To go to‘Adventure in France, what better than family cycling, alongtested and approved routes by other traveling parents! For my part, I only did day trips, with my kids and the idea of leaving 3 or 4 days tempts us well: all that remains is to find the time.
Here are all our cycling route ideas in France to test with children!
Family cycling along the Dordogne
Family cycling route in France # 1
Km: 60 km –
Duration: 1 day – Age of children: Baby in one
trailer – Difficulty: flat and easy
In today’s environment, many people have changed their lifestyle and brought out the bikes to get around, to the delight of our beautiful planet. The next vacation in France will put a little more emphasis on the use of this gentle mode of transport which has many assets to discover a region. As in Dordogne, for example, where many greenways are accessible to pedestrians and bicycles.
During our last stay in Périgord, we were able to taste the joys of cycling with the family and the experience was as successful for the children as it was for us. From the Madrazes area in Sarlat-la-Canéda, along the Dordogne river, the greenway runs for more than 30 km to the village of Cazoulès. Enough to occupy the day knowing that it is not a loop and that it is necessary to think of redoing the 30 km back to the starting point! Take the time to stop to discover the villages with the charm of yesteryear.
This bucolic stroll on level ground and without any difficulty for children also lets go through the old railroad running along the Dordogne and thus observe the natural curiosities of the giants’ pots on the Chemin de la Borderie. Plan a picnic break with your feet in the water at the Groléjac pond. After this beautiful day of pedaling, the children finish easily and are even ready to face other essential visits to the Dordogne.
3-day loop in the Sundgau from Mulhouse station
Family cycling itinerary # 2
Km: 89 km –
Duration: 4 days – Children age: 5 years old
in a trailer – Difficulty: flat and easy
I like biking for the ride and not for the sport. So for our first bike and family trip, we wanted an itinerary that started in front of our house. Also, relatively uncertain about enjoying the experience, we had opted for a rental cart for our daughter (a very good choice because our daughter was already almost too tall). We also wanted gentle slopes, a swimming pool at the campsite, real cycle paths and a change of scenery.
So we are set off across the Sundgau on a completely tailor-made route from Mulhouse train station. Over three days, the whole covers 89 km and allows you to take your time and enjoy the places crossed.
The loop does Mulhouse – Seppois le Bas – Altkirch – Mulhouse. We took 4 days to include a 28 km loop around Altkirch (and two nights at the same campsite) before returning.
The Sundgau is a bit like the granary of southern Alsace. While the whole region makes wine, this mountainous area on the Swiss border raises carp and has many fields. The landscape is calm and bucolic. The rare passages on road are stress-free because apart from tractors, there is very little car. The expanses that we cross offer space for the child in a sleigh who only dreams of running around to stretch his legs.
For us it was a test route, to assess our abilities, our equipment and our motivation. And it was perfect, with the oddly indicated itinerary, a surprise climb at the end of the day (to reach the Altkirch campsite) and freedom.
Tour of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region with solar bikes
Family cycling route # 3
km – Duration:
Age of children: 4
years in a trailer – Difficulty: dur
The Cycling around the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, it was already a nice challenge for us coupled with a promising route: 1200 km of roads and paths, from Auvergne volcanoes to alpine glaciers! But the Tour of the AuRA region in “solar” bikes with a young child in the trailer will remain an unforgettable experience, made possible through our participation in the Sun Trip Tour 2019. This solar bike race takes place in France once every 2 years. It brings together enthusiasts of solar bikes and novices, like us, curious to test this ecological and futuristic means of transport.
More used to trekking poles than bikes, we had to learn to handle these funny cars, to manage our autonomy (the batteries wear out quickly on climbs and the sun is not always there) and at understand the alternation of motivation and impatience of our son Thomas, 4 years old, forced to spend between 6 and 8 hours a day in the trailer. On this last point, we were lucky, he loved his trailer and got into racing and adventure right away… Provided, however, that you take a swim break and an ice break every day!
We have completed this route in 15 days, at a sustained pace. The key steps (to be found in more detail in the dedicated article on my blog) are: Puy en Velay, Vulcania, Dombes, Geneva, Chamonix, Col du Mont Cenis, Briançon, Die Valley and Valence. It is a demanding but beautiful route, a true ode to the AuRA region, where it is easy to find wild spaces or campsites to pitch the tent and spend the night.
From Rennes to Saint Malo
Family cycling route in France # 4
Km: 115 km – Duration: 5 days – Age of children: 2 years in a trailer – 5 years by bicycle – Difficulty: flat and easy
On this 115km course, we cycled 5 days at a rate of 20-40km per day. We were accompanied by our 2 children 6 and 2 years old. The eldest cycled about 15km a day and rested in the trailer with her brother. Depending on his state of fatigue, we were also equipped with a drawbar to hang his bike on mine.
On leaving Rennes station, we followed the canal d’ille and Rance to Dinan. Then from Dinan, it’s a old railway line that led us to Dinard where we took the boat to cross the Priory bay and reach Saint Malo.
This route does no difficulty. It is very accessible for families because the canal and the railway have no difference in height. However there are some precautions to take when arriving at Dinan.
It’s a very nice route that allows you to pedal safely on a towpath and an old railroad track very well maintained.
On the visit side, we found some unusual places along the route, which the children liked a lot: The locks of Hede, the megaliths and the collection of oaks in Preslin, the seashell museum and the privateer boat in Saint Malo. Without forgetting the pretty typically Breton towns: Rennes, the medieval city of Dinan, the village of Lehon, the seaside resorts and Dinard and Saint-Malo and its ramparts.
