Why Normandy is a fantastic place to cycle
Often described as the Devon of northern France, Normandy and the Calvados Coast is home to lush countryside, quaint villages and serene sand dune bea...Read more
From fragrant lavender fields and rolling vineyards to rugged beaches and Alpine peaks, France has an incredible mix of terrain. That's part of what makes it an exceptional destination for a cycling tour, and the rich local heritage certainly contributes too. After all, the best two-wheel holidays offer plenty of activities both in and out of the saddle.
We have three new French routes on offer for 2018, all of which showcase a different side of this diverse country. On each itinerary, you'll spend a few hours every day cycling from one destination to another, and you'll really get a feel for the local area as you go.
Burgundy's Route des Grand Crus – perfect for wine connoisseurs
Our Burgundy's Route des Grand Crus tour is a veritable who's who of the world's best wines – and you'll get the opportunity to sample them in the many caveaux (tasting rooms) along the way. The holiday includes a stop in Beaune, the de-facto capital of the region's trade. This walled town is famous for its annual wine auction, which is accompanied by a weekend of festivities.
You'll cycle through some of the region's most famous appellations (vineyard areas with special status) including Aloxe-Corton, which is home to two of Burgundy's finest Grand Cru wines. You'll also pass through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault – names that might feature in your cellar. Your final day in the saddle involves a trip to Puligny Montrachet village, where what is considered to be one of the world's best white wines is made.
Starry nights in Provence – a nature lovers' paradise
It's hard not to be awestruck by the scenery on the Starry Nights in Provence Tour – Vincent Van Gogh certainly was. The great artist captured the region's countryside in over 200 of his paintings. An uphill cycle to Les Baux-de-Provence is more than worth it for the sweeping views across the valley. Although there have of course been one or two changes since Van Gogh's day, much of the area remains unspoilt. It's a riot of colour in summer, with fields of purple lavender and yellow sunflowers blanketing the region from June to August.
Summer in Provence also means the opportunity for wildlife spotting in the Camargue Nature Reserve, which spans Europe's largest river delta and is listed by UNESCO. From April to September the area is frequented by flocks of pink flamingos, along with herds of wild white horses.
Normandy and the Calvados Coast – best for history buffs
Medieval villages and World War II relics make a cycle tour of Normandy and the Calvados coast a fascinating educational exercise. The route begins in the ancient town of Bayeux, famous for its tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman conquest of England as well as the Bayeux Memorial, which names more than 1,800 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Normandy landing.
During the ride you'll pass through D-Day beaches such as Omaha, where you'll find the nine-metre stainless steel Les Braves sculpture and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Other historic attractions include a visit to Beaumont-en-Auge, with its pretty half-timbered houses, as well as a visit to the traditional port of Honfleur – home to the 15th-century Église Sainte Catherine, France's largest timber-built church.Back To Blog
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