With the Tour de France set to start on 2 July, we take a look at some great routes in Europe. We know that not everyone is going to be a natural Bradley Wiggins but cycling is something that the whole family can enjoy together whatever their abilities. Getting the whole family out together to explore the stunning countryside and to enjoy the fresh air is what holidays are all about.
For the cyclist who likes to focus on fun!
For families with younger children or the type of cyclist that likes to hop on a bike and just go off and explore then we have the perfect route for you. The Loire à Vélo is a cycle network covering 500 miles from the Atlantic coast of France to just outside Nevers in Burgundy. Now, we’re not suggesting tackling this all at once but why not try a section. The great thing about the Loire à Vélo is that it is wonderfully flat – you could cycle for days without coming across an incline.
Where to stay
To enjoy part of this route, we recommend staying at Château de Marais in Chambord. This stunning green and spacious site is set in the grounds of an old Manor House with a fantastic pool complex for resting those weary legs after a day on the bike. If you don’t want to take your own bikes with you then no problem, you can hire some on site. There is easy access to the Loire à Vélo from the campsite and the area really is stunning. En route, you can enjoy views of Château de Chambord and keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife; you might even spy some deer and boar in the woods.
For the cyclist who likes a bit of a challenge, wind in their hair and a slight burn in their thighs!
The area around Lac de Chalain in the Jura region of France offers a variety of routes to suit every individual. Mountain bikers flock here every summer to enjoy over 100 marked routes around the region, but it’s not just a paradise for hardened cyclists.
With more than 2,000km of marked trails there really is a route that everyone can enjoy. Whatever your level of experience, you won’t be short of choice for weeks and you’ve got plenty of opportunities to push yourself that little bit further, or alternatively enjoy an easier ride. The lake provides the stunning centrepiece around which the mountain biking trails head off in all directions but you can choose to keep it fairly simple and follow the 9 km trail that circles the Lake.
Where to stay
To rest your head and weary legs in stunning surroundings after a day on the mountains then head no further than Domaine de Chalain. This beautiful site is set on the edge of a shimmering lake nestled in the mountains, perfect for relaxing with nature. There’s also a fab pool complex with indoor and outdoor slides plus a sauna and Jacuzzi if you would rather sit back and relax.
For the cyclist who means serious business!
Nestled among the mountains in Switzerland, Interlaken has a beautifully picturesque location between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Interlaken sits at the foot of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau so rest assured there are stunning views aplenty – perfect for distracting you from the burn in your legs. What better way to explore it all than getting into the saddle and heading for the mountains. The whole area offers lots of different trails with plenty to give even the most experienced rider a good challenge. If you’ve got a head for heights then the trails across high plateaus will help get the adrenalin going or alternatively you’ll find plenty of challenging single track trails to test yourself on.
Where to stay
After a day of hard riding, you need somewhere to stay that will help to rejuvenate you for the next adventure-filled day. Camping Manor Farm is a large south-facing site with stunning views over the Eiger. The site sits on the edge of a lake with a private beach so if you’ve still got some energy left, take to the water and enjoy some water sports. Alternatively, take a plunge and relax your legs in the cool alpine waters.
Wherever you are travelling to this summer, why not enjoy a bike ride? A lot of our sites offer bike hire so you don’t need to worry about taking your own. It really is the best way to take in the surrounding countryside – you never know what hidden gems and stunning views you may come across.