Tour 1: Brittany and Normandy
Total distance: 930 miles. Riding time: five days
Plenty of sightseeing opportunities on this pillion-friendly tour, from the D-Day beaches to the U-boat pens in St Nazaire to the Bayeux Tapestry. This is a relaxed route with low average daily mileages (the first is especially short to allow a visit to Mont St-Michel).
Tour 2: The Vosges and Doubs
Total distance: 1225 miles Riding time: Five days
It’s great roads and plenty to see all the way – from the memorials of the Somme to those of Verdun, through the mountains of the Haut-Doubs and the Vosges. The first day requires a morning crossing to Calais, while the final day uses a little motorway to get home fast.
Tour 3: Ardennes, Morvan and Jura
Total distance: 1145 miles. Riding time: Five days
This is a real 'rider’s' tour, with the emphasis on flowing and twisty roads through unspoilt countryside, rather than on stopping to see the sights. The first day needs a late-morning crossing to Calais.
Tour 4: The Loire and Limousin
Total distance: 970 miles. Riding time: five days
Based around the overnight ferry services to and from Caen, this relaxed tour offers plenty of chances to stop and explore the sights – including one or two of the châteaux of the Loire valley – but still has plenty of rewarding roads to ride.
Tour 5: The Alps (high-mileage)
Total distance: 1785 miles. Riding time: Seven days
All the great passes plus the Gorges du Verdon are on this intense week-long trip, with full days suitable for solo riders. Easily extended with extra days to ride loops around Bourg-St-Maurice, Barcelonette or Castellane, or you could plan a rest day or two into the trip.
Tour 6: The Alps (relaxed)
Total distance: 2050 miles. Riding time: Nine days
Epic riding through the Morvan, Auvergene, Tarn gorges, Cévennes, Provençe, Jura and Vosges as well as the Alps. Higher-mile days use motorway to keep time in the saddle down to pillion-friendly levels.
Tour 7: The Pyrenees (high-mileage)
Total distance: 1895. Riding time: seven days
Using overnight crossings to and from Caen, this tour takes in all our favourite roads in the French Pyrenees – plus the Cévennes and Auvergne on the way back. Longer days in the saddle may be better suited to solo riders than pillion couples.
Tour 8: The Pyrenees (relaxed)
Total distance: 1390 miles. Riding time: Eight days
This pillion-friendly tour of both sides of the Pyrenees ties into the Santander ferry crossings. There’s lots to see, as the route takes in many of the Cathar castles on the French side of the mountains.
DAY TWO: Zarautz to Argèles-Gazost (185 miles)
Download the GPX
Tour 9: The Bikeshuttle tour
Total distance: 1645 miles. Riding time: Eight days
Don’t want to ride across Northern France? You don’t have to: this trip starts in the Jura and heads through the Alps, Auvergne and Vosges. It ties in with the Bikeshuttle service that ships your bike to France (see www.bikeshuttle.co.uk). If you want to cut it short, you could take the Bikeshuttle on the way out and then ride straight home from Chaumont after five memorable days.
Tour 10: Millau tour
Total distance: 1740 miles. Riding time: Eight days
The trip that has everything – mountains, gorges, castles, cathedrals and one enormous bridge. With moderate mileages and lots to see along the way, this is a good trip for pillion couples or first-time solo European tourists wanting a longer tour.
Tour 11: Limousin, Auverge, Cévennes
Total distance: 1885 miles. Riding time: Seven days
Like short, easy days on straight roads? Then this tour is NOT for you… It’s a high-mile blast on a seemingly-endless succession of sublime twisty roads. It doesn't have the tight hairpins and big drops of the high mountains, just a relentless stream of great bends. It ties into the overnight ferry service to and from Caen. Longer days and higher mileages mean this trip's ideal for sporty solo riders but not so suitable for pillion couples.
Tour 12: All France (high mileage)
Total distance: 3195 miles. Total times: 12 days
A highlight-packed high-mile tour for riders who want to fill every moment of each day with brilliant riding. Only the first and last days use motorways, so these are long days: it’s more suited to solo riders than pillion couples. We suggest taking a full two weeks for the tour and including a couple of rest days along the way.
Tour 13: All France (relaxed)
Total distance: 3075 miles. Riding time: 15 days
Got two weeks off? A new set of tyres? Take our relaxed, pillion-friendly lap of France, taking in the best sights and finest roads. It’s all flowing, open riding – only the final day uses any significant stretch of motorway, just to get you back to Calais quickly.
Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To France which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2017. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.