Burgundy Canal, a peaceful bike ride along the water
Family cycling route # 5
Km: 115 km – Duration: 5 days – Age of children: 2 years in a trailer – 5 years by bicycle – Difficulty: flat and easy
At course of our 8 month tour de France by bikes, we fell in love with the Burgundy Since we regularly pedal, in particular, along the Burgundy canal, with family and friends. From the Auxerre gates to Dijon, this route offers a nice journey, accessible even with young children, comfortably installed in a trailer or pedaling on their mount.
These 215 km offer an immersion in the Burgundian heritage : remarkable sites such thatAlésia, internationally renowned vineyard, renaissance castles, ancient abbeys… The many accommodation, restaurants and activities labeled Accueil vélo and / or kid friendly are a real plus.
The facilities allow you to move forward safely, at your own pace. The The first 45 km are “more sporty” because these towpaths have not yet been developed. This bicycle tour is very popular with children because it does not present any particular difficulties, in particular no significant differences in level. The stops in a gîte or campsite allow you to stretch your legs after the day and “find friends in the playground” as the kids say!
La Vélofrancette – Easy family cycling route # 6
Km: 115 km – Duration: 4 days – Age of children: 8 years old by bicycle – 6 years old by bicycle seat – Difficulty: flat and easy
In 2017, we discovered a part of the Vélofrancette with our children who were then 8 years old (for my Ticoeur) and 6 years old (for my Titpuce). We have traveled 115 km in 4 days, between Laval and Angers and it was a real favorite for this very natural cycle path! We walk along the Mayenne in a very peaceful setting, without a car! And it’s always a pleasure to see locks on the way!
My Ticoeur assured: he had no problem pedaling all the way on his own bike. The path is flat and therefore very easy. Titpuce, however, was in a bicycle seat behind me because she was not yet comfortable riding a bicycle.
Our longest day was the 2nd day: we cycled 39 kilometers and, at the end, I felt that my Ticoeur was tired. The other days were below 30 kilometers and it passed easily!
Along the way, there are restaurant terraces, accommodation and activities for children such as the Refuge de l’Arche or Terra Botanica upon arrival in Angers. A superb cycle path for families!
FYI, the Francette bike connects Caen to La Rochelle
Course at Chantilly – Family cycling route # 7
Km: km – Duration: 1 day – Age of children: 3/4 years in a trailer – Difficulty: flat and easy
If you want to take a bowl of nature, you must join without delay Chantilly in the south of the Oise. 1 hour from Paris, it is very easy to rent a bike and explore the surroundings for a while. weekend in Chantilly with family.
Theadvantage of this cycling route is that you can adapt it to the endurance of children. It’s an easy, flat course that introduces the youngest to a 1er traveling weekend.
When you arrive in Chantilly, a horse-riding city, you will obviously want to discover the Living Horse Museum before visiting the Castle and its impressive collection of works of art. Now is the time to take off and join the greenway Paris London: direction Senlis ! Along the way, we meet riders, walkers and runners are also meet. In the heart of the Chantilly forest, you marvel at this green setting which allows you to enjoy simple things and pedal safely.
10 km away is Senlis and a more intimate atmosphere awaits you. The royal city invites to stroll. You have to wander through the maze of its alleys, join its arenas to measure its historical heritage. It’s time to get back in the saddle, towards the Castle of Mont l’Evêque then the Abbey of Chaalis. see our article here
depending on the shape of your children, the rhythm of the day, it is
possible to make a detour through the Ermenonville forest. At
back, we join Les étangs de Commelles and its famous Castle
of the White Queen. The opportunity to stretch your legs around
of the 4 successive ponds: an enchanting place that will
Take out your little calves, we are waiting for you on the slopes!
The Eurovélo6 with the family Family cycling route # 8
Km: 60 km – Duration: 3 days – Age of children: 3 years in a trailer – 5 1/2 years by bike – Difficulty: flat and easy
Here is an ideal itinerary for a first itinerant family bike trip: peaceful and wild it can be done on 2 to 4 days between Besançon and Dole on the Eurovélo6.
We have gone through 60 km of this Franche-Comté portion of Eurovélo 6 in 3 days and we cycled 15 to 25 km per day which was perfect for a first bike trip with young children. This route is not a loop, but the return or go by train is easily done with frequent and fast connections.
The Eurovélo 6
between Besançon and Dole almost exclusively on the greenway east
relatively flat and this direction allows a favorable slope and a
easy trip even with young children new to cycling.
Far from cars, this very varied itinerary in the heart of the countryside
sometimes hilly, sometimes wooded, sometimes along the
Doubs laces delighted young and old alike
that the many playgrounds along the cycle route, the beach and
the cave of Osselle, but also the pretty historic cities of
Besançon and Dole punctuated the trip well.
On the material side we had a trailer for our 3 year old daughter and the Follow-me traction system for our older 5 ½ who didn’t need it this time. See our article here
For this first family bike test ride we chose sleep hard and travel light without camping gear. So our luggage fit in 2 bicycle bags and a backpack in the trunk of the trailer. We found very practical accommodation close to the Greenway, alternating between guest rooms, apartments and bungalows.
A great experience that we have renewed since. The whole family loves to travel by bike: it’s fun and gives a great feeling of freedom!