This weekend marks the start of the 2015 Tour de France. This annual cycling competition is now in its 102nd year, yet new and challenging routes have been found to test the toughest of competitors. On 11 July, the race will head from Rennes into Brittany, with the stage ending with a 2km climb at Mur de Bretagne. The following day is the team time trials, which will be held between Plumelec and Vannes. If you are travelling in these parts of Brittany over this weekend, you may face some route diversions.
If you are inspired by the Tour de France racers, a holiday in Brittany is a great place to quite literally set the wheels in motion. Cycling is a popular activity and there has been considerable investment into cycle friendly routes across the region.
Some towns and cities in Brittany have good networks for cyclists to use to get around, but others are still works in progress. Whilst Tour de France destination Vannes is a shining example, with clearly signposted routes and a public bike hire scheme, others including Brest and Quimper are probably best explored on foot. To use Vannes’ bikes, you need to register and pay a deposit in advance and you can then collect and drop off the bikes at cycle stations which are found in various locations around the town.
The Green Ways or Voies Vertes have been created to offer smooth, easy routes for non-motorised modes of transport. There is a network of Green Ways across France and in Finistere, the area in which our Brittany campsite //www.carisma.co.uk/la-foret.html#tab-0 lies, there are 500km to be explored. These are primarily used by cyclists, but are also ideal for skates, skateboards, push-along scooters, pushchairs, wheelchairs, runners and walkers.
The Velo circuits offer longer distance cycle routes for those who want a day in the saddle. They provide an opportunity to get out on the road and explore the countryside and coastal areas of Brittany. Your route might take you through traditional villages, past rugged coves, through regional parcs and even along some of the Tour de France route. A number of these routes start in Concarneau, including a 14.4mile ride to the historic town of Quimper.
Every region also has mountain bike trails, which are graded according to difficulty. Details of local routes can be found at the tourist information centre.
Be inspired by the Tour de France and enjoy discovering Brittany at your own pace during your Carisma holiday.
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