Published by Lyn on 21 March 2016
Head out on to the unspoilt backroads of the Gers – ancient Gascony – from July 9-16 for the Semaine Européenne de Cyclotourisme, European Cycle Tourism Week.
Cycle tourism is booming in France, so where better to celebrate the 12th Annual European Cycle Tourism Week than in the foothills of the Pyrenees in south-west France.
This year's European 'cyclotourism' week from July 9-16 is being hosted by the small city of Auch, the capital of the Gers department of the Midi-Pyrenees and the ancient capital of Gascony.
Despite being within easy reach of the transport hubs at Toulouse (and the airports at Tarbes and Lourdes), the area is still considered something of an undiscovered treasure trove for cyclists.
But this is the sort of thing you'll see when you get there (photos thanks to Compte officiel du Comité Régional du Tourisme).
The European Cycle Tourism Week event itself has been running since 2005 and usually attracts around 2500 riders from all over Europe.
Each day offers a variety of routes to suit all abilities – both on and off the road – although for some trails you'll need to book in advance. Generally you can choose from 50km, 90km and 130km routes with food stops along the way.
The programme for the week’s events, plus maps and application forms, can be found on the official website.
As an extra bonus, Theresa at Domaine de Peyloubère is offering a 10% discount to Freewheeling France readers. She's ideally placed in the heart of the action. Her normal rates are €85 for 2 people B&B, or ask about her self-catering cottages (stacks of local advice free of charge!)
For structured bike tours in the area, see the guys at Gascon Cycling Tours.