With this year’s Tour de France just a few days away, Kieron Yates and Jack Thurston talk about the best places to go touring by bicycle in France. They share their ideas on where to go, where to stay and how to get there and back.
Another outstanding and inspirational show!
An area that I can recommend is the Vercors National park in the South East of France. I stayed in a dedicated cyclists hotel in St.Nazaire-en-Royans for a week and rode out each morning to tackle a local col, usually with the proprietor and the other guests but also on my own.
Not strictly speaking a tour as I stayed in one place, but still great fun.
To make the Canal du Midi more interesting more interesting, ride up to the source of it up in the Montagne Noire. We camped up there by one the lakes the supply the water, about 700m altitude and rode down along the “rigole” built along the mountain to bring the water to the Canal. Do it soon, the plane trees are going to be cut, some incurable deasise.
Inspired by this great podcast I have just booked a flight to Bergerac mid-August with a return flight a week later from Carcassonne. Now planning a nice touring itinerary to take in some vineyards, castles, etc. Thanks for a fantastic episode Jack.
Loved this show. Your guidance was spot-on and I loved hearing other touring cyclists discuss many of the same emotions/experiences that I’ve had while touring France (specifically, the battlefields of the Western Front; hard to not be affected by the many monuments to lost towns, cemeteries scattered throughout the countryside, and the amazing Verdun memorial).
The only advice I would add, which wasn’t touched on too much in this podcast:
–In addition to the Loire valley, the Provence region around Avignon is another decent option for a week-long tour for the novice cyclist. Some of the lodging and campgrounds are more expensive than other regions, but the terrain is largely flat (or gently rolling) and there are a number of destinations within easy cycling distance: Avignon, Pont du Gard, Uzes, Nimes, St.Remy-de-Provence, Orange, etc. Note: It gets dreadfully hot in summer, so aim for springtime (before mid-June) or go in mid-September.
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