Everyone loves the romance and splendour of France, and with Tour de Vines you can explore the world’s most visited country by bicycle whilst enjoying the best food and wine this region has to offer.
Apart from the numerous health and environmental benefits from a cycling escape, here are five regions that Tour de Vines suggest are perfect to discover by bike:
1) The Vineyards of Alsace
Traverse a region filled with a rich cultural and historical significance whilst cycling one of the oldest wine routes in France, the Alsace Wine Route. Taste world-renowned wines surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of the French countryside, from picturesque lakes to thick, green forests. Nestled in eastern France on the German border, explore the cobbled lanes of charming Germanic-style villages on bicycle and uncover the region’s extraordinary medieval history in the beautiful town of Colmar or take in scenic views of traditional vineyards across the Rhine river. The Alsace Wine Route is a popular gathering place and when travelling by bicycle you can stop and enjoy the various wine and harvest festivals, folklore entertainment, processions and wine-tastings or simply embrace the lively and friendly atmosphere whilst passing through.
With an expert Tour de Vines guide you can visit ‘The Pearl of Aquitaine’ and all it has to offer. Escape the gridlock of the city in favor of cycling the quiet country lanes and dedicated cycle paths that allow you to enjoy Bordeaux at your chosen pace. With a dedicated cycle lane from the Gare-St-Jean up the river Garonne’s magnificently restored quayside, you will feel content (if not a little smug) exploring this area on a bicycle. An ideal location for wine lovers, sample some of the best wine anywhere in the world straight from the cellar door. Enjoy a stay in one of the regions grand chateaux now transformed into accomodation venues. Wander the historic quarter of Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous as “an outstanding urban and architectual ensemble” of the 18th century. Alternatively, venture out and bask in the gentle hills and stunning vineyards of the Aquitaine region. With sunshine, beautiful scenery, fine food, world renowned wine and a culture of “joie de vivre”, Bordeaux is the perfect destination for a cycling escape.
3) Loire Valley
Famous for it’s sweeping landscapes, luxurious chateaux and exquisite wine, the Loire Valley represents the quintessential French experience. It is also home to the Loire à Vél, an immense 800-kilometre cycle tourism route, like no other in France which is certain to make you want to discover Europe by bike and to make the most of a green, eco-responsible, cultural form of tourism. Castle-hop your way through the lush Loire Valley on board two wheels at a relaxed pace where the toughest decision you’ll have to make all day is which wine to have with your cheese plate before dinner. Designated a World Heritage Site, the Valley is sometimes known as the ‘Cradle of the French’ due to the array of vineyards, fruit orchards and fields that line the banks of the Loire River. The Loire Valley and the surrounding Touraine region, encompassing historic localities like Angers, Chinon and Orleans, is without doubt an unmissable cycling destination located only a couple of hours away from Paris.
4) Burgundy Region
One of the most popular destinations in France for cycling and wine loving tourists. The Burgundy region is filled with culture and grandeur, stemming from the beauty and history of Dijon that once challenged the French court for wealth and splendor and is still famous for its mustard. Travel to traditional medieval towns like Tournus and Beaune or traverse a picturesque countryside of spectacular vineyards, forests, chateaux and hillside villages, complete with world-class food and wine. With dedicated paths specifically for cyclists, traveling by bicycle is the ultimate way to see this area on a picturesque route that goes through a variety of landscapes, past châteaux, vineyards and along waterways.
Uncover the hidden gems of the Dordogne region in south-west France, an area steeped in French and European history. With lush green valleys, flowing rivers, and steep sandstone cliffs to travel past, Dordogne is a cyclist’s dream.Visit the ancient but well-preserved, World Heritage listed underground cave paintings at Lascaux, considered among the best of Upper Paleolithic art. Take a trip to Perigueux to see the remains of Roman settlement, including a large ampitheatre, a temple to a Gallic goddess and a luxurious Roman villa. Canoe along the Dordogne river where medieval chateaux line the banks, just some of the 1,500 castles in the Dordogne area.