If you have never cycled in France, you are in for a real treat. Each region has a super infrastructure of small, paved, little-trafficked roads. Toss in spectacular countryside: fields of flowers and orchards, vibrant green vineyards, castles and crumbling stone villages, and towns with winding streets lined by cafes and restaurants.
We provide all the structure for a great trip: the right places to stay, beautiful routes to follow, with detailed, step-by-step route notes and highlighted maps as well as GPS tracks, and a few well-chosen meals. And we transfer your luggage while you enjoy the sites and scenery. If you need any help, we are always an easy phone call away.
At the start of the trip, our Bike Manager will meet with you to go over any questions, and to check your bike fitting. If you need any help, we are always an easy phone call away.
The joy is you do it at your own pace, with no schedule, and no waiting around for other people in a group of strangers. Stop when you want, however often you want, wherever you want.
NO. Just tell us your preferred arrival date, and we will confirm availability back to you. If for some reason that specific date doesn’t work (which is rare), we will propose a solution, either in dates or in alternate hotel accommodation.
No. We do not group people together on the tours – it will be your own, private tour, to do at the pace you like.
If YOU have a group of friends or family looking to travel together, we will be more than happy to help you organize your holiday. For a larger gang, we recommend and include special activities, guided visits and tastings, and as many of the meals as you like (so you are not stranded as a group looking for dinner).
We do NOT offer set dates for people to sign up on, to join another group of people, except on some of our Guided Wine Tours, where you can choose to join a small group (generally up to 8 participants max) on the same tour.
Yes. We have many travelers who are keen on exploring France, and are travelling on their own. We provide just the right amount of structure to help you along the way. The places we have you explore are friendly and safe, and you will find your hosts at the hotels and restaurants warm and accommodating. Our published prices are based on double occupancy, so contact us and we can give you a quote with the single supplement included.
All of the hotels we use have been chosen with great service and ideal location in mind. We offer 3 different levels of accommodation on our tours:
CLASSIC: Comfortable and clean 2 and 3 star hotels, all of course with private, en-suite bath. Many of our CLASSIC hotels are family-run.
CLASSIC+: A selection of charming 3 and 4 star hotels – we try to find places with great personality that reflect the region, and are not too large.
DELUXE: The best hotels the itinerary can offer; luxury accommodation: 4 and 5 star hotels
To help you choose, we tell you exactly which hotels we use in each category for each tour; if because of availability, we cannot offer the hotel listed, you will know this and be given other options to choose from before booking.
You can also mix and match levels – perhaps you feel like spoiling yourselves for the final evening, or perhaps there are specific hotels that appeal that you would like to include – just let us know.
The French are passionate eaters, and we believe that meals are a big part of your travelling experience. The dinners we include, either at your hotel’s restaurant, or in our favourite local spots, make delicious meals with fresh ingredients, which reflect the region’s local culture. We also do everything we can to let you eat with a ton of choice (usually à la carte), so you won’t be locked into a set menu.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be eating at Michelin-starred restaurants every night; it means you’ll be eating at places with great ambiance, loved by locals as well, sometimes relaxed, sometimes more gourmet, but always with fabulous, fresh food.
Absolutely. Once you have booked, we will check with you to see if you have any dietary restrictions we should know about, and we communicate them to the restaurants we work with for your tour. Restaurants in France are much better now than they were in the past about accommodating these in a satisfactory and delicious manner.
Of course. The tours on our website are a great starting place, but we can customize by taking out a night (or adding rest days, too). Let us know the time frame available, and we’ll suggest a great itinerary to fit!
Except for our Challenge level bike tours, each of our tours includes the use of a high quality touring bike. This is a flat-handlebar bike, with lightweight frame and a large range of gears – perfect for relaxed cycling with many starts and stops for siteseeing along the way.
They come equipped with everything you will need: lock, water bottle, front removable handlebar bag, and a set of back panniers. We have slightly different bikes in each region; we are happy to provide the specs for the specific bikes in the region you choose.
On our Challenge Bike Trips, the included bikes are high quality, very lightweight, carbon road bikes. Again, the exact specs vary from region to region – ask and we will provide more detail.
We have the whole range of frame sizes available, and will ask your size details after you have booked in order to ensure the best possible fit while you are on trip. We will also find out if you would like our helmets and toe cages on the pedals, both complimentary during the trip.
We can also offer pedal-assist e-bikes and road bikes on all our tours for a supplement.
Other than our Challenge Bike Trips, our bike holidays are meant for people who enjoy being active, not super-athletes. We offer several different levels of trips to suit your riding ability, including several in the “easy” category. Our routes are designed to allow you to explore at a relaxed pace, with lots of time for stopping and site-seeing along the way, rather than to be pedaling against the clock to get in to your destination before sunset!
And don’t forget, you can always opt for an e-bike – allowing you to get some exercise, but have a bit of a “boost” to help you along the way!
Having said that, you will not be physically at ease if you are not familiar with cycling ahead of time. And your behind will be happier on trip if you get out and practice ahead of time, with a few outings at least, before you arrive for your trip in France.
We expect you to be able to manage a basic flat tire, which very occasionally happens while on trip. We provide you of course, with the new inner tube and tools needed for this, and if it has been several years (decades??) since you have changed a bike tire, you’ll find the French quite bike savvy and happy to help!
However, if something trickier comes up during the trip, you can contact us at any time, and we will do what is necessary to help you out quickly, in order for you to continue enjoying your
The weather is one thing we cannot control, and so it could rain while you are on your trip. Generally if it rains, it doesn’t rain all day, nor so hard that you can’t walk anyway, perhaps getting a little wet. We always recommend you bring rain gear of course, just in case.
If the weather is really unpleasant, or you simply don’t feel like cycling, we are happy to help organize a transfer for you to the next hotel along with your bikes – there may be a supplement charge for this.
We will send you a booking contract to fill out ans send back to us. We require a 30% deposit to confirm your tour, with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard), or by wire transfer. This deposit is fully refundable up to 1 month before your tour, less a 50€ per person admin fee. We charge final payment 1 month before your trip date, which then becomes non-refundable. All our (very straightforward) booking details are outlined on the booking contract.
We do not sell Travel Insurance; there are many companies specialized in this service that we recommend you look into, for your country of origin. Also, it is a good idea to check with your credit card company to see if there is travel insurance included when you pay for your holiday with their card.
We do all the hard work for you, providing fantastic well-researched routes and great regional information. Then we leave you to enjoy it all at your own pace. So take a deep breath – now you just have to decide which of all the great regions you want for your Detours in France cycling tour!