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Cycling trip to France

TheaudiobullyTheaudiobully Posts: 32
edited July 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi everyone,

I'm planning on heading over to France in the summer (July or August) but i'm undecided on what routes to take. I've been considering doing London to Paris but I think i'd quite like to travel over to France and then have four or five days cycling around. Does anyone have any recommended routes or any info on the best places to cycle in France?

Posts

  • onbike 1939onbike 1939 Posts: 708
    Try not to cover too much ground, as it ceases to be a relaxing holiday when one is racing rather than touring. If a relatively flat area is what you're looking for, then the Loire area is perfect. However, if you want variety and wonderful scenery combined with good food, then Burgundy is the answer.
    France has so much to offer that you will be spoiled for choice.
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    A directline from london to Paris aint the best route..Maybe follow the footsteps of one of several charity runs Heres an example
    http://www.bike-events.com/Ride.aspx?id=255
    jc
  • where are you in the UK? Which ports are you closest too? Are you planning to take car over or just take bike on train then ride straight off the ferry? I've not been there, but Northern France (between Paris and Calais) doesn't seem to offer as much as Brittany/Normandy (or the rest of France). You can get there from Portsmouth/Plymouth (and Weymouth/Poole/Newhaven). Plenty of other threads on here about touring in France (what maps. what campsites are like. etc)
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy, Loire Valley, Vosges. Just to start with. But bear in mind that France in July and August will be busy.
  • where are you in the UK? Which ports are you closest too? Are you planning to take car over or just take bike on train then ride straight off the ferry? I've not been there, but Northern France (between Paris and Calais) doesn't seem to offer as much as Brittany/Normandy (or the rest of France). You can get there from Portsmouth/Plymouth (and Weymouth/Poole/Newhaven). Plenty of other threads on here about touring in France (what maps. what campsites are like. etc)

    I'm in the Midlands (Derby). I haven't put too much thought into how i'll get over there to be honest. I'm pretty flexible so I can either take the train, plane, ferry or drive.
  • I've been looking into Burgundy and I have to say it looks amazing. I'm not sure what part of Burgundy to visit. Any ideas/recommendations anyone?
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    http://www.explore.co.uk/Explore/UI/Dos ... ers/BY.pdf
    I like this cycling holiday company Used them a few times but may be too easy /organised for some.Some ideas for DIY if you dont wish to join them
    jc
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    DIY - Brittany Ferries have some details on their website about cycle routes round Cherbourg, St Malo and somewhere else that they go. You can car (or ride) it down to Portsmouth, leave the car there, hop on the ferry, hop off and just ride. We did the Cotentin peninsular on our tandem last year, once you get off the "main" roads, it is beautiful rolling countryside, sea on both sides, historical stuff in the D-Day landing stuff, lovely and quiet roads, undulating rather than flat/boring/hilly/back breaking.

    Loved it. Loads of campsites for touring, loads of B&Bs for credit card touring.
  • You could go down to Portsmouth, dump the car and then take the ferry to Caen, ride around for a while and come back from St. Malo via the Loire valley. The viaMichelin site seems to pick good cycling routes.
  • onbike 1939onbike 1939 Posts: 708
    I've been looking into Burgundy and I have to say it looks amazing. I'm not sure what part of Burgundy to visit. Any ideas/recommendations anyone?

    If scenery is your bag then have a look at the National park which is beautiful. Don't miss Beaune and the Hôtel-Dieu in particular as this is amazing. No matter where you go the countryside is pretty stunning but I'd recommend riding it fro North to South as this is easier with the many terraces used for vineyards.
    The food is good and rich in this area and the wines worth exploring. The many Gothic cathedrals are very grand but not to my taste, these are built upon early Christian churches which are charming and can be entered through the inside of the cathedral.
  • Big WibBig Wib Posts: 363
    there is a signposted route all the way along the Loire which also forms part of the Eurovelo network (route 6 I think). I'm trying to decide whether to do this from say Orleans coastwards or just go somewhere and wander around for a few days.
  • I did a five day cycling holiday in the Loire last year with these guys - www.loirelifecycling.com. There were planned routes but I was pretty much able to follow them as I wanted and at my own pace. Managed to see quite a few of the famous sights on the Loire and the cycling was on empty roads. Have fun!
  • South West France is a great area. During the Second World War the Germans built tracks through the forests for their motorbike couriers between the pill boxes. These have now been improved to be probably the best cycle lanes I've ever cycled on. Have a look for yourself.
    http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/cycling_west ... ance_1.htm

    Can you smell the pine trees?
  • Although the families of 'Vrienden op de Fiets' can be found mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium, they are also present in Burgundy where 9 of them allow cyclists and hikers to overnight at their homes for a friendly 18,50 euro pp/pn.
    http://www.vriendenopdefiets.nl and http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?hl=nl&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=117869826318271955714.000486520a11618c85770&ll=47.52091,3.817749&spn=2.94913,5.614014&t=h&z=8&iwloc=0004865231e73fb7d2917
    Interactive Map for the whole of France:
    http://www.af3v.org/CarteAF3V/carte-detaillee.html
    More ideas for Burgundy: http://voiescyclables.free.fr/bourgogne.html
    .
    60 bicycle trails along Belgian canals, rivers and former railway tracks : http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies
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