Cycling Holidays France - Courleon France

Cycling Holidays in France, Explore the Loire Valley!

At a time when improving our health and saving the planet is high on the agenda, participating in a cycling touring holiday has the ability to make you feel very good about yourself – exercise and all tourism under your own ecologically friendly steam!  And for cycling holidays France must be one of the best places in the world to go, a place where cycling is a national pastime.  A great location for French cycling holidays is the Loire Valley, with an endless supply of empty roads and tourist attractions.  The Loire Valley is also working as hard as anywhere in France to attract cyclists of all types.

For example, in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park, nestled between Angers and Tours, it seems that every local tourist agency has been busy developing marked cycle routes.  The Park boasts the well known Chateaux of Villandry, Ussé and Azay-le-Rideau and the bustling wine towns of Saumur, Bourgueil and Chinon.  Here cycling touring opportunities are superb.  Hundreds of kilometres of empty roads and tracks pass by honey stoned hamlets, hidden Chateaux, and a varied (but mostly flat) landscape of vineyards, forests, lakes and farmland.  The real bonus is that within a 50kms cycle ride you get to sample the sort of history, culture and scenery that would take you days of cycling in other countries.

One approach to enjoying a French cycling holiday is to rent self-catered accommodation and either take your own bikes or rent once you arrive.  The local tourist office can provide you with marked cycle trails for the immediate area and info on hire companies.  Whilst you will have to put the effort into planning your routes to take in the sights and restaurants, this approach is a cost effective route and ideal for families.

However, all the ingredients of a cycle holiday can be blended together for you by a growing number of companies, from small family run businesses to large organisations, packaged up in a fully inclusive cycling holiday.  You just have to turn up at a designated location or pickup point and everything is arranged – bikes, helmets, routes and your accommodation and food for the week.  With most of your spending included in the cost of the holiday, this can be a route into a great value trip to France.

The fully inclusive cycle holidays generally fall into two categories, stage tours and centre based cycling holidays.

The stage tours provide you with hotel accommodation along a predetermined route that you cycle each day.  The routes are designed to take you past the famous sites and while you cycle, someone else moves your luggage to your next evening stop-over.  The second provides you with a home from home for the week and either self-guided or fully guided day trips, always returning to the centre.  Some companies running centre based holidays will also provide pick-ups at the end of the day to enable longer distances to be covered.  Most will then ply you with great home cooked cuisine and liquid refreshment in the evenings.

Frequently, centre based holidays will be run by people who live and cycle in the area themselves and you benefit from great local knowledge, the inside track so to speak – picturesque routes, authentic eating opportunities for lunch and importantly, hitting the attractions when they are open, which any regular visitor to France will appreciate!

Cycle all day, see the sights, travel at a speed that matches the pace of life and work up an appetite for the great cuisine the region can offer – sounds enticing?  Well then, get on your bike and head for The Loire Valley, France!