Home to the Tour de France, famous vineyards, exquisite cuisine, historic châteaux and miles and miles of beautiful countryside, France offers fantastic variety and cycle friendly opportunities for the novice to the enthusiast to explore by bike.
What to expect from cycling tours in France with Explore
An expert tour leader/driver to assist, advise and co-ordinate the trip
21 speed hybrid bikes with pannier, water bottle holder, lock and map holder. Unlike some tour operators there are no additional charges for bike hire or the hassle of transporting your own bike to the start of the tour
A set of route marked laminated maps with comprehensive and clear instructions. Each day you can cycle at your own pace, either on your own, with one or two others or perhaps as a full group - it's very flexible, you can start whenever you want in the morning and go as slowly or quickly as you like, stopping for breaks whenever you feel like it
A well thought out and planned route avoiding busy roads and taking in the most attractive countryside and villages along the way, as well as all the cultural highlights of the region
Well balanced days combining cycling with sightseeing and enjoying the region's food and wine
Cycle round France with Andrew - Our France Cycling expert
Andrew has successfully led cycle tours on nine different routes with Explore over the last ten years. His knowledge of France and experience in organising excellent cycling holidays is quite outstanding and he is justifiably proud of his record. ‘Explore customers love the formula of these tours and the country; it is wonderful that so many come back year after year to complete every tour in France in Explore's Cycle brochure’ says Andrew.
Living in France and leading our tours there helps Andrew give Explore cyclists a special insight into local life. As he puts it ‘cycling is the best way to experience the countryside, meet the local people, immerse yourself in the culture, enjoy the food and wine and above all keep fit’.
Don't forget cycle hire is included in all our trips. Read more about Cycling Holidays in France. These are just some of the trips we offer, take a look at our full range of Cycling Holidays.
Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a casual fair-weather biker there is a cycling tour to suit you in France. Explore has seven options to choose from, in different regions and at different cycle grades. The table below lists the options so you can find the one that suits you best. Each trip has been carefully researched and developed with many years of feedback from our customers, cycle leaders and our local partner.
||• Cycle through Saintes, capital of the Roman province of Aquitaine
• Visit the oyster producing village of Mornac and the Atlantic coast
• Explore Cognac, at the heart of the famous brandy region
|This tour suits anyone who enjoys cycling and does occasional rides at home. The terrain is either flat or gently undulating. We cover 247km over six days, an average of 41km per day. Two of the cycling days are circular routes and are therefore optional.
|Loire Valley Cycling
||• Explore the magnificent châteaux of the Loire Valley
• Ride through the pleasant towns, villages and landscapes of the valley
• Visit medieval Amboise and elegant Azay-le-Rideau
|Easy grade cycling which suits anyone who cycles occasionally at home. Our route covers 235 km over six days, an average of 39km per day. On two days we follow circular routes, which means these days are optional if you prefer to have a rest. We cycle mainly on quiet country roads linking the historic châteaux and towns.
|Canal du Midi
||• Cycle along the Canal du Midi which links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
• Pass through historic centres such as Carcassonne and Narbonne
• Discover culture, history and natural beauty
|Another easy grade route along France's delightful Canal du Midi. We cycle 228km over six days, an average of 38km per day, on mainly flat and gently undulating terrain. Two of the days are on circular routes and are therefore optional.
Velo en Provence
||• Visit the Roman towns of Orange and St. Remy de Provence
• Options to visit the Pope’s Palace in Avignon or cycle through the Luberon landscape
• Cycle through the landscape that inspired Van Gogh
|Moderate grade cycling, which suits keen, regular cyclists but also has extended rides for those looking for slightly more challenging options. We cycle 241km over six days, an average of 40km per day, on undulating terrain with some longer ascents. Three of the days are on circular routes and therefore can be skipped if you want to rest.
|Cycling Basque Country
||Moderate / Challenging
||• Visit the distinctive Basque countryside and villages
• Experience a unique culture of one of the most independent races of the world
• Cycle the picturesque coastline of rugged cliffs and sandy coves
|Moderate to strenuous grade cycling, which suits keen, regular cyclists looking for a slightly more challenging option. We cycle 255km over six days, an average of 43km per day, on undulating terrain with some longer ascents. Three of the days are on circular routes and therefore can be skipped if you want to rest.
|Provence and the Ventoux
||Challenging / Tough
||• Challenging cycling through the rolling hills of Provence
• Cover between 66 km and 80 km each day, with some demanding ascents
• Tackle the classic Tour de France ascent of Mont Ventoux
|We cover 430 km over six days, an average of 72km per day. This includes some long and challenging ascents, including the classic ride up Mont Ventoux. You need to have plenty of cycling experience and good levels of fitness and stamina to enjoy this tour.