5 Best Places to Cycle in France

two people cycling

two people cycling

Cycling is one of the most popular sports in France — and rightly so. Apart from the internationally attended Tour de France, the country is home to many scenic locations that will delight any adventure and nature lover. In addition, many French residents use bicycles as their main mode of transport around the city. This is because there are rules in place that protect the well-being and safety of cyclists, with many roads even deliberately closed on weekends for leisure and competitive cycling events. Simply put, bicycles are a major deal in France.

From Parisian adventures to cycling tours in Carcassone, locals and tourists alike are of the same opinion that there’s nothing like the French scenery to complete a cyclist’s experience. Another huge plus is that it doesn’t cost much to enjoy. Here are some of the most beautiful places to hold cycling tours in the country:

1. Alsace

Alsace is home to stretches of vineyards, so you also might want to stop by for a taste at local wines. It is located between France and Germany, so you can expect to see a merge of cultures among its residents. In addition to seeing an expanse of greens, the locals are also friendly and willing to lend a hand (or a story or two about historical wars and territorial tales).

2. Burgundy

Another great option for wine lovers, old world wine, in particular, Burgundy is one of the top choices for cycling tours by tourists from all over the world. It is located in the countryside, so you can expect to see plenty of greens, rolling hills, and breathtaking scenery. This part of France is not urbanized and there will be no exhaust for heavy traffic to ruin your experience. And because it is home to great wine, you’ll find delicious food in the area, as well.

3. Bordeaux

france tourist spots

This location offers an immersion into France’s rich history. When you start the tour at Saint-Emilion and plan to end at the Bergerac region, expect to see lots of ancient architecture. Bordeaux, particularly Castillon-la-Bataille, is where the Hundred Years War had its final battle, so you can make plenty of pit stops to breathe the history in. After which, you can enjoy cycling at the banks of the Dordogne River.

4. Carcassone

The city of Carcassone offers a spectacular view of the French countryside and is a popular spot for cyclists before moving on to the Pyrenees. Sights to look forward to include the Port d’Envalira in Andorra. Cycling tours in this city are often compared to what the pros experience from Tour of Spain or Tour de France because of its mountainous terrain.

5. Provence

When it Provence, cycling enthusiasts usually steer clear of the tourist hotspots and opt for the hidden tour locations. A popular first stop is the Petit Luberon valley, which gives you a great view of the sea and then moving on to the Bonnieux village and the 2,000-year-old Pont Julien (French for Julian Bridge), which is characterized by a Roman stone arch that goes over the Calavon river.

Paris, of course, is a given, as it is where major landmarks are located. But if you are looking for a trip that’s quite different from what most tourists experience, cycling tours to the less-travelled places, where the air is fresher and the natural sights are even more breathtaking, are the best way to go.