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Cycling in France

The official France à Vélo cycle routes described on this website take you along various types of signposted cycling trails: cycle tracks, greenways, véloroutes and roads with little traffic. What are these different kinds of routes exactly? And how are they signposted?

 

Greenways (Voies Vertes)

  • greenways are reserved for non-otorised trafficThese are routes reserved for non-motorized traffic, including cyclists, pedestrians, roller-skaters and people with reduced mobility.

 

  • Generally, these are laid out along towpaths beside rivers and canals, disused railway lines, coastal paths, forest trails and paths through city parks.

 

 

Greenways are very well suited to easy family cycling outings.

 

 

Véloroutes

  • A Véloroute is a non motorised distance cyle routeThese are medium- to long-distance tourist cycle routes.

 

  • They are safe and well signposted, and link together different towns and regions.

 

  • Véloroutes generally follow small roads on which traffic is light, plus, as far as is possible, cycle tracks and greenways.

 

  • Véloroutes are better suited to experienced cyclists, as certain short stretches may take you through heavy traffic, thus requiring a great deal of care.

 

Véloroutes are better suited to experienced cyclists

 

 

Signposting on cycle routes in France

  • Cycle signposting in FranceThe official France à Vélo cycle routes presented on this website came about thanks to a national plan to create véloroutes and greenways around France.

 

  • Each route has been given a number and is normally signposted with white signs noting destinations and distances in green.

 

  • Where you encounter yellow signs (often to be seen on small roads), these indicate that the route is provisional and undergoing improvements – note that on this website’s maps, such sections are signalled in red.

 

  • The routes numbered 1 to 16 are European routes; those numbered 17 to 99 are French national and regional routes.

 

 

Sections and Stages

The routes presented on this website are made up of sections that are in turn divided into stages. All the routes featured on this website are described following the same format.

 

  • A section corresponds to a portion of route anywhere from 50 to 250 km in length, on average. It links two major towns, or major tourist sights. A section is made up of several stages.

 

  • A stage varies between 15 and 30 km in length, on average. This corresponds, roughly, to a half-day trip for a family, taking into account visits, stops and the odd rest. A stage links two places where specialist services are provided for cyclists.

 

It is of course possible to tailor-make your own trip, choosing to tackle different stages as suits your plans.