified by UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a ‘living cultural landscape’. The route passes classic Loire villages and brings you with your bike to the front door of magnificent castles.

What are the highlights of cycling the Loire (Orleans to Angers)?

  • Cycle the Loire Valley from historic town to town with their winding medieval streets and prestigious castles. Blois, Amboise and Villandry are particular favourites. Don’t miss the summer light show at Blois!
  • This section of the Loire also includes possibilities to visit Chateau Chambord near Beaugency, Azay Le Rideau, Ussé (which inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty), and Château de Saumur.
  • In Blois, visit the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived and died.
  • In Tours, the incredible Cathedrale Saint Gatineau is definitely worth a visit.
  • Enjoy the most beautiful towns along the Loire: Orléans, Tours and Saumur.
  • Discover treasures of the Touraine and Anjou regions (two of the regions the Loire à Vélo passes through): wild riverscapes and vineyards that people travel across the world to visit.
  • Discover natural sites such as cave/troglodyte houses and the mushroom museum.

Tips for riding this route?

The ‘La  Loire à Vélo’ is well signposted, so don’t worry too much about navigation.

Roughly 40% of the Loire à Vélo features car-free cycling on cycle paths or greenways. The rest is on low-traffic local roads. It’s a great mix for first-time or recreational cyclists that want to combine culture, rich history, excellent food and wine with a cycling holiday.

The Loire is known as the last wild river in Western Europe as it has never been made into a canal. In fact, while it’s beautiful, it’s not that wild; don’t expect roaring rapids or waterfalls!

This self-guided cycling trip takes you through nature: you’ll find deserted beaches, immense sandbanks and oxbow lakes. It is home to terns, grebes, ospreys, blue herons, beavers ….

You see a lot of towns and villages. This can be great if you’re with young children who like breaks at boulangeries… It also means you don’t need to carry huge quantities of water and food as you can resupply at regular intervals.

More information

Find out more about French Bike Tours’ Loire Valley Orleans to Angers cycling holiday.

Part 2: Tips

Things to consider when planning a multi-day cycling route in France

Do your research

Look for popular cycling routes in France that match your interests. Then plan daily distances, points of interest, and accommodation.

Handy websites to help you plan your cycling holiday include France Vélo Tourisme is a comprehensive resource for planning cycling holidays in France. Their website features suggested itineraries, cycling routes, accommodation listings, and practical information for cyclists, including tips for cycling along canals and beautiful rivers.

Family cycling holidays in France

All of the France cycle routes we’ve mentioned here are relatively flat (the Obernai to Riquewihr day of our Alsace trip excluded perhaps), on trails or quiet lanes and well-marked routes with numerous facilities.

In our experience, from the age of 7 or 8, kids tend to be able to ride 20 to 30 kilometres per day. More if they’re trained! Cargo bikes or a suitable trailer can also make things easy. 

Remember that helmets are compulsory for children under-12 who are cycling in France.

What kind of bike to ride on your French cycling holiday?

On most of the cycle routes in France mentioned here, you can ride any bike due to the forgiving trail surfaces. Hybrid Bikes, or a gravel or adventure bike, equipped for travel and touring France are flexible options. Mountain bikes can be used anywhere, but will be slightly slower. Road bikes are a little more tricky if you want to use panniers – and if you go for a road bike, make sure you’ve fitted it with robust wide tyres to avoid discomfort and potential punctures over rougher ground.

E-Bikes are available to hire locally too for all of the routes above and we can arrange this for you with your tour.

Book accommodation for your France cycle holiday

There are numerous accommodation options to choose from in France when cycling including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campsites. Reserve hotels, B&Bs, or campsites along your route and consider breaking up your journey with overnight stays in some of the charming towns and villages along the way.

Book accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability.

Look for places that cater to cyclists and offer secure bike storage facilities.

Plan meals along your route

Research dining options and pack snacks for refuelling. Remember that if you’re heading somewhere very touristy or you want a Sunday lunch restaurant reservation, you may well need to book your restaurant in advance. See the notes on opening hours in France below.

Learn basic bike maintenance

Familiarise yourself with bike repairs and carry a repair kit.

