Vineyards galore, splendid architecture and sleepy villages, all paired with incredibly gentle cycling, make Bordeaux the ideal region to tour by ...Read more
Family cycling holidays are brilliant. Instead of 'babysitting' your own children while they have all the fun or sending them off somewhere else so you can relax, the whole family enjoys the same experience together. Cycling for Softies has been a leading tour operator for family cycling holidays in France for 40 years. When parents ask us for advice on where best to take their children, this is what we suggest. Read on to find out about the best family cycle paths in France.
Our first region is Mayenne in the north west of France. Great for little ones because most of the pedalling can take place on the traffic-free and super-flat towpath along the river Mayenne. Off the path the roads wonderfully quiet. The region is full of brilliant places to visit such as the Roman ruins at Jublains and the château at Sainte-Suzanne. You'll cycle through deserted back roads in solitude with old windmills and locks for company, until happening upon lively riverside villages with vibrant flowers and friendly local faces.
The climate is gentler than further south and every one of our hotels has a swimming pool, making this one of our best family cycling destinations.
Great for: first time family cycling holiday
There's brilliant riverside cycling along traffic-free routes, pools in most hotels, markets and festivals galore to explore in Burgundy. The food is superb - a great opportunity to get fussy eaters to try a few new things. Burgundy's biggest selling point for families is the Voie Bleue and Voie Verte cycle paths that offer level pedalling without a car to be seen. Away from the river it can get steeper so plan your routes carefully.
Great for: Gourmet parents and confident kids
Provence is located in the south east of France. The heat and traffic can be tricky in this region. There are wonderful cycle routes through the hills but not necessarily on dedicated cycle paths. That said, early morning rides to vibrant markets, snacking on roadside peaches or apricots, kayaking from the river mouth at Vaucluse followed by hot, lazy afternoons in the pool make a fabulous holiday for any age.
Great for: Adventurous families who can cope with hot temperatures
Located between northern and southern France is the Loire. Known as 'the garden of France', the Loire is home to over a hundred castles and the longest river in France – its namesake. You'll whizz by underground tunnels, moats and heart-stirring gardens to discover the Château de Villandry, a terraced Renaissance garden walled by tuffeau stone facades and a colourful kaleidoscope of nine decorated gardens.
Pedal along the Loire à Vélo cycle path, some 800km in length that stretches from the small village of Cuffy to the sand dunes and pine forests of St Brevin-les-Pins. The Loire à Vélo cycle path is a riverside highway for two wheels between the main attractions. Catch wafts of wild strawberries and gardenia along the traffic-free path, then head into the towns to walk in the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine and many others.
The cycling is super easy with not a car in sight. Choose your own evening meals if you prefer - if you want pizza one night, have it!
Perfect for: Families who love history and pageantry
To find out more about the best family cycling holidays in France and our family cycle paths, visit our family cycling holidays here or call our experts on 0207 471 7760.
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