Buy into the French passion for cycling and you and your family will discover a new way to explore the beautiful, rural countryside of France while enjoying an entirely child-friendly activity. |
Cycling is a popular leisure activity in France which has meant that not only have local and national governments invested in networks of cycle routes, but drivers tend to be considerate when sharing the roads. All of which makes France a fantastic country to explore by bike.
I’ve always found that the great advantage of cycling as a way of exploring a holiday destination is that it’s a child-friendly activity which children already love, so you don’t need to nag them into taking part. We all know it can be difficult to prise kids away from their electronic devices these days, so adding the excitement and physical challenge of a bike ride can be a great way to get older kids engaged with the local area, while you sneak in a spot of sight-seeing.
Take Your Own or Hire a Bike
If you’re a family of keen cyclists then you’ll all probably have your own beloved bikes you’ll want to bring to France, in which case it’s worth noting that, while you can take bikes for free on many French trains, you may need to book in advance.
If you prefer to hire a bike when you get to your destination, you’ll find there are plenty of bike rental shops in most French towns, particularly in key holiday destinations.
Even if you and your family have your own road bikes, it’s worth considering hiring mountain bikes for a few days of your holiday so that you can explore some of the many exciting off-road bike trails across France.
Cycling in Aquitaine
At our beautiful Moliets-et-Maa resort on the southwest coast of France, cycling is more than just a fun, child-friendly activity - it is a way of life. Whether your younger kids want to explore the beautiful forests of Les Landes with its vehicle-free Greenways, or your teens want to cycle from your private villa to the beach for the day, you’ll find everything is accessible to them, and you, by bike.
The Forests of Les Landes
An area of beautiful, vast pine forest, the forest of Les Landes is a cyclist’s paradise with a variety of roads and trails running through it. Depending on your fitness and expertise, there are dedicated cycle tracks here which run for short distances to up to 30km. Find a trail that suits you and your family’s level of adventurousness, then set off to discover the stunning natural environment of the forest.
Types of cycle routes in France
• Greenways – These are dedicated cycle paths with no vehicles. • Cycle Routes – These are longer routes, perfect for a half-day or full-day’s cycling, which may contain some vehicle traffic. • Cycle Paths – These are usually part of a road which has been sectioned off for use by cyclists. In rural areas they are also sometimes used by pedestrians.
If you choose to cycle by road, then try to pick ‘D’ (departmental) roads as they tend to be less busy.
With these tips, you and your family will be set up to go out and explore France on two wheels in no time. Enquire about the child-friendly activity holidays in France I organise with my team to see how we can create a bespoke itinerary for you, which will give you as a family an experience of a lifetime.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted child friendly activity holidays to exciting destinations around the world, including France, Italy, Portugal, the USA and Canada. With unique itineraries and exciting activities like biking, hiking, white water rafting and canoeing, we create holidays for those looking for an experience a little more off the beaten track.
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