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
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?
I wrote back:
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).
One of the better known ones is Fat Tire Tours
, though you'll see from their bike range
that the bikes may not suit you if you're a regular road rider. Along similar lines is Blue Bike Tours
This is where using someone like Bruce may work out as he works with local hire companies and should be able to match a bike to your preference. He'll also be able to advise on accommodation, but I've also got quite a few bike-friendly hotels in Paris
listed on the site, including a lovely one at Versailles if you want to treat yourselves to an overnight stay. I've embedded the map below as well.
I'll leave it with you - let me know how you get on as I'd love to hear.
Send your reader Q&As to me at [email protected] and I'll try and help if I can. I post Q&As on the blog so they can help other people too, though all contact info, full names etc are kept confidential. You can also post questions on our Facebook page to benefit from the collective wisdom of the Freewheeling France community.