Reader Q&A: Bike tours around Paris and Versailles

Published by Lyn on 16 January 2015

Susanna wrote from Australia to ask about bike tours around Paris and Versailles.

Beautiful Château de Versailles, just 20km south-west of Paris. Photo: Panoramas

Beautiful Château de Versailles, just 20km south-west of Paris. Photo: Panoramas

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Hi there Lyn

I’m not a seasoned traveller, but when I do I love to see a place by bike. I am an avid cyclist who rides and races both road and off road.

My daughter (not such an avid cyclist!) and I would like to visit Paris for a week during June/July and spend some of our time there doing a guided tour of the city and one of Versailles – maybe with an option to keep a bike handy for us to self-guide for the rest of our stay.

What and whom do you recommend for both affordable bicycling and a guiding hand with sightseeing and accommodation?

Many thanks,

I wrote back:

Hi Susanna

Great to hear from a fellow Aussie!
The roads out to Versailles (and further into the countryside) will offer some nice riding.
Give Bruce at French Mystique Tours a shout and say I sent you.

He runs tailored tours and will be able to sort something that suits you both; he can also help arrange bike hire.

He lives in Paris with his French wife and he specialises in seeing Paris by bike, but especially outside the city and into the countryside.

His tours probably aren't as cheap as some of the more touristy tour companies (see below) but he knows Paris and its surrounds very well and is a cyclist through and through.

Most of the Paris-based city tour companies will also offer Versailles, but group sizes will differ (though most will also offer private tours for a surcharge). A quick Google search will show up options, though I don't personally have first-hand experience of any that I can recommend.

Paris is actually becoming more and more friendly in terms of cycling, and it's easy enough these days to self-guide.  

There are more bits and pieces on riding in Paris on the site, including, including day ride ideas, a quiz, info on getting out of Paris by bike, and some background on how Paris became a cycling city.

You can see my map for accommodation ideas.

I'll leave it with you - let me know how you get on as I'd love to hear.


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