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Lonely Planet Cycling France (Travel Guide) [Paperback]

Lonely Planet , Ethan Gelber
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: £15.99
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Book Description

21 Aug 2009 Travel Guide

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Bien sur, you know how beautiful France is. Well, consider this: it looks even lovelier when seen from two wheels. The soaring Alps...the chateau-dotted Loire...even surprisingly cycle-friendly Paris - no wonder cyclotouristes have been coming here since the 19th century.

Whether you want a gourmand's tour through vineyard and farmland, or to conquer the principal climbs of the Tour de France in the High Alps, this guide gives you the best of France on two wheels.

  • Itineraries to suit all fitness levels
  • Elevation charts and detailed maps
  • Comprehensive listings for sleeping, eating and facilities along the way
  • Comprehensive coverage of Corsica

Lonely Planet gets you to the heart of a place. Our job is to make amazing travel experiences happen. We visit the places we write about each and every edition. We never take freebies for positive coverage, so you can always rely on us to tell it like it is.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet and Ethan Gelber.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Frequently Bought Together

Lonely Planet Cycling France (Travel Guide) + France - Cycling Routes + Cycle Touring in France: Eight Selected Cycle Tours (Cicerone Guides)
Price For All Three: £29.16

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 2 edition (21 Aug 2009)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1741040442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741040449
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The French have a nickname for the bicycle--la petite reine, or little queen. With the country's fondness for the queen of the road, its vast network of quiet backroads, magnificent scenery, and scrumptious eateries, it's the perfect choice for discovering the world on two wheels. In Lonely Planet: Cycling France, Lonely Planet has created an excellent guide, chock-full of itineraries, maps, and information and advice for those who want to get off the bus and set their own pace. They've mapped out the best rides in the country for neophytes, veterans and off-roaders, with itineraries ranging from a few hours to two months. Here's a sampling: in Paris you can take the bike paths along the Seine or all the way to Monet's gardens in Giverny. The Loire Valley offers intimate excursions by sandstone villages, magnificent chateaux and scenic waterways. Take the tiny, winding roads of Provence to see perched villages and spectacular panoramas of the Cote d'Azur, or dip into Champagne for the terraced vineyards of Dom Perignon. For those up to the challenge, there's the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Massif Central, with its steep climbs and sweeping descents. The Guide includes a chapter on the island of Corsica with its rugged coastal scenery and prehistoric sites. Travelling by bike calls for a plethora of information not found in the typical tourist guidebook. Lonely Planet has it all. "Facts for Cyclists" provides practical information on when to ride, based on the weather and wind patterns, a checklist of what to bring, information on buying or renting locally, a list of cycling events, and Internet resources. There are tips for senior, disabled, or gay and lesbian cyclers, and those riding with children, and lists of which airlines and which types of trains are bicycle-friendly, and how to pack and transport your bike. The "Health and Safety" chapter explains the French rules of the road (including the confusing "Priority to the Right"), and gives tips for getting and staying fit, and treatments for common ailments on the road. Of course, there's the usual info on where to stay, what to eat, and what to see for a wide range of tastes, from camping to a night in a chateaux. There's also a history of cycling in France and a chapter on the Tour de France and its nuances. With the inclusion of the requisite chapter on bicycle maintenance and repair, you're ready to ride.--Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other. --New York Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No entry for Calais? 22 Aug 2006
This book is probably great if you're at the planning stages of a trip. If you're after general information about getting to France and cycling, then it's a bit vague. I expect that the majority of English speaking cyclists arriving in France will be coming via Calais or Boulogne, or perhaps over-land through Belgium. This book contains no entry for either French city, and doesn't cover the border with Belgium at all. So if you're thinking of pootling about north eastern France this simply isn't the book for you as it doesn't actually contain any specific information about the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

The regions covered in the book don't overlap, so there are other departments you won't be able to find much about: Poitou-Charentes is largely omitted, the cities of Lille and Lyon and surrounding areas don't appear in the index (or as far as I can tell the book) and there's a band of un-covered territory stretching from south of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to just south of Grenoble on the borders with Italy.

In all - if you want to parachute into the Champagne region, or teleport to the Pyrenees with your bicycle, then this is the book for you. If you're interested in getting aross France it's simply not going to be enough.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bicycle routes through France 20 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Used the LP to bike from Nimes to Carcassonne. LP did a great job of outlining the trip. Each day there was a map that showed the elevation of the ride, detailed directions, and what to expect. Unfortunately, in the trip we took, some of the descriptions were vague on what to see or how to get around, so I would have liked to see more details on this. Also, a few new roads showed up that weren't mentioned, so bring a detailed map. Overall, a great biking book that I will use to explore the rest of France.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A good idea, and the best option available for covering the whole of france in one simple book. But when riding some of the routes, I did get the feeling that they hadn't actually done so themselves, for example some hills and gradients will be mentioned while other far more significant ones will be missed out, and the choice of roads at some points are certainly not always the safest option when you have a bike loaded with panniers and camping gear.