Stay flexible

Embrace the journey and be open to unexpected discoveries.

Bike shops

In the bigger towns you pass, there will be bike shops that can help you on bike maintenance. While bike shops may offer repair services, it’s a good idea to carry basic tools and spare parts for minor repairs and adjustments. Items such as a multi-tool, tire levers, spare inner tubes, and a small pump can be invaluable in case of emergencies.

E-biking in France

Cycling through France by e-bike can also be a fantastic way to explore the picturesque route with added ease and flexibility.

Ensure your e-bike battery is fully charged each day before setting out on your journey. Identify locations along the route where you can recharge your battery, such as cafes, accommodations, or public charging stations. Carry a charger and adapter with you for added convenience.

Opening hours in France

Shops in villages are usually open from Tuesday to Saturday, 09:00 to 12:00 hrs and 14:00 to 18:00/19:00 hrs. Many shops close at lunchtime and many shops and restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday, especially in rural areas.

Opening hours will be longer in cities and towns. Larger supermarkets will stay open from 08:30 to 20:00 hrs. Bakeries will usually be open on Sunday mornings until 12:00 hrs.

Also be aware that the French usually take mid July to mid August as summer holidays; they also take public holidays very seriously. During public holidays especially, you will find very little to be open.

Do you need to speak French?

Not necessarily. More and more French people can speak some English. But if you do make an effort, this is much appreciated.

Trains

The train service in France is generally excellent and nowhere is that more true than in the Loire Valley.

The major towns on the Loire are easy to get to from Paris and other major towns and cities. By way of example, Paris to Orleans is between around 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes.

A train line also runs beside the river and gives access to 20 different towns. This makes it easy if you want to leave a car somewhere and then return or if you want to explore different places in a short space of time; just put your bike on the train and miss the bits of route you aren’t so interested in.

During the summer, there are special Velo-Loire trains with larger dedicated bike carriages that make it even easier to travel along the Loire by train.  It’s also generally easy to make your way from train stations to the Loire, as most train stations have well signposted directions.

Highway code and travel information

As ever, it’s a good idea to check current travel information before you book and travel. For UK visitors, the UK government travel information pages for France are here.

You should also read and follow France’s highway code.

 

What are the best times of year for cycling holidays in France?

The best season to cycle in France is generally during the spring and autumn months.

Spring (April to June): Spring offers mild temperatures and blooming landscapes, making it an ideal time for cycling. The weather is usually pleasant, with fewer crowds compared to the summer months. You’ll enjoy lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and moderate temperatures perfect for long rides.

Autumn (September to October): Autumn is another excellent time to cycle any of the routes mentioned above. The weather remains mild, and the scenery transforms into a sea of autumnal colour. Crowds thin out, allowing for a more peaceful and enjoyable experience. Plus, it’s grape harvest season!

Both spring and autumn provide comfortable temperatures for cycling, avoiding the possible extreme heat of summer. However, it’s essential to check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the spring. Additionally, some services and accommodations along the route may have limited availability during the offseason, so it’s a good idea to plan and book in advance.

For those limited to travelling in July and August, due to school holidays, make sure you pack the sunscreen! Bear in mind that it’s also the French holiday high season (typically 15 July – 15 August and later) as accommodation is more expensive and can be hard to find then in more touristy areas. You might also want to pack an alarm clock and try and get on the road early to avoid some of the midday heat.

Stay updated on weather forecasts and pack accordingly.

What are your packing tips for cycling holidays in France?

We recommend that you conduct a general service of your bike before you start the trip, as well as equipping your bike with “anti-puncture” tyres with a reflector strip in order to be visible from the sides.

Clothing

Pack Light: Bring essential gear and clothing, and pack efficiently.

Brightly coloured cycling gear and quick drying tops, padded shorts and cycling gloves are a good idea in case of inclement weather. A waterproof cycling jacket is also recommended and a light windproof jacket is always useful.

Cycling tops and shorts

While riding, you’ll want cycling tights or shorts and tops in a wicking or quick-dry material.

Quick-dry loose-fitting trousers are popular on these kind of active holidays and practical for sight-seeing, and shorts or zip-off trousers will be handy in warmer weather.

