Cycling Holidays to France
What’s great about France is that there is a huge choice of cycling holidays available – from challenging Tour de France type routes to the more gentle family friendly breaks.
Cycling is a great way to discover the countryside at leisure – explore the rural roads and chateaux, coastal tracks and hidden coves.
Family-friendly cycle paths
The French are good at designated cycle paths, including some incredible long-distance cycleways which offer a couple of thousand kilometres through some beautiful areas.
Western France, from the Vendee south (in the Pays de Loire), through the Nouvelle Aquitaine (Charente and down south of Bordeaux) offer brilliant family-friendly cycling holidays in France.
There are many cycle paths through scented pinewood forests, along coastal paths and round inland lakes that make the cycling easy for the grown-ups and children alike. The land is fairly flat and the cycle paths well maintained.
Cycle hire in France
In all regions of France you’ll find it easy to hire bikes in your holiday resort if you don’t fancy taking your own.
Your own Tour de France
There are plenty of tour operators who offer special Tour de France cycling holidays.
Companies we can recommend for great family-friendly cycling holidays are Velo Vecors – rated ‘Excellent’ on Trip Advisor. Find out more about Velo Vecors here…
And also Headwater. They offer a range of family-friendly cycling holidays which take you along riverside trails, through sleepy hamlets and vineyards, and to some of France’s finest chateaux…
2017 Tour de France in the French Alps
Buzz Cycling Tour de France Weeks
Amelia and Joe at Buzz Cycling have two fabulous weeks lined up for the Tour. Enjoy it with locals by taking in the best cafes, the best views, the most famous climbs and the best vantage points. Price includes accommodation, breakfasts and afternoon tea, evening dinners (5 or 6 nights), local transport and logistics, vehicle support, experienced domestiques and a souvenir bidon. In 2017 there are two different weeks to choose from.
Option 1: July 3-10: 7 night stay including 2 Tour de France stages
Option 2: July 15-23: 8 night stay including 1 Tour de France stage
Full details here.
2017 Tour de France in the Alps & Provence
Serre des Ormes Tour de France Cycling Holiday
Join the team at Serre Des Ormes for Le Tour week, which combines fabulous riding around the stunning Méouge Valley with a fully supported trip to what will surely be a crucial mountain stage of the Tour over Col de Vars and a summit finish on Col d’Izoard. The week also includes a supported ride to the Gorges de la Nesque and Ventoux. End the week by riding out to watch Stage 19 of the tour as the riders head south from the mountains, through the lavender fields of Provence on the longest stage of the tour. Price includes Marseille Airport transfer, B&B, six evening meals, 2 fully supported days riding. There’s also route guidance and GPX files for the rest of the week’s riding.
Full details here.
2017 Tour de France in the Pyrenees
Mountainbug Tour de France Week
Cyclists Rob and Emma at Mountainbug run this trip from their own chalet base in Barèges. It’s aimed at keen road cyclists who want to experience the Tour de France while also riding classic Pyrenean routes. It includes viewing two live TDF stage finishes – and it comes complete with local knowledge. On your doorstep will be the Aspin, Hourquette d’Ancizan, Tourmalet, Soulor, Hautacam, Aubisque, Luz-Ardiden and others. Oh, and the Col de Tentes – at 2200m the highest paved road in the Pyrenees. Half-board accommodation with picnic lunches on cycling days, 5 days of guided/vehicle supported cycling, local transfers and safe storage for your bike. Loads of local knowledge thrown in.
Full details here.
Veloroo Tour de France Week
Julia and Steve at road bike specialists VeloRoo have a Tour de France Pyrenees trip running from July 9-15, 2017. It includes 6 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels, guided riding and support car, performance road bike hire, TWO Tour de France stages, cycling bib shorts, jersey and gloves (plus daily washing), all breakfasts, all lunches and all dinners – all you have to do is ride (and cheer). This is a personalised tour so numbers are limited (it sold out in 2016). Non-cycling partners welcome (there will be a support car for you!)
Full details here.
Running from the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean port of Sète, the Canal du Midi is a beautiful stretch of inland waterway in Southern France.
Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, visitors can enjoy cruising, walking or cycling along this canal. Construction began in 1667, under the reign of Louis XIV and it opened on May 15th 1681. Pierre-Paul Riquet designed and built the Canal Royal de Languedoc (as it was then known) with the aim of transporting wheat, wine and textiles. Two centuries later, the canal was linked to the Canal du Garonne and this waterway then reached the Atlantic.
The Canal Royal de Languedoc was renamed the Canal du Midi during the French Revolution, and by 1856 it carried over 100,000 tonnes of cargo and a million passengers a year. However, by the following year commerce had almost dried up due to the opening of the Bordeaux to Sete railway.
The combination of stunning scenery, wide variety of nature, avenue of trees and of course the sheer engineering prowess and unique locks that run the length of the canal, have given the Canal du Midi a renaissance. Since the 1990s tourists have flocked to the world renowned stretch of water and its popularity continues to grow.
The canal passes through a great number of wine growing areas, including the Herault, the Aude, Minervois and Corbieres. You will also see many fields of sunflowers, meander through little villages and past cafes and see a wide variety of wildlife.
Check out this website for routes, reviews and suggestions for bike hire along the Canal du Midi.