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Experiences Cycling Trips Cycling in Europe Cycling in France

Cycling in France

Take a cycle holiday in France to enjoy the scenic beauty, enchanting culture,  delicious food and fine wine the French countryside has to offer. From the iconic high passes of the Alps and Pyrenees to the gently meandering valleys famous for their wine production, it is possible to find cycling routes in France to suit all abilities and interests.

When it comes to cycling, few countries have such a special relationship with two wheels as France. Each year, the legendary Tour de France attracts enthusiasts and causal observers alike. But for all the skill, excitement and endurance of Le Tour, riding at that speed doesn’t leave a great deal of time to take in the spectacular surroundings.

Peter Mayle’s best-selling book A Year in Provence and the subsequent TV adaptation helped to open the UK’s eyes to this stunning region in the early 1990s. Of course a year is a long time but on a one week cycling trip of Provence you could find out how one French region particularly inspired Van Gogh, and continues to produce some of the country’s finest wines. Provence is also home to the famous Mont Ventoux, set in the Luberon Hills. Ventoux is a challenging cycle ascent that has gone down in cycling legend after featuring in so many races.

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The Loire Valley is known as ‘The Garden of France’ and it offers relaxed and picturesque cycling. This is many people’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 you’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 – a crossing point for many that are on St. James’ pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. After your day’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.

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