Best time for a cycling vacation in France
Cycling in France is enjoyable at any time of the year, but spring and summer are likely the most popular time to enjoy exploring the country. However, where are the best locations for a cycling vacation? While not all locations are ideal, it is good to know that trains will allow bicycles free of charge. All that is necessary is to reserve an extra space with the train ticket, which cyclists should be aware of.
Meanwhile, the following are some of the recommended routes to choose from when on a cycling vacation in France.
– La Baule to Biarritz routeOne excellent choice for a cycling vacation is the route from La Baule at the mouth of the Loire River through to Biarritz. This popular route takes cyclists through the beautiful Aquitaine region features an almost entirely tarred cycling lane. Moreover, it is among the most complete long-distance cycling routes in France.
– Cycling the Atlantic coast of FranceAnother excellent cycling route for vacationers is from the Atlantic coast through to the Mediterranean coast. Here, dedicated, tarred cycling lanes (“veloroutes” as they are dubbed) most of the way. This allows cyclists to head from either Arcachon or Lacanau on the Atlantic coast while bypassing the Bordeaux area to Montferrand, close to Toulouse.
Meanwhile, the route follows a partially tarred and partially unsurfaced canal towpath close to Sète on the Mediterranean coast.
– The French Alps for expert cyclistsFor experienced cyclists, the French Alps is a wonderful backdrop for an adventurous vacation in France. Moreover, this area is popular with cyclists around the world. Taking this route at a slower speed reveals spectacular mountain views on all sides.
Meanwhile, cyclists can experience the grueling mountain stages of the Tour de France. However, they can enjoy the journey at more comfortable speeds than the entrants. While this is an excellent and popular route, cyclists should not that it is busy during the period from June to September, which kind of takes off the exciting edge.
What cyclists should know for an action vacation in FranceWhen it comes to bicycles, cyclists will find rental outlets all over France that charge a reasonable fee. Meanwhile, for any taking their own with them on vacation, there are several rules and regulations to bear in mind. France’s regulations state that bikes must be equipped with fully-functioning brakes. They should also feature a bell and be fitted with front and rear lights and reflectors for cycling after dark.
Crash helmets are not compulsory in France, and as mentioned, motorists are mostly aware of cyclists on the road. However, it is highly recommended to wear a helmet when cycling in the country. It is also important to wear a high-visibility reflective waistcoat while traveling after dark.
Using cycle lanes
When on a cycling vacation in France, bear in mind that wherever cycle lanes are available, cyclists must stick to those and not swerve into the car lanes. Meanwhile, they must also ensure they obey the traffic signals and signs, just like they would back home. These signs include stop signs, one-way signs and no-entry signs.