Cycling along the river Loire is like hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or climbing Everest. It’s an absolute classic! The picturesque Loire’s castle-lined routes have long been the playground of kings and queens. Not much has changed, it’s just that cyclists have replaced the royalty. It’s not a coincidence that a part of the Loire valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What is the first thing you imagine when you read ‘Provence’? Right, it’s lavender fields! The region is not only famous for its purple blooms and Tour de France but also for some great riding on sunny backroad routes through quaint villages, vineyards, olive groves and cherry orchards.
Paris experienced a huge boom in cycling over the last 3 years. Even some major city boulevards, like the left bank of the river Seine right in the city centre, became a ‘cycling-only’ area. Explore ‘the city of love’, packed with famous landmarks, on an easy 11 kms ride we picked for you; and enjoy riding on the famous Champs Elysées boulevard and right around the Eiffel Tower!
Old World wine regions offer some of the best recreational cycling on the planet; vines tend to thrive in scenic and hilly but not mountainous countryside in Burgundy. Wine towns tend to be small and cosy and the traffic is never too dense. We picked a route that we think best shows what the actual cycling in Burgundy looks like: No pompous ‘châteaux’, or cruise ships navigating the many local canals. Just tiny roads, rolling hills and a mixture of cultivated fields and wine are going to be your companions on a pleasant ride in the low evening light.
Not many regions in France have such an interesting history and culture like Alsace in the north-eastern tip of the country, bordering Germany and Switzerland. As the centuries passed, the area alternated between German and French control; so even though you will be riding only within France, the most common language is German. Of course, it’s not only the culture but also the winding roads, historical towns and ever-present vineyards that make Alsace one of the top picks for cycling in France.
The French Riviera is more often referred to as the ‘Azure Coast’ and belongs to a region where riders, of every fitness level, find their ideal ride. In case you’re looking for challenging mountain terrain, head north where you will immediately start gaining height on the winding roads of the Alpes Maritimes, the southernmost tip of the Alps. If you prefer ocean views and flat profiles, you should stay on the coast; any ride around Nice, Antibes or Cannes will please your soul!
There is likely no climb in the world more famous than Mont Ventoux. It’s the Tour de France that helped this mountain climb reach its glory. This year marked the climb’s 70th birthday on ‘The Old Lady’ race. Stage 11 witnessed a double ascent, of the Mont Ventoux, for the first time in the history of the Tour.