Cycling holiday in France

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France has been a popular holiday destination for decades, and is also a perfect destination for cyclists who can find all they are looking for here. A country with many mountains and hills, but also beautiful plains, rivers and vast vineyards. A cycling holiday in France is ideal because you can explore the beautiful nature at your own pace, with the ease of having a holiday home as base to explore from. You can also, of course, go on a tour visiting various villages and  sights. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist, love mountain biking or like to explore the beautiful surroundings of your holiday park at your own pace, there is something for everyone.

On this page you will find everything you need to know in order to have a wonderful cycling holiday in France. Think of important information such as the rules that apply when you go cycling in France, which regions are best suited for a cycling holiday and what the most beautiful cycling routes are. We will list a few of these great routes for you below.

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A cycling holiday in the South of France

By going on a cycling holiday in France you can visit places you would otherwise usually not stop at as quickly. In recent years cycle paths networks have been built in more and more places in France, the so-called vélo routes which connect the big cities within a region, and voies vertes, the old towpaths or forest roads that walkers, skaters and riders use. These paths have sign posts, making it easy to get around. In and surrounding holiday parks it is becoming more and more common to rent a bike and explore the neighborhood. This all makes a cycling holiday in France very accessible for everyone. Cycling to France is also possible, you could for example cycle on the beautiful Véloroute du Soleil, which takes you all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

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Cycling in France with an e-bike

France is the country of all countries that is perfect for exploring by e-bike. An e-bike provides support while cycling, which is certainly not an unnecessary luxury in the hilly landscape. If you are going on a cycling holiday in France, it is not necessary to bring your own e-bike. In the vicinity of many of our holiday parks it is possible to rent an electric bike. This allows you to explore the region at your own pace and ease.

Where can you cycle well in France?

Are you looking for inspiration, or do you not know which location would be most suitable for your cycling holiday? Below you can find multiple tips we have gathered for you to use as inspiration for your cycling holiday in France.

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Bike tip 1: Explore the Pyrenees

Are you looking for a steep climb with beautiful views? Then, cycling in the Pyrenees is perfect for you. It is not for nothing that the Tour de France goes through this mountain range every year. Advanced cyclists can enjoy beautiful climbs here. The landscape is particularly green, which makes it a pleasure to explore by bike. The Pyrenees is a perfect cycling destination for you if you love untouched nature and the peace and quiet that you will only find in these kinds of places. Steep slopes and grotesque mountains make it a paradise for experienced cyclists.

The park l'Espinet is a perfect base for your cycling holiday in and around this mountain range. South of the park are the Pyrenees, but there are also a few less challenging routes north of the park. The landscape there is fairly flat and has no steep slopes. These easier routes will lead you past beautiful vineyards and nature, whilst cycling on the voies vertes. You also do not have to bring your own bike: in our park you can rent various bicycles, ranging from ordinary bicycles to mountain bikes and electric bicycles.

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Cycling tip 2: The forests of Les Landes

Would you like to explore the forests of France? That’s also very enjoyable by bike. A must visit for a cycling holiday in the South of France is Les Landes. This is one of the largest planted forests in Europe, and a real pleasure to cycle through. The forest was created to give a boost to the region's industry, which prior to this had to make do with mostly only earning money with logging. Today, however, the area is a nature reserve. In the summer, the forest remains relatively cool due to the shade provided by the pine trees. There is also loads to discover in the forest, from the beautiful nature to the streams that flow through it. The area really lets you enjoy the wonders of untouched nature. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing cycling holiday in France, this is the perfect place to do just that.

If you would like to go on a cycling holiday in Les Landes we recommend staying at our holiday park Château de Salles. Even if you just want to cycle along the coast for a day, this holiday park is situated in a great location for that. When cycling away from the park in a westerly direction, you will quickly reach the coastal region, where you can cycle both directly on the coast and more inland from the coast. In the village of Salles, which is a 5-minute walk from the park, you can rent different types of bicycles. So when staying at this holiday park, it is also unnecessary to bring your own bike.

