Coming to France to ride your bike? Where do you want to go? For some, this is the hardest part: deciding which amazing location to pick. With options ranging from the mighty Pyrenees to the snow-capped Alps, rolling wine country of Burgundy or Bordeaux to tackling the Tour de France giants the same day as the professionals. Do you desire an easy day of pedaling or pushing your legs to the limit? Prefer a Mediterranean landscape or the deep green of the Basque Country ? Choosing the right bicycle tour is more than just picking a place on the map. In order to get the most out of your experience, there are a few things to consider:
Culture – Are you a wine drinker or do you prefer beer with dinner ? Cheese or chocolate (or both) ? Sheep country or cow country… heck what about sea salt and oysters instead ? Looking for a peaceful retreat or a party-like atmosphere? Some guests want to immerse themselves into local culture and others want to simply watch the new sights and sounds breeze by like a rolling documentary. Bike Basque tours can offer any kind of traveler their perfect slice of paradise, no matter where in France you begin.
Countryside – This is probably the most important part of your tour. Countryside doesn’t just mean woods versus vineyards, blue ocean or alpine lake. For example: the golden wheat fields of the Bearn Region (gentle pedaling) or the jagged peaks of the French Alps (serious climbing). The tour you choose doesn’t just effect your legs at the end of a great day in the saddle, it can mean an afternoon of castle-spotting or wildlife watching. It can also mean the difference between a night in a mountain chalet or a sleek modern inn. A cycling vacation is much more than just getting from hotel to hotel, it’s about those intimate details in-between that you can only discover by bike.
Climate – Do you love to feel the warm sun on your face, wearing short-sleeves as you spin? Or do you prefer to bundle up and ride when the autumn leaves are changing and the smell of wood smoke fills the air? Do you want to pedal in the shadow of the Pyrenees or the bright sun of wine country? Choosing a climate has just as much to do as where you’re headed as to when. Also consider the best time of year to visit your favorite destination. There’s nothing like riding along fields of ripening vines or through the blooming cherry trees in the Pays Basque…but these wonders don’t happen year round. Decide what sights and smells and temperatures are important to you and plan according to the season as much as the destination.
Culinary – A hard working cyclist has to eat! Food is a huge part of why we travel and so much of a culture is shared over a great meal. Cuisine can be a deep and important part of a country’s tradition. Curious about a culinary treat only found in the Basque Country? How about comparing the taste of the northern Alps versus the southern Alps? Did you know France has more than 300 types of cheese ? Food can be an important source of inspiration, not just fuel to keep you pedaling day after day as you discover the delights of your tour.
Bike Basque has the expert knowledge and experience of offering you the perfect choice that balances all the important aspects of a world class bicycle tour. Whether your goal is to experience a new culture, taste a new flavor or test your legs over a new climb, we know you’ll find just the right trip to satisfy all your heart’s desires. We can even customize a tour for you. Let us know what you think makes the perfect bicycle vacation and your once-in-a-lifetime experience can be as easy as riding a bike.