A quiet section of the Rhone Cycle way in France Cycling past historic villages on the Rhone Cycle way Cyclists taking a break at wine shop in France Cycling on the Paris to London cycle path
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France Self Guided Cycling: 10 of the Best Tours

Discover France with these unforgettable bike holidays

Exploring France on a self guided cycling tour is the stuff of dreams: the romantic scenery, divine cuisine, wonderful accents, and world famous sights. With the following list of the 10 best self guided bike holidays in France, these travel aspirations can be brought to life.

Hop on your bike and discover the iconic wine-producing regions of Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux, pedal around the magnificent castles and chateaux of the Loire Valley, breathe in the marvellous scent of lavender in Provence, or challenge yourself with a rewarding cycle over the rugged terrain of the island of Corsica.

Read on to find 10 of France's best self guided cycling tours.

 

  1. Alsace by Bike tour

  2. Cycling through a small village in Alsace

     

    Experience one of the most picturesque regions in France, Alsace, on the unforgettable Alsace by Bike self guided bike tour. Follow the Rhine river as you make your way from Strasbourg to Basel, passing beautiful scenery such as orchards, vineyards, and quiet villages. 

    Highlights include seeing many Hansel and Gretel style houses, sampling exquisite wines in local 'caves', and crossing the Three Countries Bridge to Basel (shared by Germany, France and Switzerland).

  3. Provence Backroads bike tour

  4. Cycling in Provence, France |  <i>Ewen Bell</i>

    You know you're in Provence when you can smell the heavenly scent of lavender in the air. The Provence Backroads bike tour does that and more as you cycle through such great towns as Arles, Tarascon and St Remy, the latter famous for being the birthplace of Nostradamus and where Van Gogh spent some time painting his best works.

    Highlights of this self guided holiday include eating the delicious food, fresh from the local farmers markets, and sampling the wines produced by the Cotes du Rhone. This is a very gentle bike ride, graded at an introductory level, and all cyclists will appreciate the gently undulating terrain of this part of Provence.

  5. Loire Valley Castles bike trip

  6. Gardens of Villandry château |  <i>Catherine Bibollet</i>

     

    Cyclists of all fitness levels and ability can explore the fantastic sights of the Loire Valley on this introductory bike tour. The Loire Valley Castles trip is a self guided journey that offers an immersive experience of the Loire Valley in just 5 days. It's a centre based tour, meaning you unpack just once in a delightful family run hotel in Chitenay, and from there you can explore the surrounding areas on daily excursions.

    And what a surrounding area to explore! In the Loire Valley you can pedal to see the famous chateaux of Cheverny and Chambord that look even better in real life, see France's nature in the forests and vineyards, and be sure to stop at many of the local restaurants to enjoy the fine food of the region.

  7. Bordeaux to Toulouse Cycle tour

  8. Cycling past vineyards in Bordeaux |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i>

    Follow the Canal de Garonne from Bordeaux to Toulouse by bike on this splendid vacation. It's a 7 day trip of moderate grade, and there's plenty of time enroute to stop for impromptu picnics and to admire the scenery of the Canal des Deux Mers (Canal of the Two Seas).

    "Best way to experience France. We used E-bikes. The country side was spectacular with super old villages, excellent food and friendly people. Follow the good tips in pre reading. My buddy wished for extra battery charge at the end of the long days. Get fit first! And he had a breakdown (buckled wheel) and despite a 2 hour wait, the service was excellent and we had good cheese & bread & wine to assist with the wait!" L.Ridgway, Australia.

  9. Cycle the Loire: Orleans to the Atlantic Coast

  10. The city of Orléans along the Loire River |  <i>P. Duriez</i>

    This cycling tour is perfect for those with the luxury of time who want a deeper immersion into the beauty of France and the Loire Valley. Start in the town of Orleans and follow the cycling path 'Loire a Velo'. There is almost 500km of typical French scenery that you will pedal along, following the Loire River and hitting historic towns such as Blois, Tours and Chinon. Finish at the Atlantic Coast, in the town of St Brevin, and if you're feeling up for it, taking a rewarding dip in the Atlantic Ocean to signal the end of your fabulous journey.

  11. Canal du Midi Cycle Tour

  12. Carcassonne

    If you're interested in discovering the legends of the Cathars this bike tour is for you. Start in Toulouse and follow the Canal du Midi, a canal built in the 17th century to connect the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way you'll be able to explore the impressive medieval city of Carcassonne and discover Avignonet, where many battles during the Albigensian crusades took place.

    One of the main features of the Canal du Midi Cycle tour is the welcoming hospitality of the accommodation providers. All of the hotels and bed and breakfasts are handpicked for their character and charm, a fact which is regularly featured in our reviews, particularly in the town of Homps.

  13. Burgundy Highlights tour

  14. Taking a break from the bikes in Burgundy |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i>

    The Burgundy Highlights cycling trip is the ideal holiday for those wanting a delicious taste of what life is like in the French region of Burgundy. This centre based tour places you in Burgundy's wine capital, Beaune, and from there you can explore the surrounding grand estates by bike.

    Highlights of this trip is taking enjoyable excursions across minor roads, vine covered hills and small hamlets. The charming cycle ways of Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune and Bouilland are all with easy pedalling distance, and you'll be more than satisfied with this 4 day self guided tour of Burgundy.

  15. Corsica Cycle Tour

  16. Cycling in Corsica

    If you're looking for a bike holiday with a bit of a bite, look no further than cycling Corsica. This 8 day, challenging ride is a self guided trip that sees you exploring the north of the French island of Corsica. Start in Bastia and pedal along a circuit that explores both the coast and Corsica's interior, until you reach Lucciana. 

    Highlights include soaking up Corsica's variety of terrains and you'll experience deserts, forests, mountains and stunning coastal roads. With all the logistics of where to sleep and your luggage taken care of, you'll enjoy the freedom to cycle Corsica at your own pace.

  17. Cycle the Western Front

  18. Villers Bretonneux cemetery outside of Fouilloy in the Somme region

    The Cycle the Western Front tour is a must for history buffs. Starting in Amiens, France, you'll cycle along the fighting lands of WWI until you reach Bruges in Belgium. It's also an area steeped with natural beauty and rich culinary traditions which you'll get to enjoy.

    Highlights include exploring the historic battlefields and paying your respects at the commemorative memorials of the Western Front. 

  19. Rhone Cycle Path: Haute-Savoie to Lyon

  20. Pretty scenery along the Rhone River cycleway in the Savoy region

    Explore the Rhone Cycle Path, a cycle route that's almost flat (great for first time cyclists!). Over 6 days, this route takes you from Seyssel to Lyon and shows off an extraordinary alpine backdrop as well as rolling vineyards.

    Here's what S. Kinoshita from Australia had to say about this tour:

     

    "We are a couple in our early 60s and we hugely enjoyed the Rhone cycle path (Seyssels to Lyon, 6 days). With e-bikes, riding 60 km/day is not difficult. There were some challenges e.g., riding through tunnels with car traffic, and big roundabouts with trucks, but with enough caution they can be negotiated even by a novice cyclist like myself, and gives an element of adventure. Most of the time you are on Via Rhona cycle path which is well-sign posted, or country roads, with very pretty scenery. Riding into Lyon and along the riverside cycleway is a very nice introduction to this city. We would be happy to recommend the trip."

     

 

>> Browse our full range of self guided cycling tours in France.  

>> View all of UTracks' cycling tours in Europe.

>> Join UTracks' Active Travel Community.

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