|All prejudices aside, France stands out as a top destination for cycling. Great diversity of landscapes, vast stretches of picture-perfect countryside and courteous drivers combined with unbeatable bakeries put it at the top of our list. Drivers are generally courteous and give cyclists a wide berth. Route-wise, you really can't go wrong in a country blessed with such natural beauty, although the south of France is probably best avoided in August, when roads are congested and campsites are all well-booked in advance. Cycle paths are gaining ground and there are some well-established circuits which are popular with tourers. Check out Lonely Planet's Cycling France for details.
Our detailed log available here (Word file)
|food & lodging||Self-catering is quite economical if you stick to hard-discounters such as Lidl, Ed or Aldi which are proliferating on the outskirts of French cities. For more ambiance you'll surely want to head to the numerous local markets and sample the wide variety of cheeses, pâtés and fruits and vegetables. Campgrounds are a real bargain and even the smallest of communes usually has a few sites available, although they may only open during the holiday periods of mid-June through August. Municipal camp sites are your best bet if you want to keep costs down.|
|the locals||Touring is still uncommon in France and the locals are generally impressed and intrigued when you speed by on a fully-loaded bike. Tourist information facilities are excellent and offer free, detailed maps of individual regions and information on campsites. Relying exclusively on their information, we were able to travel without lugging around a guidebook.|
France Practical Planning Guide