Wednesday, 17 March 2010

6 top bicycling regions in France

Any one who has watched the Tour de France quickly recognizes the French are passionate about cycling. When considering a destination to bicycle tour in Europe France should be near the top of your list.

The top 6 regions for bicycle touring in France:

The Dordogne - located in southern France a bicycle tour along the River Dordogne provides plenty to see along the way. In Montignac visit prehistoric caves; the fortress at Beynac; Castelnaud, the English castle from the 100 years war is across the river and Rocamadour built on the side of a huge ravine. You will have some steep climbs but the views from the quaint towns at the top are worth it. The food is superb in an area known for its foie gras, walnuts and fine wines.

Alsace - also known for its fine wines with vineyards surrounding medieval villages such as Colmar. Located near the German border when bicycle touring you will also find some hilly terrain the further you travel from the Rhine River.

Loire Valley - located just south of Paris this route offers the gentlest route when bicycle touring of the regions listed here. Many cyclists on their first visit to France visit a few of the 300 magnificent chateaux such as the Chateau de Chenonceau built along the Loire River.

Brittany & Normandy - located in the region north of Paris. A highlight is to cycle the causeway to historic abbey at Mont-Saint-Michel. Also along this route you will pass a rugged coastline and some white sandy beaches. Inland your bicycle touring takes you past apple orchards, cows on rich pastures and picturesque medieval towns.

Burgundy - offers some of the best wines in the world and is also known for its great bicycle touring. There will be some steep climbs, pretty medieval towns with cobblestone streets to keep you alert. Cycling between Dijon and Nuits-St Georges you will have the opportunity to enjoy some the prestigious wines and cuisine which has made Burgundy so famous.

Provence - offers a contrast when bicycle touring. The Rhone delta area is quite flat while the Luberon is hilly and finally some villages filled with artists perched on top of hills requiring a steep climb. You will also want to see some of the historic sights such as the Pont du Gard built by the Romans.

The best time bicycle tour in Europe including France is in late May, June or September. Avoid the heat and crowds you will find in the summer. Any of these bicycling adventures in France will provide you with a great 2 to 3 week vacation.

And every year Tom Oxby visits Europe on bicycle touring and hiking trips. He has found that proper planning is essential to get the most from your trip. For more fascinating information about bicycle touring in Europe and the regions of France visit his website at

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