Cycling is the best opportunity to learn and love provincial France, with ancient villages and castles, good-natured residents, and wonderful cuisine. France is a small country but stunningly diverse. Each region is rightly proud of its unique climate and cuisine. We have collected cycling routes that run through the most beautiful places in France: the Atlantic coast, the rocks and emerald meadows of Normandy, the vineyards of Burgundy.

1. Chalon-sur-Saône/Mâcon in eastern France

Route: Chalon-sur-Saône – Buxi – Cormatain – Clooney – Macon.
Length: 75 km.

This route is one of the first Green Paths (a bike path that only cyclists or pedestrians can travel on, and next to which there are no roads) in France. The path goes through the heart of the wine region of Burgundy – the banks of canals, through forests and vineyards, past medieval abbeys and castles. On the way to Buxi, you will see an ancient fort and drive along the tracks of the closed railway past a dozen wineries. The way to Kormaten lies through vineyards, and in the village, itself is an elegant Renaissance castle. Along the banks of the River Grona, you will reach the magnificent Abbey of Cluny, built in the 10th century, and from there, you will go to the cute medieval town of Macon.

2. Arcachon/Léon on the Atlantic coast

Route: Arcachon – Biscarrosse-Plage – Parenti-en-Born – Mimizan-Beach – Conti-Plage – Leon.
Length: 130 km.
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This route is also called the Path of Lakes, Beaches, and Forests. It begins next to the famous Pyla Dune, the largest in Europe, surrounded by an ocean and centuries-old pine trees. Along the ocean coast, you will reach Biscarrosse, with its ancient castles and churches, and turn to the lands of the Great Lakes. On the way to Parenti-en-Born, you will see dozens of rivers and lakes surrounded by flower meadows and groves. After a holiday in Gaste, you will go through the pine forests to the town of Mimizanu, with its carved churches of the 12th-14th centuries, narrow streets, and cozy restaurants. Then you will find the road along the Atlantic coast to Leon (not to be confused with Lyon), through the reserve of Curran d’Youchet with rare birds, lakes, and wild beaches.

3. Condé-sur-Huisne/Alençon in central France

Route: Condé-sur-Yuin – Remalar – Mortagne-au-Perche – Le Mel-sur-Sarthe – Alençon.
Length: 78 km.
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This Green Cycle Route passes through the Persh Regional Reserve. The way to Remalar lies through fields with windmills and groves. The stretch of the road from Ramalar to Mortagne-au-Perche is very picturesque, goes through the estate of Cournoyer, flowering meadows, and rivers. In Mortagne-au-Perche, there are many architectural monuments: a church in the style of flaming Gothic, mansions of the aristocracy, and a Renaissance monastery. Next to Le Mel-sur-Sarthe, there is a huge lake with a beach, water skiing, and boat rental, from where our path goes further through the meadows to Alençon, where the Normandy region begins. Alençon has many old half-timbered houses, a 16th-century basilica with a carved façade, and a ducal castle.

4. Domfront/Ducey in the north-west of France

Route: Domfron – Barenton – Mortain – Saint-Hieleur-du-Arcuéux – Duquet.
Length: 90 km.
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This route passes through the most beautiful places of Normandy – through the emerald valleys, past the cliffs and medieval cathedrals. The road from Domfron to Barenton is the Green Path, passing along the banks of the Selsun River and pear groves. Next, you will go to Morten through the flood meadows, where thousands of Norman cows graze, whose milk is considered one of the best in Europe. Each rustic restaurant serves the freshest cheeses and veal dishes with a glass of cider. From Mortain, through Saint-Hilaire-du-Arcuyo, you will drive along the riverbank, through waterfalls and gorges to the village of Duquet, a couple of kilometers from which is the beautiful abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.

5. The Green Path of the Canal of the Two Seas (Vélo Voie Verte du Canal des Deux Mers) in the south of France

Route: Grisol – Monteche – Moissac – Valence – Lamagistère.
Length: 68 km.

The Channel of the Two Seas is a huge cycling route connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and the Green Way is the most beautiful part of it, running along the canal bank in the department of Tarn and Garonne. Almost along the entire route, the bike path is lined with high plane trees, in the shade of which it is so pleasant to travel in the summer. The path begins in Gristle and goes through vineyards and lakes to Montes, a beautiful city with many canals, in the vicinity of which five Renaissance castles have been preserved. Then the road goes to Moissac – a beautiful city with Romanesque churches, surrounded by gardens and vineyards, from where our way lies in Lamagistère.

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