Our favourite cycle routes in France

If the fine weather is making your legs tingle and you want to get your head out of the handlebars, get in the saddle! In the land of the Tour de France, there is no shortage of beautiful escapes. 22,800 km of cycle routes and greenways, 5,500km of regional tourist routes, 3,000 road and mountain bike circuits invite you to enjoy gentle pedalling as a couple, with your family or with friends. In the countryside, along a canal, by the sea, in the vineyards or in the mountains, from Northern France to the Côte d'Azur, from Brittany to Alsace... here's a small selection of the most beautiful tours and detours for discovering France by bike.

From Paris to the Mont-Saint-Michel with the Véloscénie

Linking Notre-Dame de Paris, ground zero of the roads of France, to the marvellous perched abbey of the Mont-Saint-Michel by crossing the Chevreuse Valley, the hills of the Perche and Maine regions and then the Normandy hedgerows... This is what promises you a great show! Over 450km of signposted routes, you will come across the history of France and some of its most beautiful monuments, such as the Château de Versailles and the sublime cathedral of Chartres. Via pretty greenways and quiet roads, the Véloscénie is certainly one of the most beautiful bike rides starting from Paris. So take your time!

La Véloscénie (External link)

From the peaks of the Alps to the banks of the Rhône, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

With Mont Blanc in their sights, the most athletic will tackle the legendary passes of the Alps like the riders of the Tour de France. Electric assistance is not forbidden but beware, the Grandes Alpes Route by bike is not something you can improvise! With a slightly gentler relief, the Auvergne and its old volcanoes are easy on the calves. Old railway lines that have been converted into greenways, such as the Via Fluvia between the Loire and the Rhône, and the Dolce Via, 90km through the heart of the wild landscapes of Ardèche, are a delight to stroll along. From Lyon, capital of the region and food capital of France, the banks of the Rhône can be enjoyed along the ViaRhôna. Don't miss the section between Vienne Condrieu and the Île du Beurre nature reserve. Roman remains, terraced vineyards of the famous AOC Côte-Rôtie and verdant orchards make the miles go by with ease.

The ViaRhôna (External link)
The Route des Grandes Alpes (External link)
The Via Fluvia (External link)
The Dolce Via (External link)
The Voie Bleue (External link)

Between vineyards and canals in Burgundy-Franche-Comté

There's no better way to explore Burgundy, its vineyards and its climats, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015, than on two wheels. Between vineyards and canals, gentle hills, art cities and villages with world-famous appellations, bucolic greenways and flat towpaths bring the Tour de Bourgogne within pedal range. One route among others? From Auxerre to Dijon, the Burgundy canal is a royal road, a blue thread running for 215km past chateaux, locks, cellars and remarkable sites, such as Alesia and the Pouilly vault, as well as the green valley of the Ouche.

Visit Burgundy by bike (External link)
The Tour de Bourgogne à Vélo (External link)

Refreshing pedalling in Brittany

Small ports, large lighthouses, capes, cliffs, dunes, beaches... Cycling along the Breton coastline offers a great breath of fresh air. From Roscoff, from the Abers region and the beautiful Finistère, you can cycle a section of the Vélomaritime to the Mont-Saint-Michel. Via the Pink Granite Coast and the spectacular Capes d'Erquy and Fréhel, Brittany has a lot to offer. But it also has some nice surprises inland, along its canals and former railway lines that have been converted into greenways. The Nantes-Brest Canal, with its flower-filled lock houses and peaceful stops around Lake Guerlédan, is a favourite. The Ille et Rance canal is also the best way to get to Saint-Malo and Dinard in complete peace and quiet.

The Vélomaritime (External link)
The canals by bike (External link)
The Nantes-Brest Canal (External link)

In chateaux country in Centre-Val de Loire

Between Orléans and Tours, the Loire à Vélo is one of the most beautiful cycling routes in France. In the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, history has sown fairy-tale chateaux, enchanting parkland and remarkable gardens. Chambord, Chenonceau, Blois and Azay-le-Rideau... the gems come one after the other along the royal river. For charming diversions and day trips, we recommend the Châteaux à Vélo routes and circuits. And for something new, the small country roads and gentle curves of the Indre. Whether you are cycling through Châteauroux, the medieval fortress of Montbazon, the Royal City of Loches, the Chateau of Palluau-sur-Indre or the ponds of the Brenne, the Indre by Bike is full of little-known treasures.

The Loire à Vélo (External link)
Châteaux à Vélo routes and circuits (External link)
The Indre by Bike (External link)

The GT20 in Corsica

I'd better warn you straight away: Corsica is an island but also a mountain in the sea. So if you want to cycle there, preferably in spring or autumn to avoid the heat, opt for electric assistance. This will allow you to enjoy the panoramic views and the intoxicating smell of the maquis, without setting foot on land. Like the GR20, its famous hiking counterpart, the GT20 (for Grande Traversée), inaugurated in 2019, criss-crosses the island of beauty from north to south. From Bastia in Haute-Corse to the Bonifacio gorges, this 600km cycle route takes place in 12 stages, via the sumptuous Cap Corse. Villages overlooking the Mediterranean, refreshing mountain streams, dizzying passes and dreamy beaches... you'll be amazed.