Don’t bring too much; you’re unlikely to use it!

Footwear

If you are not bringing cycling shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes, as these are better for cycling. This becomes more relevant the more demanding the trip grade and distance to cover.

If wearing shoes with laces, make sure they aren’t too long. You can tuck the ends of the laces into your shoes or socks to prevent them from getting caught in the chain or spokes.

Remember that cycling shoes with protruding cleats are not well suited to tours that combine sightseeing with cycling.

Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

You can find more packing tips in this article.

Do you need someone to organise your cycling tour of France?

Of course it’s not essential to have someone like us organise your holiday. However there are certain advantages! Our self-guided cycling holidays are perfect for those who like to explore at their own speed with the bonus of having arrangements like luggage transfer and places to stay sorted out for you. This saves planning time.

We also have years of experience in planning cycling trips in France and so you can be sure that the self-guided cycling routes we suggest are suitable for your particular requirements, whether you’re travelling as a family, in a couple, or as an individual. We supply all the routes on an app, so you have all the routes and information you need in one easy to access place.

It’s worth knowing that a self-guided cycling trip is not the same as a fully guided trip. A self-guided holiday means you still have to be good at solving problems, adapting, and paying attention to details. You need to be okay with reading maps, using travel apps or notes, and have a decent sense of direction. Sometimes, you might get lost and need to find your way again or ask locals for directions. This is part of the fun.

The same is true for making minor repairs to your bike during the trip – for example you need to know how to change a flat tyre. On a self-guided trip you won’t have a support vehicle with you all the time (but of course, we are on call if there are any major problems!).

Tell us more about your cycling tours in France

At French Bike Tours, we offer self-guided cycling trips where everything is organised so that our customers can travel and cycle in complete freedom.

We organise everything

We provide turnkey holidays designed to give our guests a real taste of France, with detailed cycling itineraries developed and designed by our team.

  • These trips are all available on our mobile app so guests have access to them on the move.
  • We also take care of booking accommodation and luggage transfers between each stage of the trip.
  • We offer 24/7 local assistance.
  • We take care of providing bike rental and accessories.
  • We provide advice on sightseeing, heritage and things to discover in the destination.
  • We provide flexible start dates, so you choose when you want to start your holiday.

Our self-guided cycling holidays in France are ideal for independent travellers who like to explore at their own pace, but with the logistics taken care of.

Diversity

All the members of the French Bike Tours team come from different backgrounds. For us, open-mindedness and knowledge of different cultural landscapes are essential pillars of quality cycling holidays.

Each team member has specific knowledge of France as well as varied professional experience, enabling us to form a complementary team to help our clients have the best possible French cycling trip.

Passion for France’s cycling opportunities

We want to pass on our knowledge of these areas to travellers, enabling them to discover places that they wouldn’t have been able to explore otherwise. Our aim is to pass on our passion for culture and discovery and help our guests on the unforgettable experience that is travelling by bike! We want to help our travellers immerse themselves in the culture of the country, through the discovery of its cultural heritage, gastronomy and culinary specialities, but also through meeting the locals.

Personalised approach

We try to satisfy our customers’ requests as best we can, helping and advising them on the choice of an itinerary suited to their wishes (discovery of nature, the cultural heritage of a region, seaside, vineyards…) and we are available to respond to all their requests. Our team is in contact with guests before their trip, during their trip if they have any questions, and on their return. We attach particular importance to this relationship aspect.

Where can people find out more about French Bike Tours?

Please head to our website at www.french-biketours.com.

We’d love to find out more about what you’re looking for from your next cycling holiday in France and help you find the right trip for you!

A huge thanks to Marije for her insights into some of the best cycling in France. We hope it inspires your next trip – let us know your plans in the comments below!

The following articles may also be useful when planning your trip to France:

Happy cycling!

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Got a question for Marije?

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Marije Capelle

Marije Capelle runs S-Cape France. She set up French Bike Tours in 2018 to share the best cycling holidays in France with her guests. Marije says “France is a very varied country, with beautiful landscapes as well as amazing food and wines. I now understand why the French love to travel in their own country. There are so many amazing areas to explore. I would love to share my passion for France with you!”

Last Reviewed: 22 April 2024

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