France’s Best cycling holidays

Welcome to  some of France’s best cycling holidays

Cycling Holidays through Bordeaux’s vineyards and valleys are a bike ride where you taste the sunshine in every glass.  Take a look at the cycle tours above to choose the French cycling holiday that best suits you.

Not sure what criteria to apply when choosing  Cycling Holidays?

Here is a little checklist that  you can use to shortlist possible tours.

  • 1.How many miles per day? – not the average but the daily maximum and the total for the trip. You seek a cycling holiday not a cycling training camp.
  • 2.What level of accommodation do they bundle with the tour?  Can you see the hotels’ own websites. Can you upgrade within the hotel or to another one nearby?
  • 3.What bikes are offered? Do they own them or do they rent them in? Are they fully equipped and are they included in the headline price? Sometimes they are an extra that racks up the price.  Can you rent E-bikes?
  • 4.Are the routes adequately described?  Do they detail places to dine, picnic, stop off and visit? Do they read as though written by someone who has cycled the route themself?
  • 5.What would be their response if you had a problem.? Is your emergency contact a bike shop? If you get a bee sting on the bum will they suggest you apply the puncture repair kit?

Of course there may be other criteria that concern you. – Great dining,  swimming pools, distance from your nearest airport. There are are a lot of cycling holidays on offer – twice as many as when we started. The range from best to worst is big enough to make careful choice worth the time.

What makes cycling holidays in Bordeaux special?

 

  1. Bordeaux’s a small city with more than its fair share of connecting airports. 12 from Eire and the UK during the summer.  Easy access from major hubs such as Amsterdam and Paris includes just 2 hours by train from Paris. If bringing a cherished oddball (bike, that is, not partner) the Bike Bus also reaches Bordeaux in the summer.
  2. The food is well-matched to the local wine. As everyone associates Bordeaux with wine its easy to overlook the ‘Cuisine Bordelais’. Yes, Entrecote Bordelais with Frites Maison does look a lot like  steak and chips but pair it with a robust red from some local vineyard and finish with gateau basque and Cafe Gourmand and you will be ready to ride like Lance after lunch.
  3. The region has a great history on display. Ride past a ruined Knights Templar Commanderie; tour the fortress home of Clement Vs  ‘descendants’; do lunch on the ramparts of Bazas;  or visit a chateau where Bonaparte couch-surfed. Bastides and pilgrim shelters’, ancient cathedrals, ducal chateau and country markets are all possibilities ….. but none are obligatory. You can just ride.
  4. The landscape is benign not dramatic. So you do not have to slog up vicious hills we offer very traffic-lite routes for a relaxed ride. For more reasons see

But what kind of cycling holidays are there?

The principal choices to make when shortlisting the tours on offer are:

  1. Group Tours or independent (sometimes  termed ‘self-guided’). The former offer instant friendship groups, the guide’s services and the feeling of security when you travel in a group. The latter offers flexibility in start and finish dates,  choice of speed or dawdling and the ability to fit in somewhere without being intrusive. Neither is right or wrong and ‘best’ may depend on whichcountry you visit. Self-guided in North Korea may be challenging. We think independent travel in France works fine.
  2. Leisure cycling holidays and ‘sporting tours’ are very different beasts. If your passion is tackling Pyrennean Cols or hurtling down single-track stop reading now. This site is for riders who choose to ride 20, 25 or even 35 miles per day and will never sacrifice their comfort for a yellow or green jersey (or any other knitwear).
  3. Distances are psychological barriers, not real ones. But there is no point in one partner booking a 60km daily-ride tour if their companion  dreads the prospect of more than 32kms. Extension rides are one solution. A better one is a single electric bike. They ride together yet each stays in their comfort zone!
  4. Finally, how flexible is the package you are  offered? Upgrades on accommodation? Extension rides? days without any cycling (or packing)? child friendly routes? tailored itineraries to fit a crowded holiday schedule?  Of course, we do all those things but then that is why we are flagging them up isn’t it?

So now you are ready to Buy?

Yes, but bear in mind what we said earlier. The headline price you see when you first drop into a site may not be the price you pay. If its “from £XYZ per person” you can be sure that is the early season rate and are you planning on shivering in March? Also too  often the price quotedisithout a bike. Fine if your planned on taking your own but 98% of buyers do not and  to make a fair comparison you need to dig out the bike hire price and add that in

Happy shopping.