France is one of those countries that is ideal for cycling tours, primarily thanks to the extraordinary scenery, delicious food and growing network of long distance cycle routes. This makes France one of the biggest markets for cycle tourism in Europe and the world. Thousands of people, especially British families take holidays to France each year for no reason other than to lap up the amazing cycling opportunities on offer. Although with the size of the country and its abundance of stunning towns, cities and resorts, choosing the right route may turn into a difficult quest.
Here are five excellent cycle routes in France that deserve to be considered;
The first thing to remember is that just as long as you head in the direction of France’s famed Voies Vertes, aka the Greenways, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with over 2,600km of wholly family-safe cycling paths and tracks. As such, you can take a look at the resort you were thinking of going to, locate the nearest Voies Vertes (the full map can be found online) and take the bikes out for a day you’ll never forget.
Loire à Vélo
Don’t be put off by the fact that the Loire à Vélo project measures in at 800km in total cycle path length – nobody’s saying you need to cycle the whole thing! A full two-thirds of the pathways between Saint-Brévin and Cuffy run right next to the stunning River Loire, making it the perfect choice for those wishing to take in the majesty of a few famous buildings and all manner of glorious little villages along the way.
Le Bais de Somme
For those with a taste for all-things nature and for the perfect excuse to stop along the way and soak up the sun on the sand, there’s an amazing network of cycle routes at Le Bais de Somme which go through gorgeous grasslands, mudflats and right through to stunning sand dunes – all with a beautiful view out to the sea along the whole route. It is a bit on the hilly side in some places, but the good news is that your bikes at least travel 100% free of charge on the local railway – great for when those little legs have just about had enough for the day!
Voies Vertes Trans
Close to the border with Belgium, this beautiful area of greenery boasts an 85km stretch of the Voies Vertes and is, at least in an official capacity, certified as easy. From Givet to Charleville-Mezieres, you’ll be treated to a dreamy backdrop and stumble across pretty little regions apparently forgotten by time as the rest of us know it. Again, there’s a train service that runs the whole of the route, so no worries if you can’t handle the full length of it.
Piste du Canal L’Ourcq
Last but not least, it’s one thing to get out and about across France’s gorgeous countryside on the bikes, but what about those with a taste for cosmopolitan city living? Here’s your answer – the Piste du Canal L’Ourcq stretches from the lovely greenery of Claye-Souilly right through to Parc de la Villette in Paris.