Why you should go there: France is a bike nation. The general public thinks of the Tour de France immediately, mountainbikers know the quality of french DH- and Enduro racers… That´s no coincidence! France has amazing landscapes, from lush submountainous areas to the steep rock faces of the western alps. Everywhere you can find countless hiking trails and lots of purpose built (sometimes secret) trails maintained by locals. In addition the french are very proud of their culinary reputation and they grow world famous wines.This combination makes a superb basis for your next biking vacation!
Who is it for: Everybody should find an offer to his/her liking. France has countless bikeparks, and biking regions. You can ride the mediteranean coast or the high alpine. Provence, Mont Blanc Region or the Vosges are just a few examples of brillant biking destinations.
Who should avoid it: In our experience vegetarians/vegans might find it difficult to find a diverse diet in remote villages. Sometimes the french come across a little unfriendly or rude even, sensitive charactres might occasionally feel offended. 😉
France is a cycling nation! Generally the people you meet will be enthusiastic, cheer you on or similar. Please slow down nevertheless and be friendly.
Some people believe biking is legal everywhere in France. This is not completely true, especially in national- and nature parks cycling can be restricted or completely prohibited! Check before planning your rides!
Trails & Tours
Trailforks covers many trails in France and is a good starting point for exploration of an area. We also like the free trail database https://trailguide.net/ – not too many but quality trails. Another interesting source is VTTrack, lots of routes and the overlay “sentiers” highlights interesting trails (comparabale to Trailforks).
Most weather websites and apps work well in our experience. The official weather site of the french government is Meteofrance.
France is a big country! Most visitors will come by car or fly into France and rent a car. It is noteworthy that there is a toll on french highways. High speed train connections between big cities are fast and reliable. Bike reservation is required for high speed trains (TGV) in some regional trains (TER) the bike travels for free. Check out the SNCF website for more info. Our recommendation for getting around, especially if you have the bike with you and travel remote regions, is by car.
We´d advice you to always carry some cash since in many (rural) places card payment is not accepted for smaller amounts.
Top Natural Trail Regions
Many regions have a dense network of hiking trails which are maintained by regional hiking clubs or purpose built bike trails.
Vosges: This big region in the “grand est” of france has an incredible combination of flow-, tech- and enduro-style trails. There is also a lot of “savoir vivre”, fantastic wines are grown on the foothills of the vosges and there is a big cheese making tradition also.
Digne les Bains: The place for amazing lines and THE Instagram shot!
Provence: Epic flowy trails for advanced riders in the southeast of France. (Article coming soon)
Top Bike Parks
Our suggestions for “park rats”.
Lac Blanc: Nice bikepark in the Vosges. Several tracks with a good mix of natural and artificial obstacles. Open May-October.
Portes du Soleil: Europes biggest bikepark. 22 lifts, 75 DH tracks!
Lourdes: Famous for its DH Worldcup track! 3 DH- and 2 Enduro trails. Located in the south of France.