The Loire Valley is known as â€˜The Garden of Franceâ€™ and it offers relaxed and picturesque cycling. This is many peopleâ€™s classic image of France - quiet country roads and grape laden vineyards as well as medieval castles, chateaux and cave villages.
As well as wine and champagne, France is also well known for its cognac. This famous spirit has been produced for many years in vineyards along the Charente River in western France.
In the very south west of France youâ€™ll find the Basque country - a culturally distinct nation that straddles the French-Spanish border on the Atlantic coast. It is possible to cycle through the rolling Basque countryside, stopping off at the beautifully preserved old town of Saint Jean Pied de Port â€“ a crossing point for many that are on St. Jamesâ€™ pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. After your dayâ€™s ride you can sample the famous cuisine available in Bayonne and Biarritz.
Also in the balmy climate of the south of France you can find the Canal du Midi. Originally a huge engineering project to link the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, the Canal du Midi now provides a scenic tree-lined cycle route away from traffic. Pedal past the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne into the heart of the Minervois wine region.