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Cycling tip 3: Cycling holiday in France along the river

It is a great adventure to cycle along a river during your cycling holiday in France. The landscape differs after every bend and whilst on the road you will come across some of the most beautiful towns in the country. If this idea appeals to you, you should plan a cycling holiday through and around the valleys of the Dordogne and the Lot. These rivers originate high up in the mountains, flow through the southwest of France and eventually flow into the Garonne. Since 2009, a route along the Lot has officially been designated as a cycling route. You will come across several beautiful sights, such as authentic French villages, medieval castles and, of course, the vast nature. You will also cycle past beautiful cities such as Cahors and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Before reaching Cahors  you will encounter a few large height differences, which makes this route a real challenge for experienced cyclists.

Holiday parks perfect for a cycling holiday in this region of France are Village des Cigales and Domaine de Lanzac. From the park you can reach, for example, the véloroute vallée du Lot, a cycle route that starts in Cahors and ends in  Aiguillon. This is a beautiful route for you if you want to see everything that the landscape of the Lot has to offer. During this particular bike route you will pass through the wine region AOC Cahors. Enjoying a delicious glass of red wine from the region, is the perfect way to end a day of cycling.

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Bike tip 4: Explore Provence / Côte d'Azur, Mediterranean Sea and the Alps

Are you going on a cycling holiday in France and are you staying at one of our parks located in Provence? If this is the case feel free to take your bike with you. The cycling routes in the area are great, they pass through the vineyards, olive groves, and vast lavender fields with beautiful colors and a lovely scent. You will regularly pass authentic villages which are perfect for relaxing on a terrace with a drink. If that sounds like music to your ears, we recommend our holiday park Jardin du Golf or Vallée de la Sainte Baume. Both of these parks are also located close to the Mediterranean Sea, giving you the possibility to enjoy a bike ride along the coast.

If you would rather cycle in the mountains, then the park Villa's du  Verdon is a good base for you. This park is located on the foothills of the Alps and has plenty of cycling opportunities in the area.

Cycling holiday in France: rules to take into account

The rules for cyclists in France are slightly different than the rules that apply in the Netherlands or Belgium. This is why it is important that you learn about what rights and obligations the cyclist has, before your cycling holiday in France starts. Below we have listed the some of the most important things for you.

Cycling in France: Helmet required?

Wearing a bicycle helmet is mandatory for children under the age of twelve. This applies to if the child is riding the bicycle, but also if the child is on the back of a parents bicycle. This obligation does not apply to adults. If you bring children under the age of twelve with you on your bike ride, you are obliged to ensure that they wear a helmet.

Use mobile?

It is forbidden in France to use your mobile while riding your bike. This is also the case for calling, you are not allowed to do so whilst cycling. So be sure to keep your phone in your bag while cycling.

Headphones or earphones in?

This is where the rules differ to those in the Netherlands/Belgium. In France it is forbidden to cycle while wearing headphones or having earphones in. This applies to not only cyclists, but to all road users who drive a vehicle, including motorists, motorcyclists, etc. Head or earphones can’t be worn at all, whether you are making a phone call or listening to music or the radio.

What type of bicycle lighting is needed?

Bicycles require fixed lamps. For the bike, a white or yellow colored lamp is required along with a red colored lamp. The bike must also have a red reflector on the back. The pedals must have orange or yellow reflectors. The bikes you can rent in a holiday park usually comply with these rules, but the requirements are still handy to know for if you bring your own bike.

Passengers?

It is permitted to transport children under the age of 14 as a passenger by bicycle. People over the age of 14 may not be passengers. Is your child under the age of 5? Then they must be transported in a special child seat with a seat belt.

Cycling on the road?

If you see mandatory cycle paths (recognizable by a round, blue sign with white bicycle), then you as a cyclist are obliged to use that path. If such a cycle path is not present, you are allowed to cycle on the road, unless a traffic sign indicates otherwise. You are not allowed to cycle on the so-called car routes and voies expresses, the fast car roads/ motorways.

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Indication per park

France is a diverse country with many different types of terrain. Are you looking for a flat landscape for recreational cycling, or would you like to explore the hills? Below you can find an overview of our different holiday parks and the type of terrain you can expect per region:

Domaine les Forges Flat
Aveneau – Vieille Vigne Flat
Bourg Est – Vigelière Flat
Domaine de Lanzac Hilly
Village des Cigales Flat / hilly
Le Lac Bleu Flat / hilly
Château de Salles Flat
Espinet Hilly / mountainous
Jardin du Golf           Flat
Vallée de la Sainte Baume Flat
Villa’s du Verdon Hilly / mountainous

 

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