Top 3 bike-friendly wine routes

If you enjoy cycling and fine French wine, this could be inspiration for your perfect trip, taking in routes near some of the finest boutique hotels France has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a one day cycling trip or a week-long adventure in the heart of France’s famous wine regions, there’s a trip for anyone, from beginners to more advanced cyclists.

1. Enjoy Loire at your own pace, a beginner cyclist’s favourite. With around 10 chateaux all within reach of a day’s ride there are plenty of sights to see. Loire also boasts a history of exceptional and diverse wines from Touraine to Sancerre with tasting days plentiful, offering 5-6 wines to taste and invaluable expertise from one of France’s most significant wine regions. We have a range of luxurious boutique hotels throughout the Loire Valley – what better way to relax after a beautiful day out cycling? It is also known as the ‘Garden of France’ due the vast amounts of vineyards and local produce growing along the riverside. The recommended full trip can take up to two weeks, beginning in Cuffy and ending in Saint Nazaire.

2. Bordeaux is a beautiful place to begin a cycling tour, with quaint narrow streets within the town and a 3 mile-long river front perfect for a short leisurely cycle trip. Execute your tour around one of our boutique hotels in Bordeaux – a great base to relax in after a fabulous French cycling adventure. For the longer routes, Medoc to St Emillion is a particularly recommended route where chances of seeing vineyards and orchards are plentiful. Or why not head to Triangle d’Or, filled with restaurants, shopping and most importantly a famous wine emporia?

3. Normandy is another picturesque place to enjoy a history-fuelled self-guided cycle tour. Whilst visiting Normandy there is the opportunity to gaze at the Bayeux tapestry as well as the famous World War II site. Another attraction to visit is William the Conqueror’s castle. Alongside the endless amounts of history, there are plenty of opportunities along the coastal paths to stop off and indulge in local ciders, wines and cheese.

There are many companies offering self-guided tours within almost every region of France, or add a spot of independence by renting yourself a bicycle and booking your boutique hotels in France through Chic Retreats. Why not see the sights of France and indulge in its wineries in luxury?

Image: Turismo Baquía under Creative Commons

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.