By No means perfect, but if taken with a good pinch of salt will certainly show you more than bumbling around by yourself.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best way to see France! 15 Jan 2004
By Kim
And you can eat as much as you like, because you're going to burn those calories off! We've done a few of the routes now, and though they vary in accuracy, and ease of following the directions given, that justs adds to the fun. The routes are superb in taking you off the beaten track as much as possible, showing gems of villages and stunning scenery along the way. Best off all are the suggestions about where to stay, e.g. we stayed in a vineyard on the Alsace route where a full, and very generous, wine tasting was thrown in for the price of the B&B. I would recommned the LP cycling books to those just wishing to start cycle touring, it makes it extremely easy, as well as those who wish to tackle the more serious routes.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book will be your best friend 29 Nov 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As with any of the lonely planet books, this book is super.
There are detailed maps, guides where to eat for cheap or if you find you have a bit of money some days, places to spoil yourself, places of interest that you should visit etc.
We cycled all over France for 8 weeks and this book was our bible.
A few places here and there need to be updated but you won't be lost in the middle of nowhere with this book.
Fully recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title 5 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of both Lonely Planet and Rough Guide and own about thirty titles all of which have lived up to expectation and enhanced our travelling immensley. I bought this book as we are planning to cycle from Roscoff to Santander this autumn and thought it would describe Eurovelo and local cycle routes throughout France.
Instead it describes about five circular routes in various parts of France and completely fails to mention any of the long distance routes you might actually want to do.
A better description in the Amazon advert would help others to avoid wasting their money too!!
Very disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not comprehensive 12 July 2011
As I live in Paris I bought this book hoping to find dozens of different routes that I could try throughout the country, and particularly in my region. Instead the book concentrates on just one or two routes for each region which is a shame I think. Take the Ile de France as an example: the only routes that are given in detail are Fontainebleau, Paris city centre and Giverny (with casual mentions of one or two others). A few more options would have been much more useful.

Rant over, this is still a well written and useful guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconvenient logistics and poor quality mapping 29 April 2013
By mr
There are a few good points to this book, but there are many reasons why I would advise against buying this guide. The main ones are:

1 - Most routes are linear (rather than circular), and there is very litttle information regarding travel to and from the start and end points of the rides with your bike. Many routes don't appear to begin or end anywhere near transport hubs (e.g. train stations).

2 - The maps are very poor quality and they would be completely useless as a navigational aid on the bike. As as example one route I was interested in doing (a 3 day 167km loop in the Pyrenees) is shown on a map at scale approx 1cm:30km. The entire loop was contained within a square inch of paper, and it didn't even show many of the towns/villages that were described in the guide, including one of the overnight stops. The book does give you advice in which IGN maps you can purchase for a particular ride, but surely the point of a cycling guide is that it can be used to guide you when cycling?

3 - There is a superfluous 20 page section at the back titled 'Your Bicycle' which is essentially a guide to basic bike mainenance and set-up. This just seems a bit tokenistic as most people considering going on a foreign cycle tour would I suspect already know how to fix a flat tyre, or oil a chain, and could almost certainly identify their rear pannier bag. People who are completely new to cycle touring would be much better informed with one of the many excellent instructional books on bike maintenance and touring. The pages would instead have been better used adressing issues mentioned in 1 & 2.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cycling France Lonely Planet Guide
Very useful and detailed book. Routes were easy to follow. Would recommend to anyone going cycling in France. Very good.
Published 14 months ago by Marilyn Jennings
2.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed
We used this book to cycle in Normandy, appreciate many other routes, but we didn't find the information easy to follow or all that accurate.
Published 23 months ago by Bernie
3.0 out of 5 stars Cycling in France
This book is quite useful for someone planning a tour and covers the major routes around the country.
We also found list of accomodations and restaurants helpful
Published on 5 May 2012 by MM
5.0 out of 5 stars Cycling France
This is a great book for anyone planning a trip to France on a bike. Lot's of info on what bike to buy what routes to take and helpful hints on what to do while on your trip. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2012 by Hobber
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Overview
I bought this in the full knowledge that my planned route was not included among those described. I was after the meat. Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2011 by Scot On A Rock
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable and easy to use
We first used the guide to cycle round the champagne region (from Epernay round the Vallee de la Marne). The instructions are extremely clear, even if you do not have a GPS. Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2011 by halfpint1018
5.0 out of 5 stars great
A great book for the money and essential for those contemplating these cycle routes - go for it. I ma now planning in an informed manner.
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by F. Readhead
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Put Together
This is a typical Lonely Planet guide; it gives clear advice but is intended to give you set routes. If you're making your own way it's best to treat it more generally.
Published on 15 Jun 2011 by Jungle Jim
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Bought this book with a view to spending a week cycling in France. Wanted some ideas on places to stay etc as didn't fancy a big organised tour. Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2011 by Mahony
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Cycling book for France
Absolutely perfect book for anyone who would like to cycle in France. Exhaustive in scope, the book covers a variety of difficulties, and would be suitable for cyclists of all... Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2009 by L. Gibson
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