Cycling in France: Family Holidays in Southern France

Jul 2, 2024

Experience the Beauty and Culture of France on Two Wheels

 (10-minute read)

Cycling in France is an enchanting way to explore one of the most picturesque regions of Europe, and can take family holidays in Southern France to another level. With picture-postcard landscapes, charming villages, family-friendly cycling routes, and a climate that virtually guarantees the only drenching you’ll get is by the sun, Southern France is the perfect destination for a memorable holiday on two wheels.

Why Is Southern France Ideal for Family Cycling Holidays?

Southern France offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural richness that makes it ideal for a family cycling holiday. Possibly France’s most idyllic region, it’s peppered with scenic routes that cater to all levels of cyclists. Whether you want to experience gentle, meandering country roads or the challenge of lakeside and mountain trails, you’ll find it here.

Cycling in France also offers your family the chance to experience an educational holiday with a difference.

Provence offers an abundance of fragrant lavender fields and rolling vineyards – a stunning backdrop for leisurely family cycling holidays.

The French Riviera is known for its glamourous coastline, with incredible Mediterranean views.

But it is in Occitanie that you’ll find the best of both worlds. The abundance of flora and fauna will thrill wildlife enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for golden eagles, wild boars, and the vibrant wildflowers that blanket the fields. This region is also steeped in history and culture. Each spin of your wheels can transport you to a bygone age as you pass centuries-old castles, Roman ruins, and quaint villages that seem untouched by the passage of time.

Family holidays in Southern France offer a unique chance to experience cultural immersion with a heady mix of art, history, and heritage. Combine this with cycling in France, and you’ll find the journey is as rewarding as the destination.

How Do You Choose the Best Routes for Cycling in France?

With so much variety, how do you choose the perfect holiday destination for you family to enjoy cycling in France? You’ll need to consider the ages and cycling ability of your kids, find family-friendly routes, and ensure that you’re safe in and out of the saddle. Here are our top five tips to help you plan your perfect family cycling adventure in France:

1.    Consider the Ages and Abilities of Your Kids

When planning a cycling in France holiday, your number one consideration should be the ages and abilities of your children (and older family members if you’re making it a multi-generational family holiday).

If you’re coming away with younger kids, or family members who are new to cycling, you’ll need to look for flatter, shorter routes with plenty of rest stops. Older children and more experienced cyclists are likely to enjoy more varied terrain and challenges cycle routes.

2.    Research Family-Friendly Routes

Whatever the level of challenge you seek, remember that you’ll be riding in a family group. The Canal du Midi is especially popular, with a flat, scenic route that makes for leisurely family rides. Away from here, you’ll find routes that offer all you need to make your cycling in France holiday an enjoyable experience for all – taking in all that the region has to offer.

3.    Plan for Frequent Breaks, Scenery and Attractions

While you might be able to ride for hours on end, your kids need frequent breaks. Take plenty of water and snacks with you, and choose routes that offer the opportunity for frequent rest stops. This is a chance to enjoy the local scenery, take in the local culture, and spend time in parks, playgrounds, or other attractions that will keep your children entertained.

If there’s something to look forward to along the way, motivation will remain high. The best cycling routes for families offer a mix of challenge and stimulation both visually and culturally.

4.    Prioritize Safety

Safety is paramount when cycling in France with kids. It’s best to avoid busy roads, and look for trails with safety features – bike lanes, clear signage, and country routes with minimal traffic. Make sure that you all have appropriate safety gear, too.

5.    Balance Cycling with Other Activities

To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable holiday experience that they will wish to repeat, mix days in the saddle with days out of the saddle. You might have a rest day lazing by the pool, or exploring local attractions. Variety is the spice of life, and the lifeblood of memorable holidays.

What Are the Top Cycle Routes for Family Holidays in Southern France?

Where do we start?!

Across the South of France, you’ll find opportunities for cycling in France with families. For a gentle ride along a historic canal, with beautiful views and plenty of places to stop and take a well-earned break, the Canal du Midi might be a great choice. If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, the Gorges du Verdon, known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, offers challenging trails with breathtaking views.

If you wish to journey through idyllic villages steeped in history, visit medieval chateaus, and pedal on friendly routes surrounded by the mesmerising beauty of natural countryside, vineyards, and forests, one of the most popular routes with locals and tourists alike is the one that passes by Mas Pandit. There’s just enough challenge for more experienced cyclists without the challenge being too great for younger family members.

Another favourite for cycling in France is mountain biking around Lac du Salagou. Dusty tracks on red soil offer a unique experience. The lake provides a beautiful backdrop – with perfect places to enjoy a waterside picnic with your family, or to take part in the many water sports available on the Lake. (Make sure to take your swimming gear.)

What Is the Essential Gear for Cycling in France?

It’s essential that you have the right equipment for cycling in France. Quality bicycles are crucial – you want to be comfortable when riding, as well as safe. You’ll need to decide whether to bring your own bike or rent in France.

You’ll need comfortable clothing, sturdy helmets, and knee and elbow pads to ensure that if you or one of your kids does have a little accident, it won’t mar your day.

Panniers will be useful to carry those items that you’ll need on the way – water, snacks, a picnic lunch, energy bars, and more.

Don’t forget to take your cycling brain with you, too! Get clued up on the rules of the road in France, such as knowing what the road signs mean and how to approach junctions.

Cycling in France: What’s the Best Family-Friendly Accommodation?

Accommodation can make or break a family holiday in France.

Hotels offer comfort and convenience, and are often located near main attractions. But they can be expensive, and may not be cyclist friendly – as well lacking in the flexibility that family groups need.

Another option is to look for B&Bs. You’ll find that these offer a more personal experience when cycling in France, and are often good value for money with the breakfast included in the price. However, while B&B owners can offer good local knowledge, the limited facilities (often with shared bathrooms, for example) are a factor you’ll need to consider.

For budget-friendly accommodation, campsites might be ideal. But don’t expect any home comforts. Nights under canvas can range from chilly to sauna-like, and you’ll need to lug your tent with you.

Why Country Kids Is the Perfect Base for a Cycling Holiday

If you’re considering a family holiday cycling in France, Country Kids offers an ideal base.

You won’t have the burden of carrying all your belongings on your bikes, and being accommodated in a unique location makes it easier to plan for rest days. There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy on the days when you aren’t in the saddle, from the swimming pools to our on-site spa treatments, our petting farm, and multiple facilities to keep your kids entertained.

Our fully inclusive package ensures that all meals, activities, and luxury accommodation are included (and when we say fully inclusive, we really mean it). We’ll supply the bikes and safety gear, saving you the hassle of bringing your own or securing rental elsewhere.

We’ve been here for several years, and have developed contacts throughout the area. Not only will we be able to plan your routes for you (another load off your plate), but we’ll also suggest stop-offs and hidden gems in the area.

Whether you wish to take a picnic with you (we’ll prepare everything) or experience quaint cafes or family-run restaurants along your route, it’s all within a cycle ride of our little haven in Mas Pandit.

Should Your Family Go Cycling in France?

Cycling in France is a fantastic way to spend quality time with family while exploring beautiful countryside, immersing yourself in new cultures, tasting new cuisines, and giving your kids a unique educational experience wrapped in entertaining fun. Staying at Country Kids takes the experience of cycling in France to a different level, enhancing your family holiday in Southern France with comfort, convenience, plenty of activities, and everything planned for you.

Cycling in France is a family adventure that promises unforgettable memories. You’ll get to see and experience this most beautiful French region from the unique perspective of a bicycle. What are you waiting for? Contact Country Kids today – let us know your needs and wishes, and we’ll make sure you’ll never regret cycling in France.

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