Sustainable travel is fast becoming the latest travel trend of 2022 with more people looking for ways to travel responsibly, reduce their carbon footprint and get the most out of their vacation time. Rather than simply choosing a beach holiday, people are opting for more active vacations and discovering new skills while on holiday. Wine tasting in Europe is becoming an increasingly popular holiday choice. With its delicious wines , breathtaking scenery and delightful trails off the beaten track, it’s no big surprise that France is among the 10 best wine regions in Europe.
More of us are trying to be kinder to the environment and get a little healthier so cycling has become an increasingly popular leisure activity and means of transport. What’s not to love? The amazing feeling of freedom and child-like wonder you feelwhen you discover a brand new place on wheels is unbeatable. You get to see amazing scenery, stop when you please and meet weird and wonderful people along the way. Then there’s the wine. On a wine tour you actually discover where the wine came from. There’s something really special about learning about the origins of the wine and tasting a glass near the vineyard where it was grown and harvested. The vineyards tend to be in rural locations so the roads are quiet. In this article we suggest some of the best cycling wine trails in France, so whether you’d like to go as a self- guided cyclist or cycle as part of a group, there’s a trail to suit you.
When choosing a wine cycling tour, whether as an organized or self- guided tour, try to go with a local French company to ensure that your business benefits them and the local community. This way, you’ll get an insider’s knowledge of the area and a more authentic experience than you would if you opt for a UK or US company that operates in France.
The advantages of a self guided wine tour is that you get to take to the open road with the freedom and the flexibility to pace yourself and set your own itinerary.
Think about a self guided tour if:
- You’re confident about reading a map and asking for directions or help.
- Your friends are with you and you’re used to cycling or vacationing together.
- Maybe you’re by yourself but are an experienced cyclist.
- Repairing punctures and fixing mechanical problems is something you do confidently.
Consider an organized trip if:
- Meeting people and cycling in company is important to you.
- You’re traveling solo and aren’t a confident cyclist.
- The security of group cycling appeals to you.
- You’re anxious about getting lost or sorting out a puncture.
This trip to France may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, so choose the experience that you’re most likely to enjoy.
In France you’re quite literally spoilt for choice when it comes to vineyards and cycling tours. From opulent chateaux vineyards to very tiny wine cellars in rustic basement cottages, there’s a range of wine producers. Consider using the list of wine tours below to guide your choice:
Bordeaux. This area is world famous for its delicious, top quality wines on which the city has built its wealth. The route extends from Bordeaux to Bergerac. Bordeaux has a wine museum which is well worth visiting before setting off. The cycle tour can be a little complicated to navigate in places but it’s worth making the effort as there are unmissable gems to see en route. You can pass through the towns and villages of Medoc and Saint Emilion and stop off at the imposing chateaux en route to sample the wine. The unused railway tracks have been made into cycle paths and are safe and peaceful. There’s no shortage of little delicatessens and supermarkets in the quaint villages you pass through, so you can pick up some supplies and picnic anywhere.
This traffic-free cycleway is 800 km long and pretty flat. The scenery and greenery is awesome. You pass enchanting chateaux and can literally pedal along at a leisurely pace and just enjoy the views. Your tour guide will know all the best places to stop for food or to savor the wine. There are lots of spots where you can cool off in the river en route but choose a safe spot in shallow water.
The Provence region with its Mediterranean sea views, quaint hilly villages, lemon groves and lavender fields stretching out for miles is unmissable – a feast for the senses before you even taste the wine! Most wine tours start in Avignon and take you along the foothills and through the prettiest towns and villages imaginable.
Alsace. Bordering Germany, this region offers an amazing selection of white wines but also delicious beers with French and German cuisine – the best of both worlds.
Champagne. The region, just like the sophisticated produce, is splendid with majestic chateaux and fine restaurants serving delicious fare. It stretches for 300 km along old railway lines, tracks and towpaths. The countryside is delightfully rolling and not too challenging.
These are just a few of the wonderful wine cycling tours in France. There are many more. I hope this article gives you some ideas for a wonderful winesome trip to France.