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France Coast to Coast - S to N

GarryMGarryM Posts: 77
edited February 2012 in Tour & expedition
I am cycling through France in a few months' time and just wondered if anyone might have any suggestions as to particular towns or places along my route which I should try and visit/cycle through? I won't have much time for sightseeing as I'll be cycling most of the day but as I have no local knowledge at all, I can see it would be very easy to miss lovely places or routes that would add little or nothing to my daily mileages if I only knew about them!
My route is:
Day 1 - Port du Bouc (near Marseille) to Nyon (via Mont Ventoux)
Day 2 - on to Annonay
Day 3 - on to Noiretable (this looks to be a small village - anyone know it?)
Day 4 - on to Montlucon
Day 5 - on to Loches
Day 6 - on to Segre
Day 7 - finish St Malo
Any help offered will be much appreciated.


  • You might find this link with map helpful ... llages.php
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    GarryM wrote:
    I have no local knowledge at all, I can see it would be very easy to miss lovely places or routes that would add little or nothing to my daily mileages if I only knew about them!

    I think it would be worth buying or borrowing a guidebook. If you can read French then try the Guide Routard series, otherwise there's always the Rough Guide or the Lonely Planet guides. Alternatively a little time on the tourist information sites for the areas you are passing through should give you some idea of what's available.

    Michelin maps are also useful because they highlight scenic routes - if you don't have access to the paper maps you could always go to the site.

    The recommendation for the 'plus beaux villages' is a good one: here's the official site as well:
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    You can't help missing something, impossible to cover everything and even just sticking to your route will give you enough to look at. If you are pushed for time, nothing worse than discovering something that you haven't got the time to really appreciate. The links posted seem to cover things pretty well. I will just add this list from the FFCT
    it's the list of the tourist sites counting for the FFCT Brevet Cyclotouriste National.

    When you go from Annonay to Noiretable think to pass by the Col de la République and stop at the monument dedicated to Vélocio. Nothing very great in itself but a monument to french cycletouring. Afterwards you may have a bit of a problem going round or through St Etienne, but nothing impossible.
  • GarryMGarryM Posts: 77
    Thank you all very much. Lots for me to look at although mz_jo may well be right in that I may not have the time to really appreciate some of the lovely places I will be cycling through. All good advice though so I now have some homework to do!
  • we cycled northsouthin 2010 sante was an great unexpected suprise over night stop
    Training for the Cycle to Spain and the Quebrantahuesos
  • I'm in the middle of planning mine - pretty similar actually. I've got two weeks off and this is my first tour, and if I like it I'll junk the old steel and get some titanium instead

    I'm flying down to Marseille in April, getting to Bedoin on the first day, Ventoux the next, then up the Rhone, breaking off before Lyon. From there, either direct to Nevers (I do believe there's a mountain in the way), or via Morvan as a friend is there. From here it's up the Loire to Orleans, and then a route to Caen to take the over night to Portsmouth and back to Sussex.

    I will be camping as it's relatively cheap, but no cooking gear, as I'll eat on the go from shops (we'll see how that goes).

    Hope this is useful to you.
  • GarryMGarryM Posts: 77
    Good luck to you Heavyboned! I hope all goes well.
  • Thanks - I'm sure the snow will have gone from the south of France by then........
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