The Corsica Grande Traversée (GT20) (External link)

The vineyard route in Alsace

With 2,500km of cycle routes, 11 legendary passes, 15 regional circuits, 55 local circuits and 3 EuroVélo... Alsace is at the head of the pack for cycling trips. In the wheel of Strasbourg, the French capital of cycling, it's easy to go off on a tangent, from pretty flowery villages to farm inns, from abbeys to gourmet cellars. If you had to choose just one route, it should be the Véloroute du Vignoble d'Alsace from Marlenheim to Thann. Traced in parallel with the famous Wine Route, it winds its way along 143km, taking old railway lines, parts of the ancient Roman road and paths through the vineyards without hurrying. The Kaysenberg Valley cycle route comes a close second.

Explore Alsace by bike (External link)

From bays to capes in Northern France

A dozen lighthouses, fortified sites, six UNESCO-listed belfries, charming Belle-Époque seaside resorts, from Le Touquet to Malo-les-Bains... In the Hauts-de-France region, over 190km between Mers-Les-Bains and Dunkirk, the Vélomaritime will have you pedalling with enthusiasm. We love all the sections - but especially the one in the Baie de Somme with its beautiful views. Or to the north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the site of the two Capes, Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez, where you can ride at gull height and admire the beaches below. Another route goes between Arras and Amiens, on the Véloroute de la Mémoire. On this 90km route, which can be extended along the towpaths of the Somme Valley cycle route, you will come across the moving remains and memories of the First World War.

The Vélomaritime (External link)
The Véloroute de la Mémoire (External link)
The Véloroute Vallée de Somme (External link)

On the flax route in Normandy

Cycling from Paris along the Seine Valley is a way to discover Normandy as far as Le Havre and the famous beaches of Deauville. On the way, the Seine à Vélo cycle route invites you to discover Giverny, the birthplace of Impressionism, or the famous Château Gaillard. There is also Rouen and the luminous Jumièges Abbey before Honfleur and the green meadows of the Auge region. Are you looking for a sweet alternative? Without hesitation, in June, when the flowers are in bloom, pedal in an ocean of blue on the Véloroute du Lin, 7km or so of greenways that wind through the hinterland of the Côte d'Albâtre, from the small resort of Pourville-sur-Mer to the cliffs of Fécamp.

The Seine à Vélo (External link)
The Véloroute du Lin (External link)
The Vélo Francette (External link)

Between vineyards and the ocean in Nouvelle Aquitaine

Bordeaux and its Cité du Vin, the Entre-deux-Mers, the Bassin d'Arcachon and the Dune du Pilat, the Atlantic beaches and the Gironde estuary, the fishing villages and small oyster ports, the Landes de Gascogne with their fragrant forests of maritime pines and, of course, the vineyards and great châteaux of the Médoc... This is an ideal environment for a cycling trip in Nouvelle Aquitaine. The Tour de Gironde à Vélo, 480km, is divided into peaceful stages according to your own pace, taking in part of the route of the Canal des Deux Mers. Meanwhile the Vélodyssée is an invigorating cycle route which crosses Brittany and then follows the Atlantic to the Basque coast. Saddle up!

The Vélodyssée (External link)
The Tour de Gironde à Vélo (External link)
The Canal des Deux Mers à Vélo (External link)

Along the Canal du Midi in Occitanie

Cycling from Toulouse to the Mediterranean, via the proud city of Carcassonne, following the Canal du Midi in the shade of great plane trees, is one of the holy grails of cycling in Occitanie. The last few kilometres to Sète on the exceptional Lido greenway will leave you suspended between land and sea. You'll just have to get back on your feet to choose the swimming beach. Prefer to get some height? Passa Païs, the greenway of the Haut-Languedoc, on the mountainside, straddling the watershed, is a must. From the foothills of the Montagne Noire to the Massif du Caroux, via charming villages and a succession of bridges and tunnels of the old railway line, the pedalling has a lovely southern accent.

Cycle rides in Occitanie (External link)
The Canal des Deux Mers by bike (External link)
The Passa Païs greenway (External link)

Estuary artworks in Pays de la Loire

Between the Atlantic coast and the Loire Valley, Pays de la Loire will blow you away. Here, the Loire à Vélo ends its long journey from Nevers in Burgundy-Franche-Comté. After Angers, the last section, which leads from Nantes to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins after the large bridge in Saint-Nazaire, is especially beautiful. And art is also on the agenda, as you can admire installations created by the Voyage à Nantes for 60km along the estuary.
Any other good ideas? We recommend the Loir Valley, a well-kept secret halfway between Le Mans, Angers and Tours. And then of course, invigorating cycling trips to the Vendée islands: to Noirmoutier, from marshes to mills, or to the island of Yeu, between dunes and enchanting creeks.

Explore Pays de la Loire (External link)

From the Luberon to the Baie des Anges in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

The most courageous will include the Tour du Mont-Ventoux on their list, a giant of Provence which can be admired from all sides as you spin along small roads lined with garrigue and lavender. Try the Calavon greenway, on the Mediterranean bike route. You will enjoy riding along the small roads of the Luberon to discover the hilltop villages and electric assistance is obviously a good option. To have the Mediterranean at your feet, there's nothing better than the Littorale. Between Cannes and Nice or the other way round, this cycle path along the Baie des Anges and the Promenade des Anglais allows you to admire the most famous seafront in France. The Côte d'Azur is beautiful!

The Mediterranean by bike (External link)
Bike rides in Provence (External link)
The coast, from Nice to Cannes (External link)
The ViaRhôna (External link)

Find out more about routes or themes across several regions, in particular the Vélo & Fromages label:

France Vélo Tourisme (External link)
The Accueil Vélo label (External link)
Fédération française de cyclotourisme (External link)
The Vélo & Fromages label