The spiritual home of cycling is just across the channel. France is a country with synonymous with cycling – from the velocipede, to pneumatic tyres, to Le Tour de France – they pretty much invented the sport. Whether your dream riding holiday involves cresting cols and following in the wheel tracks of famous racers of gently meandering alongside beautiful rivers, France has something to offer everyone.
Known for its delicious cuisine, stunning scenery and fantastic wines, France has always been a popular destination for Brits, but combined with the French love and respect for the bicycle, it’s the perfect destination for a cycling holiday. We offer so many different types of French holiday – here’s a small sample of the finest.
Puisaye Paradise – Magical Family Adventures (Grade 0)
Deciding whether to spend your first few nights in a gypsy caravan nestled in the orchard, or in a treehouse up amongst the leafy canopy, is the biggest challenge you’ll be faced with on this family holiday. You’ll begin with a breakfast basket being delivered to your door, then a little gentle cycling builds the anticipation for some magical adventures; seeing a medieval castle being built, spotting buffaloes in the Parc du Boutissaint or dwarf goats at Favarelle. From cycling down lanes to swinging through the trees at Bois de la Folie, you’ll end this trip having enjoyed an unforgettable family adventure.
Chateaux of the Loire – Quintessential Romantic France (Grade 2/3)
One of the most popular parts of France for leisure cycling, the Loire has a host of dramatic Chateaux to marvel at as you cruise past on the mainly flat, very quiet, riverside lanes. You can see why the French aristocracy were seduced by the beauty of the area and why they built their ornate homes here. The Loire is of course also a very popular wine region. Your ride will take you past many vineyards and there will always be an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of your day in the saddle.
Haute Dordogne – Rural France at its Finest (Grade 2/3)
The Dordogne region has always been a popular tourist destination, but on this trip we also show you the Auvergne, one of France’s most deeply rural and undiscovered regions, offering some of the widest variety of rural French riding. Starting in Southern Dordogne, we ride through wooded hills down to the Lot valley, passing through many vineyards en route to Cahors, famous for its red wine. As we near the Auvergne, vineyards give way to the distinctive domed mounds of the Puys, extinct volcanoes, culminating in a climb of the Puy Mary where you will be able to see the full extent of this intriguing landscape.
St Malo to Nice – Classic French Coast to Coast (Grade 3/4)
Our 900 mile journey takes you from the ancient walled town of St.Malo on the Brittany coast to the glittering glamour of Nice. As you ride through quiet country roads and rural villages, you’ll get a real taste of changing French culture and scenery. You can enjoy a glass of Calvados in Normandy and the finest red wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Our route includes all the highlights of France, such as the Loire and Provence, but also shows you the lesser known spots we think are just as beautiful, such as the Gorges de Lot.
Raid Alpine – Col Conquering Challenge (Grade 5)
If you enjoy climbing and fancy a real challenge, then the Raid Alpine is the one for you. The route takes us over 43 categorised cols, naturally including many made famous by the Tour de France, including the highest road pass in Europe, the Cime de la Bonnette at over 2800m. Not for the faint-hearted or weak of leg, this route will push even the strongest of riders, but the sense of satisfaction at conquering so many mountains and reaching the sea in Nice for a well-earned dip in the Med makes it all worthwhile.