Our top 3 routes for exploring France by bike

05/04/2021 de La Rédac' Huttopia

By Sophie Guivarc’h

Join us on our exploration of France’s best cycle routes as we present our top 3 trails located close to Huttopia sites.

“I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…” – Queen. If you’ve ever heard this chorus and longed for the sense of freedom that comes from riding a bike, this one is for you. Roaming around France by bike, you can explore at your own pace and in harmony with nature. Fresh air fills your lungs, you drink in the scenery as it passes by, and sometimes you even feel like you’ve sprouted wings!

So, whether you’re riding solo, with family or with friends, why not get away for a cycling holiday in France? Once you know where you’re going and for how long, you just need to choose the gear you’ll use and potential places to visit, eat and sleep. While the most spontaneous amongst you might prefer to see where the wind takes you, our top tips are to carefully study the map and make sure you’ve got the right equipment!
The France Tourisme Vélo website has a whole list of routes built especially for cycle tourists: everyone can find a route the right length and with the right level of difficulty for them and set off to explore the most beautiful regions of France. Regions with unspoilt natural environments chosen by Huttopia for its campsites and villages. Great news for cyclists who love nature and wide open spaces and are looking for comfortable places to stop off. If you want to combine a cycling tour with a glamping holiday at Huttopia, check out our ideas below!

1 | ViaRhôna, a journey along the Rhône from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean

Follow this route along the Rhône and journey back through over 2,000 years of history. The cycle paths and small roads with little traffic will take you through villages, towns and vineyards, seeing a range of different landscapes along the way. The 500 miles of the ViaRhôna present no particular difficulty, with only a 3% elevation gain! There’s just a few stretches that aren’t yet completed where you have to take main roads, not recommended if you’ve got children with you. The rest of the route is made up of signposted cycle paths and greenways where you can pedal along carefree, enjoying the wind in your hair. And don’t forget to try the local specialities and gastronomy in the regions you pass through! Lyon’s traditional ‘bouchon’ restaurants, the chestnut cream of the Ardèche, the diot sausage and cheeses of Savoie, Montélimar nougat and the fantastic wines of Condrieu will make you more than happy to get off your bike for a while!

2 | Véloscénie, from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel

History buffs won’t want to miss this! The 280-mile-long Véloscénie takes you from Paris and the surrounding region to Mont Saint-Michel Bay. This remarkable trail is a journey through the history of France, illustrated by some of its most beautiful monuments, including five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The signposted route passes through Chevreuse valley, the hills of the Perche region and a type of typical Norman countryside called ‘bocage.’ You’ll go through rural landscapes, get the chance to visit Chartres cathedral, see the rivers, forests and bocage of the Normandie-Maine regional natural park and pass through the medieval town of Domfront, before finishing the journey in view of Mont Saint-Michel. The bocage gives way to a patchwork of polders and salt marsh meadows and you can spot the architectural wonder that is Mont Saint-Michel in the distance. Just a few more pushes on the pedals and the journey is already coming to an end!

3 | Vélodyssée, from Brittany to the Basque coast

Get on your saddle and fill your lungs with the bracing Atlantic air! This route follows the coastline for over 700 miles from Roscoff in Brittany to Hendaye on the Spanish border. 70% of it is along paths not shared with cars, so you can cycle in complete safety. The journey is punctuated by must-see views that will blow you away! Right at the start, the Pointe de Bloscon is well worth stopping for, and that’s just the beginning! There’s the picturesque harbour of Collet, the Domaine de Graveyron with its unique view of Arcachon Bay, Sainte-Madeleine chapel in Bidart with its panoramic view of the ocean, and many more.

But it’s not just stunning views that Vélodyssée has to offer. When it comes to things to do, you can take a break from your bike to go surfing at the many legendary spots on the coast (La Palmyre, Lacanau, Guéthary, etc.) and give your taste buds a treat sampling the culinary specialities of the regions you pass through, including Brittany’s buckwheat galettes, Marennes-Oléron oysters and Bayonne ham. The journey combines culinary temptations, cultural discoveries and magnificent scenery for an all-round wonderful experience from start to finish. The perfect trip for a good dose of fresh air, sometimes imbued with the fragrance of forests and sometimes with the smell of the sea.


Photo credits: Manu Reyboz & Quentin Huriez

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