Go on an outing, just wander around, stop, explore, set off again - do what you fancy at your own pace - this is the idea behind the Tour de Bourgogne à vélo with its 800 km of signposted routes for short or long distance cyclists. It is divided into 5 main routes combining "Voies vertes" and dedicated cycle tracks, often running on canal towpaths, along disused railway lines, even through vineyards. With a surprise at (almost) every kilometre: castle or château, chapel, inn, etc. All along the route there are gîtes, guesthouses (B&B), stop-over accommodation, places to take a break, etc.
To organise your break, for individuals or groups, whether it’s a short ride or a long tour, here are a few suggestions.
- On this web site you will be able to get information in advance on the itineraries and trails that you want to ride.
- Interactive maps for the itineraries that highlight the type of trail (safe trail on a dedicated path = greenway route, shared roads or if the trail is in the process of being built) and allows you to visualise your forthcoming itinerary in terms of distance.
It is important to find out about cycling facilities prior to departure:
- The interactive maps let you locate all facilities around the cycling route: accommodation, places to visit, cycle hire, tourist offices, railway stations...
- Accueil Vélo suppliers that guarantee a welcome and services that are adapted to cyclists.
- If you are planning to take a cycling tour lasting several days, choose a hybrid bike that is well-equipped.
- For a family bike ride, think about a bike trailer or a « tag-along », options which provide greater comfort than a child seat on the back of the bike.
- This equipment can be hired for the entire duration of your trip from a number of hire companies in France.
- If you are transporting luggage, use pannier bags that fit onto the rack at the back of the bike and that should be weatherproof if possible. Backpacks are more suitable for short bike rides.
- Try to remember a handlebar-bag to hold your guide book and camera. - Always remember to bring a repair kit with you: inner tube, bicycle pump, multi-tool.
- Don’t forget to take a bike lock for when you need to stop during your cycling tour.
The Burgundy by Bike map (available in 4 languages, where you will find some 1000km of cycling routes or greenway routes and a multitude of suggested bike rides. (Order the brochure)
The topo-guides listed below :
- The Tour of Burgundy by bike (€15), published by Chamina
- Eurovélo 6 - From Bâle to Nevers (€12), published by Chamina
- Canal du Nivernais by bike (€9.90), published by Michelin
- The Tour of Burgundy by bike along the greenway routes (€14.20), published by Editions Ouest France
You could also take a bike GPS to guide you. Certain GPS tracks of cycling itineraries are free to download from this site.
Do you feel like free-wheeling without the need for all that lengthy preparation? No problem. There are a great many specialist cycling tourism agencies. They can arrange a tailor-made programme that is adapted to suit your budget, your ability and your tastes.
- You will be able to find all of these in the accompanying guides and incoming agencies section of each tour.
- Don’t forget that there are already cycling breaks in place that include reserved accommodation, a luggage transport service and a map of the route: you just have to pedal!
A ‘Véloroute’ is a secure, sign-posted cycle track which uses different types of road/path: ‘Voies vertes’ (see below), cycle paths, cycle lanes and, in some cases, little country roads. It avoids steep ascents and descents.
A ‘Voie verte’ (literally ‘green road’) is reserved for non-motorised traffic: walking/hiking, cycling, roller skating, wheelchairs. Vehicles for canal maintenance however are allowed to drive along towpaths.
"At night or on days with poor visibility, all cyclists and cycle passengers, outside built-up areas, must wear a regulation high-visibility jacket, as described in the official decree of the Ministry of Transport."
Wearing a cycle helmet is not compulsory but is strongly recommended, especially for children and sports cyclists.