Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Franko barada nikto
Bikes: Enough bikes...for today!
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Welcome to BF. You could hardly have picked a better country for cyclotourism. I made five tours in France (a long time ago when I lived in London and it was a breeze to get there). I camped most of my trips, but one I did going between inexpensive hotels. I think the camping trips were more to my liking, but do whatever you're most comfortable with...
The opportunity to eat for two in the Perigord, for instance, really makes France so special. The food never makes it as far as your stomach!
A trip from the Atlantic beaches through Bordeaux and up the Loire into the Massif Central region is one you should think about, (well, in either direction!). The Massif is quite beautiful and you can top some awesome cols, fully laden.
The Tarn river area is nice; the Alsace is awesome and also gives you a peculiarly mixed culture. Big plus in the Alsace: the best beer in France (a country which is not known for beer!) and some interesting mountains to climb. The Burgundy region in also nice. And Provence! I envy you and your six months! You'll have the time of your life. It is a hard country to leave.
My only (slight) disappointment in my trips there: I did not have as fantastic meals at the truck stops that some guides mention are good.
ps England, Scotland and Wales are also awesome for touring (and the smaller B roads show you amazinf little towns and villages that really feel as if you are in the middle ages except for the road. The maps in the UK are awesome.
Mainland Greece - I cycled aroung the Peloponese and it was great but hot. I hear Turkey is even better for ancient history.
I've also done northern Germany, Holland, and Denmark. Holland is especially good. These latter places at least where I went, were pretty flat though.