The best cycling destinations in France

If one has to choose the biggest hotspot of cycling in Europe, then the winner can hardly be an other country than France, the country that made cycling one of the most exciting sports on the planet. The Tour de France is watched by millions of people in France and abroad every summer, and you’d have to be completely made of stone not to end up rooting for a cyclist and eagerly waiting for new developments in the tour. But you definitely don’t have to be a professional cyclist in order to enjoy cycling in France, even if you want to tackle Tour de France caliber trails. There are hundreds of cycling trails and destinations for the avid amateur cyclist who travels in France, and even for those who just want to see the French countryside on a bike. Here are the best cycling destinations in France.

Luberon, Provence

photo by Laura and Fulvio

Luberon might not seem like the first choice for those who are not seasoned cyclists, but this region in the heart of Provence actually offers trails for every level of skill and experience. The Luberon mountain range has some incredible scenery and the mountains are not particularly tall, so you won’t have to climb to extreme altitudes. The valley between the mountains is one of the most picturesque places in Provence, with little towns and villages and vineyards that will convince you to take longer breaks for cycling than you planned.

The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is world famous for its astounding castles, and if you don’t necessarily want to visit each and every one of them but you’d nonetheless like to see some of them from afar, you can embark on a cyclist trip along the Loire. You can start at Blois and go as far as Saumur, as there are more than enough places where to stop for the night.

Burgundy

Semur en Auxois, Burgundy

Burgundy is a great destination for those who love good food and good wine, but it can be even better for those who like all these things plus cycling and seeing beautiful scenery. The trails in Burgundy are not very difficult, and gentle rides through vineyards and along small farms will show you one of the most picturesque sides of France.

Dordogne, Aquitaine

If slowly rolling hills and vineyards are too gentle for you, try a trip through Dordogne where you can satisfy your craving for craggy outcrops, gorges and valleys. The stone villages of Monpazier, Rocamadour, Domme and La Roque Gageac should definitely be on your itinerary.

Auvergne

Laroquebrou, Auvergne

Part of Auvergne is occupied by the Massif Central mountain range and the rest consists of vast open green spaces dotted with lakes, volcanoes and woods, which means that any cyclist wandering this way has arrived in at one of the best cycling destinations in France. The valley of the river Allier has some particularly scenic routes.

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