France is a country known for its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and vibrant culture, also holds a special place for cycling enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes, from the towering peaks of the French Alps to the gentle riverside trails of the Loire Valley, France offers a plethora of options for unforgettable cycling holidays. Let’s explore the top six places to experience cycling holidays in France in 2023. Read about each below!
- The Haute-Alpes
- The Pyrenees
- Loire Valley
Situated in the French Alps, the Haute-Alpes region offers an unrivalled destination for cycling enthusiasts. With legendary mountain passes we see in the Tour de France and breathtaking alpine landscapes, you can tick off iconic climbs like the Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez. If you’re looking for a challenge, why not take on The Haute Route, a three-day tour held in July, challenges cyclists with some of the toughest routes in the region.
Stretching along the border between France and Spain, the Pyrenees Mountains have long been an iconic part of the Tour de France. Base yourself in Pau or nearby, and explore the Boulevard des Pyrénées and the Château de Pau. Don’t miss the opportunity to conquer legendary climbs such as Col d’Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, and Hautacam.
Nestled in the southeastern part of France, Provence offers a mix of rolling hills, lavender fields, and medieval villages. With a mild climate and diverse terrain, it caters to cyclists of all levels. Marvel at the picturesque Luberon Valley, visit charming towns like Gordes and Roussillon, and challenge yourself with the legendary Mont Ventoux climb. The Mediterranean coastline along the Côte d’Azur provides scenic routes through vineyards, olive groves, and coastal paths.
Often overlooked, the northern end of France offers a captivating cycling experience. Brittany boasts a rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and medieval towns, while the Emerald Coast is renowned for its stunning beaches and picturesque fishing villages. Explore the charming port towns of Saint-Malo and Dinan, and pedal along the legendary Pink Granite Coast. The region also offers a 365km canal path from Nantes to Brest for a more leisurely ride.
Known as the “Garden of France” or the “Cradle of the French,” the Loire Valley is a cyclist’s paradise. Immerse yourself in the stunning castles, lush vineyards, and gentle riverside trails. Admire architectural marvels such as Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château d’Amboise. The Loire à Vélo cycle trail, spanning 900km along the river, offers well marked routes suitable for leisurely riders and families.
For mountain biking enthusiasts, Morzine is a must-visit destination. Known for its incredible downhill mountain bike trails, the town offers ski lifts to avoid hard climbs. Take some time to relax by Les Gets lake, a family-friendly spot. With a network of well-maintained trails and a cycling-friendly community, Morzine caters to mountain bikers of all skill levels.
France is a treasure trove of cycling opportunities, offering a diverse range of landscapes and experiences. Whether you seek the thrill of conquering iconic climbs, leisurely rides through picturesque countryside, or adrenaline-pumping mountain biking trails, France has it all. Embrace the challenge, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and enjoy the delightful weather that awaits you on your cycling holiday in France in 2023.
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