Summer is coming , get your bikes on the road! It is on the agenda in the south of France thanks to the “canal des deux mers à vélo”. A bicycle path that links the Atlantic to the mediterranean sea. Let’s have a look at this phenomenon coming from Holland called cycle touring.
This is a new type of tourism that is mainly flourishing in France, Germany and Spain. As can be seen from the construction of a path of nearly 800km.
At first sight, I have to admit that cycle touring only offers advantages: it’s healthy, cheap and environmentally friendly! Applications for this new activity are on the rise, so are the structures needed. As a result, they thrive and organize even more hikes or bike trips. Duration and difficulty level are variable in order to attract an eclectic audience.
Equipped with a map or a tour guide for the less adventurous of them, these new tourists visit World Heritage Sites. The cycle touring allow them to enjoy nature beauty at their own pace. This is one of the arguments advanced by Jean-Jacques Buisson, director of the municipal camping of Moissac : "The cycle touring allows tourists to be closer to nature and has the advantage of being organized quickly. A couple or a family can decide on a whim if the weather is good."
This is how is born this 800km sunny road in southern France. The project was carried out at the initiative of 6 departments, a wild journey which should please the greatest number of bike riders.
Canal des deux mers à Vélo : the itinerary in details
From the beaches of the Atlantic to the mediterranean shore, the new enchanting road is waiting for you. As you may have seen in the promotional video, you are free to enjoy varied landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. For instance, you can cycle along the Canal du Midi and the Garonne Canal, before giving a go at the local products from the best vineyards or visit the must-see places of the region.
Moreover, a website has been launched to help you organize your trip. An algorithm allows you to create your own path according to your sporting abilities, the region you want to visit and the kind of experience you are looking for (such as country road, castles, vineyards , etc ...).
Besides, the website provides some technical information - like Greenways, shared roads, temporary routes - via interactive maps. Features like these will be useful to elaborate your own trip with confidence, especially if you’re not from the region. As a matter of fact, you will also find someone to help you wherever you are: tourism professionals that offer accommodation, bike rentals and standard troubleshooting assistance, or tourist offices that provide all the documentation needed.
Incidentally, each user has the opportunity to become a “member” of the website. This status offers them the right to write reviews about the roads they experienced along the Canal des deux mers à Vélo and to give personal pieces of advice that might help other cyclists who are looking for information about this atypical journey…
Would cycle touring finally get its own community?