Note: this is my brief summary of the trip. For a more in depth day by day account, have a look at this rider’s great blog!
Arriving straight off the Pyrenees trip in to St Malo, it was back to the start, getting preparations done. Checking bikes, doing shopping and finding a laundrette dominated the first day.
Famous for crepes, this seemed to be the natural thing to have for lunch.
Working our way through Brittany, the first few days of the route are relatively flat. Field after field of cereals occupy the land here, supporting the huge agricultural economy.
There are many old châteaux along the route, some in ruin, others make wonderful places to stay the night.
Travelling the length of France on bike is the perfect way to absorb the changing terrain from north to south. As the route makes its way south, the flat fields of Brittany give way to more undulating terrain. Modern structures mix with the centuries old edifices.
The small villages were sometimes quiet and sleepy while others had vibrant displays of summer celebration.
The warm evenings were perfect for strolling around town.
Further south, the classic fields of sunflowers sweep out around the route. The iconic lone peak of Mont Ventoux rises up beyond.
A detour on the route to take in the summit of Mont Ventoux is highly recommended. Get an early start to avoid the severe heat in this part of the country.
As well as rolling past acres of lavender fields, the landscape becomes creased by gorges. The Ardèche, la Nesque, and the Verdon are traversed.
This remarkable landscape and the epic journey as a whole reach a conclusion at the Mediterranean Sea and Nice.
Arriving in Nice on Bastille day, the end of this trip came with emotion, the national celebrations being so sadly brought to an end. Having completed the journey, my love of France is reaffirmed and my thoughts remain with the people of Nice.