• France edition
 
The Local List
Top ten: The best cycling routes in France
The iconic corkscrew ascent from Bourg d’Oisans to Alpe d’Huez is such a stunning ride that thousands of cyclists. Photo: www.bikehiredirect.com

Top ten: The best cycling routes in France

Published: 03 Jun 2014 12:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Jun 2014 12:32 GMT+02:00

Cycling has never been so popular among tourists visiting France, according to Natasha Wright, who runs the bike rental and delivery service www.bikehiredirect.com with her husband Neville.

“Since we launched in 2006 we have seen an increase in inquiries and bookings each year,” Wright tells The Local. “The fact that cycling has featured so much on TV and in the media has definitely helped.”

In particular, the fact that there have been two consecutive British winners of the Tour de France – Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013 – has raised awareness of cycling among British tourists, she says.

Top ten: The best cycling routes in France

But aside from the media attention focused on the sport, families are increasingly looking for inexpensive activities which appeal to all ages.

Wright, who is a mother of three, says she would much rather take her children on a cycling trip than to a theme park, which can often be expensive.

“People are always looking for better value things to do, and also things to do as a family that children, teenagers and adults can all enjoy.

“You can do a different route every day, and go out in all types of weather.”

Wright also considers cycling to be safer in France than in her native England.

“Since we moved to France, I’ve given my children a lot more freedom outside on their bikes than I would in the UK because it’s safer – cars definitely give cyclists more leeway.”

Although the majority of her customers are English-speaking – including many Americans, Irish, British and Australians – cycling also appeals to many northern European tourists, especially the Norwegians and the Dutch.

Wright, who is based just south of Cognac, says her favourite place to cycle is in the south west of France.

“The south west may not have much to offer to a hardcore racer, but it’s perfect for the average cyclist. You’ve got beaches, fields, vineyards – pretty much everything that people imagine when they think of France.”

Founded in 2006, Bike Hire Direct offers bike rental and delivery in the south-western Charente, Charente-Maritime, Dordogne, Vienne and Haute-Vienne departments of France. Click here for more information.

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ten bizarre facts about French Parliament
Here's ten interesting and funny things you didn't now aboute France's National Assembly. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

Ten bizarre facts about French Parliament

As Friday is the official start of summer holiday for members of French parliament, The Local has decided to have a little fun with them and has brought you 10 bizarre facts about its National Assembly. They're good for a laugh, but you also might learn something. READ  

Top Parisian tourist spots could open 7/7
Some of Paris's top tourist spots may stay open seven days a week. Photo: Ironypoisoning/Flickr

Top Parisian tourist spots could open 7/7

Three of Paris’s main tourist attractions, the Louvre museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles, may soon stay open seven days a week in a bid to accommodate more visitors amid dwindling subsidies. READ  

Live updates
LIVE: No survivors in Air Algérie crash
The wreckage of an Air Algerie plane has been found in northern Mali. Photo: Farouk Batiche/AFP

LIVE: No survivors in Air Algérie crash

France's president says there were no survivors of the Air Algerie crash in Africa, at the same time French authorities are ruling out the possibility the jet was shot down, saying bad weather is thus far the apparent cause. READ  

Plane with 51 French on board 'crashes in Mali'
The latest map released by officials in Burkina Faso, showing the presumed site where the plane is believed to have come down. Photo: Airport of Ougadougou

Plane with 51 French on board 'crashes in Mali'

An Air Algérie-operated flight carrying 116 people on board, including 51 French nationals, is believed to have crashed in Mali on Thursday. There have been unconfirmed reports that the wreckage of the plane has been found. READ  

French cops find arsenal on London-bound bus
French border police find an arsenal of weapons on board a Eurolines bus. Photo: Sludge Gulper/FLickr

French cops find arsenal on London-bound bus

French border police seized a small arsenal of firearms and ammunition they found stowed aboard a bus that was passing through France on its way to London, French media reported on Thursday. Officers are still looking for the owner of the weapons. READ  

France is among EU's biggest public spenders
France is one of Europe's biggest spenders, but its not getting great services. Photo: Pascal Pavani/AFP

France is among EU's biggest public spenders

The French government is the third biggest public spender in Europe, yet the quality of the health, pension and education services its paying for are significantly lower than other EU countries. A new government study explains why. READ  

Gaza crisis
France to release €11m in aid for Palestinians
An injured Palestinian is rushed to hospital in Gaza for treatment. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP

France to release €11m in aid for Palestinians

BREAKING NEWS: France is to hand over €11 million worth of aid for Palestinians in Gaza, President François Hollande announced on Thursday morning after meeting with several NG0s at the Elysée Palace. READ  

Report - Jobs for robots
'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots
Half of the jobs in France could soon be carried out by robots. Better think about retraining. Shutterstock

'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots

It might be a good time to think about a career change, because according to a report from a leading Brussels think-tank, half of the jobs currently being done in France could be taken over by robots in the next 20 years. READ  

Tête-à-tête - Part 2
'Foreigners pay taxes so they should get the vote'
"This is not about halal meat in schools, it's about democracy" Should non-EU foreigners get the right to vote in France? Photo: Marc Lagneau/Flickr

'Foreigners pay taxes so they should get the vote'

In the second part of our tête-a-tête on whether foreigners in France should be given the vote, we hear from one of the leaders of the campaign calling for it to happen, who insists "it's about democracy, not bringing in halal meals in schools". READ  

IN IMAGES: Paris protest in support of Palestinians
Members of a Jewish anti-zionist group joined protesters on Wednesday to call for an end to Israel's offensive in Gaza. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard

IN IMAGES: Paris protest in support of Palestinians

Up to 25,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Paris on Wednesday to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Here's a selection of images from the rally, that took place amid tight security. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
National
Job applicants in France: Be prepared to send in an anonymous CV
Sport
'Bouligans' to booze bans: Ten things you need to know about pétanque
Gallery
Driving in France: How to stay out of trouble on the roads
Travel
Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris
Gallery
Like cycling? Love France? See the top ten best cycling routes in France
International
'They think beer is a vegetable': What the French really think of Germans
National
Sarkozy's dream of a 2017 comeback is not dead yet
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is better than Germany (we're not talking football)
Gallery
Paris in Summer: Ten things to do on a shoestring
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se