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France



Why cyclists love it

France has cycle trails and routes covering thousands of miles that are well marked, providing the perfect atmosphere to experience the country. Highlights of biking in France include the Alsace region, with mountains and plains, the Provence region, the Loire Valley and Canal du Midi’s 149 miles of cycle paths. At the end of each ride, cyclists can enjoy the regional wine and cuisine.
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Top regions

Alsace

Alsace is a region in eastern France, located between the Rhine and Vosges Mountains. Near the German border, the region tends to appear slightly German with its food and timbered homes, but still retains a French atmosphere. The region's capital is the medieval city of Strasbourg.
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Burgundy

Burgundy's rural landscape of canals, rivers and mountains is contrasted with its chateaux, villages and artistic towns. Hailed for its cuisine and food, Burgundy regional delicacies include Pinot Noir, Dijon mustard and boeuf bourguignon.
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Loire Valley

In the heart of Central France lies the Loire Valley. Called the "Garden of France," the region's enchanted landscape of vineyards, fruit orchards and historic towns has drawn artists, poets and writers for centuries.
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French Alps

Home to the highest mountains in Europe, the French Alps feature some of cycling’s famous stages in the Tour de France. Towns such as Grenoble and Chamonix sit amid glaciers, lakes and forests.
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Provence/Southern France

Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and Italy is France's Provence region. Important for the Celts, Greeks and Romans, the region has a rich, cultural heritage evident in the Roman town of Orange and medieval town of Avignon.
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Top tours

Alsace: Picture Book Alsace

This self-guided tour begins in the medieval town of Strasbourg traveling through the Alsace region on cycling tracks that are mostly flat. Other highlights include Colmar and the Alsatian Wine Road, where cyclists can enjoy the wine and local cuisine.
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Loire a Velo from Orleans to the Atlantic

Following the new cycling path "Loire a Velo," this tour explores such sights as Anjou, Touraine and Loire along the Loire River and its tributaries.
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Loire Valley by Bike and Boat

Cycling on quiet roads through rolling hills allow visitors to explore the castles, small villages and vineyards of the Loire Valley region. Your floating home will be the "Anna Maria IV," a 110-foot ship designed for the French canals.
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Normandy: Bayeux to Honfleur Bicycle Tour

This tour begins in Bayeux with a viewing of the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry. From there, the tour winds through Normandy, visiting Omaha Beach, Cabourg and Courseulles-sur-Mer.
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Provence by Bike and Boat

Cyclists ride on bike paths and low traffic roads through the villages and vineyards of Provence, staying each night on a boat built in 1937. Provence Challenge Link This advanced tour challenges cyclists in the mountainous area of Provence. The tour averages between 50-65 miles (80-110 km) a day, the most intense and longest ride on Mount Ventoux, known as the giant of Provence.
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Provence Farmhouse Cycling Holiday

This tour provides GPS-supported rides through Luberon Regional Park and Provence. Cyclists can choose their own rides each day from the GPS Ride Directory between tours with varying lengths, difficulty and sights.
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Provence-Camargue Bicycle Tour

This tour travels through Provence and Camargue nature reserve on flat and quiet rides. Highlights include Avignon, St. Gilles, and Pont du Gard.
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Taste of Burgundy Bike and Barge Tour

Exploring France's famed wine region, this tour begins in Dijon and follows the Canal of Burgundy and river Saone staying each night on the ship, Summerjazz.
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France: At a glance

With more than 40,000 monuments and 6,000 museums, France's history and tradition continue to thrive in Western Europe's largest country. Along with its history, France is at the forefront of modern development, a leader among European nations. A country of contrasts, France provides opportunities for all interests. Fashion, art and elegance prosper in the dynamic cities of Paris, Lyon, and Nice. Outside the cities, a variety of landscapes stretch over the remaining 80% of the country.

France's hexagonal shape is defined by the English Channel and Atlantic on the western coast with the Pyrenees and Alps sitting on the southwest and southeast borders. The Mediterranean Sea runs along the southern coast with the Rhine River flowing beside the German border. Visitors exploring the cities or countryside can bask in France’s pleasant climate, enjoying the stylish life, local wine and cuisine.

Fast facts

Language: French 
Currency: Euro 
Population: 62,814,233 
Size: 212,935 square miles (551,500 square kilometers) - Slightly less than the size of Texas 
Border countries: SpainBelgiumGermanySwitzerlandItalyLuxembourg, Monaco, and Andorra
National tourist office: us.franceguide.com

 


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