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Welcome to the trail!

France is the destination for breathtaking mountain bike trails. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there is a perfect route for you. Choose from bike parks, signposted trails or be guided by a local expert. Each area has unique challenges, from high drops to steep descents, and the diversity of the landscape makes every course an exhilarating experience. This ‘page of inspiration’ guides you through the world of mountain biking in France, with its extensive network of trails and bike parks. Discover the best regions, the ideal seasons and valuable tips for an unforgettable mountain bike adventure.

Mountain biking in France: VTT and France!

France is taking big steps for cyclists, both in cities and off-road. The country speaks of VTT (Vélo Tout Terrain) instead of a mountain bike. Trails are referred to as Rando or Randonnée. Make sure you have spare parts with you, as there is not always a bike shop nearby. Book your holiday via Gites.com for an excellent starting position with safe bicycle storage and relaxation options. Explore the Ardennes and Vosges regions for challenging trails without high mountains. Discover the French Alps with iconic places such as Les Deux Alpes, Chamonix and Morzine, suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers. Southern France (Provence and Côte d'Azur) offers sunny paths, lavender fields and a Mediterranean atmosphere. The Pyrenees, the natural border between France and Spain, offer challenging routes and unspoilt nature.

Mountain biking seasons in France

Which season is suitable for mountain biking?

Every season has something unique to offer for mountain biking in France. Spring is ideal with awakening nature and pleasant temperatures. Autumn brings mild temperatures and enchanting colours. In winter you can enjoy mountain biking in the south of France and fat biking on snow trails. For the real fanatic: combine the mountain bike trail with the slopes and get off your bike onto your skis!

4 Tips for a successful adventure

  • Make sure you have good equipment: Rent from a bike park if necessary or provide your own equipment, including spare parts.
  • Know your level: Choose trails that match your skill level.
  • Respect nature: Follow marked trails and avoid disturbing flora and fauna.
  • Enjoy French cuisine: Think about your fuel and discover local dishes along your route for an authentic and tasty mountain biking experience.

What are you waiting for?

In conclusion: whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, mountain biking in France offers something for everyone. Explore various regions, choose the right season and be enchanted by the beauty of the French trails. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure and share your mountain biking experience in France with #vttfrance!

Coffee with apple pie?

As a Dutch or Belgian mountain biker you probably recognize the phenomenon: cycling break means coffee with apple pie on a sunny terrace! During your adventure, those extra calories really can't hurt. So add a nice dollop of whipped cream! Those whole wheat sandwiches can wait until lunch, which you, as a true Dutchman, can then eat while standing next to the bicycle or perhaps on a bench...

But what if you embark on a mountain bike adventure in France? Very different rules apply here! In France, eating while cycling is a different story. Eating standing? Eating while cycling? What barbaric country do you come from? Discover how French culture differs from what you are used to and what you should take into account if you stop at a pâtisserie, boulangerie, or épicerie while mountain biking. Because well, the French food codes are of course at a different level. Apple pie? Non, non, the “tarte aux pommes” is mainly eaten here as a dessert after the (usually copious) lunch.

Before your mountain bike tour, it is smart to explore the villages on your route and see if there is a boulangerie, épicerie or pâtisserie where you can enjoy a late breakfast with a cup of coffee and delicious French delicacies instead of that old familiar Dutch apple pie .

In France you can sit on a picturesque terrace at many boulangeries or patisseries for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Choose from an espresso (un café) or a regular coffee (un café allongé) without coffee cream (!) and combine it with a delicious viennoiserie, such as a croissant, pain aux raisins, or pain au chocolat. Or is the latter a “chocolatine?” More about that later…

Before you set off, check which villages are on your route and whether there is a boulangerie, épicerie or pâtisserie. This way you avoid hunger pangs and can fully enjoy your mountain bike adventure in France. Because let's be honest, a hungry cyclist is not a happy cyclist.

Prepare your French mountain bike tour well and discover the culinary surprises that France has to offer. With the right knowledge of French local food customs, you can make your cycling adventure an unforgettable experience. Good route! Who knows, maybe there will come a day when a “chocolatine” will make a difference. Or was it a “pain au chocolat”?

Pro tip

Pro tip: take a look at this article from ultimatefrance.com if you (think you are) ready for the Alps. Are you curious, but have doubts? Or do you first want to be sure that you haven't missed anything? Then read this blog from reach4thealps.com. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to have a great mountain bike holiday!

The mountain bike trails of France can be found at:
- The VTT France website.
- Wikiloc, with thousands of trails from other mountain bikers.