Cycling in France: our favourite Tour de France itineraries

Cyclists and pedestrians en route to Mont St Michel | Kate Baker
Cyclists and pedestrians en route to Mont St Michel | Kate Baker

Every year, for three weeks in June and July, millions of people from all over the world are glued to their screens watching live coverage of the world’s biggest cycling race - the Tour de France. With more than 200 hours of live coverage on offer, that requires some real dedication and a real love of cycling… or so you would think!

The truth is that some of us sleep-deprived Tour de France ‘tragics’ don’t actually see the race as a sporting event. Instead, we view it as more of a travel show or cultural experience, showcasing the sublime countryside, stunning mountainous regions, fascinating history and tasty cuisine of France. For some of us, it’s not about the cycling at all: it’s about the castles, the crazy spectators and Gabriel Gate’s cooking segments. However, regardless of whether you are keeping up to date on the race jargon, the jerseys and the tactics or immersing yourself in the travelogue that is the Tour de France, at some point during the coverage we inevitably start daydreaming about how we can inject ourselves into the sublime French landscapes rolling across our screens and go cycling in France. Here at UTracks, we always notice a spike in demand for active cycling itineraries in France during and after the Tour de France – even more so now that we’re offering the option to upgrade to an electric bike on 85% of our cycling itineraries, which is perfect for those who aren't quite race-ready and worried about keeping up with the pack. This year, we’ve decided to break away from the peloton early and give you some ideas on how to embark on your own mini-Tour de France and go cycling in France based on some of the stages of the 2018 route. And yes, it’s possible to upgrade to an e-bike on all of these popular itineraries. Cycle the Western Front with UTracksA Canadian war memorial in Vimy, one of the many memorials and WWI sites visited on this self-guided tour

Stage 8 - Dreux/Amiens

Cycle the Western Front - Trace the First World War’s Western Front line from Amiens to Ypres on this fascinating self-guided 8 day cycle. Cycling on the Rhone Cycle PathCycling under a beautiful bridge in Lyon at the start of the cycling trip

Stage 13 - Bourg d'Oisans/Valence

Rhone Cycle Path: Lyon to Provence - Discover wine, cuisine and rich Roman history on this 8 day cycle on the Via Rhona Cycle path between the Rhone-Alpes and Provence. The city of CarcassonneThe beautiful city of Carcassonne, one of the highlights of the Cathar region

Stage 15 & 16 - Carcassonne

Canal du Midi by Bike - Cycle through classic French countryside following the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean on a 6 day self-guided cycling itinerary. Cathar Castles Cycle - Cycle through history and discover the intrigue of the Cathars in a beautiful region of south west France on this 7 day cycle. Cyclists en route to Mont St MichelCycling to the majestic Mont St Michel, one of the most visited places in France

Final Stage – Paris, Champs-Élysées

Paris to London - Pedal from the Seine to the Thames following the Avenue Verte cycle route on a guided or self guided 8 day itinerary. Paris to Mont St Michel by Bike - Cycle along the Veloscenic cycleway from the heart of Paris through Normandy to the coast and to the impressive Mont St Michel on this 12 day self-guided cycle. Bike and Barge to Paris - An inspirational 8 day journey by bike and barge between the royal chateaux of Compiegne and Fontainebleau, including a canal cruise through Paris.
Live coverage off the 105th Tour de France kicks off on Saturday July 7, 2018 (a week later this year due to the FIFA Football World Cup).
Cycling, Cycling France, Cycling Holidays, Tour de France

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