Preparing Your Cycle Trip in France
Our advice to organize your bike trips in France
Here we present you with useful general information to help you prepare your cycling trip in France. You’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions and tips for finding further information on our website and beyond. France now offers very many well-laid-out cycling trails on top of the thousands of small country roads that it’s also a pleasure to cycle along. Local and regional bodies around France have made a big effort to put in place good cycle routes.
Choose and plan your cycling itinerary in France
The network of bicycles, greenways and other cycle routes in France allows you to follow an existing route or combine several of them to create a route that reflects your image. Whether along a canal for a smooth journey, or across the mountain by mountain bike for a more adventurous journey. The possibilities are almost endless.
All the official cycle routes presented on this website are made for safe, relatively easy cycling. You’ll often be travelling on asphalt surfaces but there are quite frequent sections that are not tarmacked. You therefore need a bike that’s both strong and light.
3 ways to find an itinerary on our website:
- See the map of all the completed cycle routes
Discover all the cycle route proposals on our website: the "EuroVelo" routes crossing France, the national cycle routes, the greenways as well as our many suggestions for thematic routes.
- The desire engine:
According to your selection criteria (difficulty, your desires, duration), you will be able to access suggestions for suitable routes.
- The route planner
Select a point A and B, our route planner will suggest the ideal bike route.
Where to sleep during a bike trip in France?
Between a cozy bed or a mattress in a tent, you can choose from several accommodation solutions. For your comfort, "Accueil Vélo" accommodation offers services specifically designed for cyclists.
You will find on our interactive map most of the accommodation close to the cycle routes.
When is a good time to go cycling in France?
France generally has a temperate climate, even if significant differences exist between north and south.
- The west benefits from a mild Atlantic climate most of the year.
- France’s central and eastern regions have a continental climate, with more marked seasonal differences.
- Down south, winters are mild, summers hot.
You can enjoy good conditions for cycling in most of France from the start of April to the end of October.
If possible, it’s best to avoid the French holiday high season (15 July – 15 August) as accommodation is more expensive and can be hard to find then in more touristy areas.
How much should I budget for ?
If organizing your trip yourself, then the major budget consideration, once in France, is the type of accommodation to go for. Calculate on paying an average of €60 per night, mid-season, for a double room in a mid-range (2-star) provincial hotel. In Paris, count at least 30% more.
"Chambres d’hôtes" are the French equivalent of B&Bs. On average, they cost roughly the same as hotels, but breakfast is included. They also often give you a good opportunity of meeting some French people.
The cheapest accommodation options are camp sites and youth hostels (Auberges de Jeunesse).
As regards restaurant meals, average prices go from €10 to €25 for a classic French menu (at lunch, prices are often cheaper).
Opting for a picnic allows you to make great savings, as well as choosing a spot with a view.
Consider stocking up on delicious regional produce at local markets.
By way of a guideline, the average budget for cycling tourists is €70 per person per day, but there are of course wide variations depending on people’s financial means.
Route signposting and GPS tracks
The cycle routes presented on this site are marked with signs at each intersection, making it easy to find your way. Temporary signs are sometimes in place when a development is planned or work is in progress. These provisional routes are indicated in red on the stage maps.
You can download all GPS tracks in.gpx format sur les pages itinéraires et étapes.
Have you thought of a package cycling holiday?
If you wish to avoid all the hassle of organizing your trip yourself, consider the travel agencies affiliated to France Vélo Tourisme that can take care of all your needs:
- Choosing the most suitable routes for you
- Booking accommodation at the best rate
- Hiring good-quality bikes
- Transporting your luggage from one stop to the next
- Offering advice and assistance.