Reader Q&A: Route advice for cycling through France

Published by Lyn on 20 February 2014

Hugh wrote to ask about cycling routes from Avignon to northern France.

Avignon by Marcel Musil

Avignon, pictured across the rive Rhone in Provence's Vaucluse department. Photo: Marcel Musil

Hi Lyn,

I hope you don't mind my writing to you like this – I thought you may be able to help my wife and me.

We are fairly experienced cyclists, having done quite a lot of cycling in England and Scotland. I am 68 and Annie is 62; ee are both pretty fit.

In May we are taking our bikes down to Italy, near Sienna, by train and then want to cycle back as far as we can in about 11 days.

I am thinking we might find a train to somewhere like Avignon and then go due north, finishing up on the Avenue Verte, as we live in Brighton. Do you havbe any suggestions as to routes?

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes,

Lyn writes:

Hi Hugh

Not at all – I like to help if I can!
You could look at something like this (in reverse). It took these guys 13 days, though I'm not sure if the daily mileage would be a little further than you'd like. You could always amend it and catch the train further inland at the start, and then vary the end to end up in Dieppe (via the Avenue Verte) as opposed to Caen.

See also this forum, where this exact topic was discussed.
See also this discussion I had with another reader who was looking to cycle from Caen to Avignon.
I've got more information on the site about catching French trains with bikes. For accommodation en route, check out my Where to stay section (or zoom into the map below – I've singled out the regions your route might cover).

It would be great to hear how you get on and which route you decide to take – you can't really go wrong as France is such a lovely place to cycle (though be wary of the hills as you cross through the centre).

If I can help further, please let me know,
Hugh writes back:
Useful stuff! Thank you so much Lyn. I shall let you know how we get on.
With every good wish and thanks again,

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