Biking in France

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Anonymous's picture

Although it may not be too popular; I am very much interested in touring wine country in France early October. Can anyone recommend a touring company?

Anonymous's picture
Lynn (not verified)

Backroads has a well supported trip to Bordeaux vineyards, 35-50 miles a day. They use Canondales, you select the kind of bike you want to use.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Graham Baxter Tours

Depending on what type of riding you would like, and whether you are prepared to take your own bike to Europe, you might also want to consder Graham Baxter Tours, because it is cheap.

It is based in England, but offers tours for cyclists throughout France, Italy and Spain. You might be able to take advantage of the really cheap air fares to London, then go with Baxter by luxury coach with your bike in a box or bag on a trailer, attached to the back of the coach, across the Channel on a ferry, or the Shuttle, then on into France.

The accommodation is modest/basic, they will carry your bags between locations, leaving you free to ride all day, and they are cheap. If you like five star hotels and all the modcons, this is not the touring company for you.

I used them a couple of years ago to go and watch the start of the Tour de France, and they were great.

Anonymous's picture
P-R Stark (not verified)
Blue Marble

I have used Blue Marble in France and Italy -- their prices are less than Backroads or Butterfield & Robinson (though not cheap by any measure) and their spirit is more independent-minded/adventuresome. You can find more info at

Anonymous's picture
Ronbo (not verified)
Biking in France

You might be disappointed in the scenery, as the grape harvest has begun the earliest in history due to the heat wave. Normally harvested in late September through October, this year the vines will be bare by the time you get there. They are predicting a good year, at least :)

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
Backroads Co is excellent but a bit pricey

Having done 15-20 bike tours in France, I would rate Backroads as excellent in all respects but def on the expensive side.

Try Experience Plus or VBT among others. Both have Oct tours. VBT is very close to Backroads in amenities though the riding might be less challenging and the group a bit older & more married. I like Bordeaux a bit better than Burgundy. Also look at Provence and Corsica(they have wine there also)--the weather begins to get iffy in Oct in all places (like NY) so I would prefer to be a bit South


Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

I highly recommend ExperiencePlus (based in Colorado). I'm about to do my 8th tour with them (the Dordogne region of France) in late September. Not as expensive as Backroads, tours are usually a little longer (10-11 days), daily mileage tends to be a bit longer (30-45 miles), often use small family run hotels that are very good, always find great restaurants. They have a 10-day tour through the Burgundy & Champagne regions October 4-13 with several wine tastings. See their website:

Contact me directly if you have any questions.
Carol Waaser

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Perhaps you could do your own thing rather than a tour.

I stayed in a town named Die (pronounced dee) about 6 years ago that was one of the greatest places I’ve ever been. I ended up there by happenstance by tagging along with friends and stayed over a week.

It's in Provence in the Drome valley - at the foot of the alps. Die is on the edge or a huge nature preserve named Vercors. It's a town that really caters to all sorts of outdoor activities. We went rock climbing and hiking - you could literally hike from France to Italy to Switzerland, staying in alpine huts and small towns.

You could stay there and bike out of town in any direction for an amazing ride. You could also easily ride from town to town. I didn't get a chance to ride when I was there but was drooling too and am hoping to go back some day. It seemed like a very easy place to do your own thing. Not too small. Not too large. They have at least 1 bike shop.

There are vineyards everywhere as well as roads surrounded by sunflowers and lilac fields - BETTER than any Graham Watson photo you've ever seen. Some of my friends weren't into hiking or climbing and instead went to visit vineyards all day. Fortunately they always brought back a big supply for us.

The other day I was looking on a map of France and realized that it is within 30 miles of Alp d Huez, Galibier, Twin Peaks, and many other of the most famous climbs in France. But if you want less altitude, you can always ride along the valley roads.

The closest cities to Die are Gap and Grenoble. I think there's a train that gets you close if not directly into the town.


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