The Best Places to Bike in France

Bienvenue en France! We’ve been leading Backroads guided bike tours in France for nearly four decades. From historic routes in Normandy to the sunny villages of Provence, here are what we think are the best cycling destinations in France.

 

Four bikers riding through Bordeaux.

1. Bordeaux 

Highlights: Wine, Valley Views, Gentle Rides, World Heritage  

Key Cities & Villages: Bordeaux, Trémolat, Monestier, St-Émilion 

Ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, Bordeaux is home to dedicated cycling paths, bicycle cafes and superb riverfront riding along the Garonne. This vibrant university town in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is also famous for wine and chocolate! Venture west along the Dordogne River past rows of Grand Cru vineyards toward the UNESCO World Heritage city of St-Émilion, Relais & Châteaux hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Join us on our Bordeaux Wine Country Bike Tour.

 

Normandy lit up at night.

2. Normandy & Brittany

Highlights: History, Cuisine, Nature, Scenic Coastal Rides 

Key Cities & Villages: Cabourg, Caen, Mont-St-Michel, Rennes, St-Malo

Come for the extraordinary World War II monuments and history, stay for the mesmerizing tidal movements and the incredible cuisine. Connecting everything the region has to offer are excellent cycling opportunities on paved roads along France’s aptly named Emerald Coast and past impressive Norman manors. Bike from Brittany’s apple orchards to quaint seaside enclaves and tour World War II battle sites like the D-Day beaches.  

Join us on our Brittany & Normandy Bike Tour.

 

Bikers riding on a cliffside trail in the Luberon.

3. The Luberon Region of Provence

Highlights: Wine, Perched Villages, Lavender, Spas, Hill Climbs 

Key Cities & Villages: Avignon, Les Baux, Gordes, Lacoste, Menerbes, St-Rémy 

Imagine Provence and it may conjure images of lavender fields and sweet village life just beyond the beaches of the French Riviera. But the Luberon is also a must-ride biking destination known for the Tour de France, with spectacular limestone mountains, winding routes to perched hamlets and the (very optional) bucket-list climb up Mont Ventoux.  

Join us on our Provence Bike Tour.

 

Sunflowers blooming alongside a road with biker riding in the background.

4. Loire Valley

Highlights: Art, Castles, Wine, Fresh Produce, History, Easygoing Rides 

Key Cities & Villages: Amboise, Blois, Candes-St-Martin, Chambord, St-Pierre-des-Corpes 

Cycle alongside the longest river in France, past fairy-tale villages and elegantly landscaped gardens. Discover famous châteaux like Chenonceau, Chambord and Cheverny at every bend and turn. Thanks to its namesake rivière, the Loire Valley’s soil nurtures the so-called “Garden of France,” an Eden that includes spectacular produce, happy sunflowers, exquisite wine and gastronomic delicacies. Rejoice in the Loire’s joie de vivre.  

Join us on our Loire Valley Guided Bike Tour.

 

Four bikers riding towards modern building in Basque Country.

5. Basque Country 

Highlights: Architecture, Cuisine, Culture, Mountains, Beaches 

Key Cities & Villages: Biarritz, Bidarray, St-Jean-de-Luz 

The allure of Biarritz is evergreen. Royals vacationed here as early as the 1800s, and this dazzling seaside city in France still attracts beach-goers and travelers year-round – it’s also a hot surfing destination! Experience the rich and colorful Basque culture as you ride stunning coastal routes along the Bay of Biscay toward St-Jean-de-Luz. En route to Bidarray, Atlantic blues give way to emerald-green French Pyrenees and epic riding.  

Join us on our Basque Country & Rioja Biking Tour.

 

Three bikers riding away from castle in Burgandy, France.

 

6. Burgundy  

Highlights: Wine, Architecture, Cuisine, Spas, Vineyard Route

Key Cities & Villages: Dijon, Avallon, Clos de Vougeot

So much more than the birthplace of Gustave Eiffel the world’s most famous mustard, Burgundy is also a wine capital of France and features more than 600 miles of navigable canals and rivers. Palatial castles, ancient tile-roofed villages and legendary wineries abound on inviting bike routes that also pass verdant forests, expansive farmland and cascading streams.

Join us on our Burgundy Bike Tour.

 

Vineyard in Bordeaux

 

7. Alsace & Champagne

Highlights: Wine, Architecture, Culture, Luxury Hotels

Key Cities & Villages: Eguisheim, Colroy-la-Roche, Obernai, Reims, Strasbourg

In the far west of France, find world-renowned vineyards like Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot and fragrant Alsatian forests. Bordering Germany, the strong cross-cultural influence is evident in the region’s architecture and cuisine, making it a fascinating cycling destination. An impressive network of bike paths connects picturesque villages on the historic Route des Vins with the Coteaux de Champagne providing a breathtaking backdrop. 

Join us on our Champagne & Alsace Bike Tour.

 

Bikers riding on a trail near the Seine river, France.

 

8. Seine River

Highlights: Eiffel Tower, Easygoing Rides, History, Castles, Art

Key Cities & Villages: Paris, Giverny, Vernon, Le Havre, Bayeux

Reflections of a glittering Eiffel Tower. Epicenter of one of the world’s greatest cities. The place to take a romantic stroll. The Seine River is an icon of Paris – it’s also a great place to ride a bike. Venture beyond the city day-tour ride and cruise from Paris to the English Channel and back on a one-of-a-kind Seine River Cruise bike tour, pausing to visit historic sites like Versailles, Monet’s Giverny and Omaha Beach.

Join us on our Seine River Cruise Bike Tour.

 

Cycle alongside the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux and savor delectable wines. World-renowned châteaux are the backdrop as you cruise through the lush Loire Valley. Pedal past crashing waves on Normandy’s striking coast and pause at historic World War II landmarks. With hand-selected cycling routes, award-winning accommodations and exquisite regional cuisine, our guided bike tours in France offer a certain je ne sais quoi. Travel with us and discover why our cycling trips in France are some of our most popular tours!

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